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Friday, March 07, 2014

Kiddush Question for Adar: Beer and Herring Pairing

When it comes to food and wine pairings, there are those who carelessly match any dish with any libation and those who painstakingly try to balance the flavors of the food with the perfect wine. But all would agree that a good understanding of ways to properly pair wine with your food can intensify the enjoyment of eating.

For example, here are fifteen rules I found in Food & Wine.
1. Champagne is perfect with anything salty.
2. Sauvignon Blanc goes with tart dressings and sauces.
3. Choose GrĂ¼ner Veltliner when a dish has lots of fresh herbs.
4. Pinot Grigio pairs well with light fish dishes.
5. Choose Chardonnay for fatty fish or fish in a rich sauce.
6. Off-Dry Riesling pairs with sweet & spicy dishes.
7. Moscato d'Asti loves fruit desserts.

and so forth.  As Adar begins, the question that I've decided to boldly address is:  shouldn't we be giving more thought to herring and beer?  An almost-frozen cold beer with herring is a true oneg Shabbos.  But there is, after all, a plethora of disparate herrings, ranging from hot pink matjes to chopped brown to gray herring in cream sauce.  Clearly, each deserves its own particular kind of beer, and Beer and Herring Pairing deserves serious thought.  I am assuming that the therapeutic value of this blog will be needed more than usual in the coming weeks, and perhaps I will be able to offer a pictorial tutorial.

As always, I solicit reader input.  On questions such as this, there is no intellectual or scholarly threshold for suggestions.

Here what I've seen so far, but these are just suggestions for what beers go with herring in general.

Hansa pils
Sour Flemmish Red Ale, whatever that is.
Berliner Weisse
Berliner Weiss, New Glarus Brewing Company
Makeweight, Furthermore Beer
Whole Hog Imperial Pilsner, Stevens Point Brewery
Jinx Proof, Three Floyds Brewing Co.
Honey Pils, South Shore Brewery
Pontius Road Pilsner, Short’s Brewing Company
Home Town Blonde, New Glarus Brewing Company
Czech Pils, Royal Oak Brewery
Bohemian Lager, New Glarus Brewing Company

This is fine, but too general!   I need specific pairings for specific herrings, not generic "herring."

Here's what came in so far:
1.  Lambic (sour) beer with herring in wine sauce.  Good luck trying to find lambic beer, whatever that is.
2.  This is being written after Pesach, and has nothing to do with beer.  I found that a chilled Chardonnay goes very well with herring.
3.  Again, nothing to do with B/H, but I saw an article in the New York Times that quoted the editor of Tablet magazine as saying "There's nothing quite like a slivovitz-gribenes high."  This is a very worthy contribution to this oeuvre.

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