Co-op Blog

Eat, DRINK, and Be Merry: Our Favorite Holiday Beer & Wine

You’ve got your holiday food menu down, but what about the drinks? If you need pairing ideas or just want something new to pour in your glass, we’ve put together a list of the best beer, cider, and wine, to enjoy this holiday season.

Winter Ales & Ciders for Christmas & Thanksgiving

When it comes to choosing a beer for a winter holiday gathering, winter-style ales and cider are a great place to start. These beers are generally dark with a medium to high ABV.

Kulshan Brewing Kitten Mittens

kitten mittens

Aside from having an absolutely adorable name, Kulshan’s Kitten Mittens is a medium-bodied, winter ale that’ll compliment any holiday meal. With subtle flavors of chocolate, dates, and figs, this 8% ABV beer features Apollo, Willamette, and Fuggle hops.

Boundary Bay Cabin Fever

If there was ever a year we need to embrace our cabin fever, it’s 2020. With a rich and malty flavor, this winter ale from Bellingham’s Boundary Bay is made with water from the Lake Whatcom Watershed and features notes of light toffee, chocolate, and malt. It’s full-bodied, super smooth, and bound to warm you up, especially if you’re enjoying it by the fire.

Samuel Smith’s Winter Welcome Ale

winter welcome beer

This limited edition winter ale features a full-body flavor that is bound to be a favorite among a variety of your guests. With an ABV of 6% and a rich malty flavor, this beer is recommended to be served at 51° F, so you might want to skip the fridge altogether.

Tieton Seasonal Cranberry Cider

Whatever the occasion, this local cranberry-based cider should be on the list! It pairs perfectly with turkey, and is a nice touch for a holiday brunch (if you’re a beverage-before-noon kind of person)! This Tieton Cider Works Cranberry Cider is both sweet and tart, and has an ABV of 6.9%.

Yonder Palisades Blackberry Sage Cider

yonder hard cider

Woman-owned and based in Wenatchee, Yonder is fairly new to the cider-making business, but we encourage you to give their blackberry sage cider a shot this holiday season.

A little tangy, a little tart, and full of that classic Washington State apple flavor, Palisades is a cider that’s made up of fuji, Honeycrisp, Roxbury Russet, Dabinett, and a few other various red fleshed apples. The blackberries are Washington grown, too!

More Winter Ales to Consider

  • Boundary Bay Scotch Ale
  • Kulshan Brewing Cherry Gose
  • pFreim Belgian Style Strong Blonde
  • Lindeman’s Framboise Raspberry Lambic

Thanksgiving Wines

Gearing up for Turkey Day? Or pouting because there isn’t one? Whether you’re having a small sit-down dinner or the family likes to gather around the TV to enjoy some football, we’ve got some wine recommendations that are sure to do the trick.

Our Beer & Wine expert hand-selected all of the wines listed below because they pair well with turkey, but if there’s no bird in your future, they’re still great for sipping!

La Petite Perriere Pinot Noir (France)

la petite noir wine

Featuring aromas of blackberry and blueberry with a cherry-driven finish, this French Pinot Noir has a beautiful ruby color that looks gorgeous on the Thanksgiving table.

Featuring 100% pinot noir grapes, this wine has received a score of 88 points in Wine Spectator.

Rivera Primitivo Salento (Italy)

Best served with beef or venison, this rich and intense red wine is grown in Italy and it made up of primitivo grapes.

This particular grape varietal results in a wine that’s fruit-driven and inky.

Villa Wolf Gewürztraminer (Germany)

villa wolf wine

Maybe you’re looking for a wine to pair with your pumpkin pie. We’ve got it!

This German white wine is light and fruity with a juicy texture and a delicate aroma, perfect for pairing with a sweet and decadent slice of pie!

Lingot Martin Bugey-Cerdon Sparkling Gamay (France)

Although the wines we’ve listed so far are red wine, that’s not to say that rosé isn’t fit for a holiday gathering!

This sparking rosé has a low alcohol content and a fine light bubble, with flavors of red fruits.

This bottle does a good job of balancing sugar with acidity to result in a refreshing drink that’s perfect for toasting.

More Thanksgiving Wines to Consider

  • Blain Brouilly Gamay (France)
  • Rivera Primitivo Salento (Italy)
  • Jacques Bourguignon Pinot Noir (France)
  • Crous St Martin Chateanneuf Du Pape (France)
  • Chateau D’Orschwihr Dry Alsace Riesling (France)

More Holiday Wines

Whether you’re enjoying a beef roast, a spiralized ham, or something vegetarian, we’ve got a holiday wine for that!

Lobo Hills Right Bank Red

lobo hills right bank red

Pairs well with beef

If you want to keep your wine selection local, consider this red wine blend from Lobo Hills in the Columbia Valley.

Made up of merlot, cabernet sauvignon, petit verdot, and cabernet franc grape varietals, this Bordeaux-style blend is well-rounded and full-bodied.

Featuring aromas of plum, fig, and honey, this wine pairs well with beef stew and portobello mushrooms.

Whidbey Island Cab Franc

Pairs well with beef

This classic Carbernet Franc has aromas of violets and pencil shavings with contrasting bright flavors of blueberry, plum, and black currant.

Made up of grapes grown in Yakima Valley, this wine has a silky texture that’s perfect to enjoy before or during your meal.

Elqui Red Blend (Chile)

Pairs well with beef

This red blend from Chile is made up of 50% Carmenere, 26% Malbec, and 14% Syrah grape varietals, resulting in a deep and dark glass of wine.

With flavors of black currant and earth, spicy minerals, this is a rich and mouth-filling wine with a velvety finish.

Adaras Organic Tinto

adaras organic tinto

Pairs well with ham

Made up of 80% Garnacha Tintorera and 20% Syrah grape varietals, this red wine has a fruity aroma and a dry texture on the palate.

This cherry red wine is organic and vegan-friendly with a good balance of fruitiness and mineral flavors similar to that of limestone.

More Holiday Wines to Consider

  • Prunus Dao Private Reserve (Portugal) — pairs well with beef
  • Moncaro Organic Nero D’avola (Sicily) — pairs well with beef
  • Tomero Petite Sirah (Argentina) — pairs well with beef
  • Coyote Canyon Barbera (WA) — pairs well with beef
  • Ferraton F Pere & Fils Samorens Cotes Du Rhone — pairs well with ham
  • La Croix Belle Carignole Rose’ (France) — pairs well with ham
  • Tread Lightly Pinotage — pairs well with ham

And just remember, if none of these beer or wine options sound interesting to you, swing by our wine department for even more suggestions! We’d be more than happy to help you find the perfect bottle to celebrate the holiday season. And as our beer and wine department manager says, “I don’t think there is any wrong beer or wine for any day of the year.”

By: Leigha

LeighaLeigha is the Marketing Assistant at the Skagit Valley Food Co-op.