I’ve been loving putting the ‘and’ where it belongs between beer and wine with tastings that feature both of these wonderful libations this year.
Last Sunday found us at it with a room full of guests ready to sip-in. The Ashland Culinary Festival takes place the first weekend of November in Ashland OR. In 2012 I lead two flavor oriented beer education sessions – this year we included wine.
Because flavor is where you find it. Beer, wine, spirits, mead, cider, perry, sour cream, tofu, whatever. It’s not the “what” that’s ever as important as the “why” behind what we try. To be diplomatic and share your affinity for whatever it is forward with tact and enthusiasm is tantamount to developing more ‘and’ connection, less ‘vs.’, ‘or’, and ‘but’.
And who ever said you have to pick either beer or wine?!? No one. It’s just unhelpful conjecture and our own roadblocks that we put up.
Knowing more about anything includes investigating the ‘why’ – the Why is what drives our decision-making processes and it’s loaded with helpful insight into ourselves and those around us.
Our friends at Weisinger’s Winery was our host location and contributed the wines. Local brewery Standing Stone Brewing Company provided the fresh tasty beer. David Schultz of Sysco generously sponsored the entire event and provided lovely accompanying food nibbles.
When I started the session, there were at least two great guests who said they “weren’t beer drinkers.” By the time they walked out, smiling broadly, they both happily claimed they were. Still in the learning stage to be sure and supported by the entire room, it’s important to note that an open mind is key.
Cheers to beer and Cheers to wine! Here’s the menu we savored.
- Beer: Wild Trail Ale brewed with Yarrow and St. John’s Wort with the Beers Made By Walking collaboration.
- Wine: 2010 Petite Blanc, blend of Viognier, Chardonney, and Gewurtztraminer
- Beer: Vienna-style Victory Lager
- Wine: Lot 20 Mescolare, proprietary blend of Cabernet, Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Franc
- Beer: Steel-Cut Stout
- Wine: 2010 Estate Tempranillo
- Foods: Sysco lightly seasoned wafer crackers, Monterey Jack & Cheddar Cheeses, 3 varieties of fresh pears, dark chocolate disks.
Go ahead. Have a beer AND wine tasting party. It’s easy, simple, and fun.