Bottoms Up

Beer and wine in the Bay Area and beyond

New York Gets a Beer Sommelier

By William Brand
Friday, March 31st, 2006 at 10:17 pm in Uncategorized.

Here’s the most interesting item I’ve seen in a while. According to Andrea Strong writing in the New York Post, Cafe D’Alsace (1695 Second Ave., at 88th Street; [212] 722-5133), has hired a beer sommelier. That is, an expert to help patrons choose from the restaurant’s extensive beer list.

He is Aviram Turgeman and, the Post says. The restaurant’s beer selection is divided by style and region, much like a wine list.

For example, the Post says:

“Turgeman is all about pairing beer and food. With the tarte flambe – a sort of pizza topped with creme fraiche, smoked bacon and sweet onions ($8.75) – he suggest the Schlenkerla Rauchbier ($10), a smoky German beer made from malt that is roasted and smoked over Bavarian beechwood. For the grilled trouit with riesling sauce ($17.75), he serves the Boon Gueuze Lambic ($12), a Belgian wheat beer fermented by wild yeast that he describes as having aromas of “chardonnay, and oxidized sherry, with a very tart palate.” And for the chef’s signature choucroute – the region’s classic dish of braised cabbage slow-simmered with smoked meats ($23.50) – he recommends a wheat beer, such as the Schneider Edel Weisse ($10).”

Hmmm. Part of my family is Alsatian originally (family name Juduvine). But I know little about this narrow strip of land bordering Germany. His Rauchbier and Boon Gueze selections sound interesting. But Schneider Edel Weisse with sauerkraut (choucroute’s the French word for this very German dish), I would think he’d attempt to find an Alsatian beer in an Alsatian restaurant. Fischer, is the big Alsatian brewery, but there are other smaller breweries opening these days. German indeed.

If I were desperate, I’d go to the north of Franch for biere de garde, before reaching over to Germany. Remember, Germany has invaded and conquered Alsace numerous times, in 1871, in 1914 and in 1940, the most recent.

Anyway, hats off (if I had a hat) to New York’s first beer sommelier You can find the entire article and a photo of Turgeman here.

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