Alright, folks. Time for another installment of From Beer to There, with me, your host, Derek. In this episode we’ll be discussing Lieb Cellars’ signature white wine, Pinot Blanc, and likening it to one my favorite spring-time beers, German Kölsch.
Pinot Blanc is lesser known (than say, Chardonnay) in the US but it’s a grape we’re very proud of at Lieb. Our 2015 vintage scored 90 points in Wine Advocate, and it’s also the backbone for our critically acclaimed sparkling version (Reserve Blanc de Blancs) which received 91 points from Wine Enthusiast. How’s that for street cred?
While Pinot Blanc styles can vary dramatically, our version is light, dry and a pleasure to sip. Crafted in stainless steel tanks, it’s crisp and fruity as opposed to heavy and oaky. Lemon citrus notes hit early and are followed by subtle floral notes with a finish of pear or apple. For pairing, think fresh, warm weather go-to’s like shellfish, oysters, shrimp pasta dishes or grilled chicken.
As the weather warms up each spring, I reach for lighter, crisper beers as well. One of my favorite springtime beer styles is the German Kölsch. The Kölsch style, from Cologne (Köln), is an interesting one. It’s a beer fermented warm, like an ale, but then conditioned cool, like a lager. These processes create a beer that’s not as aggressively fruity as an Ale but not quite as subtle as a lager. Citrus is the main flavor cue, just like our Pinot Blanc, and the beer is dry and light in body and color – again, similar to our PB. This beer is perfect for the beach or a backyard barbecue and can be paired with foods the same way you’d pair our Pinot Blanc. You may even want to try both the beer and wine side by side and see which one pairs better. Double-fisting … we won’t judge!
One of my favorite New York craft renditions of this style is Captain Lawrence’s Clearwater Kölsch. It’s a great representation of the style from Köln. Dry, bright and lemony, I can pluck these bottles from a big ol’ bucket of ice all day long on a warm day.
Well folks, that’s all for now. Tune in next month as I get a bit seasonal. I’ll compare our 2016 Bridge Lane Rosé to some of my favorite summer selections. As the weather warms up, I’ll grow increasingly excited to do the research required for that one.
Tasting Room Associate & Resident Craft Beer Guy