Weather Experts Say Iceageddon is Coming. Here’s the Booze You Need to Make It Through
It may be April, but Old Man Winter isn’t done with us yet. Hunker down with these warming drinks for the (hopefully) last icy weekend of the year.
Is it just me, or is the Weather Man a bit of a buzz-kill these days? Current nasty gossip implies that as we approach the fourth week of Spring, as much as 20 mm of freezing rain will blow into Toronto.
And while that bleak forecast does indeed blow, there are some silver linings to be found in the frosty cloud. For one, a legitimate reason to spend all weekend in your pyjamas, indulging wildly in luscious and rich winter drinks. I look at it quite like this: if Mother Nature can gratify her childish whims, so can I. And anything she can do, I can do better. Wintery hedonism awaits!
Rich and Inviting Wines
It’s nearly mid-April and by now we should be sipping on bottomless glasses of delicate, baby pink Rosé and crisp, lip-smacking Sauvignon Blanc. Thwarted, however temporarily, means instead of these citrus- and berry-driven thirst quenchers, we need to head back to the cellar, digging out those weighty reds and lavish whites to pair with the roasts and stews that will undoubtedly be in many cooks’ pots this weekend.
Henry of Pelham “Speck Family Reserve” Baco Noir 2016
$24.95 Vintages 461699
A true home grown hero, Baco Noir is a hybrid grape that is pretty much exclusive to Ontario winemaking. And no one does it better than Henry of Pelham. This is top-quality stuff, and to me reminiscent of Old World, rustic reds hailing from Rhone or Italy. With notes of juicy dark berries over top of a savoury gaminess and smoky spice, this is a perfect accompaniment to hearty fare like beef stew, rack of lamb or prime rib. – 90
Château Grivière 2011
Medoc, Bordeaux, France
$24.95 Vintages 469783
Rich and powerful with a mix of savoury and sweet aromas combining beef bouillon, soy sauce and spice with deep plum and fresh blackberry. The palate is plush with moderate tannin, and attractive flavours of campfire ash, wet earth, leather, smoke and juicy cassis and black raspberry. A very fine match for braised beef, or steak au poivre. – 91
Kim Crawford Pinot Gris 2017
Marlborough, New Zealand
$19.95 Vintages 369850
We recently featured this lush and textured white at Wine School and the class went crazy for it. Pinot Gris is the richer, more Rubenesque cousin to the leaner Pinot Grigio, and this shows enticing aromas and flavours of ripe peach, spiced honey, jasmine and yellow apple. Pair with seared scallops, butter-poached lobster or pasta with sausage. – 89
The Mint Juleps and Gin and Tonics will just have to wait. Listen, I don’t like it anymore than you, but I also don’t like freezing my tush off, so when the ice pelts down on the windows you can be sure I’ll be as snug as a bug in a rug with these hugs in a mug. Warming, aromatic, and deeply satisfying, there’s nothing left to do but curl up by the fire with a good book.
Hot Buttered Bourbon Apple Cider
Easily the best drink of the cold weather, this boozy, sweet-but-not-too-sweet, warm cider has made the rounds at my place for years. And the aroma that fills my condo as it heats on the stove is nearly as good as the drink itself.
Buttered Rum Hot Chocolate
Clearly, I have a thing for buttery drinks. I’m not going to defend myself, and once you taste either this little chocolate vixen or the apple cider mentioned above, I’m a firm believer you will also be on Team Butter Drink.