With holiday gatherings filling my calendar I’m always looking for a great hostess gift idea or a new bevy to add to my party list. Here are a few of my favourite picks for this holiday season.
Celebrate the Lunar New Year with these limited releases from Haywire. Created in Summerland, BC., the Lunar Red ($22.90) is made from Gamay Noir grapes with a small amount of Syrah. Pair it with stir fried veggies, grilled sable fish, or BBQ duck. The Lunar White ($19.90) pairs well with steamed seafood soup, fried noodles or rice, or is wonderful on its own.
Innis & Gunn Toasted Oak IPA
While I’m not a beer drinker myself, I did enlist the help of one or two people in my life that are (thanks little bro) and this was a fave. Packing the punch of a true British hop, the Toasted Oak is matured for 41 days over oak, giving it a rich, rounded quality. It recently took Silver at the World Beer Championships scoring 88 points. It is available to purchase as a whopping 330ml bottle for $2.79 at liquor stores.
Each year Okanagan Crush Pad opens its doors to the recipient of the British Columbia Sommelier of the Year award and invites that person to create his or her won wine label at the crush pad facility. Samantha Rahn is the winner for 2013 and she, through the Okanagan Wine Campus program, has created Samantha Syrah 2013, a medium-bodies and robust wine from the Cerqueira Vineyard in Oliver, BC. Layered with fruity notes and a hint of spice, this wine continues to improve with age. It is available at private retail stores or direct online for $24.90.
Fernie Brewing Co. Winter Craft Collection
A brand new craft collection released in October 2014, the Winter Craft Collection features four different products (3 of each in the case) including The Griz Pale Ale, Big Caboose Red Ale, Lone Wolf IPA, and First Trax Brown Ale. The seasonal release is available at dozens of private liquor stores across BC.
I’m a recent convert to red wines and this is one of my new favourites! A blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, it features aromas and flavours of plum and cherry. In my humble wine opinion…it’s a big, bold wine that is fabulous! Abundant in tannins it is suggested that you decant before serving and pair it with heartier foods. Kalala Aspire is available in VQA stores for $19.95.
As you’re out celebrating the season, we’d like to remind you to please plan a safe ride home. Whether it’s a taxi, a designated driver, or Operation Red Nose, we want you to get home safe.
May your holidays be Merry & Bright!