“The filet mignon will go very well with a dry Cabernet or a spicy Belgian saison.” Until recently you would not have heard a sommelier make the latter part of that statement, but times are changing. Proof of the leveled playing field for beer and wine was the “Beer vs. Wine Pairing Smackdown” held on May 21 at miX amidst the stunning views from the 64th floor of THEHotel at Mandalay Bay. The event pitted beer against wine in a five-course pairing dinner, each dish served with a beer and wine selected by the respective teams. Audience participation involved voting for the libation that paired best with each course; and selecting “Team Beer” or “Team Wine” buttons to wear, some choosing to don both out of a fear of commitment.
In previous centuries, wine was often served spiced with ingredients like honey, cinnamon and cloves. Nowadays, the practice is much less common, apart from mulled wine during the winter holidays or jugs of sangria served at tapas bars. Yet, the possibilities for enhancing wine are endless.
France’s famous Bordeaux region comprises numerous appellations and sub-regions, from St-Emilion, Pomerol and Médoc to Entre-Deux-Mers and Sauternes. In 2007, the AOC Côtes de Bordeaux was created, combining the “terroirs” of Blaye, Cadillac, Castillon and Francs, in order to distinguish this unique region from its neighbors. The appellation also gives winemakers within the region the flexibility to blend wines from different areas within the appellation.