Perfect Beer and Wine Pairings for 8 Popular Local Dishes

We tapped the experts in a battle of the boozes to find the best drink pairings.


(page 2 of 3)

Chopped Salad 


Wine: Matthiasson Rosé ($25.99)

At R. Field Wine Co.

“With all the flavors going on in a chopped salad, you need something versatile, wine-wise, like a crisp, dry rosé. I’ve been really liking the Matthiasson Rosé lately.”

Jennifer Fiedler




Beer: Duchesse de Bourgogne ($7.99)

At Whole Foods 

“Depending on the type of dressing used, but, since most of the salads are dressed with zesty and highly acidic dressings, I would like to pair a very interesting beer with this particular dish,” Loperfido says. “This is a Belgian Flanders with notes of balsamic and cherry, fruity and slightly tart at the same time. A splendid pair, and a fantastic beer.”

Donato Loperfido





Beer: Clown Shoes Brown Angel ($7.39)

At Tamura’s Fine Wine & Liquors 

“The Clown Shoes Brown Angel is a double brown ale, so it has a little more gusto to it to hold up to the flavors that are found in kalbi. The malts in brown ales add a delicate smoke or roast notes that will match those crispy bits at the end of the ribs, while the hop bitterness will contrast the sweet nature of the sauce, and the higher-than-normal alcohol (7 percent ABV) will cut right through the fat and keep you from ever looking at kalbi the same.”

– Bill Carl 


Wine: Handley Cellars Pinot Noir 2010 ($29)

Available through special order 

“I find there is an affinity to lower-alcohol, rustic, moderately fruit-driven styles of pinot noir for soy-based cuisine. This is one of my favorites, from Anderson Valley, California. There is a brambly dark-berry quality that threads the soy with a forest, earthy note to the pinot noir fruit that is quite compelling for me.”

Kevin Toyama 







Beer: Ballast Point Victory at Sea ($8.69)

At Tamura’s Fine Wine & Liquors 

Interestingly enough, Loperfido says the best match for original New York-style cheesecake is the same beer he chose for chopped salad: Duchesse de Bourgogne, because it is nice and fruity and slightly tart.


Messina, on the other hand, suggests this Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter, which he calls “an all-time favorite, and great with cheesecake and many other dessert dishes.” It’s a smooth brew with just the right level of sweetness, which comes from whole vanilla beans infused into the porter. “The subtle roasted notes and minimal acidity of the cold-brewed coffee balance perfectly with the sweet caramel undertones of the malt, creating a perfect pair for a cheesecake of any sort. The light notes of cheesecake should cut some of the vanilla and coffee notes, leaving you coming back for another bite matched with another sip of victory.”

Anthony Messina 


Wine: Broadbent 10 Year Malmsey Madeira ($45.99)

At Tamura’s Fine Wine & Liquors 

“A slice of New York-style cheesecake is rich and dense, with a browned top that gives it caramelized sweetness and hints of vanilla. No toppings are necessary if you pair this lavish dessert with a Malmsey Madeira. Malmsey, the sweetest style of Madeira, offers notes of caramel and toffee with subtle citrus and a nutty finish.”

Brynn Burbach


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Honolulu Magazine November 2018
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