Do you have a go-to beer, but not the foggiest idea of how to pick a wine? Don’t feel weird about it – lots of people are in the same boat! Here are our favorite wines for beer drinkers.
Choosing a wine can feel super intimidating. There are so many different kinds out there, and just like beer, wines come in a wide variety of styles. Plus, each wine varietal has a unique set of flavor notes.
Here’s the good news: Your favorite beer – whether it’s a light and crisp lager, a citrusy IPA, or an Imperial Stout – can point you toward the kind of wine you might like. Now, we know that stepping outside of your comfort zone can be a little scary, but let’s be real. You were probably introduced to a basic ale before you tried your first Saison on draft.
When you try something new, you may find something you love. So, if you’re a little vino-curious but don’t know where to start, this guide will point you in the right direction. Check out our favorite wines for beer drinkers!
If you like Lager or Pilsner…
If you like a beer that’s light in color and body with a clean and crisp taste, try a dry sparkling wine or dry white wine with light fruity notes like Pinot Grigio (aka Pinot Gris). FYI – Sparkling wines like Prosecco or Champagne will say “brut” on the label when they’re made in a dry style.
While we do love a good glass of Lager our favorite alternative is Bright Cellars' sustainable Dead Stars & Black Holes. The flavor notes of grapefruit and lemon are similar to the crisp body of a Lager.
If you like Pale Ale or Blonde Ale…
Slightly richer than lagers, pale ales are known for their light hops and flavors of citrus and bread. Pale ale fans should try Sauvignon Blanc, a light-bodied white wine with bright notes of citrus and peach, plus a hint of green pepper or grass.
If you prefer blonde ales with a hint of bitterness and malty sweetness, try a Viognier, a medium-bodied white wine with aromas of rose petals, honeysuckle, and mango.
You may also like Pinot Noir, a light-bodied red wine with berry notes and a slight earthiness.
Our favorite alternative for a Pale Ale or Blonde Ale would be the Quinte Royale Sauvignon Blanc. This wine is from southwest France and has flavor notes of green apple and fresh-cut herbs.
If you like Wheat Beer...
Whether you like German wheat beer with notes of banana and clove or Belgian wheat beer with citrusy notes, your journey into wine should begin with Chardonnay, a medium-bodied white wine.
Word to the wise: Chardonnay can taste different depending on how it’s made. Unoaked Chardonnay is lighter with notes of lemon, green apple, and pineapple. Chardonnay that’s been aged in oak barrels is richer and features notes of buttery croissant, lemon curd, and vanilla.
Are you a big fan of wheat beer? Try Bright Cellars' The Latin Root Chardonnay! This unoaked Chardonnay from outside Barcelona has flavor notes of peach and pear, similar to wheat beer.
If you like Amber Ale...
Known for their malty aromas of caramel, Amber ales can have notes of toast, sugar cookies, nuts, or figs. Fans of amber ale should try Zinfandel, a red wine with notes of jam and smoke, plus a hint of cinnamon and raisins.
You may also like an off-dry sparkling wine like Cava – Spain’s version of Champagne.
The perfect wines for these beer drinkers is the Bright Cellars' Worst Evils Zinfandel. The flavors of rich strawberry jam and smooth tannins make a similar alternative for a glass of amber.
If you like India Pale Ale...
Super popular in recent years, IPAs are beloved for their intense hops. If you love IPAs, try a white wine with zippy acidity like Grüner Veltliner or a dry Riesling. Riesling is sometimes a slightly sweet wine, but the dry style of Riesling has become more popular in recent years.
If you’re looking to branch out into red wines, try a spicy Old World red blend.
The Voyage dans le Vent Vin Rouge boasts warm and spicy baking spices alongside red fruits like strawberry. The hops in IPAs are similar to the spice in this red blend.
If you like Porter or Stout...
Porters and stouts are known for their rich notes of coffee, toffee, and dark fruit – the only difference being the kind of barley that’s used to make them. If you love one of these substantial beers, try a medium- to full-bodied red wine like Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon. Both Merlot and Cab have dark fruit notes and a hint of vanilla or cocoa.
The rich, dark porter and stouts are great! But the Jetbird Merlot from Bright Cellars is a great alternative. The flavor notes of red berries, baking spices, and violets are similar to the flavors in porters and stouts.
If you like Saison or Sour Ale...
If you love the mouth-puckering taste of a Saison or sour ale, try a rosé or a light-bodied red wine like Beaujolais. A dry rosé, particularly one made with Tempranillo or Syrah grapes, has bright flavors and sometimes a hint of spice. Beaujolais is made with Gamay grapes, and has bright notes of candied fruit and sometimes banana.
Bright Cellars' Mise en Abyme Red Blend is a beautiful Bordeaux-style red blend and a perfect replacement for a Saison or Sour Ale. The flavors of red fruits, dried herbs and earthy aromas will leave a slight puckering taste on your lips just like the beer.
If you like Lambic...
If you prefer tart Lambic beers with notes of fruit, try a light red wine like Pinot Noir or Lambrusco – a fizzy red from Italy with notes of strawberry and hibiscus.
You may also enjoy an off-dry Riesling, with notes of citrus and pineapple.
The Sophonisba Pinot Noir is a great light red wine similar to Lambic.