Sometimes the best wine pairing is beer
Menu with a brew: Chefs refine the art of pairing beer and food
By BETH D’ADDONO
Philadelphia Daily News
For the Daily News
MELISSA Monosoff distinctly remembers what she calls her “aha!” beer moment.
Monosoff, a master sommelier at Savona Restaurant in Gulph Mills, was working at Maia, the sadly short-lived eclectic American restaurant on the Main Line. She was trying to find the right wine pairing for an appetizer of barbecued house-smoked eel served with a foie gras torchon and hazelnuts.
“I tried different Alsatian wines, a Pinot Gris,” she said. “Not this, not that – nothing worked. It was the eel that was driving me crazy, with its combination of sweet and smoky. Then the lightbulb went off. It’s not wine at all – oh, my God! It’s beer. Belgian Chimay Red, which is also a little sweet and smoky, was perfect. From then on, I was hooked.”
Monosoff now frequently turns to the complexity of beer when she’s looking for the ideal flavor match for everything from bitter summer salad greens to sushi to chicken and vegetables on the grill. “You’d be missing something if you didn’t experiment with beer and food pairings,” she said. “Beer makes so many foods taste better.”
With the third annual Philly Beer Week kicking off tomorrow, a riotous 10 days of 872 brew-related events at more than 140 bars in the city and ‘burbs, it’s no secret that Philadelphians love their beer.
Thinking about how the many complex flavors in craft beer can work with food takes the whole beer experience to the next level.