Report from the Beer vs. Wine Dinner

A few weeks ago I made a post about a Beer vs. Wine dinner that our pal Rich Mock was helping organize. The event, technically called the "He Said Beer, She Said Wine" dinner has come and gone and Rich has written up a summary that I think would be fun to post here. Take a look, and if this is of interest to you, let me know and we'll make sure Rich gets your info and that you're invited to any future similar events. Here's the news from Rich:

Dat's Italian

Brew Bros members Axe and Dino worked the beer end of this dinner based on the book by Sam Calagione, owner of Dogfish Head Brewery, and Marnie Olds, sommelier. Thanks to the proprietors, JoAnn and Dennis, for indulging us. The goal was to get everyone to try new and exciting combinations. The restaurant is more of a wine house with most of the Dat’s Italian wine dinner regulars there but there were some closet beer fans. We chose mainstream Colorado craft beers from a variety of our ‘Napa Valley’ craft breweries to compete against Italian wines.

First course: Ravioli Spinach Brodo, paired with Mama’s Little YELLA Pills and Ricasoli Rose. The brodo (soup) was more garlicky than we anticipated which worked well with the hoppy pils. The wine was a bit sweet and contrasted with the spicy brodo. The crowd was pretty much split but my wife, Cris, surprised me by preferring the pils. Off to a good start for the Brew Bros.

Rich (Dino) and Cris

 The second course was a beet gorgonzola salad with walnuts and red wine vinegar dressing paired with Laughing Lab and a Lucchine Valpolicella Classico. The salad consisted of mainly beets who’s sweetness worked better with the wine. The gorgonzola did pair better with the malty, Scottish ale but there were more beets than cheese. This round went to the winos.

Round three was an Italian pastry stuffed with spicy pork and ricotta cheese covered with marinara sauce paired with Left Hand’s Sawtooth ESB and a Chianti Classico. The caramelized pork matched the malty caramel sweetness of the beer but the tannic wine cut the marinara sauce perfectly.  It’s difficult for any beer to stand up to tomato sauce. Winos up 2-1.

Mike (Axe) and Paulina

The fourth course was Italian grilled shrimp on Rosemary skewers over parmesan polenta paired with New Belgium’s Tripel and Tedeschi Soave. The Belgian beer was a new treat for many of the wine crowd and the lighter malt sweetness and fruitiness matched well with the shrimp. While the sweet wine paired well, it was no match for the beer.

All tied up going into the fifth course which was an anisette pizelle with Italian orange marmalade paired with Breck’s vanilla porter and a Domenico Bertiol Prosecco with anisette infusion. The fizzy champagne with anisette matched the flavors of the Italian cookie and vanilla ice cream but the beer boys knocked it out of the park with a rich, malty, vanilla porter that brought out the richness of the food and beer.

The great food with beverage pairings were enjoyed by all with lively conversations throughout the evening on the benefits of beer and wine. JoAnn and Dennis were pleased with the sell-out crowd and are planning another beer-wine dinner in the future. Stay tuned for more.

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BeerEric Steen