You Betcha! The Best Drinks to Pair with Your Favorite Hotdish Recipes

Posted by Beau Farrell on Feb 8, 2019 8:17:51 AM

There's nothing better than a good ol' Minnesota hotdish on a cold winter's eve, dontcha know.

What’s a hotdish, you ask? You must not be from Minnesota, but that’s OK. Hotdish is a quirky Minnesotan term for what everyone else knows as casserole. We’re a friendly, hotdish-sharing bunch, and we welcome you wholeheartedly. (We’re called Minnesota Nice for a reason.)

So, to welcome you into the uniquely Midwestern fold (and keep those of us who already know and love hotdish firmly connected to our roots), we insist on sharing hearty food and drinks. But, before you grab a glass of "melk" to enjoy with that tater tot hotdish recipe, here are some great wine and beer pairings to try instead.

Pro tip: make sure the defining characteristics of your beverage match those of the hotdish. Or, for the adventurous amongst us, balance the flavors of your hotdish with a beverage that has the opposite flavor.That’s good advice, but there’s one other tidbit you’ll find especially helpful when pairing hotdish recipes with beer or wine: don’t gloss over the sauce. The creaminess, thickness, and flavors of a sauce will be one of the most distinct ingredients to join in a good pairing.

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Mix Things Up: 3 Valentine's Day Drinks to Try for Date Night

Posted by Beau Farrell on Feb 1, 2019 8:56:06 AM

Valentine's Day is right around the corner — a time to express your love through food, candy, cards, and drinks. So, play a little music to set the mood and surprise your significant other with dessert and drinks. It beats waiting in line at restaurants and picking from an over-priced menu. Plus, this will let them know you're willing to go the extra mile.

To get you started, here are three Valentine's Day drinks and two easy-to-make desserts that you'll fall in love with.

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Rams vs. Patriots: Tailgate Drinks for The Big Game

Posted by Beau Farrell on Jan 24, 2019 5:04:39 PM

West coast vs east coast. Rookie coach vs longest tenured coach in the league. A second-year starting quarterback vs a 16-year starting quarterback.

This year's battle for the NFL Championship is set. The New England Patriots, who are returning for the ninth time in 18 years, will take on the Los Angeles Rams, who shocked everyone with a 13-3 record this season.

So, will you root for the savvy veterans or talented underdogs?

The good news is no matter who you root for Feb. 3, you're bound to cheer on a record-breaking team. If the New England Patriots defeat the Los Angeles Rams, they will be the first NFL team in history to win their sixth national championship under the helm of the same quarterback, Tom Brady. If the Rams upset the Patriots, Head Coach Sean McVay will become the youngest coach to win the title at age 33. Currently, former Pittsburgh Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin holds that record, winning the title in 2009 at age 36. 

Regardless of the outcome, it's sure to be a showdown of epic proportions. And the best way to celebrate the most-watched annual sporting event on TV is with drinks and food, of course! Here are our favorite tailgate drinks for The Big Game that hail from Los Angeles, New England, or just remind us of our favorite team.

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Wine Shopping Tips: Top Questions to Ask the Experts

Posted by Beau Farrell on Jan 17, 2019 1:49:06 PM

You've likely experienced some confusion when shopping for a new wine to try. There are hundreds of options to choose from in just one store, so how do you know which wine pairs best with your dinner, or which is easy to drink on its own?

This situation shouldn’t mean you avoid trying new wine altogether. It means you should learn how to distinguish between what’s worth your time and what isn’t. And what better way to learn than from the wine experts themselves.

Here are five wine questions to ask the experts to ensure you leave with a bottle you'll love.

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Barolo vs. Brunello: The Difference Between Italy's Popular Red Wines

Posted by Beau Farrell on Jan 11, 2019 9:58:50 AM

When you start paying attention to wine, you’ll hear a lot about certain wine regions — and when you pay attention even longer, you’ll hear about two gems from Italy: Barolo and Brunello.

They may not be name-dropped as much in American restaurants and some shops, but you can bet Barolo and Brunello are a recurring topic of recommendation when you’re looking at high-quality wines, especially from the Old World (classic European wine regions).

Here's what you should know about both varietals.

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Hostess With the Mostest: How to Plan an At-Home Wine Tasting Party

Posted by Beau Farrell on Jan 3, 2019 10:00:44 AM

You like wine — trying different wines, serving different wines, telling your friends about wines — but now you want to try something for yourself: hosting a wine tasting party.

If this describes you, chances are you've attended a wine tasting event at a liquor store or winery, where a sommelier educated you on several types of wines and told you what scents and tastes to expect from each. Not only are wine tastings fun and easy ways to try a variety of wines you may not have sampled before, but they are also good opportunities to learn about wine, how to describe wine, and how to find new wines you may enjoy.

But how exactly does one host a wine tasting party? We'll share the basic tips you need to know to plan your very own wine tasting at home.

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Pop Some Bubbly: Why Do We Celebrate Special Occasions with Champagne?

Posted by Beau Farrell on Dec 27, 2018 9:47:31 AM

Can you believe it’s almost New Year’s Eve? Before your mind spins out of control about your plans and hopes for 2019, consider this brainteaser: why will millions of people around the world hold a glass of Champagne to ring in the New Year when the clock strikes midnight on January 1?

  • How did the tradition start?
  • Why is Champagne so closely associated with celebration?
  • What’s the difference between Champagne and sparkling wine?

December 31st is National Champagne Day, so what better time to learn the ins and outs of this noteworthy beverage of glistening occasions? Let’s dig into these questions so you’re ready for the New Year’s Eve party and a full year of celebration-worthy events.

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Wine Basics: Everything You Need to Know About Cabernet Sauvignon

Posted by Beau Farrell on Dec 20, 2018 2:43:24 PM

There is probably no wine more popular around the world than Cabernet Sauvignon.

With roots in France and explosive prevalence in the New World winemaking powerhouse of California — as well as Argentina, Australia, Chile, Italy, and South Africa — it’s for good reason that they say in the wine world, "Cab is king." Don't know what that means? It’s a good thing you’re here: we'll tell you everything you need to know about this deliciously popular red wine.

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Santa-Approved Cocktails: 5 Christmas Drinks for the Holidays

Posted by Beau Farrell on Dec 14, 2018 5:02:44 PM

Ah yes, it’s that time of year... when snow, visiting relatives, and a little too much time on your hands inevitably makes you wish for one thing: Christmas drinks.

OK, maybe you want a little more than Christmas drinks, like some peace and quiet, or relaxing ambience in which to enjoy them.

What constitutes a Christmas drink? When you think of Christmas, you think of Santa and his reindeer, stockings hung above the fireplace, and a glowing tree with presents beneath it. But you might also think about hosting your family for a holiday meal. Whether you stick to a simple, quiet tradition or invite all the relatives over for family fun, here are five holiday-inspired cocktail recipes to try.

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Obscure Spirits: 4 Cocktails with Ancho Reyes Chile Liqueur

Posted by Beau Farrell on Dec 6, 2018 10:29:54 AM

When you hear “spicy,” you might think of dried poblano peppers and the cuisine of the Southwestern United States. But, if you’re looking for a spicy twist on your cocktails, look no further than Ancho Reyes chile liqueur.

Made using — no surprise here — ancho chile, those very sun-dried poblano peppers, this liqueur is not for the faint of heart. If you want to cozy up in the cold weather and survive the season with the spark of desert heat, you need cocktails with chile liqueur. So buckle up, set up your home bar, and explore these devilishly delicious cocktails you can make using the unique and fiery Ancho Reyes chile liqueur.

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