The Ultimate Guide to Food & Drink Pairings at Heritage Fire

In the true spirit of an all-inclusive, walk-around food & drink festival, there’s a lot— and we mean A LOT— of options for eating and drinking to satisfy everyone’s palate. But how exactly can we pair the best bites with the best beverages offered at Heritage Fire? While no two cities are the same in terms of dishes served (that’s up to the discretion and specialties of the top local chefs we invite to each), much of what’s on the menu includes deeply flavorful, flame-fired food, like lots of grilled seafood, marinated proteins, charred vegetables, rich desserts, and spicy sauces. While the menu switches up, most of our alcohol offerings remain the same thanks to our powerhouse partners list, providing a rotating catalog of various liquors, beers, wines, and more. 

Your drink of choice can do more than just quell a spicy bite or serve as a refreshing interruption from the summer heat, though — did you know that properly pairing certain drinks with certain foods can actually enhance their flavor profile? Whether you’re into dark liquors, cool white wines, or sparkling, non-alcoholic beverages, here’s the ultimate guide to pairing drinks at Heritage Fire with your city’s unique menu. 


Bold & red or chilled & white — what’s more your fancy? Regardless, we’ve got plenty of wine offerings thanks to partners like Franciscan Estate, Pope Valley Winery, and Bledsoe Wine Estates. With a crisp, cold chardonnay, sip it with lean protein in a flavorful sauce, or with a light shellfish like shrimp. More bold red wines, like cabernet sauvignons and merlots, opt for red, rich meats like brisket, steak, and lamb. If you're going the rosé route, we’d recommend something cheesy, like mac & cheese or fondue. 


A typical go-to during cookouts and grill gatherings, beer is a safe option that can still bring a lot of enhanced flavor to certain dishes when paired correctly. Our partners, like Estrella Galicia, Service Brewing Co, and Fat Tire Ale, provide some great options for beer lovers. If you’ve got a light lager or wheat beer in hand, you might especially enjoy something spicy or hand-held, like a burger. Amber ales go great with pizza, fried food, and smoked pork. Or, opt for a classic IPA to go along with something more heavy, like steak or barbecue. 


If you’ve ever been to a Heritage Fire tour stop, you’d know we love our dark liquors, especially whiskey and bourbon. With just one look at our partner list, you’ll see lots of familiar, recurring names, like Johnnie Walker, Dunamis Premium Spirits, Garrison Brothers Distillery, Glen Scotia Single Malt Whiskey, Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey, and Westward Whiskey— just to name a few. With a smooth & sweet glass of bourbon or neat whiskey, you can enjoy smoky grilled meats & rich desserts. 


Clear liquors appear exactly as they sound: See-through, lighter liquids that tend to have fewer impurities than their darker counterparts. Think gin, tequila, white rum, and vodka as the big four you can find at most Heritage Fire stops. If you’ve got a glass of Tanqueray fizz or an Aviation American Gin G&T in hand, head for something smoky and salty, like oysters or some kind of salt-cured meat. Maybe you’ve got an UNA Vodka spritzer; with that, complement its floral flavor profile with something cheesy or pickled. With a sampling of El Jimador tequila, opt for grilled meats or a fresh taco. If you’ve got a white rum cocktail via our friends at Don Q Rum, we recommend simultaneous sips with fresh seafood. 


Not a big drinker? We didn’t forget about you! We partner with a number of exceptional non-alcoholic brands at each stop, including LaCroix Sparkling Water, Positivity Alkaline Water, and Icelandic Glacial. Water will keep you hydrated and go with any meal you opt for, but if you go the fizzy route, a refreshing contrast can be achieved by pairing it with grilled veggies, cheese, and desserts!

As you can tell, we really take all-inclusive, unlimited bites and beverages seriously at Heritage Fire, and there’s no shortage of great drink options at any stop you attend. Join us for our next Heritage Fire Tour stops in Asheville, Snowmass, and Louisville, and let us know if you tried any of these pairings!

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