Thanksgiving may look a bit different this year, but one thing that certainly won’t change is the excuse to pair grown-up beverages with our favourite comfort food. Whether you’ll be making a dinner for two this year or are planning on feeding a small group of friends within your bubble, make sure to get the right drinks for the occasion — no matter how small.
Fall, and Thanksgiving in particular, inspires us to indulge in more hearty, warming foods, and the same goes for what we want to drink. Rather than the hefeweizens and saisons we’ve been drinking all summer, the turn in seasons inspires us to go for chestnut ales, pumpkin-infused craft beers, crisp white wines, and sparkling cavas.
Available at local BC Liquor Stores, these bevvies put us in the mood for harvest season celebrations, candlelit dinners, blustery fall walks, and thick wool sweaters — just the vibe we want this Thanksgiving.
If you haven’t tried Whistler Brewing Co.’s Chestnut Ale, what they call a “true reflection of fall,” then you’re missing out! With notes of autumnal spices, caramel, and a nutty sweetness, this beer truly is the epitome of fall — evocative of chilly fall walks and chestnut vendors on city streets. It goes well with a cheese plate, a spiced roast turkey, and pretty much everything else you might be craving on Thanksgiving.
If we don’t drink at least one pumpkin beer, did fall really happen? As close to iconic as you can get, Parallel 49’s take on pumpkin beer is also one of our favourites. It sets itself apart from the pumpkin crowd through its traditional Oktoberfest lager technique, where a large portion of the grain is Munich malt, with both pumpkin and pumpkin pie spices used in the mash. Translation: it’s really good, and it should definitely be served alongside your pecan pie.
Aged for seven years in ex-bourbon barrels in Ontario, then finished in French oak red wine barrels in the Okanagan Valley, and finally hanging out in Hungarian oak, this whisky has taken a long, cross-country journey to finally end up in your glass. The rich, bold, and complex taste means it’s the perfect whisky to enjoy neat, on the rocks, or in a seasonal cocktail of your making — especially as a precursor to the big meal.
Chardonnay is way more than just your mom’s favourite wine — it’s actually the perfect white wine to pair with fall comfort food. Penfold’s Koonunga Hill Chardonnay, coming from South Eastern Australia, follows the winery’s philosophy of blending grapes from multiple vineyards in multiple regions, resulting in a consistently bright wine with notes of apple, pear, and balanced oak. Let the wine take the lead on dinner and pair it with a mushroom risotto or roast chicken.
Sourced from both Summerland and Penticton vineyards, this wine couldn’t be any more BC if it tried. The well-balanced white features notes of peach and pear on the nose, while the palate picks up on its qualities of melon and honey. The slightly spicy, earthy finish makes it the ideal choice for everything on the Thanksgiving table, but it will go particularly well with butternut squash.
The perfect antidote to that feeling of sleepy heaviness you get after eating way too much turkey? This wine. With a fruity, berry quality and just a kiss of citrus, this rosé wine is a bright counterpart to the richness of a Thanksgiving meal. Plus, the pastel pink hue will look extra pretty on your candlelit tablescape.
Rather than going for a full-bodied, tannin-heavy red, opt instead for something like CedarCreek’s Pinot Noir, which leans more on the juicy, lighter side. With serious black cherry, herbs, and toasty oak vibes, this wine is fun and quaffable and happens to go well with a diverse menu. Whether you’re serving the classics like crispy brussels sprouts and stuffing or bucking tradition with more unconventional dishes, this wine will play nice.
It’s not a celebration without something sparkling, and despite the unique circumstances this year, we’re still in the mood to celebrate. Go for a Spanish take on sparkling with a bottle of Villa Conchi Cava Brut Seleccion, a versatile and crowd-friendly sparkling wine with aromas of lemon, herbs, and earth. “Brut” means dry, and this one has a rich depth before finishing with a nice bone-dry finale.
When you’re shopping for Thanksgiving groceries this year, pop by your local BC Liquor Store to stock up on all your fall-inspired beverages. No matter who you’re eating and drinking with this Thanksgiving, be safe, and remember to please enjoy responsibly.