Grapes Vs. Grains

Friday wrapped up Harvest Week with Eat Denver restaurants and Imbibe Denver. There were six days of feasting with different themes like Praise the Lard Barn Dance Brunch and Platte River Luau and Pig Roast. I was fortunate enough to get to attend the Rocky Mountain Showdown- Grapes Vs. Grains.

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Six restaurants created delicious dishes for a 6-course meal with 5 pairings of beer and wine. Which won: Grapes or Grains? Wine and beer lovers were put to the challenge as their palates were tested. Not even biased decisions could be made; Beer lovers were choosing wine when seemed fit and wine lovers were converting to beer when their taste buds could not deny the pairing.

The Colorado Brewers Guild took on the Colorado Association for Viticulture & Enology (CAVE) as they paired their wine and beer with incredible courses from six amazing Denver restaurants: Avenue Grill, Lucky Pie Pizza, LaLa’s Wine Bar, Carmine’s on Penn, The Slotted Spoon, and Vine Street Pub.

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Avenue Grill provided the first course of Tilapia Ceviche with chiles, heirloom tomatoes, citrus and Boulder Popcorn to satisfy us as we hungerly waited the next course and the first Grapes Vs. Grains challenge.

Lucky Pie Pizza created a delicious Jumpin’ Good Goat Dairy “First Snow” pizza with brick oven Morton’s Orchards roasted peaches and Long Farm bacon jam. I want this bacon jam to spread on my toast everyday!
GRAINS won: Hefeweizen from Prost

LaLa’s Wine Bar provided Brown Butter Potato Gnocchi with pears and squash.
GRAPES won: Viognier by Grande River Vineyard

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Slotted Spoon had planned to provide us with a Wiley Farms’ trout and Olathe Corn smoked meatball with cheesy creamed corn crudo and fresh corn salsa but due to the flooding, the corn crop was nonexistent. Instead, they served a regular meatball with a tasty bass fish side dish. This dish was amazing but neither the beer nor wine selection was a good pairing. That may have been due to the last minute menu change. Odell IPA was too overpowering and so was the red wine selected.
GRAPES won: Friday’s Folly Red Table Wine by Bookcliff Vineyards

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Carmine’s on Penn brought us a hearty meat dish of braised corned pork, bacon confit potatoes, fire roasted heirloom tomatoes and sweet onion jam. This was a tough pick but for me, this dish made me imagine snuggling by a warm fire and Hibernation seemed like perfect company.
GRAINS won: Great Divide Hibernation Ale

Finally, the last course was dessert from Vine Street Pub: Mountain Goat Dairy Chevre Cheesecake, Madhave Ambrosia, Alpine Wildflower honey and pinon nut brittle with a Palisade peach sorbet.
GRAINS won: Well Built ESB by Breckenridge

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Though it was a close match up, GRAINS one in the end. Wine has always been more recognized as pairing with food but as craft beer surpasses the basic beer style, wine and beer will continue to compete on the palate.

Music For Your Ears:

~The Stars Just Blink For Us by Say Hi

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8 responses to “Grapes Vs. Grains

  1. What a Great Event! I started out with wine tasting about 7 years ago and over the last couple of years have really gotten into the beer tasting. I never knew it would turn into a PASSION and love it:) Happy Tasting – Cheers!!!

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