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Wine Suggestions for Beer Drinkers?

Got to talking the other day & decided it would be handy to build a list of wines that would be good to offer to beer drinkers as an intro to wine. Suggestions?

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  1. Totally depends on what kind of beer drinkers you are talking about. Bud Light? Guinness? Belgians? IPAs?

    1. Kenito makes a good point. But my first thought is that beer drinkers are less likely to be used to looking for the subtleties in their drink (I guess especially if they're in the Bud Light).

      Go for something a bit large. Try Chateauneuf-du-Pape on them.

      But really, if you're trying to make an impression on them and show them what wine's about, you have to do it with food. Do a tasting with a bunch of foods/wines. For example:

      An oyster on the half shell with a glass of stony, mineral Chablis. Louis Michel, Roland Lavantureux, or Billaud-Simon in a recent vintage.

      A spicy Asian scallop - five spice powder - with an Alsatian Gewurztraminer. Weinbach, or cheaper with Hunold, Ruhlmann, Sparr, Trimbach or Mittnacht-Klack.

      Roast pork with a glass of a somewhat sweet riesling. Lots of choices, Qba or Kabinett from Dr. Fischer, von Kesselstatt, von Schubert, Haag, Thanisch, Richter, Selbach, Prum, etc.

      Meat balls in tomato sauce with Chianti. Many choices. Try a Rufina from Selvapiana, or Chianti Classico from Banfi, Castello di Rampolla, Badia a Coltibuono, Felsina, Melini, etc., etc.

      you get the idea.

      1. I would not assume that a beer drinker is less likely to be used to looking for subtleties. I work in an atmosphere where my coworkers and I are given an opportunity to taste wines and beers on a weekly basis. When we taste beer, we are as serious about it as when we taste wine. If you've ever been a round beer snobs then you know that tasting beer is almost exactly like tasting wine. The subleties are discussed at length with great care and interest. That is of course, unless we are indeed talking about people stick consistantly to Bud Light.

        That being said, I would agree that you may want to find out what kind of beer drinker you are dealing with. What sort of flavor and texture profiles they appreciate most.

        Just an idea; you may want to consider sparkling wine or champagne? Beer drinkers are used to bubbles. (And in that case, you may want to try having some soft, runny, brie type cheese.)

        1. I'd say nothing sweet (skip most German Rieslings) and nothing which has seen a lot of oak (skip most California Chardonnays).

          Sparkling wine is a good idea (again, watch out for anything with too much residual sugar)

          Dry Rieslings.

          Gruner Veltliner from Austria. Oh! And a Neuburger (that's the name of the grape) could be perfect- it has a note of nuttiness that should really appeal.

          1. Thank you all for the ideas. The discussion was how do you get your average beer drinker to appreciate a good wine more fully. Your points of what type of beer they ordinarily drink are well taken & I agree, would influence the starting point!

            1. Im somewhat in the same boat. I absolutely love beer and should really get into wines more often. I drink alot of belgians(trippels & dubbels) and german style pilsners.

              I haven't had alot of wines but the wine styles that I did have and ended up liking are: fume blanc, riesling, and gwartraminer (sorry, its way too hard to spell and I know you know what i'm talking about (: ). any suggestions? OH and i eat alot of korean and japanese food

              4 Replies
              1. re: bitsubeats

                Many Belgian ales have as complex ranges of flavors as the best red wines (and wine on par with the best Belgian ales will cost a lot more than beer!). Rochefort 10, for instance, has some winey flavors. If that complex changing dance across the tongue is what you love, try a rich spicy southern Rhone blend like a Chateauneuf-du-Pape (or maybe a Gigondas or Cotes du Rhone-Villages for a bit less money). But not with Korean or Japanese food. Your whites are right on target there. I presume you have tried sake too...

                1. re: kenito799

                  sake, soju, bek se ju, all tasty (:

                  thank you very much for the suggestions kenito799, I'll definitely give those reds a try.

                  also, glad to see mvnyc and I are in the same boat. I too will pick a beer over a glass of wine. Not just any beer though (:

                2. re: bitsubeats

                  In the same boat. I drink alot of Beligians, IPA, Porters, Stouts, Barley Wines, various styles of wheat beer and am getting into Lambics. I have drank alot of wine but am really never amazed by it like i am by a good beer. I will drink wine if offered but will always choose a good beer. I have been to really nice dinners with great wine pairings and sometimes i cant help but think the wine actually overpowers the food and a good beer would be better.
                  I am just wondering if i will ever get into wine or not. The wines that i have liked have been Sangioveses, argentine Malbecs, Montepulcianos, and Pinot Noirs. If i have to drink a white wine i tend to like Sauvignon Blancs(though i would much rather have a nice sake).

                  I would like to get more into wine and would like to boraden my horizons. I basically eat all types of food. I consider myself an above average cook with a passion for Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Greek and Eastern European Jewish food while dabbling in Indian, French, Mexican.

                  Anyhelp would be needed as i would really like to enjoy wine as much as some people do. There really is nothing better than eating or drinking something that is well made and has depth of flavour. I already really enjoy beer, scotch and sake and would like to get into wine so any help would be appreciated.

                  1. re: MVNYC

                    The best thing to do is keep tasting...like I mentioned before, beer has the value advantage over wine in that the best beers on earth can be had for less than $20 a bottle (750ml) whereas the same is obviously far from true for wine. Cheaper wines tend to be more one-dimensional and finding complexity without spending a fortune is a constant effort.
                    Most beers tend to go so naturally with food. Wine-food pairing is a lot trickier, I think, especially with the predominant style now being fruity alcoholic wines that can overwhelm. But there is nothing like the perfect pairing for a food-drink experience to be greater than the sum of the parts. Andrea Immer writes good books on the subject.

                    Try reds from Rhone and whites from Alsace. Some inexpensive stuff I have loved recently include Hugel Gentil ($10), a blend of Alsatian grapes; and Delas Cotes du Ventoux ($7), a nice syrah blend. Spend more on wines from these regions and you will find great stuff!