Maybe it’s you or the person you’re dining with who is a devout beer drinker. You’ve given wine a try before, but it was about as enjoyable as a Saison when you wanted a Stout. There’s no reason to completely shut out wine. I love pairing beers with food, but let’s not forget that food’s original pairing was with wine.
Finding a beer drinker’s wine is a matter of matching the flavors of favorite beer style with a comparable style of wine. Just as there are variances in styles of beer so there will be in wine types. You may need to try a few of a particular style to find your favorite. This also works in reverse. If you’re a wine person who wants to give the world of beers a try, give a beer that matches your favorite wine a try.
Here are six common beer styles and their wine counterpart.
If you like the dry crisp refreshing taste of a lager, give Brut Cava (a Spanish sparkling white wine) a go.
Why you’ll like it: Brut Cava is generally light, bubbly, dry, crisp, and pair well with most dishes. They’re also not expensive.
Wheat beers are typically smooth and creamy (occasionally fruity). The choice for you is Chardonnay.
Why you’ll like it: Chardonnays are known for their smooth fruity round flavor usually with hints of oak.
Because of their balanced flavor, body, and aroma pale ales are a recommended entry point for new beer drinkers. Just like the pale ale, Merlot is a middle of the road wine.
Why you’ll like it: Merlots are typically medium in body, with the perfect balance of dryness and fruitiness.
IPA lovers enjoy the complexity of beer. Citrus, fruity, bitterness, and everything in between works. Carmenere is your choice.
Why you’ll like it: Carmenere is a wonderful balance between fruitiness, savory, and bitterness. The variety and balance of flavors will remind you of a good IPA.
A medium body beer with some earthy flavors, dark fruits, and occasional spices.
The wine for you is Syrah.
Why you’ll like it: The Syrah and porter share many of the same flavor and body qualities. They also pair with similar foods.
Like the silky, full bodied, toasted taste of a stout? Then you’re choice is the unofficial king of wines, Cabernet Sauvignon.
Why you’ll like it:
Cabernet Sauvignon is a big, full flavored, complex wine. The big fruit, heavy tannins, and lots of flavor make this a wonderful wine for those who like to drink big drinks…like a stout.
Variety is the spice of life. Whether your go to choice for drink is beer or wine, get out there and give the other a try. Follow the flavor suggestions and see which wine (or beer) you like best.
We’d love to hear what your experience was.
Did you find a wine (or beer) that you enjoyed?
Do you have a better recommendation for a place to begin?
Let us know.
Victor Mazzeo is a food and wine enthusiast who’s worked many years in the food service industry both front of the house and back of the house. He enjoys running, cycling, and triathlon. He is currently a stay at home dad earning a living drinking and sharing wine. His own musings can be found at PourAndEnjoy.com