It's a battle of the boozes at Baur's

When I sit down for a fancy four-course meal, I don't ask for too much. Just the basics: maybe some friends, some warm bread....and three separate beverage teams trying to pair each course in a battle royale for my taste buds.

Next Tuesday, Denver will bear witness to what is being called the "First Ever Denver Pairing Competition." The event will take place at Baur's Ristorante at 1512 Curtis Street, with exec chef Corey Cunnihngham putting out four courses for the competitors to work with.

And it's not only wine being used here--a variety of alcohols will be used in the pairings. Avery Brewing Company came up with the idea of the dinner, and Avery employees Keller Shoenke and Ted Whitney will pair beers at the event. Synergy Wines will have Simon Illman and Rob Krupp slinging sake, and Matt Jackson and Parker Ramey from Baur's will work off the restaurant's award-winning wine list.

"I really feel badly for everyone trying to out-pair the Avery team," Whitney told me. "In many ways, it's just not fair. Did you know that there are over 500 polyphenols that give beer its flavor? Wines, sake included, have a paltry 300 flavor compounds. I hope you can join us for the whooping our opponents will certainly receive."

The event will be judged by the diners; seats are $60 a person. Ten percent of the proceeds will go to the charity of the winner's choice -- it's Colorado Community Cycles for Avery. To make a reservation, call 303-534-4842.

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