There are certain dishes that seem to call out for a cold beer — a juicy burger, a platter of fried chicken, a container of spicy takeout curry — but maybe you’ve been doing it all wrong. Maybe you’d be happier reaching for a glass of Pennsylvania wine, one that summons all the pleasures of your favorite brew, while also bringing something new to the table.
Here’s our cheat sheet for replacing your beloved suds with something from the vine. It’s also an awesome crash course for those stubborn people in your life who resist the siren song of wine. Next time they go to grab a beer, offer them these varieties instead.
Reaching for an IPA to serve alongside a wood-grilled burger? Grab a Lemberger instead.
The calling card for an India Pale Ale is usually strong hop character, with a hit of bitterness to balance notes of pine and fruit. Lemberger is just as bold as your favorite IPA — its tannic structure is muscular and its woody flavors integrate well with a pop of red fruit. A wood-grilled burger pairs well with this wine, accentuating its earthy flavor and meaty mouthfeel.
Serving lager with your fried chicken? Pour Grüner Veltliner instead.
Who doesn’t like a lager? These beers are crisp, refreshing, and easy to drink — just like Grüner Veltliner. (And if you really need that carbonated fizz, reach for a sparkling vintage.) This beloved white wine variety is often paired with schnitzel in its Central European homeland but goes just as well with fried chicken, an all-American classic.
Cracking a can of pale ale to cool down your Thai curry? Choose Albariño instead.
An ice-cold pale ale and a chilly glass of Albariño both bring a hint of sunshine to any party, charming revelers with heady floral and citrus aromas. Pair this dry white with Thai curry to accentuate those notes — the punchy aromatics (garlic, ginger, lemongrass) and beguiling heat (coming via fruity Thai chilis) will amplify the wine’s zippy flavor.
Grabbing a sour beer to complement a dozen oysters? Select a Seyval Blanc instead.
If the high acidity in sour beers, this moment’s hot trend, gives you that prime pucker, look no further than Seyval Blanc for your new favorite warm-weather wine. Its tartness is addictive, and sips sublimely with the briny zing of raw oysters.
Chilling down a sixer of stout or porter to pair with pulled pork? Uncork a bottle of Syrah instead.
Dark malty beers often boast the delectable earthy flavors of chocolate, coffee, and dark fruit. Well, so does Syrah. This powerful red varietal is an ideal tool for teasing out the sweet, savory, chocolatey notes of barbecue sauce and pulled pork.