Beer Vs Wine… (Yawn..)

Google Beer v Wine and you will get many blogs, magazine articles and special events geared towards this eternal battle of the beverages. This usually comes from the beer sector of the publishing/blogging world as the wine folk don’t feel they have to prove anything. Beer people feel they need to prove how good modern craft beer is and how versatile it can be. This is a fair point, there is much ignorance amongst the general public about what beer actually is! Many still see beer as an inferior product, mass produced for the masses and hoi polloi to lubricate themselves at the end of the working week. Most, in the English speaking world, view wine as a luxury product with elitist overtones; visions of snooty French sommeliers and posh types using overly flowery descriptors abound.

So how do we reconcile these two beverages? Is it just a case of blue collar vs white collar, that tired old stereotypical struggle of the classes? Far from it in my opinion. I have been told/asked after I have introduced myself as a beer blogger that “oh, so you’re a beer person, not a wine person then?” I never thought I had to choose! I enjoy writing about beer because I think I have more to say, and wine blogs outnumber beer blogs about 10-1.

Wine in Southern Europe has always been a drink for all, from the labouring peasant to the aristocrat in the palace. Likewise in Britain and Germany beer was a drink enjoyed by the Lord of the Manor as well as the serf in the fields.

So why are there a thousand beer v wine articles out there? I think beer has an inferiority complex, a kind of small man syndrome, always trying to start a fight. Sometimes beer is just the thing and other times wine is the one that fits the bill. Beer has some great food pairings, but wine can do as well. There is no fight, let peace break out! I like both! I just choose to write about beer.

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1 comment to Beer Vs Wine… (Yawn..)

  • BeerLearner

    I’m with ya as far as the stigma that beer is a “peasant drink” but I have a few other insights.

    1) Advertising – Beer is consistently marketed for events like BBQs, parties, etc. with all sorts of funny tricks, mascots, and {insert perturbed sigh here} bikini clad women. Imagine if wine companies started using sex to move their product, then I think the thought process would shift.

    2) Mainstream Beer Knowledge – The vast majority of domestic beer consumers are flat out ignorant. They’re not necessarily dumb…just ignorant. They don’t know that they’re imbibing an adjunct product. With the advances of craft beer in the sales industry, the BIG 3 has had to try and come up with creative flavours to keep their clientele (i.e. Iced Tea beer, Lime, and now Mojito). I’m sure they would’ve done Bacon beer but the craft beer industry just beat them to the punch.

    3) Tastings – We all hear about wine tastings but not so much about Beer Tastings. If more of the latter are done, then people’s views will shift.

    4) Glassware – We all know that wine is about having the right glass but most people don’t know that beer is the same.

    5) Alcohol percentage – Beer rates between, on average about 5% abv right? Red Wine for example is what, around 11-14%. If someone were to consume the same volume of wine as they do beer, that’s a recipe for a wicked hangover (which I’ve done, yes, yes, it was dumb). So, with that said, the average person will reach for easier drinking which leads to my next point.

    6)The Dreaded Sweet Tooth – N. America has a sweet tooth that needs to be yanked…badly. Beer, when compared to red wine, is sweeter. Sure we could compare to white wine but the average N. American guy tends to run away and flee with arms waving away from white wine considering it a “girly” drink.

    All of the above, IMHO, boil down to lack of education on the consumer’s part. I find with wine, the more you know, the more you DON’T know. How do we shift that? I tend to do it one person at a time. I don’t look to ‘convert’ from wine to beer…just enlighten. And also enlighten to craft beer, all the way.

    For the record, I like both wine and beer. I confess beer is my preference but that may change.
    Thanks for reading and letting me post,
    Slainte,
    BeerLearner

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