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Beer geeks tweak promospeak
Tuesday, February 5, 2008   4:47 PM

While trying to bone up on my beer knowledge before the big beer festival this weekend, I heard the term cross drinker ridiculed on an old Craft Beer Radio podcast.

With a little investigation I was able to find the promotional copy they were commenting on:

Cross Drinking Without Social Stigma

What's hot in wine? Beer! Cross-drinking wine experts dare to declare that America's craft beers change the way wine drinkers think about malt beverages. Join this panel of talented tasters as they chuck their corks for brown-bottle fare and tell all about this latest beverage trend. Along the way, you'll get a first-hand glimpse into the palates and preferences of three of the food worlds' most savvy cross drinkers.

Cross drinking, cross drinker... after you filter out all the bad search results, these terms hardly appear at all on the Internet. I was able to find only one other cite for this sense, in a September 2002 user review at

Just as rare is another, slightly older sense of cross-drinking: "to drink a certain variety of wine with a food traditionally paired with a different variety."

Both senses seem fairly transparent in context, and somewhat useful as jargon, so I'm a bit surprised that neither has caught on.

Perhaps the signified in both cases is too uncommon to warrant a signifier? Alternately — if not for the guffaws of those beer cognesceti — I could even believe that one or both of these terms was in common usage but had somehow eluded Google's myriad tentacles.

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