With the NATO summit taking place in Chicago May 20-12, we thought what better way to welcome our foreign guests than with a toast? Get in the international spirit this week by trying these beers and wines that are native to some of the member countries. NATO, we salute you!
Belgium – In Belgium, beer is not just popular, it’s almost holy. Many beers in Belgium are brewed in monasteries and abbeys, just as they have been for centuries. Although there are many different varieties of Belgian beer, the most common type is a pale, blonde ale.
TRY: Stella Artois.
France – France is synonymous with wine. Here, wines are identified by the types of grapes used as well as the region of the country they are grown in. For example, a Bordeaux and a Burgundy wine come from the Bordeaux or Burgundy regions of France. A Chardonnay or a Sauvignon Blanc, on the other hand, refer to the types of grapes used to make the wine. And of course, a champagne is a sparkling wine from the eastern Champagne region of France.
TRY: Jaboulet Parallel 45
Italy – Wine is big business in Italy, where the temperate climate and hilly coastal area of Italy are perfect for growing grapes. In fact, Italy is the second largest wine producer in the world, behind France. TRY: Sella & Mosca La Valla Vermentino, a white wine from the island of Sardinia, on sale for $12.99, or the Col Dei Venti “Tufo Blu” Barbesco, a velvety red wine with hints of blackberries and blueberries on sale for $32.99.
Netherlands – Similar to Belgian beer, Dutch beer is typified by a light, pale ale. The country is home to three internationally known brands: Heineken, Grosch and Amstel. In fact, Heineken is the third largest brewer in the world and has been brewed in Zoeterwoude since 1975.
TRY: Heineken and Amstel. Six-packs on sale at Potash this week for $7.99.
Spain – Sherry is a nutty-flavored liquor that is endemic to Southern Spain. Sherry is produced similarly to wine, but after it is fermented, it’s mixed with brandy. For another uniquely Spanish drink, try sangria, a wine punch made with either red or white wine, cut up fruit such as oranges, lemons, apples and peaches, and a sweetener like honey.
TRY: Fino Sherry
United Kingdom – English beers are darker and more bitter than the Dutch and Belgian varieties – perfect for those chilly, gray London afternoons. Fuller’s Brewery has been brewing traditional British-style beers at the Griffin Brewery in West London since 1845.
TRY: Fuller’s ESB (Extra Special Bitter). Six-packs on sale this week at Potash for $9.99.
Filed Under: Beverages,