Just because you love wine, doesn’t mean you don’t enjoy a cold beer now and then. I have already spotted a slowly-developing new trend in wine tastings. Beer is served at the end of the process as a change of pace. It goes well with all the salty snacks that are offered such as roasted nuts, pretzels, and chips. Some people even pair it with cheese—the standard for wine aficionados.

Given my own two-sided taste, it was not surprising that I was elated when a friend returned from a trip abroad with several beers for me to sample. He also brought some wine, as most of my friends do. They know it is my first love and perennial passion. Nonetheless, I popped the beer in my combo wine/beer fridge. It is a fancy model that I found at https://www.crackacoldone.net/ that is large enough to house both beverages at different temperature settings. Many of these are used for red and white wine, but they work very well for chilling bottles of beer. My state-of-the-art fridge was certainly a good investment.

I invited the generous friend over to join me for the intended tasting. I prepared a nice meal to entice him to visit. He didn’t have to be coaxed. My reputation as a chef has reached a wide audience. I love French cuisine and have learned to cook on my many trips to Corbières. There are cooking schools all over France, especially for tourists who come to the wine regions. They are small and you get intimate attention as you learn to prepare the best local dishes. I can’t wait to share them with friends and family when I get home.

The best wine tasting is accompanied by food and I know how to pair the fruit of the grape perfectly right through dessert. I learned the art from the sommeliers in fine restaurants. I always ask a million questions and want to know every detail about the vineyard, type of grape and year. If I am enamored with a particular wine, I go out and find it and pop it in the fridge. I have accumulated quite a nice collection. When it gets low, somehow I get gifts from dear friends who were on a voyage to a wine-producing country.

When my friend arrived, he wasn’t surprised at the array of glasses of different sizes and shapes. We had an amuse bouche, appetizer, entrée, palette cleanser and dessert. I don’t think you can add any more courses! I had spent the entire day in the kitchen. As I retrieved the wine from the beer fridge, I asked my friend to do the honors. He opened each bottle with glee. We enjoyed the meal together and decided to vote on the best wine of the evening after the sweet dessert wine (port).  We agreed on the favorite and vowed to buy more of that particular brand. This is the way I do a “wine tasting” at home. It is more a dinner party for two.

Categories: Vacation

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