Wine and Beer: The crossover tour
Guest post by: Madeline Blasberg
A recent study published by Goldman Sachs Investment Research found that over the
past two decades twenty-something drinkers have fallen off the beer bandwagon and
are steadily demonstrating a growing preference for wine and other hard alcohols.
Though beer’s waning popularity may be hard to detect, wine’s ever-increasing
accolades are hard to ignore. What was once a high brow beverage is now being
passed around and enjoyed by the masses.
But for beer drinkers interested in trying their taste buds on wine, the process can feel
riddled with obstacles, foreign lingo, and disappointing drink orders. The good news is
that falling I love with wine doesn’t require a perfect French accent or fancy glass-
swirling technique. If you’re already a beer connoisseur, chances are that you’ve been
cultivating some palate awareness along the way. That bodes very well. Awareness
about your preferences is the most important part of successfully translating your tastes
to the other side of the drink menu. Here are some simple tips to help you get started:
If you drink stout…
As a whole, stouts tend to be rich in color, creamy in texture, and laced with notes of
chocolate and coffee. If that’s your style, seek out a full-bodied red wine with supple
tannins and oak aging. Red grapes grown at high elevations can be a great place to
start. Search for red blends from Napa’s highest vineyards, or experiment with Cabernet
Sauvignon from Salta, Argentina’s northern region.
If you drink dark ales…
Brown, amber, and red ales encompass a wide range of beer styles: from sweet to
earthy, nutty to hoppy. They tend to be medium-bodied and easy to drink crowd-
pleasers. Pinot Noir is equally versatile and is grown in every major wine region
throughout the world, at time exhibiting subdued earthiness and at times producing
powerful red-fruit flavors that sing to the senses.
If you drink IPAs…
IPAs are recognized for having big, bold, aggressive flavors with a bitter hoppiness that
only a select group of beer drinkers can truly appreciate. A wine that hits all the same
notes should be crisp, refreshing, and delicately citric. Sauvignon Blanc, a white wine
with herbaceous, grassy, and lemon notes, is an excellent IPA counterpart. If you find a
bottle that is both floral and fruity, you may not miss hops at all.
If you drink wheat beer…
Lightly hopped, full texture, with a creamy-smooth finish is what wheat ale is all about.
They may even incorporate elements of zest, spice, citrus, and coriander. For a
comparable wine, uncork a bottle of Riesling and enjoy its refreshing fruitiness and
tantalizing aromas. If that doesn’t do the trick, try a bottle of oaked Chardonnay with
bright apple flavors and a buttery creaminess on the palate.
If you drink pilsner…
Pilsner beers are the widely considered to be easy drinking, light bodied, and
wonderfully low maintenance when it comes to sensory evaluation. It exhibits a little bit
of grain, hops, but always remains both simple and light. Pilsner drinkers will likely enjoy
a class of Muscadet or Riesling. Search for light body, low alcohol, strong aromatics and
Finding the right wine for a beer lovers is not something that can be done overnight, it’s
a process of sipping, shopping, and sticking with what you like. Oh – and learning how
to use a corkscrew, but I’m confident that you can handle it.
Madeline Blasberg is a Certified Wine Consultant who has spent time in Mendoza,
Argentina, where she was surrounded by wine, both personally and professionally.
Currently, Madeline works as the Official Wine Commentator & Reviewer for Etching
Expressions, a company specializing in personalized wine bottles.
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