It’s a question as old as the ages – grain or grape? Seventy guests will judge whether Wither Hills wine or Emerson’s beer is the ultimate foodie partner, with varieties from each vineyard and brewery paired with five courses of locally sourced South Island cuisine.

The menu will include dishes with cured salmon, pork belly, Cloudy Bay clam and venison racks accompanied with fresh vegetables. There will also be an indulgent dessert as a finale to the evening matched with Wither Hills Cellar release 2011 Noble Pinot Gris and Emerson’s JP 2017 10% Tripel Strong Belgian Ale.

“This is going to be a great evening, with the opportunity for people to enjoy fresh, local cuisine expertly matched with some of New Zealand’s best wine and beer. We have a lot of experience pairing our Wither Hills wines with the produce our region is famous for so we’re pretty confident we’ll give Richard a good run for his money,” said Wither Hills winemaker Matt Large.

Described as the Godfather of New Zealand beer, Emerson’s founder, Richard Emerson, is looking forward to stepping in to wine country.

“I’m ready to show the wine connoisseurs what beer can offer. Beer has an amazing ability to bring out the flavour in food, particularly the more subtle flavours. It can bring a whole new dimension to the meal, ” said Emerson.

Wither Hills will have the home advantage, with the recently re-designed and re-opened Wither Hills Cellar Door and Restaurant in Blenheim playing host for the evening.

Tickets to the Wither Hills vs Emerson’s event are $90 per head and include all food, beer and wine. Tickets to the event have just gone on sale and are nearly all sold out, to reserve your spot email: cellardoor@witherhills.co.nz.