Tweet La Ronda is the Spanish beer blogging community project very much inspired by (if not a rip off of) The Sessions. Every month a member of the community proposes a topic about which the other bloggers are supposed to write. This month La Ronda was invited by Catador, a beer blogger from Chile, who proposes a very interesting and fun topic that goes like this:
"You have met a girl who somehow, after learning about your passion for beer, asks you to invite her to a private tasting. Not being of the shy or silly kind, you invite her to your place. Which beers would you give her to sample? And for what purpose?
I am happily married and even suggesting something like that might get me in trouble. I couldn't do it with my wife because, since she is fortunate enough to be living with me, she already knows all the beers I know. So I decided to give the thing a twist and face it in another way, as if I was helping a friend that is in that very situation. This is how I see it:
I am sitting by the fireplace with my wife. We are listening to music, eating some home made red currant pie and driking Pardubický Porter at room temperature. The bell rings just as I am about to prepare my pipe. My wife goes to the door and comes back with my young friend Svatopluk, whom, like a mentor, I've been iniciating in the world of real beer. After the mandatory greetings Svatopluk says, with a worried tone, "I need your help. I am courting a girl whom I am crazy for. We have dated a few times and things are going well. The problem is that she wants to come to my place so I can show her some of the wonderful beers I've been telling her about and have aroused her curiosity so much. What can I do? I am afraid of ruining it.
"And you like this girl a lot." I saw lighting up my pipe. My friend nods, takes the glass that my wife offered him and pours himself some of the Porter.
I stroke my beard, take a few seconds to think and say: "I've got it. Take notes, my friend."
Svatopluk produces a notepad and a pen and sets to listen to my advice with the utmost attention.
"You will greet her with a glass of Černá Hora Modrá Luna. I know, I know." I saw, anticipating his objection. "I know you don't like it so much, but She will, more so if you offer it together with a plate of mild cheese, grapes and almonds."
Svatopluk takes notes with eagerness and I ask him:
"What is the name of this girl?"
"Markéta, and she is beautiful, an angel!" He says with dreamy eyes.
"I wouldn't expect any less from you, my friend. And tell, Markéta, does she like seafood?"
"Yes, very much"
"Ah! Good!" I say, glad seeing that my plan would not have any complications. "Then, for first course, you will prepare prawns stir fried in butter and olive oil, with garlic, a little ginger and fresh mint. On the side, you will serve a green salad dressed with a sause made of white yougurt, chopped anchovies, olive oil, oregano and chives."
"Oh! That sounds delicious!" Svatopluk. But then doubt invades his features. "But, what can I serve this with?"
"With Primátor Weizen, of course!"
"Right!" Svatopluk almost shouts. "Girls like it a lot, it is easy to drink and not as sour as others, and its taste and characteristics will pair perfectly with the food."
"That's right it. You have learnt, young friend of mine." I say, with satisfaction.
Almost shyly, but at the same time with confidence, Svatopluk asks: "Can I suggest the main course?"
"But, sure!" His enthusiasm is contagious and, deep inside of me, I know his idea will be the right one.
"What if I prepare your recipe of pork with beer marmelade?"
You surprise me! That is exactly what I was thinking! I recommend you serve it with fried or roasted polenta"
"Yes! Yes! And I could pair it with Bernard Jantár."
"Good idea. Alternatively, you could also consider Strakonice Klostermann or Herold Granát. They are a little stronger." I add, winking, only to meet the disapproving stare of my wife. I smile at her, indictating that it is just an innocent joke, and carry on.
"Of course you will have to serve some dessert."
"Oh yes! I haven't thought about it. I hardly ever eat dessert, but this is a special occasion. What do you recommend?" His expression didn't show fear, but true will to learn something new.
"Flan. I think I've got a recipe somewhere. It takes some time to prepare, but it isn't too difficult. You will have to choose a sweetish dark beer for this. Perhaps Chodovar Černá Desítka or Polička Hradební Tmavé or, if you prefer something stronger, Svijanská Kněžna. Their caramel notes will be a perfect pairing with the flan."
"Thanks!" Exclaims Svatopluk, almost jumping from his seat. "I am running to buy everything right now."
"Wait, wait, little grasshopper. Don't rush, the evening does not need to finish yet."
Svatopluk goes back to his seat, his face invaded by curiousity.
"How important is this Markéta to you?"
"You can't even imagine." He answers with a sigh.
"Then hold on a minute." I tell him and go to the cellar, from where I come back with two bottles of X33.
After giving them to Svatopluk, I tell him. "You must not forget the final touch. You will serve this beer together with a selection of fine chocolates while you listen to music and continue with your seduction."
Svatopluk embraces the bottles, holding them tight on his chest and smiles like a little boy.
"If after this feast Markéta's knickers don't loosen up, she is not the right one for you." Both the reproach on my wife's face and the fear on Svatopluk's make me burst in laughter.
"Fear not my young friend. I am sure that the date will end in passion, to continue in romance the morning after."
The smile returns to Svatopluk's face, who can't hold his enthusiasm any longer. "Your advice is so wise! This will be an evening that Markéta will never in her life forget. How can I show you my gratitude for this invaluable help?"
I suck my pipe and softly pat him on the back. "There is nothing to be grateful for, friend. I was also young and I know how important it is to find a good woman." I saw smiling, while I gently squeeze my princess's hand. "Go. I wish you luck. And give my regards to this surely wonderful damsel."
When Svatopluk leaves, talking to himself about where he will have to go to buy all the ingredients and beers, a turn to my woman, kiss her lips and aks. "Lásko muj*. Aren't you hungry? What if we prepared something to eat?"
(*)Love of mine, in Czech.
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