Wednesday 28 January 2009

Pint Pots at Dawn

Actually I'm kidding, well sort of, for those of you who haven't seen the public disagreement between myself & wine writer Malcolm Gluck on the Observer Food Monthly blog yet then the finale is today, when I treat Mr Gluck to a beer & food extravaganza at lovebeer@borough.

I'm hoping he's coming with an open mind, I certainly am.

If you want to follow what's been going on you can start here with Malcolm's original post, follow it to Roger Protz's response and then mine if you like - I'll update either later or tomorrow on what went on!


Anonymous said...

Yeaaaah, that's the spirit, broaden Mr Superplonk's 'orizons, with a bulldozer if need be ! ;o))

Anonymous said...

Oh, by the way, the NY Times Chief wine editor, Eric Asimov, is the living proof sweeping generalisations are rubbish, and that Wine writers can show due respect to beer and enjoy it :
(maybe you'll recognise that awfully expensive Swiss beer he writes about ? ;o) )

Anonymous said...

Malcolm Gluck is a middle class ponce. He could give a fuck for beer. However, watch his devotees in The Rake on a Saturday lunchtime after a long day smugly acquiring reassuring vittles. They are a million miles from their lifestyle-acquired wine 'expertise', but will try and bullshit their way around the beer menu before settling on a pint of Veltins. The difference between them and a chav is the Grauniad. Ignore him and he'll dry up...

You should be using your blog to publicise Dark Star at 'lovebeer', which knowledgeable beer lovers (not narrow minded arseholes like Gluck) will wnat to know about...

Tim said...

I've written a response to both this piece and various other blog posts which are popping up on teh subject. Check it out here @ The Beer Diary.

Zak Avery said...

I just saw the video on the Guardian site, Melissa - nice work. Although he obviously came prepared to carry on the faux-controversial argument, he mellowed a bit by the end. What was the beer that got him, the one that would be good with pannetone bread and butter pudding?

However, I think that telling him it was fancy dress was a step too far. I felt it undermined his dignity a bit.

Zak Avery said...

On reflection, having worn a cravat and brown suede shoes to the Guild dinner last year, perhaps I'm not one to talk.

Anonymous said...

who came first the Gluck or Crusty the Clown?

Anonymous said...

Hi Melissa,

Indeed, very interesting video.

The impression I get, as someone who's tackled the art of introducing wine sommeliers to the world of beer, and has had to try and understand the way wine tasters approach a sample, is that one warning I give to sommeliers might have been useful to Mr Gluck :

The density range of beer is a lot broader than that of wine (3-12% vs. 10 to 14%, or, more accurately, a ratio of 4 as opposed to one of 1.4), therefore the taste intensity varies a lot, so what they are used to expect from wine may not be there, and they should be prepared to adjust their palates, especially with beers at the lower end of the ABV range (5%-).
Subtlety is the word here. ;o)

(BTW it's a problem I've first encountered when it comes to introduce beer drinkers used to Belgian heavyweights - that are easy indeed to appreciate - to comparatively light and thin British beers.)

I assume the last beer you served Mr. Gluck and that he seems to have liked was something a lot more massive than those with the food, right ?

Bottom line IMHO is : Mr. Gluck's approach of beer is flawed from the start, attempting to transfer "as is" his wine reference frame onto beer.

Which means not understanding (or not wanting to understand ?) the very nature of beer. And missing the whole point, all by himself.

Cheers !


Anonymous said...

Well done; thanks for putting in the effort to be hospitable to a predisposed critic.

McNellie's Pub here in Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA, was fortunate to host Fuller's export director (and I apologize for forgetting his name) for a beer luncheon late last year.

The event paired Fuller's Vintage Ale with shrimp bisque; the buttery notes and balanced hoppiness of the ale mingled very well with the shrimp. Also featured were London Porter with a good, honest meatloaf and gravy, and finally creme brulee with ESB -- which was the only one I thought a little off the mark. I would have done Fuller's 1845 with a good bread and butter pudding instead, which makes me wonder what the ale was that Mr. Gluck was enjoying during the last brief bit. (Diacetyl is the source of butteriness in ale, and is considered a fault in some beer styles, but it can be a wonderful bridge to many food pairings.)

Best regards,