Debbie’s Holiday Picks

Holiday Beer Pick

PEI Brewing Company The Gold Pack

The PEI Brewing Company won 4 gold medals at the 2016 Canadian Brewing Awards & Conference. Many consider this to be the most important competition in the country. This limited release pack features the 4 medal winners: Vic Park Pale Ale, Setting Day Saison, Sir John A Honey Wheat Ale and Rouges Roost English Style Pale Ale. Each beer offers a different tasting profile from the crisp flavorful spice and honey notes of the Sir John A to the grapefruit and tropical fruit flavors of the Vic Park. The Rouges Roost is a more bitter style but is supported by just a hint of sweetness. For those who prefer a low abv the Setting Day comes in at 3.5% a great choice to sip through those office Christmas parties.

With 4 different styles of beer to choose from this is an ideal selection to serve at Holiday gatherings where a variety of foods will be served. The hopping gives the beer its core flavor profile and depending on the IPA you will find notes of tropical fruit, grapefruit and spicy notes. The crisp acidity and carbonation with both sweet and spicy notes are great pairings with fried and low to medium spiced foods. Pairs perfectly with our Coconut-Lime Pumpkin Curry recipe or the Spinach and Feta Dip recipe.

This is a great gift for people who want to sample award winning hand crafted ales made on PEI. For the connoisseur, the convenient 4 pack is ideal for hosting a blind Beer Tasting event over the holidays. Put your nose and palate to the test and attempt to match the beer with its tasting profile. It’s a fun and informative way to discover the great beers produced at the PEI Brewing Company.

Holiday Wine Pick

Wynns Black Label Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon

The Black Label Cabernet has a reputation for displaying excellent varietal and regional characteristics of wines made in the Coonawarra area of Australia. Only the top 20-25% of Cabernet fruit is used to produce this wine. The nose opens with fragrant nutmeg, dark fruit and violet florals. On the palate, the well-balanced tannins and acidity support the rich fruit and spice notes of this award-winning Cabernet.

The Black Label is an ideal pairing with gouda crusted steak or beef dishes that feature sweet and spicy components. These dishes will showcase the beautiful spice and dark fruit elements of the wine. This wine pairs well with Rosemary Grilled Lamb Chops a dish that is featured in the recipe section of our website.

Coonawarra is synonymous with world class Cabernet Sauvignon. The somewhat maritime climate and terra rossa soil is similar to the famous Bordeaux region in France. Holiday season is the perfect time to discover the power and finesse of quality Cabernets from this region. The Black Label also has considerable cellaring potential and would make a great gift for the wine collector on your Christmas list.

Holiday Spirit Pick

Lagavulin 16 Years Old Malt Scotch Whisky

Lagavulin is a much-sought after single malt with typical peat smoke from the Islay region of Scotland. The nose offers concentrated peat, iodine, sweet spices and creamy vanilla. Big powerful peat and oak follow on the palate with dried fruit and seaweed notes. The finish is long and spicy with figs, dates and vanilla. Lagavulin is considered the quintessential malt whisky.

To enjoy successful food pairings with this powerful beverage, choose items with complex flavors and textures. Smoked meat or fish, rich game and Roquefort cheese are a few items that won’t be overwhelmed by the intensity of Lagavulin. An evening of chocolate and scotch tasting can be a fun winter distraction! Dark Chocolate with a higher percentage of cacao is the best choice for this pairing.

For those stormy winter nights, Lagavulin is the perfect fire-side sipping beverage. Pouring a dram of this intoxicating whisky is a reason for celebration. It is a malt worthy of sipping and savoring and discovering all the intricate nuances Lagavulin offers.

I would suggest serving Lagavulin neat or on ice but a Rob Roy cocktail before dinner, made with a single malt, could be the beginning of an extravagant holiday tradition.

Debbie’s Rob Roy Cocktail


  • 2oz Lagavulin (or blended Scotch whisky)
  • 1oz sweet vermouth
  • Dash of angostura bitters
  • Lemon twist or cherry for garnish


  • Sir ingredients over ice strain into chilled cocktail or rocks glass.
  • Garnish with cherry or lemon twist