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Briefs: Bay area's wine-tasting season winds down

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TO PAIR DRINKS AND DINNER

Here are three pairing ideas from He Said Beer, She Said Wine by sommelier Marnie Old and brewer Sam Calagione (DK Publishing, $25) to get you out of your rut. (Look for beers in well-stocked liquor stores.)

Sushi and . . .

Beer: A wheat beer such as Avery White Rascal. The malty backbone stands up to wasabi, but it's subtle enough not to drown sushi's delicate flavors. About $10 a six-pack.

Wine: French Champagne is complex but won't overwhelm sushi's subtle flavors. Varying prices.

Sirloin steak and . . .

Beer: A brown ale such as Chimay Premiere. Calagione considers a complex, fruity brown ale a better match than a dry, tannic red wine. About $11 for a 25.4-ounce bottle.

Wine: A Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon. Classic match for steak on the grill: a big, complex red. Varying prices.

Glazed ham and . . .

Beer: An English old ale such as Theakston Old Peculier. Sweet and salty flavors need a smooth, mellow beer partner. About $7 to $9.50 a six-pack.

Wine: A delicate pinot noir is a soft, silky red for a salty-sweet meat. Varying prices.

Times wires

Food, wine celebrations

The Tampa Bay tasting season heads into its final grand course before the sweaty summer sets in. Besides the Tampa Bay Wine & Food Festival (see story at far right), the remaining schedule includes:

• More than 30 restaurants will serve up their best in Vinoy Park in downtown St. Petersburg May 30-June 1 for the annual Taste of Pinellas. Musical menu includes Rick Springfield, Jonny Lang and Eddie Money. Proceeds benefit All Children's Hospital. For more information, go to www.allkids.org.

• Sarasota Originals, an alliance of 24 independent restaurants, hosts Forks & Corks June 5-8, with winemaker dinners, $25 prix-fixe menus, a Champagne party, a grand tasting and a day of culinary seminars. For information, see www.fresh

originals.com.

Chris Sherman

Wine of the week

ONE, 2004 Pierre Sparr, Alsace

A pleasant all-in-one tour of the borderland vineyards, where the grapes are German but the winemaking palate is French and dry.

Unlike most, ONE is a blend of all the region's grapes, a new idea for old Alsace. You can pick out most of them. The flowers and peach in the nose come from muscat and gewurz; a round, full body from pinot blanc; there's a tart apricot middle and a clean, racy riesling finish.

The 2004 vintage was not a grand year for Alsace but Sparr had fun with this and you could too — all summer. Chill it for salads, seafood or Asian food.

Availability: $10 selected wine and liquor stores.

Chris Sherman

Briefs: Bay area's wine-tasting season winds down 05/06/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 6, 2008 4:30am]

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