Wine is endlessly intriguing. Depending on the wine, hours can be spent imagining pairings, describing aromas and contemplating the length on your palate. There’s just so much going on with the genie in the bottle.
In case you weren’t aware, beer drinkers feel the same way. They obsess and seek out the “new” new and just when we think we’ve got a handle on the styles – a new one comes onstage. Just like with wine!
There’s wine aged in bourbon barrels, there’s barreled beer, seasonal beer, smoked beer. Every time you think you have a handle on all the different styles, a new type takes the stage, some are head-scratchers. At first, they’re cult-like and then like a fermentation gone wild, they’re everywhere and on all of our lips.
Here’s the latest star of stage and fermenter: “Oenobeers”, a fermentation process that combines both grape and grain before the hops, which deliver fruity, floral, spicy aromas and flavors and ranges of bitterness, as well as increasing shelf life. This blending is something “new” for both wine and beer aficionados looking for the next moment of “super cool”.
Here’s the thing: New it is not. Actually, Brew Masters throughout the Old World have historically used wine yeasts to begin their beer fermentation.
Let’s break down the recipe and the name. Oeno is Greek for wine. When making a Oenobeer, first take the juice of wine grapes and mix it into malts of grain. Then heat (boil), to pull out the sugars and now add yeasts to start fermentation. After the beer is hopped, grapes are added in the second round of fermentation, similar to making a fruit beer.
For beer to “live” it depends on the nature and number of sugars extracted in the initial heating. This is the foundation flavor. A Oenobeer becomes alive when the brewmaster adds wine grapes to tease out those sugars. But! And! The grapes also give us a new flavor or style and mouthfeel. A dry white wine or fruity red will change the texture of the beer. Essentially, it’s like adding layers of clothing in different colors and fabrics for fall fashion. You have different “flavors and textures” showing in the beer.
What to eat with your glass of Oenobeer? Think Old World, think wine from the Old World – hearty soups and stews, pasta dishes, meaty fish either roasted or as sashimi, slow-cooked lamb, roasted chicken.
Next time you belly-up to your favorite bar, look for Oenobeers on the list. The barkeeps will help guide you into this cutting edge of ancient sipping technology.
Oenobeers, are here and waiting to show you their beauty. Now here is a beverage both wine and beer lovers can share, enhancing the texture and flavor of any relationship!
For more information on Oenobeers and where to find them, contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Contributor: Stacie Hunt, Certified Silver Pin Sommelier/AIS, Vice President National Association of Wine Retailers, International Wine Judge, Author, Spokesperson and Educator.
Courtesy: alesong.com; liberati.com; liberatiosteria.com; uproxx.com