Whats better with food, beer or wine? Only one way to find out…

Hosted by Fergus Fitzgerald, Adnams Headbrewer
& Sam Lockyer, Forrest Estate New Zealand Wines

Before you start to worry, we didn’t put Fergus & Sam in boozy fancy dress and make them wrestle, this David and Goliath battle was fought on the taste buds. On one hand we the subtle English Adnams beers and the other was some big bold brassy Forrest Estate New Zealand wines. Through out the evening, the simple show of hands was too close to call, there was no question of the quality of Fergus’ fantastic beer selection or Sam’s absolutely stunning wines, but which paired with the food the best?

Clive, Kate, Pete & Mitch
Chatting after the Beer vs Wine & Food Matching

Our guests were a real mixture of wine & beer lovers, opinions around the room were torn, even beer aficionado Pete Brown chose the wine over beer with his Venison Suet Pudding! After the cheese course we set about counting the votes, tallying them up wasn’t proving a simple task for the tipsy canvassers. It was 1:1 after the second course, but Sam’s face fell as the rest of the results were read out the final score was 4:1 to Fergus & his beer, a triumph from the underdog. Sadly the sober re-count this morning shows that the fish course was actually a tie and not a win for the wine afterall… sorry Sam!

Sam, Mitch & Fergus
Sam Lockyer, Mitch Adams & a victorious Fergus Fitzgerald

I would like to thank the Adnams team for helping to put the evening together.  An extra special thank you goes to Fergus for bringing some Sole Bay Celebration Ale along with him for an indulgent aperitif. Keep an eye out for The Publican article from Claire Dodd & if we’re lucky a blog from Pete Brown too…

If you want to know what the scores were for each course, please see the menu below, there are also links to buy any drinks which are available from the Adnams online Cellar & Kitchen shop, although you’ll have to wait for the Cornerstone Red, I think we drank the last 12 bottles currently in the country!

To Start
Beetroot Risotto with a Spinach & Parmesan Pesto
Beer: Adnams ‘The Bitter’ Cask 3.7%
Wine: 2006 Chardonnay, Forrest Estate, Marlborough
Wine 3.0 vs Beer 3.2

Fish Course
Mackerel & Horseradish Fishcake
(V) Celeriac & Horseraddish Potato Cake
Beer: Adnams ‘American IPA’ Cask 4.8%
Wine: 2009 Sauvignon Blanc, John Forrest Collection, Marlborough
Wine 3.5 vs Beer 3.5

Main Course
Venison & Binham Blue Cheese Suet Pudding
(V) Mushroom & Blue Cheese Vegetarian Suet Pudding
Beer: Adnams ‘Oyster Stout’ Cask 4.3%
Wine: 2005 Cab Sauvignon/Merlot/Malbec, Cornerstone, Newton Forrest Estate, Hawkes Bay
Wine 3.6 vs Beer 4.2

Dessert
Treacle Tart
Beer: Adnams ‘Tally Ho’ Bottle c7.0%
Wine: 2006 Botrytised Riesling, Forrest Estate, Marlborough
Wine 3.2 vs Beer 3.4

Cheese
Mrs Temples Alpine, Suffolk Gold
Beer: Adnams ‘Broadside’ Bottle 6.3% & Adnams ‘Innovation’ Bottle 6.7%
Wine: 2009 Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc, Forrest, Marlborough
Wine 2.2 vs Beer 3.9

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