SHARP & Mark Anthony
It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is already here, but it’s not all bad news. Quality time with friends and family is enough to look forward to on its own, of course, but it doesn’t hurt that Thanksgiving hits during autumn’s prime: trees burn with orange and red leaves, but bare branches are still a few weeks away. Strolling through a sun-soaked apple orchard, feeling a leaf crunch beneath your boot — that’s what fall weekends are for.
Before we can truly unwind, though, we’ve got to figure out what to bring. If you’re like us, you’re too busy to spend a whole afternoon with a turkey. There’s no need to resign yourself to the side dish squad just yet, though: the best meals start (and end) with a well-paired wine. This year, we’re pouring out some quality sips. Serve a cocktail with Dillon’s sure-to-please spirits or handpick wines to pair with each course — these drinks bring delight to every seat at the table.
Austin Hope Cabernet Sauvignon
Inside this tinted bottle, you’ll find an equally gorgeous ruby-coloured wine; the Austin Hope Cabernet Sauvignon has a full-bodied finish, with notes of black cheery, clove, blackberry spice, and a touch of smokiness to match its deep rouge hue. This red wine was ripened in sync with fiery fall leaves, resulting in a rich colour to parallel autumn’s palette. The smooth pour complements steak and other roast meats.
Brumont Chateau Bouscasse
Any bottle by Brumont bears the unmistakable mark of the Brumont cultivation method — a process in which they create “an agro-ecological viticulture” by strengthening the vine’s organic defences. Think of it like a community of grapes with super-strong immune systems; the wine comes from the healthiest of healthy fruits. It’s no spring chicken, either. By the time the Chateau Bouscasse splashes into your glass, it will have spent a whole year aged in an oak barrel, followed by another two years inside a foudre (wooden cask) before being bottled and — another two years later — hitting the shelves. This five-year process culminates in a black fruit and spice flavour that makes an excellent match for red meats and spicy dishes.
Soaked in the Californian sun, Josh Chardonnay comes in a beautiful light gold shade. Its sweet-but-dry taste shines next to roast chicken and fresh vegetables, so it’s perfect for those on the farm-to-table vibe this year. Fruity, tropical flavours dance atop lower notes of oak for a truly comprehensive feel.
Graham’s Late Bottled Vintage Port
‘Vintage’ isn’t just for clothes. In the case of Graham’s 2017 Late Bottled Vintage Port, it refers to a port that’s been bottled young and aged inside (a label that only 2% of port wines can claim, by the way). The rugged terrain of the Douro Valley, home to Graham’s prime-site vineyards, had one of the driest years on record in 2017. Crops were significantly smaller, with a much shorter season. This resulted in a highly-concentrated blend of freshness and acidity, a flavour that Graham’s quickly declared a classic. You’re better off enjoying the port as an after dinner sip— with such a rich taste, it’s fitting to pour with dessert or on its own.
CedarCreek Estate Pinot Noir Rose
The CedarCreek Pinot Noir Rosé comes from a healthy vine, fertilized by the spring rain and toasted to perfection during July and August. The iridescent bottle is fitting for a flavour as full-bodied and fresh as the Pinot Noir — light, flowery notes accent the ultra-dry taste, complemented by an irresistible sweetness courtesy of wild strawberries and grapefruit. It’s a brilliant opener for appetizers like garden salads or vinegar-and-oil brushed breads.
Glendalough 7 YO Single Malt Mizunara
Cross-continental collaboration brought about the Glendalough 7 YO Single Malt Mizunara; specifically, Irish single malt and Japanese oak. “Mizunara” translates to “water oak,” a name befitting of an extra-hydrated tree — it takes a full three years to dry out the wood. Still, it’s worth the wait: Mizunara oak casks infuse Irish single malt with rare twists like dark-orange-chocolate, cinnamon, and sandalwood. It took the world of liquor by storm, winning a double gold at both the 2022 San Francisco & New York International Spirits Competitions. Enjoy a dram once you’ve set the table; you’ve earned it.
Martin’s Lane Simes Vineyard Riesling
Sweet-scented, juicy notes practically ooze out of Riesling white grapes, a variety that originated in the Rhine area of Germany. The sleek green bottle of Martin’s Lane Simes Vineyard Riesling certainly does its ingredients justice, boasting a flowery scent that floats off the glass. An extra-long season gave the grapes plenty of time to ripen before turning into a strong but delicate drink. The off-dry wine is a great addition to Thanksgiving poultry and vegetable dishes.
If your Thanksgiving supper includes side dishes like pasta and garlic bread, why not grab an Italian liqueur to match? After all, Dillon’s take on the Amaretto warrants a special occasion. To get the blend, Niagara German prune plums spend a minimum of three months macerating inside a column of distilled rum. Then, a host of spunky flavours — including cherry bark, sarsaparilla, apricot kernels, and orange peels (fresh and bitter) — mix with the thick plum-and-rum concentrate, which pulls out their flavour in a bold, yet natural style. The eclectic fruitiness can be served as a beautiful opener or a solid dessert sip alongside a scoop of ice cream.