Bines Vs. Vines: Round 2
An age-old battle between beer and wine. Who will emerge the victor?
In case you missed it, there was a big ol' fight earlier this year between some Erie beer and wine in a gastronomical showdown known as "Bines Vs. Vines"
And in case you forgot, missed it, or have no idea that such a brawl between Lavery Brewing Company and 6 Mile Cellars happened – and is about to happen again – the "bines" (named for the part of the plant from which we get hops, which is used to make delicious beer) will take on the "vines" (named for… you know, where we get grapes for delicious wine) Sunday, Sept. 21.
Last time, the battleground was Lavery Brewing Company's pub. This time, it will be Frankie & May Fresh Grocer.
And like the last bout of these local heavyweights, Lavery Pub Manager Pat Miller and 6 Mile Cellars President Bart Towell are taking to their respective corners and letting their products go toe-to-toe in the proverbial ring – a four-course meal, this time including an amuse-bouche – once again created and prepared by local chef Joe Perino.
Lucky for you, this Reader Eater had a chance to check out the training session that took place a few weeks back to help you get a sense of the scorecard and the evening's festivities.
That "mouth amuser" – a caramelized gala apple topped with Brie and drizzled with honey, served up on a spoon – will be paired with Leopard Oir, a floral, hoppy, fruity Belgian/French-style saison, and one of 6 Mile Cellars' tart hard ciders, both providing for a clean, refreshing pairing. The similarities amongst the results of the unions end there, but like the four courses to follow, diners will be the referees for the evening, determining which – beer or wine – couples better with Perino's creations.
Next up: A butternut squash soup finished with roasted pepitas and pumpkin oil. The standout dish of the evening – a thick, creamy dish that draws out the autumnal richness of the squash and the grainy undertones of the pepitas – pairs boldly and darkly with Lavery's smoky and savory Belfast Smoked Porter Black Ale, while 6 Miles' Geisenheim – a clean, tart white – lightens the dish, each creating markedly different reactions.
The piquant of Perino's wild mushroom ravioli – featuring three kinds of mushrooms blended with spinach, shallots, and Parmesan cheese – meets a strong contrast in 6 Miles' Derby Red (think: Sangria) for a dynamic distinction of flavors. Lavery's softer Imperial French Ale, conversely, creates a more parallel, harmonizing pairing.
For Perino's huli huli chicken perched atop corn, tomatoes, black beans, and potatoes, garnished with fresh cilantro, both Miller and Towell went bold but each yields a different effect, with Miller pairing Madra Alta – a big-bodied classic IPA that complemented the starchy sides – and Towell matching 6 Miles' earthy, dry pinot noir that balanced the sweet yet spicy glaze and sauce.
To finish, Towell capitalized on the deep, fruitful notes of his Cab Franc to achieve a consonance with the sweetness of Perino's Crème Brulee cheesecake with espresso mousse. Miller created a coffee-with-dessert union with Death or Glory – a subtly spiced black saison.
The winner of the scrimmage? All of those in attendance – just as will be the case when the friendly competitors officially square off for Erie diners come Sept. 21. – The Reader Eater
Bines versus Vines will take place at 5 p.m. at Frankie & May Fresh Grocer, located at 1101 Peninsula Drive. A very limited amount of tickets for the evenings are for sale at Lavery's, 6 Mile Cellars, and Frankie and May and are $90 a piece, with portions of the proceeds benefitting L'Arche Erie.
For more bine-based information, visit: LaveryBrewing.com or call 454.0405; for more vine-based information, visit 6MileCellars.com or call 580.8375