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 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...
Summertime is when many of us turn from drinking those warm, bold and cozy reds, so something lighter and more refreshing.
Hidden in a low key industrial area in Calgary’s Bonnybrook-Alyth area in the city’s southeast is the largest distiller in the province.
Spring is a time for rebirth, regeneration and of course for kicking back and enjoying the outdoors.
Alberta’s first craft distillery is showing no signs of slowing down.
When we think of the world’s wine regions, France, Italy, Spain, South America and California come to mind.
It may not feel like spring is coming yet, but soon enough it’ll be here.
It’s probably not surprising that a lot of Albertans aren’t familiar with the Alsace wine region of France.
Many of us are wondering if our favourite places like restaurants and cafes will still be around once the COVID-19 pandemic finally releases its grip...
You’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but if you wanted to judge a bottle by its label, the bottles from Bridgeland...
Co-op Wine Spirits Beer sommeliers are happy to introduce the latest offering in The Social Collection wine lineup.
Easter celebrations may look a little different this year, but whether you’re putting together an Easter dinner for immediate family or looping in friends via...
It seems every few years there’s a drink that’s so on trend it starts showing up everywhere.
The Irish know how to celebrate! While Canadians do pour a few drinks on Canada Day, our national occasion pales in comparison to the worldwide...
Though it may not be as well-known globally as the Bordeaux region of France or Tuscany in Italy, British Columbia has a dynamic, diverse, and...
If you pass by the shelf, it’s a bottle that immediately catches your eye among all the dark glass standing sentinel among the rows.
For some folks, Valentine’s Day is considered an old fashioned and possibly outdated celebration.
If you or anyone in your family is a die-hard football fan, you’re likely already planning for the biggest game of the year.
As those holiday bills start rolling in, many of us are feeling like a thrifty January is a smart way to go.
Sometimes even the warmest sweater layered under a cozy coat isn’t enough to ward off that chill you get from being outdoors.
When we think vodka, we often think ‘martini’, and for good reason.The martini is easily one of the classiest, sexiest cocktails you can enjoy.
The holidays, or other times of celebration, are usually when we turn our eyes to Champagne.
We’ve probably all heard of fondue, but how many of us have actually tried to make it, or even wondered where it came from? The...
The holidays can be an overwhelming time of year. Between gift buying, trip planning, gift wrapping and holiday gatherings, there is barely any time to breathe.
Let’s admit it—for many of us, one of the exciting things about the holidays is the opportunity to share fun and festive drinks with friends.
As you’re working away at your holiday shopping list, there’s always a few folks who are hard to buy for.
When you’re planning a special meal, you want everything to be just right.
There is something so festive and satisfying about enjoying cheese and wine at parties.
Hosting an at-home wine tasting is a great way to gather your friends over the holidays and do something fun and memorable.
If you’re tasked with making a dish for a holiday potluck, you might be wondering if you should bring the same old tired spinach dip.
You have to admit there’s something especially festive about the idea of baking cookies around the holidays.
Are you the planner in your family or at the office? If you’re just not up for being the host or the organizer again this...
The holidays are just around the corner and in today’s globetrotting society, so many of us live far away from our families and friends.
If you’re the type of person who throws awesome holiday parties you’ll want to make sure your supplies are in order.
Looking for a one-of-a-kind gift idea that keeps giving year round? Consider gifting your special someone or valued employee a Vin Bin at Co-op Wine...
Looking for a little something different? Want a beverage that feels a little festive this holiday season? Fallentimber Meadery has some extra special offerings that...
It was an omen that became a family legend.
Our sommeliers are thrilled to share that The Social Collection wines, a Co-op Wine Spirits Beer exclusive, have recently made headlines for their award winning taste.
If you’ve ever seen the wine flick Sideways, you’ll know there are two wines that are pitted against each other; Pinot Noir and Merlot.
The colour blue has had a long and fascinating history. While blue is one of the primary colours, and the top ‘favourite’ colour of people...
While many of us might have that dream of running away and buying a winery, it actually takes a tonne of work and many years...
You'd think a winery with a name like Red Rooster might have a feathery mascot on site, ready to crow the arrival of visitors.
You’ve got to respect a person who’s not afraid to air their own dirty laundry.
Plenty of us take a vacation, then try to recreate that magic when we get home.
Sword fighting isn’t usually a trait you’d associate with a wine entrepreneur. But Joseph Luckhurst is different from a lot of wine guys.
When he was born, Graham Nordin's father bought a case of port that bore the same name he'd just bestowed upon his son.
You may think naming a winery after the process of oxidizing decay is a bad idea.
Rosé sales may be booming in Alberta, but it was not always that way.
Red wine drinkers need some refreshment too!Let’s face it, the vast majority of Albertans love the big, bold, full throttle reds most of the year...
Whether you consider yourself a collector, connoisseur, or just someone who wants to learn more about wine, Co-op Wine Spirits Beer's new World of Wine...
For some people, just the mention of the word gin is enough to elicit groans, shudders and memories of the drink that earned the nicknames,...
Rosé wine seems less pretentious than white or red wine. You rarely hear anyone—even wine professionals—alienate others by going on and on about how pink...
This romantic region’s pink wines have never been so popular
If the last rosé you had was called white zinfandel, it’s time to get re-acquainted.
You’ve likely heard about the folks who dreamed of one day owning a winery, and end up buying one on a whim, with little to...
Like many folks in Calgary’s burgeoning brewing and distilling industry, Ross Alger started out making his own libations at home.
For some toddlers, learning how to say ‘butterfly’, or ‘banana’ might be a feat. But Dave Carson taught his three-year-old son some decidedly more complex words.
There’s not that many times in the year when you can enjoy a bright green cocktail without turning some heads, but St.
Justin Hall knows the wine business from the ground up. As Winemaker for Nk’Mip Cellars in B.C., he’s had his fair share of experiences in...
Have you ever hidden something away, saving it for just the right moment? Whether it’s a birthday present purchased in anticipation of a milestone age,...
You already know Co-op Wine Spirits Beer as the place you can pick up everything from a great Wednesday wine, to a special celebratory bottle.
Whether you’re whipping up a few drinks for you and your date after a Valentine’s Day dinner, hosting a single ladies night in, or you’re...
When Uncommon Cider set out to make an Alberta-centric cider they knew they wanted to be unique, and keep their focus on western Canadian ingredients.
There’s a scene in the cartoon food film Ratatouille where the protagonist rat is tasting flavours; strawberries and cheese.
On January 25th, Scots around the world will celebrate the 260th birthday of legendary poet Robert “Robbie” Burns.
B.C. has some of Canada’s best wine growing territory. Summerhill Estate Winery has been growing grapes and producing wines in British Columbia since 1991.
Do you take sugar in your coffee? How many? One? Maybe two or three? Would you drink your coffee with six, or even ten sugars...
We love cocktails that give people unexpected, but pleasant surprises. Using champagne, sparkling wine or prosecco is a perfect way to set a festive tone...
Hockey fans know Mario Lemieux for many reasons. The hockey great’s best game was also one that was voted one of the greatest hockey moments...
The holidays are for dressing up – how about dressing up our drinks for the festive season too?
Sure, wine is great by itself, but did you know you can also use it to create delicious cocktails that you and all of your...
When we think of cognac, brandy and port, sometimes we think these are outdated libations, served in the 60’s and 70’s at lavish retro cocktail...
Need a bottle of wine to bring to a holiday celebration, dinner or the office holiday wine pool? Don't just pick up something cheap, or familiar.
Tucked away in a nondescript industrial zone in Calgary’s Bonnybrook-Alyth area in the city’s southeast is the largest distiller in Alberta.
The holiday season is a time to celebrate, and celebrations usually include some great mixed drinks.
There’s something about brown liquor that makes you feel all warm inside.
When it comes to the international wine industry, you might assume that wine makers from all over thew world are aching to move to France...
It may seem odd for a family to take on a business where the workers could kill you.
As the weather gets crisper and the leaves begin to turn, it’s time to prepare gratifying seasonal drinks that’ll warm you from the inside out.
You’ve probably never really noticed them dotting landscapes, hugging fence lines, or edging yards and parks before.
Thanksgiving is the perfect time to get together with family and friends, and while there’s always lots of catching up to do, once that’s over,...
There are two kinds of vodka people: the purists who seek out the finest, clearest, crispest, near-flavourless vodka for making the perfect chilled martini, and...
So many wine drinkers dream of running away from their dull daily lives and starting a winery.
Bryce Parsons is on a mission: to rid the world of awful gin memories.
When some products write ‘harvested by hand’ or ‘family owned and operated’ on their labels, they’re reaching.
Alberta’s burgeoning spirits industry is an amazing thing. Thanks to changes in liquor laws a few years ago, more and more Albertans have been able...
We all know how refreshing a cold cocktail can be on a hot summer’s day.
It might seem unusual to draw parallels between working a drilling rig in Alberta’s oil patch and distilling liquor, but as it turns out, they’re...
There’s no doubt about it – it’s hot! Typical piña coladas and shaken margaritas are always a great way to quench that summer thirst, but...
Summer is in full swing and patios, terraces, and backyards are the entertainment venue of choice.
The Calgary Stampede is many things; officially it's a chance to take in the rodeo and celebrate community spirit through shows, rides, events, and pancake breakfasts.
If you're struggling with what to get your dad as a Father's Day gift this year because he's one of those dads who has everything...
Everyone dreams of quitting their job and doing their dream gig, but few people actually have the gumption to pull it off once, let alone twice.
With some movies coming out this season, you might have superheroes on the mind.
Not many families can say their passion is moonshine.
There's something so summery about Rosé. This wine which ranges from blush to raspberry-hued evokes the colour of garden blooms, dusky summer sunsets and fresh...
Do you find wine enjoyable, but intimidating? With wine regions spanning the globe, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all the choices out there.
Easter is when families spend time together and often share a big meal.
For many Canadians, St Patrick’s Day is an excuse to wear green, while kids cut shamrocks from paper and fashion cardboard leprechaun hats.
Co-op Wine Spirits Beer is more than just a store. It’s an experience. Shop here and you’ll get education, assistance, and great customer service.
The Academy Awards or the Oscars are known as the biggest night in Hollywood.
February may seem like the dead of winter, but it's actually a month of wonderful celebrations.
It's the sporting event that outdoes all other sporting events — with the possible exception of the World Cup of soccer, some might say.
It's resolution time! And if yours is to make smarter choices and maybe cut back on some vices, we've got some ideas when it comes...
The food is picked out, your place is all set up, you even have a sweet playlist ready.
With so much activity going on in the house, so many people to entertain, and so many timers and buzzers and pots to watch, the...
Pinot Noir is said to be one of the most difficult, yet rewarding grapes to grow.
You don’t need to be a pro bartender to make a show-stealing cocktail this holiday season.
Many visitors to our stores are unaware of the world of champagne alternatives for every taste and budget, because champagne has become a catch-all term...
What does a gift card, a rare bottle of scotch, and a taster pack of beer all have in common? They all make great gifts,...
Handling all the drinks for your holiday party can be daunting.
Pumpkin, apples and cinnamon is what comes to mind when I think of Fall drinks.
There is nothing better to sip on during the cold festive season than a warm glass of mulled wine.
As the nights get a little cooler and you begin to reach for a sweater for the first time in a while, you may notice...
Whether it’s their award-winning Syrah or a unique blend from their small lots program, Sandhill Estate Vineyard does not disappoint.
Prosecco is one of my all-time favourite beverages to sip on in the summer, or anytime of the year for that matter.
There’s nothing better to sip on in the sun than a crisp, cold glass of Rosé wine.
For the fifth year in a row, Co-op Wine Spirits Beer is hosting their World of Whisky Festival that brings together top international whiskies, industry...
There are many ways to serve whisky: neat, on the rocks, or in a fancy cocktail like a Manhattan or Old Fashioned.
The Cider Insider
Alberta Whisky Canadian laws state that whisky must be aged for a minimum of three years.
ARGENTINA AND ALBERTA: KINDRED COWBOY SPIRITS
This week, Canadians will celebrate the 150th anniversary of our dominion formation, when the country established its confederation in 1867.
As the end of our journey exploring Canada’s bounty of alcoholic beverages draws near, we want to go out with a splash.
It's known as Canada's left coast and if you've spent any time out there you'll know B.C. has a whole different vibe.
As we explore all the different ways to toast Canada’s 150th, the wines of BC loom large, and for very good reasons.
From gin, to vodka and even that favourite of the tropics, rum, Alberta is producing an amazing variety of spirits.
It’s been 150 years since Canada’s Confederation, and a notable reason to celebrate our great country.
We’ve got the rolling prairies, the towering Rockies and a reputation for being the friendliest province in the country.
How about something a little out of the ordinary to toast Canada’s 150th – wine from Alberta.
When it comes to beating the heat of the summer we can rely on some tried, tested and trusted wine styles to keep our palates...
For whisky drinkers, there is a distinguished history that is truly Canadian.
A good cocktail is the perfect way to celebrate any holiday and with our nations 150th birthday upon us, I've combed the country for some...
When we think of the Prairies, we think rolling hills, miles upon miles of wheat, soybeans or corn blowing in the wind and a horizon...
There’s more than just scotch at the new World of Whisky store in downtown Calgary.
In this year of celebrating 150 years of our great nation, we will pause and reflect on many things that make our nation great. Like hockey.
Ontario is home to dozens of successful, unique, and award-winning distilleries.
For some, it's the de facto centre of the universe for Canada, but others cast a more wary eye on Ontario, which can often be...
The perfect way to celebrate Canada’s birthday? With reds and whites of course.
Quebec plays a starring role in Canada’s history (some of Canada’s earliest settlements were Quebec City in 1608, and Montreal in 1642).
Some of the most famous 'Canadian' foods have their origins in La Belle Province.
As we get ready to celebrate 150 years of Confederation, there are great beverages that have marked good times over the years, including the Pop Shoppe.
This unique, artisanal micro-distillery has earned a reputation as a ‘must see’ for tourists and locals alike! Located in Montreal’s Sud-Ouest district, Cirka distillery is...
When the world’s largest ice cubes float past your door each day, you might have a different outlook on life, and cocktails.
There is a long-standing tradition on Canada's East Coast. When there's a celebration to be had, Maritimers throw a kitchen party or ceilidh (pronounced kay-lee).
Canada’s Maritime provinces aren’t just known for their amazing seafood, but also their love of spirits.
Calgary Co-op's World of Whisky store sells some of the rarest and most expensive bottles of scotch in the world.
PUNCH ROMAINE As served in First Class on the RMS Titanic1egg white1 ounce white rum1 ounce white wine1/2 ounce simple syrup1/2 ounce lemon juice1 ounce...
It's time to break out the bubbly at Co-op. Mike Roberts, Co-op's Sommelier Manager was the overall winner at the city's annual Iron Sommelier Competition,...
Cinco de Mayo - or the fifth of May – is a celebration to commemorate the Mexican army’s 1862 victory during the Franco-Mexican War.
Syrah or Shiraz great for the Grilling Season.
Expansive, not Expensive!
Taking Another Look as Beaujolais Wine
WHAT CAN THE COLOUR OF YOUR WINE TELL YOU?
Calgary is now home to one of the most unique whisky retailers in North America.
KING OF WINES. WINE OF KINGS.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT STEMWARE TO MAKE YOUR WINE SING
Just like your mother always told you, “There are some words that are simply inappropriate to use.”
It’s the first of its kind on Canada and was nearly three years in the making.
What’s your style?
POPPING THE CORK ON THE THREE WAYS TO CREATE SPARKLING WINE
You Can Escape the Winter Blahs
Pairing with tricky food styles doesn't have to put a halt to a great food and wine experience.
Are you feeling confused and mystified by all the "rules" of food and wine pairing? Let us help with our hints and tips.
Rum has long been known as the spirit of the Caribbean Islands and Latin America and is one of the most enjoyed and loved spirits...
Sipping on a warm coffee cocktail at the end of your day, or after a great meal is one of life's decadent pleasures.
Wine and chocolate can be paired together to create a perfect harmony in your mouth, but when pairing it is important to keep in mind...
We love to raise your spirits.There are endless possibilities for enjoying the offerings of the world.
Mixologist and bartenders the world over have been making some of our most beloved cocktails with this juniper infused spirit since the original cocktail era...