I was invited to attend a beer pairing dinner at Amazing Grapes in RSM and little did I know, it was actually a beer vs. wine dinner! Hey, I like wine, so that was a nice little surprise for me.
1st Course: Herb & citrus marinated squid, cherry tomatoes, olives, red onions, baby arugula. Paired: Main Street Brewing – Bishop’s Tipple Triple vs. 2013 Mariposa Albarino. The salad was light and acidic, and was a great appetizing start to the meal. Ritual distributes Main Street, and I think this beer was paired really well. Both the beer and the wine was citrusy and light with some fruity notes. I think the beer won this round, just barely.
2nd Course: Pate de campagne, pickled daikon & carrots, cucumber and cilantro on a french baguette. Paired: Ritual’s Amarillo Hop IPA vs. Tudor Nacina Riesling. This was a small bahn mi “slider” and it was really delicious. It had jalapeno pieces in it, that wasn’t listed, but in true bahn mi tradition it was welcomed. The beer was the obvious winner, as it was hoppy and clean and helped clean the palate in between bites of the complex bahn mi.
3rd Course: Roasted acorn squash stuffed with dry cranberry-studded wild rice pilaf. Paired: Ritual’s Love & Malt vs. 2013 Annabella Pinot Noir. This was my least favorite dish mainly because the sauce was crazy sweet. I don’t think the Love & Malt was a good pairing because the dish was inherently sweet and the love & malt had a too similar flavor profile, but the wine was a very nice pairing. The wine was spicy and dry, which cut the sweetness of the squash and sauce pretty well.
4th Course: Rack of wild boar, potato & celery root puree, bourbon-cider glaze. Paired: Ritual’s Extra Red vs. 2011 Negro Giusepp Barbera Pulin. The meat cooked really well and delicious and the potato was perfect and velvety. This dish was very satisfying and beautifully plated. I think the beer paired nicely with the meat and richness of the dish, so that was the winning pairing for me.
5th Course: Sticky pudding with dates & figs, warm rum-caramel sauce, whipped cream and bacon. Paired: Ritual’s Fat Hog. It’s not a fair fight since there was no wine with this course, but the Fat Hog played well with the sweetness of the dessert. I loved that they added bacon to this because it was really sweet and really needed that salty contrast. The textures were great, a mix between soft and crunchy, chewy cake and soft whipped cream. A great ending to a yummy dinner.
Amazing Grapes has a decent bottle shop for craft beer and an even greater selection of wines, and they serve delicious food as well! It’s also around the corner from the OG Cismontane tasting room and brewery. Check ’em out and let me know what you think!