Sunday, October 9, 2011

Beer vs Wine with Goose Island

I was really looking forward to the second round of Wine vs Beer, hosted by STLwinegirl, Angela Ortmann, returning back to The Wine and Cheese Place. The beer was hosted by Goose Island, one of my favorite craft breweries out of Chicago. My top two favorites are the “312” and the “Sofie”, which is named after one of the brewer’s daughters.

We started off with the Sofie since it’s one of the lightest beers to match up against the Jean Louis Blanc de Blanc sparkling wine. Both were paired with a super buttery triple crème called Delice de Bourgogne, but the wine was the clear winner due to the cream taming down the bubbles. I love Sofie a lot but I think she has enough flavor that a mild brie would go better so you can still let her taste stand out. The Sofie is actually oaked and aged for 90 days so you really need to let the flavor speak for itself.

The second flight included a Le Cirque Rose (made up of Grenache and Syrah) versus the Goose Island Pepe Nero. The rose was a bright red that I had never seen before and it tasted just as bold as it looked! The wine was high in acid and the flavors were strong, much stronger than I was used to for a rose, and actually overpowered the saltiness of the olives and nuts. I really felt the Pepe Nero and its own nutty flavor paired up better.

In the third flight, I really thought my love of Beaujolais would bias me against the Goose Island Matilda, another beer named after one the brewer’s daughter. The 2008 Dubeuoef Julienas Cru Beaujolais had a great smooth and mild flavor, which makes for a great everyday drinking wine. Definitely quaffable. But the Matilda again came out on top for pairing with the salami with mustard due to the spices in the Matilda.

If you love bold, red wines, you can’t go wrong with an Italian Barbera, sometimes called the Italian Pinot. The Damilano Barbera d’Asti definitely won the fourth round when paired with a St. Louis style pizza with sausage on top. The greasy meat and heavy sauce was able to stand up to the wine whereas the Goose Island Harvest Ale was way too hoppy and I had trouble drinking the beer.

The last flight paired a Banfi Rosa Regale Brachetto against the Goose Island Pere Jacques during the dessert course. We tried both milk and dark chocolate…I made sure I tried multiple of each…and the wine came out on top. Unfortunately, at this point in the class I don’t remember too much about the wine, but the Pere Jacques, while a dessert beer, was far too bitter and overpowering.

While I picked winners for each round, everything I tasted, both food and drink was fantastic. Beer vs Wine is definitely one of the top classes to attend.

Resources:

STLwinegirl = http://www.stlwinegirl.com/

The Wine and Cheese Place = http://www.wineandcheeseplace.com/

Goose Island = http://www.gooseisland.com/