I just finished an interesting book for the die-hard beer drinkers out there: A Beer Drinker’s Guide to Knowing and Enjoying Fine Wine by James Laughren. The book encourages the beer drinker to embrace getting to know the other fermented beverage. Laughren clears a path through the wine world with tips “hidden among nuggets of beer lore, the secret tips for appearing extra wine smart while building your knowledge.”
I am by no means a beer expert, but with a little research and tasting opportunities I put together a few styles of beer easily complementing a wine style.
If you like pale ale you may like pinot noir. Pinot noir is a lighter red wine without the heavy tannic bite you usually get from fuller bodied wines. Also similar to beer, pinot noir’s light style makes it easy to serve chilled.
- 2011 Gnarly Head Pinot Noir, California (about $12 retail)
- 2011 A to Z Oregon Pinot Noir, Oregon (about $22 retail)
If you like light beer or American lager, you may like brut cava. Both are bubbly and refreshing and easily pair with a variety of foods.
- NV Freixenet Brut Cava, Spain (about $10 retail)
- NV Sumarroca Brut Cava, Spain (about $18 retail)
If you drink IPA (India Pale Ale), you may like carmenere. Carmenere has a balance of savory, bitter and fruity.
- 2011 Root 1 Carmenere, California (about $12 retail)
- 2011 La Playa Axel Carmenere, Chile (about $26 retail)
If you drink wheat beer you may like a buttery rich chardonnay. Chardonnay offers a quenching, refreshing taste that always has a creamy smooth texture similar to a wheat beer.
- 2011 Butternut Chardonnay, California (about $16 retail)
- 2011 La Crema Sonoma Chardonnay, California (about $26 retail)