He Said Beer, She Said Wine: Impassioned Food Pairings to Debate and Enjoy -- From Burgers to Brie and Beyond

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9780756633592: He Said Beer, She Said Wine: Impassioned Food Pairings to Debate and Enjoy -- From Burgers to Brie and Beyond

He Said Beer, She Said Wine is the first fully illustrated book on the market to give in-depth instruction on how to successfully pair both beer and wine with a wide variety of foods. Co-authored by Marnie Old, an esteemed sommelier, and Sam Calagione, owner of the renowned craft brewery DogFishHead He Said Beer, She Said Wine teaches you everything you need to know to get the best out of your beverages, with food or without. Each author divulges the secrets of their respective trades, using clear, easy-to-understand language-and, of course, a little good-natured banter to keep things lively. The book is full of fantastic tips and tricks, specific beer and wine recommendations, and interactive elements to help you identify your preferences along the way. So, from cheese to dessert, you'll always know what drinks to serve for sublime flavor combinations.

Never ones to skimp on a bit of fun, Marnie and Sam also show you how to host your own at-home version of their sold-out He Said Beer, She Said Wine tasting events, where diners taste one beer and one wine selection with each dish, and then vote on their preferred pairing. He Said Beer, She Said Wine gives you easy-to-prepare dishes, complete with step-by-step recipes and sumptuous beverage selections.

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Review:

He Said Beer, She Said Wine is the first fully illustrated book on the market to give in-depth instruction on how to successfully pair both beer and wine with a wide variety of foods. Co-authored by Marnie Old, an esteemed sommelier, and Sam Calagione, a successful brewmaster, He Said Beer, She Said Wine teaches you everything you need to know to get the best out of your beverages, with food or without. Each author divulges the secrets of their respective trades, using clear, easy-to-understand language and, of course, a little good-natured banter to keep things lively. The book is full of fantastic tips and tricks, specific beer and wine recommendations, and interactive elements to help you identify your preferences along the way. So, from cheese to dessert, you'll always know what drinks to serve for sublime flavor combinations.

Conversation with Sam Calagione & Marnie Old
Authors of He Said Beer, She Said Wine

In your book, it seems like this beer vs. wine battle has been going on between you for quite some time. How did it all begin?

MARNIE: Sam and I first met when we were doing trade tastings. We got to talking and found we didnít quite see eye-to-eye about which beverage was the best choice to partner with great food. We started playing around with arguing about which was better, and at a certain point decided we needed to take it to the public to settle the question. We began a series of dinners where our guests would enjoy a wine and a beer with the same course and cast a ballot to decide which partnered better. We called these dinners "Beer is from Mars, Wine is from Venus," and they were tremendously popular.

SAM: I think itís indicative of how close the worlds of beer and wine really are in the context of food, because every single night the winner was decided by a single course. And in every situation we had beer people voting for wine, and wine people voting for beer. Weíre passionate about championing our respective beverage of choice, but one of our main goals is to make beer people more comfortable choosing wines, and wine people more comfortable understanding beer. And, to get both sides more comfortable understanding the breadth of choices within the two worlds.

In He Said Beer, She Said Wine, you give great tips for making beer and wine choices to go with everything from pizza to crème brulee. Can you offer some foolproof advice for choosing a bottle at our next meal?

MARNIE: The first tip is that if youíre enjoying it, itís good. Thereís a lot of discomfort, especially with wine, about ordering the "right" thing. Thatís really not so important. Itís about doing what you enjoy. I couldnít tell you whether you prefer key lime pie over chocolate cake, and yet people think that thereís a right choice and a wrong choice with wine. Itís more about whatís happening that day. Whatís your mood? Is it summer or winter? Is it a special occasion, or is it a relaxed barbeque in the back yard? Itís better to think about wine as sauce on the side. Weíd never put the same sauce on everything we eat, everyday. The same is true with beverages.

Sam, you mentioned that at the outset you were surprised to discover how much beer and wine actually have in common. How does beer compare to wine?

SAM: The major difference, of course, is that beer is better than wine. But, the simplest comparison would be to say that lagers are more like white wines, in that theyíre more mellow and refined, and ales are more like red wines, in that theyíre more robust and intense.

Does the rule of drinking white wine with seafood and red wine with red meat still apply?

MARNIE: Something we all have tremendously good instincts for is the idea of putting lighter, more delicate and more subtly flavored beverages with lighter, more delicate food. Itís also the first decision that any sommelier makes in pairing for a particular dinner. To say that as a hard and fast rule white wine should be paired with white meat and red wine with red meats is something that I think needs to be revisited. Itís a sound guideline, based in science and experience; however, it is possible to drink very well pairing white wines with red meats and red wines with fish. That said, there is a fundamental difference in the fermentation process that leads this pattern to be more or less true most of the time. Tannin, a property found in red wine, is something we feel on the palate as a tacky, drying sensation. That can lead to a bit of a challenge when pairing with low-fat dishes and seafood.

What makes cheese such a great beverage partner?

MARNIE: Most wines arenít designed to impress you on the first sip. Theyíre designed to be food partners, to have their acidity softened by salt, and to have their intensity and tannin softened by fat. Cheese is dominated flavor-wise by fat and salt, the exact two properties that are needed to balance out wine.

SAM: As Marnie said, many wines werenít designed to taste good on their first sip. On the other hand, beer is meant to taste great on the first sip, the second sip and the third pint. But, that doesnít mean that itís any less food-friendly. And, cheese is a great place to start. The carbonation in beer acts as an exfoliant. It clears the palate between bites, whereas wine without carbonation tends to bounce off the cheese and go down your throat without intermingling. The overlap in the world of cheese and beer is also really obvious. Wonderful beer producers like Chimay in Belgium make their own in-house cheese, and Maytag blue cheese is made by the Maytag family, who own the pioneering microbrewery Anchor in San Francisco.

Are there any foods that are notoriously difficult to pair with beverages?

MARNIE: Artichokes are challenging vegetables for the sommelier to work with. Theyíre also the darling of every chef from here to Hawaii. Thereís a compound in artichokes that confuses taste buds into perceiving all flavor sensations as sweet. After you eat them, everything else tastes saccharine. Thereís no question that wines donít taste true to their real flavors when dealing with artichokes in high quantities. Certain wine styles can handle this better than others, though. Light-bodied, un-oaked white wines like Grüner Veltliner from Austria work particularly well.

SAM: I think itís ironic that wine has all these Achilles heels, like artichokes and asparagus. Thereís really no problem with these foods when it comes to beer. Iíd pair artichokes with a dark, malt beer like a milk stout or porter. While artichokes donít tend to work very well with the vegetal components of hoppy beers like pilsners or I.P.A.s, those beers would work well with asparagus.

About the Author:

Marnie is one of the country s highest profile sommeliers and wine educators, and Director of Wine Studies for the French Culinary Institute at Manhattan's International Culinary Center. Known for her common-sense approach and tireless enthusiasm, Marnie has taught award winning wine classes since 1997 and served as the founding education chair of the American Sommelier Association. In October 2001, Marnie launched her independent consulting venture, Old Wines LLC, and has since designed many of Philadelphia s most dynamic wine programs -- from the Striped Bass to Bar Ferdinand. In New York City, Marnie has reinvented wine lists at Morimoto, the legendary Iron Chef s luxurious newest restaurant, and its sister property Buddakan. Marnie also serves as contributing editor for Santé magazine and beverage columnist for Philadelphia magazine.



Sam is the founder and owner of Dogfish Head, one of America's fastest-growing craft breweries. Dogfish Head specializes in full-flavored beers meant to be enjoyed with food. Each year, over a million six-packs of Dogfish Head's "off-centered ales" are sold throughout the country. Sam has been dubbed a rock star of the craft beer world and was recently named the Small Business Administration's entrepreneur of the year.
He sits on the Board of Directors for The Brewer s Association and the Delaware Restaurant Association. In 2005 and 2006, Dogfish Head was the only brewery in America to be named to the Inc. 500 list of the fastest-growing private companies in the country. Under Sam s watch, Dogfish Head is quickly moving from cult-status to national phenomenon, while continuing to push the envelope on high-end beer innovation

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