Our holiday wine and spirits sale, ‘Tis the Season, features Port, Sherry, and Irish Whiskey – just a few of our favorite things! – for 15% off with the purchase of 6 or more bottles, mixed or matched in any size!
Port and Sherry
Port and Sherry were made for the holidays! They can be best enjoyed before or after dinner. A slightly chilled fino or “character” sherry is a dry and nutty flavored treat that whets the appetite, warms the soul, and feels like a warm hug, making it the quintessential aperitif. It pairs beautifully with light appetizers including phyllo wrapped brie with slow-cooked spiced cranberries or even hot pepper jelly! Sherry can be very dry to very sweet with many factors that can influence the production, but here is a general guide to help you choose.
- Fino: Light and dry – perfect as an aperitif.
- Manzanilla: Very dry and light. The driest sherry.
- Amontillado: Rich, nutty, and dry. Best after dinner.
- Oloroso: Full-bodied and rich–usually dry. Best after dinner.
- Cream: Light, sweet. Enjoy anytime!
- Pedro Ximenez: Extremely sweet, syrup-like dessert Sherries. Best with rich desserts.
Though fairly rare, chilled white Port is a wonderful aperitif. Most Port is best consumed after dinner with full-bodied cheeses or rich desserts.
Tawny Ports are magnificent with milk chocolate or caramel/toffee-flavored desserts (think hazelnut, chocolate torte, or creme brulee) and are the epitome of Christmas treats with flavors of butterscotch, hazelnuts, candied orange rind, and a cornucopia of other rich and opulent flavors. Think of it as “Christmas in a glass”. They are semi-sweet, rich, and honeyed for a luxurious and decadent after-dinner beverage.
Vintage or LBV (Late Bottled Vintage) ports are inky black and very sweet with flavors of raisins, prunes, grapes, and taste of a medicinal flavored richness. They pair exquisitely with dark chocolate–with or without nuts–but truly thrive with blue cheese and other dry full-bodied well-aged cheeses.
Whiskey comes from the Gaelic Irish (and Scottish) words meaning “water of life”.
Though they share many similarities, compared to Scotch whiskey–which is made from malted barley–Irish whiskey is made from unmalted barley and has a cleaner flavor profile with, in general, though not always—the absence of smoky peat. They are known for their smoothness and mixability in whiskey cocktails. Where Scotch is distilled twice, Irish is distilled three times in small, long-necked copper stills which help produce a “cleaner” and smoother product.
Scotch whisky does not use the letter “e” which Irish does; hence, Irish whiskey and Scottish whisky. Experts say this generated centuries ago to help distinguish between the two countries’ products.
Irish Whiskey in Cocktails
While Irish coffee will probably always be the “breakfast eye-opener” there are other famous cocktails that use Irish whiskey such as “Whiskey and Ginger” which blends with ginger beer or ginger ale. Then there’s the “Irish Gold” which adds peach liqueur and a splash of orange juice. There’s the “Whiskey Cider Julep” and of course the “Irish Martini”, among many others!
Pick up one of our numerous wonderful Irish whiskeys for the holidays at a store near you and connect with The Tasting Room for more great holiday wine and spirits ideas!