International Date Night

Happy Valentine’s to All!

It’s that day again when restaurants are fully booked, hotel rooms are littered with rose petals and chocolate is flying off the shelves.  However, should it be that you are making last minute Valentine’s Day arrangements and your home has become the Gaststätte. We are here to give you a few tips.

Cheese, Chocolate, and of course, beer!

Cheese is a wonderful way to begin a meal hands on.  And while it is harder to feed others liquids, its rather easy to do it was smaller nibbles.  Pairing cheese and artisanal meats with beer is a great way to consume alcohol on international date night if wine is not your favorite.  First, pick a couple of easy cheeses that are readily available at a local grocer. Take cheddar, gouda and blue, for example.

An older cheddar will be sharp with hints of nuts accompanied by sweetness.  A partner to this could be an IPA, the robustness of the beer itself will line up nicely with a flavorful aged cheddar, while a citrusy IPA can bring out the sweetness of the cheese.

Whether it’s a regular gouda or a smoked gouda, a good bock can complement it nicely.  The malty rich lager can counterbalance the nutty smokiness of a smoked gouda, or help to enhance a regular buttery and light gouda.

Blue cheese is noted greatly for its colored marbling and it’s tangy, sharp and distinctive flavor.  A red ale can work both ways with blue cheese, the earthy hop of the beer can mold with the cheese, while different malts can enhance the sweetness.  Another pairing to use, is an IPA, which can complement the cheese.

These palate cleansers can be found at a local market or specialty spirits provider.  It is also easy to go one step further and accompany the cheese with fruits like grapes or pears.  Or take these ideas to go further with other dishes, like a health conscious gorgonzola salad or a savory beer cheese dip. When plated, your special lady will be very pleasantly surprised with the edible  thoughts that only a restaurant could offer. Viola!

Another great and definitely classic Valentine’s go-to is chocolate! Dark chocolate is the easiest to pair because of it’s bitterness. So in choosing a beer, think of one that will cut through the bitter profile of darker chocolates, like fruity or sweet beers. The contrast brings out the flavors alike.  To complement, a stout goes terrifically, however it is important to not go with an overly sweet brew as to not lose flavor. On the other hand, if you choose a milk chocolate, while harder to find the correct accompaniment, an easier pick is an IPA or pale ale.  The different versatility of IPA’s and pale ales can be brought forward with a lighter cacao.

Should it be that you are trifled with the idea of dessert on your special holiday. A liquid dessert can always do the job!  A cream or milk stout, or a chocolate porter can be a sweet treat in itself!

Lastly, it is important when choosing pairings, to think of three things, what will flavors in each will contrast and compare, as well as, cleanse my palate.  And to all the men, Good Luck!

One thought on “International Date Night

  1. Yay, this is so well written.

    I am impressed with all the progress.

    Wish I was in the DC area and could come.

    Astrid in California

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