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How to Turn a Beer Drinker Into a Wine Enthusiast

Sep 15, 2008
If you are one of those people who happen to be matched with someone whose beverage tastes don't match yours, I can sympathize. I've been happily married to a beer drinker for almost 10 years now. I longingly watch couples in restaurants share a bottle of wine over dinner or debate the virtues of one wine over another. Nothing seems as romantic to me as a shared love of wine. Therefore I have taken on the tremendous task of trying to turn a beer drinker into a wine enthusiast.

Step 1: Add Variety to His Beverages

If your beer drinker only drinks beer and the occasional mixed drink, you can't expect to turn him on to wine overnight. It is a gradual process with the first step being to add some variety to what he drinks. There are now fruit-infused beers on the market. They are the perfect drinks to offer to the beer lover. It incorporates the beer drinker's love of beer with a little something different. You may also want to offer him some malt beverages that are a little sweeter or lighter than a beer.

Step 2: Start Introducing Sweet Fruity Wines

Once your beer drinker has developed a taste for the fruitier beverages out there, it's time to add in wine. Start with something light and fruity like a Riesling that has a hint of apricot, peach or pineapple. This will probably be the most palatable kind of wine for him. Discuss the flavors in the wine and ask whether he can distinguish them. White Zinfandel is also another great beginner's wine.

Step 3: Add in Other Wines and Experiment

Once you've got your beer drinker opened up to the idea that wine is not all bad, it's time to try for a wider variety of wines. You can gently introduce them one at a time, matching them with meals that pair well with the wines. You can offer a robust red with a good steak or a nice yet intense Chardonnay with poultry or cheese.

Another suggestion is to try several different types of wine by visiting a wine bar or attending a wine tasting. These are both great ways to sample without committing to a bottle and you are usually guided by someone with a decent amount of wine knowledge, who should be able to tell you about the wines you are tasting. He or she should also be able to make suggestions of things for your now-reformed beer drinker to try.

Don't Give Up

This is not a process that takes overnight. It may take months or even years to move from one step to the next. From time to time, the beer drinker may even slide backward, especially after trying a particularly strong wine that he (or she) doesn't care for. My beer drinker was making great progress until we went to a wine tasting where he was tempted by an extremely expensive wine. It also happened to be a very dry red wine. For someone still on Rieslings and sparkling wine, it was too much, too soon. I still haven't given up though. The process continues and one day I will get to sit and enjoy a bottle of wine over dinner with my reformed beer drinker.
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