Date published

September 29, 2023


Grand Marnier

Recommended by Sommelier Katherine Mindach

Holidays are a great time for friends, families and liquid libations. My must have spirit in the house for festive dinners and snowy evenings is Grand Marnier. This cognac based liqueur is infused with vibrant orange notes, has a thick texture and sweet flavour profile. It is single handedly the best “secret” ingredient in my highly sought after homemade whipped cream, just add a splash when combining the sugar and egg whites. Any left overs in the bottle are tossed into easy cocktails like Grand Marnier & Prosecco, Sangria’s (toss in some cranberries to make it holiday friendly) or on the rocks with a little tonic. Other fun tricks with this versatile little drink in a glaze for your turkey, a sweet kick to tart cranberry sauce, and a little extra orange kick to your fruit cakes. Cheers to a sweet holiday season!

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Famille Dutraive Chiroubles Beaujolais Gamay  2020

Recommended by Sommelier Kevin Schorath

One of my most anticipated meals of the entire calendar year has to be the Thanksgiving feast! Turkey, all the trimmings, stuffing, cranberry sauce and all the other dishes that are often unique to each family’s traditions. Turkey can be a tricky protein to pair wine with, but if you’re looking for a delicious, knockout pairing, look no further than the great red wines from Beaujolais. The region of Beaujolais is often celebrated by wine enthusiasts for its light-bodied, juicy and fruit forward style of reds made from the Gamay Noir grape. What makes this wine such a hit at Thanksgiving is the wine’s naturally high acidity, low levels of tannin, and supreme drinkability. Plus, with the wines of Beaujolais, you don’t have to spend a fortune to end up with something truly exceptional!

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Forty Creek Cream Liquor

Recommended by Sommelier Andrew Paulsen

My favourite part of the holiday meals are the sweet treats and this Iced Coffee Au-Lait recipe is a family favourite. I now use Forty Creek Cream Liquor for this sweet treat.

To start you will require a 4 liter jug of 2 or 3% milk and remove 500ml of the milk.

In a separate small jug mix 1 cup (250ml) of hot water with a half a cup of instant coffee crystals and half a cup of brown or white sugar and stir till dissolved. Add 250ml of Forty Creek Cream to the jug of dissolved coffee crystals and sugar and stir it in. Pour combination of coffee, sugar and Forty Creek Cream into the now 3.5 liter milk jug and shake up (with the lid screwed back on). You now have your iced coffee au lait ready to serve. Store in fridge until ready to serve.

Serve in a Collins or Parfait glass, add a scoop of ice cream, top with whipped cream, a shake of cocoa or grated chocolate and a long handled teaspoon to aid consumption – Voila delicious. Have with dessert or as a dessert.

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Taylor Fladgate 10yr Tawny Port

Recommended by Sommelier Hilary Thorne

For me, this is a classic wine to have around for the holiday season.  It works well with dishes for Thanksgiving and Christmas and a little goes a long way.  Taylor Fladgate is famous for their ports, especially their vintage ports, but the 10-year-old Tawny Port is gaining in popularity.  It shows off aromas and flavours of ripe berry jam, chocolate, butterscotch, with a touch of oak.  When serving it, I would recommend putting a bit of a chill on it (12-16 degrees Celsius).  It pairs well with desserts that show flavours of dark chocolate, berries, and almonds.  It can also pair quite nicely with savoury foods such as a charcuterie that showcases game meat, hard aged cheeses, and blue cheeses.  Port is also great to have around for cooking, such as making a reduction to be used over steak, venison, and prime rib.  Not to worry, if you don’t finish the bottle, you can keep your opened port in a cool, dark place for up to 2 months without any deterioration.  Happy sipping!

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2022 TINHORN CREEK Pinot Gris

Recommended by Sommelier Eric Southward

Thanksgiving can be both exciting and terrifying. A special meal with your loved ones can be momentous, while also being a ton of work. The last thing you need is for your holiday wine choices to be stressful. The traditional Thanksgiving turkey dinner can be a little tricky to pair with wine. Regardless of whether, or not the star of your holiday feast is the classic turkey, chicken, or ham, the classic thanksgiving feast tends to be rich, salty, and with a wide variety of favours and textures. It is impossible to serve multiple wines to pair perfectly on the plate with each ingredient, so a wine that can handle them all is ideal.  And this is where Pinot Gris will make your Thanksgiving meal stress free.

Pinot Gris from places like Alsace in France, Oregon, or – in this case – from the Okanagan are full-flavoured, with a refreshing acidity that can cut through the richness of your potatoes, stuffing and gravy. Tinhorn Creek is one of Canada’s best producers of Pinot Gris. Located in Oliver, BC, their 2022 Pinot Gris is medium-bodied, and full of delicious citrus, apple and pear flavours. It can be equally great as an aperitif before your holiday feast, while also being a star at the table. Happy Thanksgiving!

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