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For wine lovers looking to splurge, Milner recommends a bottle of 1982 Chateau Sociando-Mallet from Burgundy, France. Priced at $130, the Bordeaux is described as medium- to full-bodied with earthy, fruit flavors. The wine is expensive because of where and when it was made, but it goes well with any full turkey dinner, Milner says.
At the lower end of the price range, Pali Wine Co.’s 2010 Summit pinot noir has the body to pair well with rich holiday foods such as stuffing and gravy. This $30 California wine tastes of raspberry and cherry mixed with white pepper and other spices.
A good dessert wine that pairs well with the sweets on your menu can be difficult to find. Buller Wines’ fine tawny port ($19) is sweet without diminishing the tastes of other food and is made to be paired with pies or chocolate, according to Milner. The Australian wine has flavors of candied red fruit, roasted nuts, caramel, toffee and spice.
If you’re looking to show off your bartending skills, liven up your gathering with one of these simple recipes recommended by local bartenders.
The Snow Job
1 part dulce de leche
1 part butterscotch schnapps
2 parts eggnog
A favorite of the Union Pub bartenders, this take on the classic spiked eggnog is a sweet treat to add to your holiday party. Just mix and top with cinnamon or nutmeg.
Irish Apple Cider
To provide a warm drink that won’t take too long to prepare, Matt LeBarron of Granville Moore’s recommends this simple combination of cider and whiskey. Warm the cider in a slow cooker, sprinkle in cinnamon and add Irish whiskey to taste.
Diep 9 Cocktails
Diep 9 genever
Tonic water or club soda
Genever is a Belgian liquor that served as the precursor to gin, and Diep 9 comes in eight flavors: old grain, new grain, peach and apricot, apple, passion fruit, red currant, vanilla and chocolate. Mix with tonic water or club soda, or try the chocolate flavor alone as a dessert shot.