Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Welcome to The Art of Pairing Video Games with Booze! I never dreamed of starting a blog on this topic until recently, when I encountered a situation that made it all too clear that the public has an overwhelming need for my services in this department. Recently, I attended a fantastic dinner at a friend's house. It was a beautiful day for grilling, and to celebrate the warm weather, we had a leg of lamb roasted on the grill along with saffron couscous, roasted potatoes, braised carrots, and a cold cucumber salad. My friend served a 2005 Sierra Cantabria Rioja Crianza and a 2006 Porter Creek Syrah, which were extremely enjoyable and fantastically appropriate to our meal. This was followed with a fine selection of Spanish cheeses accompanied by a bottle of Sandeman Royal Corregidor Oloroso.
I could hardly have felt more satisfied after the meal, as my friend (who will not be named for reasons that will soon be obvious) is a talented cook and a great host. He told me that he had recently picked up his old Nintendo 64 from his parent's house, and asked if I would be up for playing some F-Zero X. Naturally, I was excited by this proposal, and we soon sat in his living room, untangling a mess of cords attached to plastic three-pronged controllers. As I was connecting the system to the TV, my friend went to the kitchen to get us some beers. When he returned, my jaw dropped. He had brought back a 750ml bottle of Brasserie D'Achouffe's Houblon Chouffe! Could it be that my same friend who had displayed such appropriate taste with his choice of wines for dinner had now committed this faux pas? Certainly, F-Zero X is not the easiest game to find a pairing for, but a Belgian IPA? Unthinkable. Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy Houblon Chouffe, along with everything else I've had from Brasserie D'Achouffe. But drinking it while playing this particular game is tantamount to serving an imperial stout with chicken soup, or a Sauternes with the arcade version of Terminator 2: Judgement Day. Needless to say, I left my friend's house immediately, and we have not spoken since.
You now know the somewhat painful story of the origin of this blog. I hope to provide guidance to all of those like my friend, who, though perhaps possessing the best of intentions, wouldn't know their ass from a hole in the wall when it comes to pairing booze with video games. I hope I can make a difference.
Posted by Ben Saller at 3:40 PM