Like many Portuguese families growing up, my family encouraged wine with dinner. My Grandfather still drinks his homemade red wine with every meal. And as I’ve described in post’s past, we ate a lot of wonderful and delicious things. By all rights, I should have grown up a wine lover.
Alas, I am not. But that is changing, and I think I owe it all to craft beer.
In earnest, I didn’t start enjoying craft beer until about six or seven years ago. Since then, my palette has grown tremendously; I prefer barrel aged stouts and experimental sours to more traditional brews. In fact, having now tried thousands of different kinds of beer, one of my favorites remains Nickel Brook’s Winey Bastard, an Imperial stout aged in Pinot Noir barrels.
Late last year I started sampling with red wine out of curiosity and, much to my surprise, I’m really enjoying it! Red wine presents the same depths and complexities that I’ve come to expect in my favorite styles of beer. Fruity, chocolaty, toasted, acidic, boozy, bouquet, leathery, herbaceous, complex, smoky, spicy — these are all hallmark descriptors for some of the best beers in the world, and they belong right at home in a sommerlier’s vocabulary, too.
Wine drinkers, I’m putting you on notice: craft beer is a gateway to your world, and it should be vice-versa.