8 Great Holiday Wines & Spirits (Video)

On CTV’s Your Morning, we chat about the holidays. As they approach, we look forward to entertaining friends and family.

What’s a good drink to serve to guests when they arrive?


Sparkling wine is the drink of celebration, especially at this time of year. I’d recommend these two:







Township 7 Vineyards & Winery Seven Stars Sirius 2015
Okanagan Valley, British Columbia BC, V.Q.A., Canada









PondView Estate Winery Bella Terra Sparkling Rosé 2020
Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada





Both are zesty and refreshing with notes of green apple and freshly baked bread. The bonus that these are both low in alcohol at 10-11% and they’ll pair well with any nibbles you have, from cheese to charcuterie.





When we’re planning the drinks for a holiday gathering, how do we know how much to buy and what to buy?


Count on one drink per guest per hour, and up to two drinks per hour if guests are staying overnight or have pre-arranged transportation home. Some people also tend to drink more during sit-down dinners.


However, you will want to be conservative with your estimates so that you have an adequate supply rather than run short. One alcoholic drink is equivalent to one bottle of beer, five ounces of wine or two ounces of hard liquor or liqueurs.


When it comes to wine, I recommend what I call switch-hitter wines: they’re not too heavy or light, yet they’re packed with flavour such as:






Thirty Bench Small Lot Riesling 2018
Beamsville Bench, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada











Longshot Pinot Noir 2019
California, United States





The bonus here is that these will both pair beautifully with turkey dinner as well as most hors d’oeuvres.




These wines also are a great “house pour,” the drink you offer to those who don’t have a preference. You will want to stock about twice as much of this drink as the others. With beer, stock an equal mix of domestic, imported and light.


What about for guests who do want something more full-bodied?


Then I’d suggest:






Frescobaldi Nipozzano Vecchie Viti Chianti Rúfina Riserva 2015
Tuscany D.O.C.G., Italy









Benziger Sonoma County Merlot
Sonoma County, California, United States







What about liqueurs and spirits?







Baileys Irish Cream











Kahlua Coffee Flavoured Liqueur








What about those not drinking alcohol?


Offer a non-alcoholic punch and soft drinks as well as juice and milk for the children.

For those drinking nonalcoholic beverages, count on two drinks per guest per hour, taking into account the drink preferences of your guests, including children.


Even those drinking alcohol will want to pace themselves with some non-alcoholic beverages such as sparkling water and fruit juice.


Offering a fruit punch or mulled soft cider before the meal to mix with alcohol will also cost less than a full bar and will stretch the alcohol further. Plus it makes you a responsible host who cares about guests getting home safely.


Thank you, Natalie. You can find all the drinks Natalie mentioned today, plus her courses at nataliemaclean.com.






Posted with permission from CTV Saskatoon.







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