CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Charleston has seen its fair share of competitions, from high school football to professional mixed martial arts bouts.
But this Saturday will be the first time there has been a beer-versus-wine throwdown in the Capital City.
FeastivALL, a fundraiser for FestivALL, features beer and wine selected especially to go with each of five courses in a dinner prepared by West Virginia chefs Tim Urbanic and Nick McCormick.
Attendees at the sold-out event will decide which they like better, the beer or the wine.
Urbanic is the chef and co-owner of Cafe Cimino in Sutton. McCormick is the chef at Berry Hills Country Club, where Saturday's event will be held.
Urbanic said he's eager to see how the beer and wine competition plays out.
He pointed out that matching wine with food is nothing new. But, the challenger - beer - is starting to become a bigger part of a meal.
"Beer is really starting to make its mark," he said.
McCormick would like to see more beer and food pairing events.
"We do wine pairings all of the time," he said.
Although McCormick believes wine will win Saturday's event, he noted that beer can be paired with a wider range of food. He also finds it typically more economical.
"I think wine is more upscale," he said. Even a craft beer isn't as expensive as a pricey wine.
Urbanic believes the two beverages will run in a "dead heat."
"I think they'll both pair well," he said.
Urbanic predicts beer will take the place of water when attendees decide to take a "sip" of a beverage. This will help propel beer into a close race with the wine.
FestivALL is the premier arts festival for Charleston, and McCormick and Urbanic say cooking and food pairings are themselves an art.
"Everything we do is kind of like painting a picture," McCormick said. "Every ingredient has its own place, just like every color in a painting does."
Urbanic said the meal is designed to be pleasing to the eye as well as the palate.
"We eat with our eyes," he said. "So the fresher the ingredients, the more vibrant the colors.
"And when our brain tells us that the meal is so delicious, that's when it becomes an art form."