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A year-round guide to beer and wine pairing

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A year-round guide to beer and wine pairing

When you hear the phrase “pairing tips,” do you instinctively grab your wine opener and pull out stemmed glasses?

Wine is divine, but over the past few years there’s no denying that craft beers are trending and getting foodies everywhere excited to re-think pairing possibilities. Artisan and handcrafted beers are no longer just an afterthought on the drink menu - they’re standing tall next to your favorite red and white wine varietals, proving to be just as food-friendly.

Whether you’re an aspiring sommelier or a beer enthusiast, it’s time to pour a glass of something new and see how the other side pairs. Get started with these tips from renowned foodie expert and blogger Brian Samuels of “A Thought for Food.” Samuels recommends the acclaimed, handcrafted wine varietals of Bridlewood Estate Winery along with your beer of choice. For more information visit www.BridlewoodWinery.com.

Food: Burger with caramelized onions

Beverage: Pinot noir or English IPA 

Why: Burgers and beer always seem like a natural pairing, but have you ever tried pairing it with a glass of wine? Next time you’re lighting up the grill, pull out a bottle of Bridlewood Pinot Noir. A slight char on the burger pairs beautifully with the hint of black pepper in the wine. For the brew lovers in the group, serve an English IPA. The caramel notes that come through in the beer pair perfectly with burger toppings such as grilled red onions.

Food: Lobster roll 

Beverage: Chardonnay or Pilsner 

Why: There are few things more enjoyable than sitting outside on a blazing hot summer day with a tall beer or a glass of wine. Pilsners and chardonnay are lighter options that pair with a variety of foods. For heavier dishes, like a lobster roll, the vanilla notes of a chardonnay go perfectly with the natural sweetness of the lobster meat. If craft beer is more your thing, try a Pilsner. The slight bitterness (from the hops) and sweetness (from the malt) flavors, as well as the fizziness of the beer, help cut through the richness in the creamy lobster roll.

Food: Roasted vegetables with Gorgonzola and fresh herbs

Beverage: Brown ale or cabernet sauvignon

Why: Traditionally cabernet pairs best with meat, but what about a dish for vegetarians? Roast up cold weather favorites such as carrots, parsnips and turnips to bring out their natural sweetness. These satisfying flavors will shine when sipping on cabernet sauvignon with its subtle notes of chocolate and molasses - or try a glass of brown ale, which embodies caramel and nutty flavors.

Food: Chocolate truffles

Beverage: Red blend or stout 

Why: End the feast with a plate of decadent chocolate truffles and serve with the Bridlewood Blend 175, loaded with jammy notes. For the beer lovers at the table, a stout, which is rich in chocolate and coffee notes, is another natural accompaniment.

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