From festive cocktails to bright bubblies and rich reds, the beverage savants at two of the city’s finest eateries share their favorite libations for fall entertaining.
John Michael O’Shea’s Picks
Spicy Pear: St. George’s Spiced Pear liqueur and the ruby red Italian aperitif Cappelletti Aperitivo Americano mix perfectly with agave nectar and lemon juice to create a warm and spicy cocktail for cool winter evenings.
MELLOW MOVIE NIGHT
Glass of Ruinart Blanc de Blanc: Founded in 1729, Ruinart is known for the quality of its wines and for their finesse, based on the exceptional chardonnay grapes that provide its backbone. The Blanc de Blanc is from top vineyards in the Champagne region and captures the elegance of chardonnay in a way that soothes and satisfies.
SO LONG SUMMER
Strawberry Rhubarb Margarita: Strawberries and raspberries are muddled and mixed with Ambhar reposado tequila, agave, lime, and rhubarb bitters to create a delicious margarita with bright and refreshing flavors reminiscent of days spent poolside.
FALL PATIO PARTY WITH FRIENDS
Carpano Rye: Reilly’s Rock and Rye Ginger whiskey combined with the rich, sweet flavors of Carpano Antica vermouth creates a spicy and savory cocktail that is great for sipping with friends on a patio during football season.
Vincent McGrath’s Picks
CHIC COCKTAIL HOUR
When entertaining during the warmer fall evenings, kick off the festivities with a glass of Voveti prosecco for a touch of sweetness or offer Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne for a more rich and dry option—perfect for a wintry evening.
KEEP IT LIGHT
The wildly popular Mer et Soleil Santa Barbara chardonnay is exceptional when matched with a fresh white fish, offering a bit of richness with tropical flavors. It’s also a great quality wine at a reasonable price point.
To top off the evening, opt for a glass of Les Clos Paulilles Banyuls, a port-like French dessert wine, and, of course, Café Pacific’s World Famous Pecan Ball pairs perfectly with virtually anything.
PARTIAL TO PASTA
For a bit heavier course – think pasta or white meat of some type—the Meiomi Pinot Noir presents light tannins with a medium body and also boasts a superb quality/value relationship. In general, Pinot Noirs are such a versatile varietal, as they pair well with many types of food.
RICH AND RED
Offering a medium tannin wine, like a Bordeaux Right Bank merlot/cabernet Franc, for a main course or entree when entertaining is always a crowd—pleaser, specifically the 2010 Château Piney Grand Cru paired with lamb or the Château Piney.