I’m a wine drinker. But, in my quest to learn about all types of alcoholic beverages, I have found a love for single malt scotch, liqueurs, vodka, tequila, rum and more. In the mix, I discovered a love for beer only after attending Munich’s Oktoberfest. And, like enjoying fine wine, the people and the atmosphere definitely add to the enjoyment.
Fast forward to a rare event at Lee’s Wine Bistro. I tease Yoon Lee, the owner most just call “Lee”, because he’s not much into events. But, when I came to his Oktoberfest last weekend, he said he would be doing more.
“I’m thinking of doing wine tastings,” Lee said. “I know I don’t usually do that but I want to. My customers are asking me to do it.”
For Lee’s Oktoberfest he asked Wendy Roberts, of Wine Warehouse, for help. She in turn, brought in Tim Lynch, of Total Beverage Solutions, to provide a fine selection of beer from a brewery that dates back to 1040.
“The beers today are all from Weihenstephaner, the oldest brewery in the world,” Lynch began. “But, as Weihenstephaner is outside of Munich, they cannot supply our beer to the Oktoberfest. It is the largest brewery owned by the state of Bavaria, they follow all of the laws, and very highly rated.”
The Weihenstephaner beer brand has placed in the top five by Beer Advocate; kind of like the Wine Spectator for beers.
Onto my tasting.
That day at Lee’s guests enjoyed a full line-up from Weihenstephaner. By the Keg was: Kristall Weissbier, a crystal wheat beer and Festbier, a full, rich bodied, hoppy seasonal beer. By the bottle we had Vitus, a light colored, spicy single bock wheat beer and Korbinian, an extremely dark colored doubled-bock beer, for stout beer lovers.
I fully intended to have two to three beers. (That proved to be a problem.) I asked Wendy for a suggestion and she said the Korbinian was outstanding. Knowing I was starting with the deepest…it isn’t a wonder I couldn’t get any further.
I was delighted with the beer. Having recently watched a tour of the Guinness brewery via The Thirsty Traveler cable TV show, I knew that the foam on top was also something to be tasted. I got coffee grounds, chocolate, lots of hops with a deliciously long length.
A pal tried it, and though she stuck with wine, she noted that Korbinian was reminiscent of a mocha milkshake. I also detected a sweet quality to the beer, that deepened the flavor. It paired great with Lee’s own house made potato salad, as well as flavorful sauerkraut and bratwurst. (The beer also paired great with lots of pals I spied that day, and the festive hostesses in their sexy lederhosen…much to the guests’ pleasure!)
(A note about drinking what you’re not used to: If wine doesn’t faze you vodka might, and vice versa. I’ve seen people hit hard by a glass of wine and yet can drink more than a glass of whatever it is they are used to drinking. If you are not familiar with a spirit, please heed this advice.)
Mixers: September 25 and October 2 from 4 pm on enjoy over 60 beers and “Join us in our tasting room & sample any beer for only a dollar! WIN Gift Certificates by playing traditional German games! Enjoy 23ounce Boot Mugs for only $15, Assorted gourmet sausages cooked to perfection! And DJ Markus mixing great music on the patio!” www.MixersLounge.com
Wine 661: October 13th from 6-9pm. Don’t miss the homemade German Potato salad or grilled bratwurst – I loved it at a past beer tasting! www.Wine661.com
Pourtal Wine Tasting Bar across from the beach in Santa Monica: October 13 from 7-9pm. Oktoberfest Wine Tasting with importers, Blue Danube Wine Company, Terry Theise Selections, Cleanskins & Rudi Weist. German and Austria wines: Most are familiar with Riesling and maybe Gruner Veltliner, but they are also known for Spatburgunder (Pinot Noir) Zweigelt and St. Laurent.. www.Pourtal.com
Lucques in West Hollywood: Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne present a list of “Styne’s Steins” of beer to pair with a 7-course dinner. www.lucques.com
Lee’s Wine Bistro: Go bug him, he said he’d have some classes coming up, if not remind him Oktoberfest can be repeated! 661-259-7754.