The best wine for beer drinkers
Beer drinkers might think they could never acquire a taste for wine, but making the switch is easier when you choose a wine similar to the kind of beer you enjoy. Here’s a guide.
How often have you heard someone say ‘I’m a beer person’ or ‘I’m a wine person?’ Driven by a sense of belonging – sharing beers during a sports match or enjoying a glass of wine during a book club meeting – tastes are often pigeonholed. But wine and beer have many similarities: both are a delicate balance of sweetness, bitterness, acidity, texture and flavour. Beer can be as refined and elegant as wine and has the ability to elevate food when carefully paired.
Making the switch is easier when you choose a wine similar to the kind of beer you enjoy
Finding the perfect wine to convert an ardent beer lover starts by pairing weight, texture and notes like fruit and herbs, as well as aromas like chocolate, citrus and spice. A complete shift might be too radical, but gradually trying different wines increases your options, especially if you’re at a function or event.
If you like… wheat beer
Wheat beer is a light, fruity beer and those flavours are mimicked in a smooth, light and refreshing Chardonnay, which has a golden hue and creamy, buttery texture.
If you like… pale ale
Try… Pinot Noir
Pinot Noirs are elegant and approachable. The light malt in the pale ale is matched by the earthiness of the Pinot. And while both are full of flavour, neither is heavy.
If you like… Pilsener
Try… Pinot Grigio
Pilseners are hops-forward and spicy, which is not unlike the sweet and spicy notes in a Pinot Grigio. Both have refreshing personalities and are perfect for summer sundowners.
If you like… lager
Try… sparkling wine (brut)
A dry, crisp lager is acidic and bitter, but presents with a clean, crisp taste, much like a dry sparkling wine, which also has fruity notes, but leaves your palette cleansed after every sip.
If you like… IPA (India Pale Ale)
Try… Sauvignon Blanc
Sauvignon Blanc is one of the most versatile wines. It’s bright and herbaceous, often with citrus notes, which IPA drinkers will appreciate given the beer’s stone-fruit flavours.
If you like… amber/red ale
It’s not easy to find a wine that matches the intense, malty flavours of a red ale, but Syrah is up for the challenge, presenting as a bold, full-bodied and dark-coloured wine that would feel right at home in an amber lover’s cellar.
If you like… stout
Try… Cabernet Sauvignon
The red-wine equivalent of a roasted, malty stout is a full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon. The layered fruit flavours, intense dark colour and smooth texture will find instant converts.
If you like… cider
Try… sparkling wine
Ciders are tart and fizzy, and a sparkling wine is right up that alley. Bubbly is also fruit-forward and floral, which cider drinkers will appreciate.
If you like… doppelbock
Drinkers of doppelbock will enjoy the smooth finish of a Merlot. Its easy elegance matches the dark, malted lager sip for sip.
Shop a wine (or beer) to suit every guest’s taste online or at your nearest Pick n Pay.