Rob Peters has been teaching Wine classes at the Main Line School Night for a while, and has occasionally dropped in one of my beer appreciation classes. He had been prodding me to do something with him, so I finally relented this spring and decided to do a wine/beer and cheese tasting class with him. It was a two night 6 wines 6 beers 6 cheese throw-down, no holds barred.
While all agreed it was educational, fun and interesting – to my surprise the wine and cheese pairings won 4 – 2. Astonished as I was, I could not fathom why things came out as they did, but being a “beer guy” I had to be a man about it.
The two pairings that were huge winners for beer were the first (most delicate) and last (most robust). I think this is a good illustration of just how diverse and flexible beer as a food companion beverage can be. The Allagash White Belgian Style Wit paired with Humboldt Fog Goat cheese got 13 out of 19 votes as a delectable pairing – mild but delicious. And the closer pairing was a lusty Rogue River Blue with Duck Rabbit Barley Wine – a tastebud carousel that delighted the tasters!
Here was the line up and voting:
Allagash White and Humboldt Fog Goat vs Piper Sonoma Sparkling – Beer wins 13 to 6
Lagunitas Czech Pils and Cato Corner’s Bloomsday Trappist Cheese vs. Bastor-Lamontagne Bordeaux Sec 2009 – Wine wins 10 to 8
Bell’s Oberon American Wheat and Trugole Raw Milk Cheese vs. Churchill Dry Gewurztrminer 2009 – Wine wins 10 to 8
Founders Double Trouble Double IPA and Keen’s Farmhouse Cheddar vs. E. Guigal Cotes Du Rhone 2007 – Wine wins 16 to 5
Great Divide Yeti Oak Aged Imperial Chocolate Stout and Old Dutch 4 year old Gouda vs. Chateau Ste Michelle Cabernet Sauvignon Indian Wells – Wine wins 14 to 8
Duck Rabbit Barley Wine and Rogue River Blue Cheese vs. Dow Vale Do Bomfim Douro – Beer Wins 14 to 7
Total wins and losses shows a slight edge to wine and cheese with 63 vs. beer’s overall 56. Also, when everyone was asked to note their favorite pairing overall, the first and last beer/cheese combination were the most mentioned. As I try to understand how the pairing preferences came out as they did, I wonder about the demographic of the class of the 22 who came (at least one of the nights) as 17 were on the fairer gender, at least one of which wrote on her ballot “I don’t like beer”. But that would be stereotyping, and I know some of these nice folks are real beer appreciators gender not withstanding!
Anyway, it was all good as they say, and I must thank Hunter and Zeke at DiBruno’s 9th St and as always Matt and the fine folks at the Beer Yard for great stuff to work with. I also have to thank all the folks that joined us on the journey. I think we will do it again next year.
Next time we will win, resistance is futile!