Songs and sips of the season

With less than a month to go before Christmas, I experienced my first holiday tunes recently while out exploring a few seasonal events.

And talk of what treats to make or buy has come up in conversation.

I am a bit of a stickler when it comes to pairing food and drinks, but I also enjoy pairing a piece of music with what’s both in my glass and on my plate. As you are prepping menus, decorating, or wrapping gifts, some suggestions that may bring the whole holiday experience together.

White Christmas by Bing Crosby screams for a glass of something smooth and silky while baking cookies, with hints of oak as you sit by the fireplace waiting for the oven timer. Chardonnay seems like a good choice. CheckMate Artisanal Winery has several bold chards. Grab some fresh, buttery shortcake and experiment.

The Hall and Oates version of Jingle Bell Rock has just enough of a beat to be jovial, but still relaxed. While decorating the tree (or sitting in an easy chair providing advise on light placement), sip on Apple Pie Punch, hot or cold.

Discovered on Pinterest a few years ago, the non-booze version is apple cider, ginger ale, apple slices. The adult version simply subs in hard cider for the juice and ginger ale. Try NOMAD’s version.

Gift wrapping? Hot gin and tonic: an ounce and half of tonic syrup (found at many locally distilleries), equal parts gin (more or less), top with hot water and a cinnamon stick. Throw in a lemon slice for vitamin C.

Try a gin from Okanagan Spirits or Ampersand Distilling. Pair with Frosty the Snowman.

Turning to red wines, the Eartha Kitt version of Santa Baby with a glass of Harper’s Trail Cabernet Franc to sip on while making your shopping list, which hopefully is a bit more reasonable than the list in the song and includes some charitable contributions.

My favourite Christmas album is by Barbra Streisand. Her rendition of Jingle Bells is enough to make your head spin with its changes in tempo. Listen to it on repeat through your earbuds while putting the outdoor lights up. It will speed you along in the cold weather.

Then, come inside for something I like to call an alcohocolate: a combo of hot chocolate and a libation. There are many recipes online for red wine-hot chocolates, but you might need a bourbon alcohocolate. Dark chocolate, a bit of honey, and lots of cream. Grab some almond bark.

And when your tasks for the day are done: Silent Night.

Option one, a glass of Syrah. Try Hillside Winery, Sandhill, or Vanessa Vineyard.

Option two: a glass of your favourite tea with a gingerbread cookie or mincemeat tart, because the classics never go out of style.


Comments are pre-moderated to ensure they meet our guidelines. Approval times will vary. Keep it civil, and stay on topic. If you see an inappropriate comment, please use the ‘flag’ feature. Comments are the opinions of the comment writer, not of Castanet. Comments remain open for one day after a story is published and are closed on weekends. Visit Castanet’s Forums to start or join a discussion about this story.

More Okanagan Taste articles

About the Author

A creative thinker with more than two decades of experience in communications, Allison is an early adopter of social and digital media, bringing years of work in traditional media to the new frontier of digital engagement marketing through her company, All She Wrote.

She is the winner of the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association's 2011 and 2012 awards for Social Media Initiative, an International LERN award for marketing, and the 2014 Penticton Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Award for Hospitality/Tourism.

Allison has amassed a following on multiple social networks of more than 30,000, frequently writes and about social media, food and libations as well as travel and events, and through her networks, she led a successful bid to bring the Wine Bloggers Conference to Penticton in June 2013, one of the largest social media wine events in the world, generating 31 million social media impressions, $1 million in earned media, and an estimated ongoing economic impact of $2 million.

In 2014, she held the first Canadian Wine Tourism Summit to spark conversation about the potential for wine tourism in Canada as a year-round economic driver.

Allison contributes epicurean content to several publications, has been a judge for several wine and food competitions, and has earned her advanced certificate from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust.

In her spare time, she has deep, meaningful conversations with her cats.

She can be reached at [email protected]

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

Previous Stories