March 25, 2008

He Sez Beer, She Sez Wine

Beer%20Wine%20cover.jpgHe's Sam Calagione, founder of Dogfish Head brewery; she's Marnie Old, director of wine studies at the French Culinary Institute. They've teamed up to write a warm-hearted, delightful book that tweaks the boy-girl, beer-wine stereotypes without dumbing things down.

The publishers are giving away free copies to the first 10 people who write and ask. Send requests to inyourglass [at]

How did we get to this beer=populist, wine=elitist standoff, anyway? (Long post on Slate last year.) Wine is a symbol of culture, says Marnie. Beer was the catalyst for civilization as we know it, says Sam. They're both right, of course.

Rather than rehash old ground, however, the book (beautifully produced by DK Publishing) comes up with both wines and beers that match up with food. Vegetable pairings, for instance. With eggplant parmesan, Negra Modelo beer or Concha y Toro merlot. Lobster with Heineken or Domaine Matrot Meursault. There are plenty of suggestions (with recipes) for beer versus wine parties at home.

In the end, Sam says "maybe wine's okay." Marnie says "maybe beer's all right." And the point is made: most beers and most wines are undistinguished, but the quality lies with the artisanal stuff.

Tasty bottles, whether based on grain or on grapes aren't always easy to find. The Local Vine, right here in Seattle, is listed as a wine resource, a welcome surprise for owners Sarah Munson and Allison Nelson. No such lucky mention for Seattle-based Merchant du Vin, the country's first specialty beer importer, founded 30 years ago by Charles Finkel, who loves both wine and beer.

There's a beer & wine taste-off featuring the authors on Friday, April 11, at the Columbia Tower Club. $35 for small bites + a signed copy of the book. (Note to boors, be ye swillers or swirlers: there's a dress code.)

Posted by Ronald Holden at March 25, 2008 3:31 PM | TrackBack

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