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Beer vs. Wine - Why Choose When You Can Have Both!

by Monica Bennion on January 02, 2017

20160114_194212.jpgIt's that time again!  Time for our next "Beer vs. Wine" Dinner on January 12, 2017!  If you missed the sold out event last year, NOW is the time to get your tickets to this one-of-a-kind dinner event.  The 2017 "Beer vs. Wine" Dinner event will be held at the Volcano Union Pub + Inn in historic downtown Volcano, CA.  The team at Volcano Union Pub + Inn has magically and masterfully crafted a menu to compliment wines produced by Scott Harvey and beers from Cool Beerworks out of Cool, CA.  Seating is limited...Don't miss this once-a-year event!

Our assistant Tasting Room Manager, Nicole, has written a wonderful blog describing the experience from our first "Beer vs. Wine" Dinner in 2016.  She shares with us how this idea was born all the way through the dinner event itself.

 

2017 BEER VS. WINE DINNER
Thursday, January 12, 2017 ~ 6 PM
Volcano Union Inn + Pub
$60/person
(Price includes beer, wine, dinner, tax and service charge)

GET YOUR TICKETS TO THE 2017 BEER VS. WINE DINNER

"As Scott addressed the room full of people that had joined us for our sold out Beer VS Wine dinner at the Volcano Union Inn + Pub, I found myself taking a moment to reflect on how we got here to the magical end of this wonderful and challenging journey.  It must first be known that I have been in the industry for six years.  I have been a part of my fair share of Winemaker’s Dinners and have hosted my fair share of Beer Pairing Dinners.  The idea came to me one day while enjoying a pint after work at Sutter Creek Provisions in historic downtown Sutter Creek, CA.  I started to talk with Darin, proprietor at Sutter Creek Provisions, about the idea of a beer and wine pairing dinner and he mentioned that he had done one in the past with great success so I thought “This is PERFECT for us.”  We all know that it takes “a lot of good beer to make wine” and that every winemaker (at least all the ones I have met) loves their beer thirty during harvest so why not combine the two things we adore into one must attend dinner.

The journey to creating this meal started with a simple mention to Linda O'Brien, our wonderful local distributor and long time friend of Scott's.  Jack and I explained to her what we wanted to do and she took the small seed to Tracey Berkner, owner of world-renowned Taste Restaurant and the Volcano Union Inn + Pub.  Tracey responded to us with enthusiasm and so we began to ponder exactly how we were going to pull this off.  The challenge in planning a dinner like this is that while beer and wine have their similarities they are also very different.  So, that is where we started, what beers pair best with our wines?

One Thursday evening in November 2015, I met up with Tracey, Mollie and Nick (our assistant winemakers), and Will (Amador Brewing Company) to form our "drink tank, think tank".  I came armed with a varied selection of wines for us to choose from.  After a short discussion with Mollie and Nick we eliminated a handful of the wines and settled on five wines we would tasted with Will’s beers from Amador Brewing Company.  It must be said that we were all coming into this with clean slates and discerning taste buds.  There wasn’t one of us that had ever gone down the road before of trying to find beers that would pair with wine...and then pair with food.  I must admit I was slightly skeptical that it would even work but to my surprise it was much easier than I thought it was going to be.  The wine still plays its magic on the palate like it does during food pairings.  It helps wash off the beer from your palate and allows you taste more complexity in the beer and vice versa.

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As we tasted through, it was so interesting to see how much different beers really did in fact either enhance or hinder the wines.  While this tasting adventure can sound like something everybody which they could do after a long day’s work, it was in fact quiet challenging.  At the same time, we had to keep in mind that the food also had to play nicely with both the beer AND the wine.  So, once we settled on a beer pairing we threw out ideas of what food we thought would go with it.  We tasted through the wines and beers and were sure we had everything set until Nick said, “I know that we settled on the pairings but I really like the IPA with the Syrah, I know it is only one person’s opinion.” We all cleared our palates of the Forte and Porter and went back to the Syrah and IPA, and Nick was spot on.  The Syrah pairing with the IPA was our favorite pairing of the night...good call Nick!  Now that our menu was fully settled, Tracey called Mitch at Taste and told him to prepare a list of obscure and random things for all of us to try.  So, we packed up our myriad of booze and traveled the short distance to Taste in Plymouth, CA.

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We all stood in the back of the kitchen and "painstakingly" went through food pairings with the beer and wine we had chosen.  We would add or remove things here and there to make sure it all worked together.  The Sauvignon Blanc and Barbera were easy but once we got the Syrah the decisions got more complicated.  While the chefs prepared the lamb, we all stood and tasted varied spice combinations to determine what would be most compatible with the Syrah and the IPA pairing.  After a short debate we settled on a great combination that allowed both the beer and wine to shine.  Finally, we arrived at the most collaborative part of the dinner: dessert.  This creation was a collaboration by all of us simply trying each component and adding to it in ways we thought would enhance the pairings and it worked beautifully.

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In the end, while sitting in our sold out room of guests for the dinner, I was overjoyed.  This new and exciting experience had allowed us to create a fun and unique event for more than our customers, members and locals alike, but also fellow industry veterans.  It allowed people who have spent a while in the industry to push their boundaries and try something new.  For me, it was without a doubt the best thing I have done so far and I can’t wait for the next dinner."

2017 BEER VS. WINE DINNER
Thursday, January 12, 2017 ~ 6 PM
Volcano Union Inn + Pub
$60/person
(Price includes beer, wine, dinner, tax and service charge)

GET YOUR TICKETS TO THE 2017 BEER VS. WINE DINNER

 

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