Barley Mowat 

Beer Versus Wine

with 4 comments

Tonight I’m off to a super secret underground restaurant. Like all such places, it’s in Gastown. Underground restaurants, for those not in the know, are basically restaurants running on the sly. They’re typically tiny, and mostly run from the chef’s own home. They exist primarily to help often-struggling chefs line their pockets (no tax), and also to serve as a venue for a chef to branch out a bit from the market-dictated dynamics of a commercial kitchen.

Despite being completely illegal, these places are rarely shut down. That is, unless they also happen to anger our iron-fisted booze overlords by selling liquor with their food. For that reason, tonight I will be bringing along my own beer. Inspired by the recent Alibi/Driftwood dinner, I have carefully picked out five excellent beers to pair with the menu.

This should be easy! Why is everyone so quiet?

But why stop there? Let’s make this interesting. Let’s pair a both a beer and wine flight with the meal and see which one comes out on top! My friend and periodic co-blogger here Jenn has picked the wines, and I’ve done the beers. It’s a 9 course meal, so we’re obviously not serving 18 drinks. Both beers and wines will have to serve double duty for some consecutive courses. Here’s the lineup:

Marinated Beetroot Salad
crushed candied hazelnuts, goats cheese mousse, pickled beet jelly, wild watercress
Driftwood Eponymous Ale & Villa Wolf Riesling ’10 (Germany)

Qualicum Beach Scallop
smoky bacon & sea urchin mousse
Hoyne “Hoyner” Pilsner & Villa Wolf Riesling ’10 (Germany)

Hand-Made Ravioli
dungeness crab, sunchoke veloute, tomato confit
Hoyne “Hoyner” Pilsner & Domaine de Vaugondy Vouvray ’10 (France)

Fraser Valley Quince Sorbet
riesling jelly, baby mint leaves
North Coast Le Merle Saison

North Arm Farms Salsify
braised black salsify, trumpet mushrooms, quails egg, crispy pheasant leg
North Coast Le Merle Saison & Les Armoires Julienas ’10 (France)

Crispy Skin Lois Lake Steelhead Trout
roasted carrots, carrot puree, pickled cucumber, shaved radish
North Coast Le Merle Saison & Les Armoires Julienas ’10 (France)

Sous-Vide Pemberton Medows Tenderloin
braised shortrib, rutabaga fondant, horse radish potato, jus
Hoyne Down Easy Pale Ale & Santa Julia Magna Blend ’00 (Argentina)

single plantation chocolate, chestnut ganache, milk sorbet, chocolate soil, hazlenut brittle
2 year flight of Driftwood Singularity Russian Imperial Stout: 2011 and 2012

Petis Four
So still drinking the Singularity

Would you guys have done anything differently?

Written by chuck

February 18th, 2012 at 5:15 pm

Posted in Beer and You

4 Responses to 'Beer Versus Wine'

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  1. Ok. Pairing beer with food is hard, especially when you haven’t tasted the munchies in question.

    Although, I still feel I did admirably. Jenn figures the evening was a dead tie between beer and wine over 7 courses (didn’t count the sorbet or petis four): (3-3-1). I was a bit more beer-leaning, giving the night a 4-2-1 score.

    I guess that’s a win for beer, then?

    Side note: the 2011 Singularity is way better, but I think the 2012 might eclipse even that lofty standard in 12 months.


    20 Feb 12 at 18:38

  2. Updated to add course info:

    Jenn: Wine, Tie, Beer, Skip, Wine, Beer, Wine, Beer, Skip
    Chuck: Beer, Tie, Wine, Skip, Wine, Beer, Beer, Beer, Skip

    Courses 1 & 3 could have gone either way, as there were aspects that worked well with both. Course 7 (tenderloin) though, we were dynamically opposed. I felt the beer was an excellent pairing and the wine a complete miss, Jenn (and the rest of the table) felt the opposite.

    No wine was paired with the chocolate, though, as Jenn felt it didn’t stand a chance.


    20 Feb 12 at 18:48

  3. Awesome post! I love wine but I like it a lot more on its own than with food. Well a steak with the right cab is fantastic but I think wine and food is overrated and food and beer is underrated. I feel like it both tastes good in your mouth but I don’t see wine enhancing food and vise versa like beer does. Especially when it comes to cheese. One day I’m hoping (when I have the budget) to have a sommolier prove me wrong and show me that there’s a wine for any dish. By enhancing, complimenting, and creating a marriage with any dish, even spicy food. I feel like when your “average person” tries a food and beer pairing, they just might not “get it” because they’re thrown off by the taste of the beer not being watery and fizzy. Therefor not getting the beauty of the pairing. Anyways, sorry for the long ramble. Great post as usual. Cheers!


    23 Feb 12 at 18:49

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