The Beertender: Do the Pilgrims Proud -- Drink Beer!

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'Tis the season for the obligatory "What wine should you bring to Thanksgiving?" article. Can we talk about this for a minute? As always, drink what you like, but Thanksgiving means tons of food that are heavy on the carbs -- and you want to pair it with wine? A drink that's 12-14% alcohol by volume on top of a dish specifically named stuffing is what sends you to bed early, not the tryptophan.

(By the way, you know that's a myth, right? There's more tryptophan in eggs, spinach and cheese than in turkey. So when the conversation lags and Cousin Larry tries to show off the new word he learned, shut him down quick with an inquiry into post-quiche naps.)

Think about choosing some lower-alcohol offerings to feast with, thus ensuring you'll have room for a few more at the bar after Grandma's been driven home.

OK, seriously, no dis to wine. It's a classic. It's expected. But along with that nice bottle of riesling, consider picking up a very reasonably priced bottle of some of the world's best beer.

Pairing any drink with the food at your typical American harvest celebration can be tricky due to the array of flavors you encounter. But beer is capable of such complexity that it most certainly belongs on the table next to the Glenlivet and Beaujolais Nouveau. A crisp Czech pilsner or sour Berliner Weisse can easily accompany dry sparkling wine as an aperitif. Turkey and stuffing is absolutely transformed by a spicy saison or juicy IPA.

Drink pinot noir? Try a dubbel or other Belgian dark strong ale in its place and enjoy teasing out a similar-yet-different assortment of dark fruits and spices. And for dessert, pick your poison: fruit beers, chocolate beers, pumpkin beers, coffee beers. Just make sure that the beer is sweeter than the dessert or the beer's sweetness will get obliterated by the food's.

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