Variety is the spice of life. Switch up your drink (at least for a night) in honor of cooler temps. We promise you won’t regret it.
The old adage goes that variety is the spice of life, and we’re not here to argue that point at all. Without variety we wouldn’t have so many wonderful dipping sauces in this world, or basic cable crime dramas to choose from. However, we also highly value being educated and savvy consumers who spend our money wisely. Long gone are the days of your early twenties when you could stomach mixing gin with root beer because it was all you had left over from the last house party.
No, now we need to know our dollars are being invested in exactly what we know we like. But if you do feel like you need to venture off the beaten path for the upcoming seasonal drinking, may we offer up some of our favorite alternatives to your staple libations.
If you’re a Miller Lite drinker… Try Goose Island 4 Star Pilsner
Tasting notes: fresh bread and a faint citrus-hop
Everyone likes to think of winter as “dark beer” season, they start pumpkin spicing and whiskey barrel aging everything under the damn sun. Anyone who knows that winter is actually Eating Season can tell you the importance of having a quality brew that’s not taking up too much prime real estate in your belly when it comes time for Thanksgiving seconds and thirds.
Goose Island nails it with their American and German hopped pilsner, lightly malted and bready flavors make you forget it’s technically a light beer and enough ABV for that buzz you’ll need to put up with your family post election.
If you’re a Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc drinker… Try Château de Saint-Martin Rosé
Tasting notes: bright pomegranate and warm aniseed
Jumping from a citric and grassy Sauv Blanc into a Rosé might not sound great on paper, rose can tend to lean a little sweet and juicy for Sauv Blanc drinkers. Château de Saint-Martin, whose vineyards in Taradeau, France have been managed predominantly by women since the 18th century, offers and exceptional, well-rounded, and affordable rosé that appeals to the wide range of white wine purists. You and your aunt can bond over your affinity for pink wine, just try to refrain from letting her know that white zinfandel is actual garbage water.
If You’re a Blue Moon Drinker… Try a Hoegaarden Belgian White Ale
Tasting notes: melted creamsicle and spicy coriander
Belgians are pretty up there on the list of acquired tastes when it comes to beer, few people start with Belgian Ales like Chimay Blue and immediately love them. One of the biggest misconceptions about Belgians is that they are all sediment ladled, booze rich ales aimed at “putting some hair on your chest.”
No, there are many stepping stones to that point and Hoegaarden is an excellent example. If you enjoy the sweet and wheaty citrus flavor of Blue Moon, the easy drinking and slightly spicy white ale will go down nicely…and please, no orange slices.
If you’re a Avalon Cabernet Sauvignon drinker… Try Francis Coppola Black Label Claret
Tasting notes: leather and Christmas baking spices
If you really want to wow the pants off everyone at Friendsgiving, order up a bottle of Francis Ford Coppola Black Label Claret. Not only will this exotic and rare varietal mystify and amaze everyone, the bottle comes wrapped in a gold fishnet body cling that looks like something from Frederick’s of Hollywood. What is Claret, you ask? Well…it’s actually just a fancy British word for a red wine from Bordeaux. So it might still seem exotic and rare provided your fellow party guests aren’t aspiring sommeliers, either way it’s a solid red wine for a dinner party…and I mean come on, gold fishnets.
If you’re a Jack Daniels drinker… Try Old Forester Bourbon
Tasting notes: spicy oak and smooth vanilla
Old Forester keeps the spirit of Kentucky bourbon alive, and despite being very inexpensive it manages to drop the lighter fluid aftertaste that you tend to experience with cheap bourbon. Whether you’re in the mood for Kentucky Mules or you’re planning on spiking the punch bowl at the office Christmas party, having a naturally spiced bourbon as the base is key. You’ve been waiting for the perfect time to ask for a raise, nothing wrong with being opportunistic.
If you’re a Patron Silver drinker… Try Olmeca Altos
Tasting notes: sweet and smokey
Even the most high end silver tequila is best when taken as one big sip. Patron has long reigned supreme of silver tequila land but we’re here to say that you’re better off forking over $50 for a good bottle of reposado to concoct your various tequila based potions, a decent and inexpensive bottle of silver will shoot just the same. Olmeca Altos is an excellent option; smokey, smooth, and sweet…just what you need on hand as you attempt to do your own gift wrapping at midnight the day before presents are due.