October 4, 2020
Thanksgiving may look a little different this year. If you’re able to get together with family this year or you’ve got a safe bubble you’re keeping your circle to, you can plan a small gathering. If you’re staying distant, you can still enjoy a little fun; exchange wine and a recipe with a family member or pal. Each of you can create some of the same Thanksgiving dishes and compare notes on who did it better. Of course, sending a bottle of wine or spirits, or some beer would be a welcome way to show you care even if you can’t be together.
Plan a Welcome Drink: Whether Together or Distant
It’s nice to begin the feast with a welcome drink and it’s festive to get things going with something a bit fancy, but easy, given all the other cooking going on in the kitchen.
A simple glass of Prosecco or Champagne sets just the right festive mood. Again, if you can’t be together with a loved one, you can still send them a bottle of bubbly, then pick up one for your home too, and organize a pre-Thanksgiving Zoom call to toast the season.
Another fun option for a starter is a Blood Orange Mule cocktail with blood orange juice or soda, lime juice and a bit of vodka and sparkling wine or ginger beer. It has an air of sophistication to it, and it’s bubbly with its added sparkling wine and ginger beer.
Pairing Wine with the Thanksgiving Meal
When it’s time for dinner, there’s always the eternal question: do I have to stick with white wine if I’m serving turkey?
Co-op Wine Beer Spirits Sommelier Karen Crippen says there are no rules.
“You simply want to be sure the wine and the dish don’t compete with each other with one overpowering the other.”
Here are a few of Karen’s pairing ideas:
Ending on a Sweet Note
After all the food, what pairs with traditional Thanksgiving desserts like pumpkin or pecan pie?
“I suggest a glass of Tawny Port,” Crippen says. “Port that has extensive aging takes on a nutty characteristic that compliments baking spices. A 10 year old Port can be found at reasonable prices but naturally the price increases as the age progresses into the 40 year old selections. “
Crippen recommends sweet styles of Sherry such as Pedro Ximénez or a Cream Sherry such as Harvey’s Bristol Cream are great value and also work well with cinnamon and nutmeg flavors.
“Any ‘late harvest’ wine will be sweet as well and the flavors of dried apricot, mandarin orange and baked apple work well with fruit pies as well as chocolate. The basic idea is to choose a wine that is as sweet or sweeter than the dessert itself. Otherwise, even a very good wine will come off as bitter or ‘sour’ by comparison,” shares Crippen.
If you’re staying up after the feast, it’s also a nice idea to prepare an after-dinner drink, whether for you, or a couple of guests.
A perfect autumn option is a hot mulled wine, or apple cider complete with cinnamon sticks which you can sip if you’ve had enough booze. Of course, if you are still looking for a kick, a splash of Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum or Bulleit Bourbon in that cider also warms the core. Many people also love to serve Baileys or Carolans Irish Cream for the creamy subtle character of the drink, plus it also goes well with dessert. For a light touch of sophistication, a Grand Marnier with a cube of ice in it caps things nicely too.
For wine drinkers, winter tends to be the season of robust reds, ports, and full-bodied vintages.
Father’s Day is just around the corner. Rather than hosting another basic cookout this year, throw him a party as special as he is.
However you choose to refer to it—May long, May two-four, Victoria Day weekend—May long weekend is the first official marker of summer.
Any wine lover knows that, like food, wine tastes change with the season.
At Co-op Wine Spirits Beer, we know you want quality products and are also looking for the best value.
This Valentine’s Day will be less fabulous dinner out in a packed restaurant and more cozy evening in at home.
Sometimes choosing a great wine can be overwhelming; there’s so much choice out there that it can be difficult to know which brands to trust.
While we may not get to spend the holidays physically together, we can at least share the moment virtually.
There is nothing quite like the perfect cocktail to set the mood for the holidays.
Co-op Wine Spirits Beer Sommelier Coordinator Katherine Mindach has some advice for cooking with alcohol:
“When you pour a little in the pot, make sure to…
This holiday season one of our favourite ways to feed family, friends and folks is to set up a grazing station and let everyone nibble…
Wine and cheese are natural pairs.
There’s something about the holidays that lets us all feel like we can indulge.
For more than 30 years, Viña Montes has been producing luxury wines from Chile and exporting them to customers worldwide.
At first glance, a distillery named after one of the monsters of the Mesozoic might seem a bit strange.
We’ve all heard that you’re not supposed to judge a book by it’s cover—or a wine by its label, but how many of us have…
Summer is the season of the gin & tonic, but gin is great in many more cocktails and summer sips; the French 75 or the…
Many of us dream about quitting our corporate jobs, moving to the country and living off the land.
Throwing a western-style BBQ to make up for the cancellation of the greatest outdoor show in Calgary? You need just the right cold drinks to…
Canada Day is right around the corner, but the coronavirus pandemic is still in the back of our minds, and physical distancing guidelines are in…