Northwest Wine, Beer and Wild Game
The Northwest has always been known for its great hunting and fishing but now it is also becoming famous for its wines and beers. So if you are going to feast on wild game, it make sense to complement the dish with a good Northwest beverage. When it comes to wine, beer, and wild game you can enjoy all three without leaving the Northwest and the quality of the wine, beer and game is world class.
The Northwest is the second largest wine producing area in the nation and is ranked among the world's top wine regions. Washington and Oregon have the largest number of wineries and vineyards in the Region but Idaho, Montana and British Columbia also produce wine. The first wine grapes in the Northwest were planted in about 1825 by the Hudson Bay Company. There was a major expansion of the industry in the early 1960's and it has grown significantly in recent years. Today there are over 1,100 wineries and 55,000 acres planted in wine grapes with over 30 different wine varietals produced.
The Northwest has some of the best beers in the country and there is a large variety ranging from the more typical lagers,ales, and stout beers to micro brews and specialty beers. One of the earliest breweries in the Northwest was founded in about 1878 and it made Rainier Ale. However, the earliest beer made by Americans in the Northwest occurred on October 21, 1805 and was recorded in Capt. Clark's journal:
"one of our party J. Collins presented us with Some verry good beer made of the
Pashi-co-quar-mash bread, which bread is the remains of what was laid in as Stores of Provisions, at the first flat heads or Cho-punnish Nation at the head of the Kosskoske river which by being frequently wet molded & Sowered &c"
Within the Northwest Region there are about 300 breweries with over 200 in Washington and Oregon. There are 30 American beer styles produced, not including specialty beers and hybrids.
What wine or beer goes best with the wild game dish is largely a matter of personal tastes but there are guidelines that may help you select a good wine or beer to pair with the dish.