I hear it all the time: "Oh, I'm just not a beer drinker. I much prefer wine."
I get it. In fact, until a few years ago, I would have said the same thing. I still love wine. It is elegant. It is timeless. I could pair wine with anything. Any. Thing.
But sometimes I'm out at a concert or Thirsty Thursday at the Asheville Tourist Stadium, and all they have is beer. What's a girl to do?
Well, first you have to weigh your options:
A) Cross your arms and pout while all your friends have a good time with or without you.
B) Make an educated leap of faith into the wonderful, and just as delicious, world of beer.
All you need is a little insight and an open mind, and I promise you can find a beer out there that is just as good as the wines you already love.
What kind of wine do you usually drink?
Sauvignon Blanc – Try an IPA
I love SB for its tart, citrusy burst of goodness. Light and refreshing, it's perfect on a hot day with some fruit or anytime with lighter fare like a delicate fish. IPA's (India Pale Ales) are heavily hopped, and do you know what hops taste like? Oranges. Pineapple. Grapefruit.
Chardonnay – Try a Hefeweisen
These German wheat beers are light and creamy with a hint of citrus and floral. If you appreciate a well-crafted Chardonnay with all its nuances, you will certainly enjoy a hefe for all the same reasons. They are very similar in flavor and character, and hefes are usually naturally carbonated, which makes for smaller bubbles and fewer burps.
Viogner – Try a Saison
What comes to mind when you think of Viogner? Fruit and flowers, right? The same is true for Saisons! The secret is in the yeasts! Weird, eh? But each strain of yeast will produce a different aroma, and when it comes to saisons, it's all floral all the way! This style is also known for its fruitiness. Plums, oranges, raspberries...the options are pretty endless.
Pinot Noir – Try a Lambic
These tart and often fruity Belgian beers can come in a variety of styles, so I hesitate to put such a narrow label on them. Find a raspberry or blackberry lambic, close your eyes, and enjoy! In fact, we have a cava rose made from Pinot Noir that makes me think of a raspberry lambic right away. They are that similar.
Malbec – Try a Belgian Dark Stout
I love malbec for its dark fruits, rich texture, hints of cocoa, and sometimes a little smoke or tobacco. A Belgian dark stout can have some or all of these characteristics! Look for subtle hints of plum, banana, and chocolate.
Cabernet or Merlot -Try a Stout
Sometimes you just want something rich. Stouts evoke descriptors like chocolate and coffee because of their rich tannins. Forget the fruit. We're going bold! Want something that goes with a steak? Stout! Want something that can hold its own against a rack of ribs? Stout! Want something that tastes good even after it warms up? Stout! How about to go with that chocolate cake? Guess what? Stout!
But don't take my word for it, come try some of these styles for yourself! That's right, all the fun without the commitment! Metro Wines will be hosting a Beer for Wine Lovers happy hour tasting event on Friday, January 23rd from 5-6:30pm! I can't wait to see some of you there and share some delicious brews with you!