On Thursday, February 24th, the debate that has split a nation and pit brother against brother will finally be resolved. End of story and amen.
Yes, folks, it's the Beer Vs. Wine Dinner, to be held at the Brushmark at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. Each of the five courses will be paired with one wine and one beer. Diners will vote on their favorites, and the winner will be announced at the meal's conclusion.
While the Brooks hosts the biggest wine event of the year — the multi-affair Memphis Wine & Food Series (formerly the Art of Good Taste) — the Brushmark has recently been paying more attention to beer. According to Andrew Adams, the Brushmark's chef de cuisine, "Beer has been the tiny, fine print on the menu. We wanted to bring it out front." To help revamp the restaurant's beer list, a tasting was held, led by Southwestern Distributing's Steve Barzizza. It was Barzizza who suggested the competitive dinner.
Barzizza's son Mike (Tennessee's only "cicerone") will take the beer side, while it's Jason Doble of Trinchero Family Estates for wine. Steve Barzizza will serve as the referee, promising, "There will be no betting. There will be no fighting."
Among the courses: a soy-roasted grouper to be paired with a Barbar Honey Ale and Joel Gott Riesling and Colorado lamb with a Gulden Draak and the Show Malbec. For dessert, there will be chocolate bombes and almond crumbles served with Young's Double Chocolate Stout and Terra d'Oro Port.
The Brushmark's new attitude toward beer has meant learning about what beer goes in what glass and serving it at just the right temperature (no frosty mugs!). And now the beer bottle is left on the table. "We showcase the beer the same as wine," Adams says.
As for Adams' own beer vs. wine preference? "It depends on the day."
Beer Vs. Wine Dinner at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Thursday, February 24th, 7 p.m. $60. Reservations: 544-6225.