“I’m a beer drinker. What wine would I like?”
By Certified Sommeliers, Jimmy Quaile & Eugene Fitzgerald
I’m a beer drinker. What wine would I like? As crazy a question as this seems, there is an answer. The trick is to find a bridge between the drinks. For those who are fans of ales, in particular hoppy India Pale Ales or IPAs, I’ve got the answer and a delicious one at that, but first a little beer background. IPA’s have origins going back to the 1700s when the British were occupying India. The soldiers needed beer that would last the journey and still retain its freshness. The solution was to add more hops and alcohol to preserve the beer for longer periods of time. So what are some of the key characteristics of an IPA? On the nose, fresh white and yellow floral aromas. Grapefruit and citrus notes are also prevalent along with peach flavors and even tropical fruit flavors like pineapple. There are strong herbal notes sometimes. Most are dry but some have a slight sweetness with an alcohol content ranging from 4.5 to 8% with some going as high as 10%.
So what is the answer? Albarino. A simple description of this Spanish grape shows just how similar these two drinks can be. Peaches, a little mango, green apple, sweet citrus notes like orange and lime with floral notes that almost have a hoppy character. This wine is almost always dry with a fairly high acid level that makes it refreshing…like a good beer!