First course: Lobster and Chantrelle Fritters: Lemon Tartar Sauce, Green Onion Slaw, Smoked Paprika Lobster Oil.
- Wine: von Strasser Rosé (CA, Napa)
- Beer: Weihenstephaner Original German Lager
I would not have chosen rosé to pair with this course. A full-bodied white high in acid (e.g., Chardonnay, Sancerre, Pouilly Fume, etc.) would seem to pair better with the richness of the lobster and the acidity of the lemon tartar sauce. But the rosé may surprise.
Second course: Fennel Seed Salami and Summer Truffle Flatbread with salted mozzarella, roasted tomatoes, local arugula and roasted garlic-oregano sauce.
- Wine: Finca El Reposo St. Jeannet (Mendoza, Argentina)
- Beer: Ommegang Hennepin Ale
Third course: Panama Red Blackened Grouper Cheeks with corn rice cakes, sea island red gravy, bread and butter pickles.
- Wine: Calera Viognier (CA, Central Coast)
- Beer: Lagunitas IPA
Fourth course: Smoked Duck Stacker--stacked smoked duck on griddled cypress bread with Thomasville Tomme cheese, grilled vidalia onions, herbed duck fat mayonnaise and Michigan sour cherry relish.
- Wine: Giroud Santenay Pinot Noir (Burgundy, France)
- Beer: Stone Smoked Porter
Final course: Fried Apple Pie with gorgonzola ice cream and almond-bacon brittle.
- Wine: Elio Perrone Moctato D’Asti (Piedmonte, Italy)
- Beer: Old Rasputin Imperial Stout
Of course all of this is from my armchair since I've haven't actually tasted any of these things. I think that the greatest virtue of this sort of culinary event is not that it will determine which spirited beverage pairs better with each course and is heralded as the winner, but that it allows people to experience the differences between what wine can do for food and what beer can do. Among other things, wine tends to contain more acid than beer; acid (like salt) is a flavor booster. Beer on the other hand contains hops which makes for unique flavor combinations and carbonation which lightens up the mouthfeel and even diminishes fats in heavy foods. Typically, however, people are going to favor what they already prefer--beer or wine--regardless of how well it pairs with the food; this is natural and there is nothing wrong this. Cypress is offering a great opportunity for beer and wine devotees to to discover the differences and similarities of what beer and wine can do with food.
Enough with the armchair speculation--go taste the food and drink for yourself and enjoy wine and beer for what they are.
*Note: the wine and beer pairings were taken from Doug Blackburn's blog post.