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Friday, May 6, 2011

FBD, AKA Wine & Beer Pairings

Rogues' Harbor Brewing Co.'s
Cayuga Cream Ale
FBD= Fermented Beverage of the Day.  A glass of a fermented beverage once a day is good for you - happiness in a glass, medicinal, spiritual, nourishing... It does the body & soul good to relax with a glass that was enjoyed by the ancients in celebration, in treatment, in worship, as a meal, and even exchanged as currency.
We love our Finger Lakes' wine and local craft brewed draughts so much that we decided to suggest wine & beer pairings with our new spring menu offerings. This required a lot of careful research. My husband & I sampled new menu ideas with different glasses of wine & beer nearly every night. I've never had so much fun working. We tried the Herb Crusted Pork Tenderloin with the dry rose by Long Point Winery, Ciera. Loved it. We also tried Ithaca Beer Co.'s Apricot Wheat with the tenderloin, another winner. Mediterranean Chicken was next. It's a fresh chicken breast pan seared in olive oil, fresh herbs & garlic, lemon, tomatoes, black olives, greens, Lively Run feta...Chef Luke suggested we pair it with Goose Watch Pinot Grigio and Victory's Prima Pils. It turned out to be a definite warm weather, on the porch kind of dinner, just what the doctor ordered. We then tried the Beer Steamed Mussels (steamed in our own Cayuga Cream Ale with a touch of curry) with Lamoreaux Landing Chardonnay and of course Rogues' Cayuga Cream Ale, another shiny, happy people pleaser. I think that's my favorite so far. My husband liked the Rosemary Rack of Lamb with the dry & robust Americana Baco Noir or our Rogues' Route 34 Red Ale. It's hard to go wrong with a dry, red fermented beverage and lamb.
Trying new beer and wine at nearly every meal was big fun. Pairing the dry white Finger Lakes' wines & our Cayuga Cream Ale with seafood offerings or the robust red Finger Lakes' wines & our Route 34 Red Ale with beef entrees sort of complies with traditional pairing wisdom. We suggested a few less traditional recommendations as well, but what matters most is that you eat and drink what you like. They'll pair well. You don't have to be a wine or beer expert to choose a great combination. Try something new & order what sounds good to you. It'll work out; I promise.
Just remember FBD.