Quarantine Drinking

Wines at Home—Always Trying Something New

I usually don’t drink much at home—but that’s changed a bit over the last month.  With happy hours and eating out put on hold, drinking has moved to the kitchen and, when nice outside, the patio. The upside is it’s given me time to truly enjoy wines (my drink of choice) that I don’t normally consume.

For example, for dinner I opened a bottle of Chateau Moulin de Launay to pair with roasted chicken.  The beautiful, crisp white Bordeaux was elegant with citrus and mineral notes. Later, I tried a bottle of Emma Provence Rosé. The sun was shining and the weather was warm, making this elegant wine the perfect choice for an evening on the porch. Champagne is often saved for celebratory occasions, but it doesn’t have to be! I enjoyed a bottle of Lacourte Godbillon Brut with some popcorn and my favorite movie, Dirty Dancing.

So whether you’re in sweats watching your guilty pleasure flick, outside enjoying the sunshine, or taking a load off after a long day, take the time to try something you normally wouldn’t—and, above all, enjoy!

Amy McIntosh
Liquor Barn-Party Mart
Private Label Wine and Spirits Buyer

What Wine Goes Best with Quarantine?

With all of us quarantined at home for the foreseeable future, these are crazy times indeed. So what better way to cope with the emotional roller coaster of self-isolation than a few of my favorite wine pairings!

I find a cold glass of Riesling pairs wonderfully with the incessant whining of my two daughters. I recently enjoyed a bottle of Chateau Ste Michelle Dry Riesling with a wonderful bouquet of peach and honeysuckle that made the shrieking and crying way easier on the ears.

Chardonnay is a classic pairing for grilled chicken, pasta with cream sauce, and realizing you forgot to buy the one item your wife requested at the grocery store. La Crema Sonoma Chardonnay is a beauty.

Celebrating something? Like actually changing out of your pajamas for the first time in three days? This calls for Champagne! Spare no expense. Moet is my current go-to.

I love Rosé wine. I find it absolutely beautiful and refreshing. So when I need something to go with the soul-crushing frustration of trying to get Zoom to work on my computer, I pour a glass of Gerard Bertrand Cotes des Roses.

Whenever people reach out to me for a wine pairing for pork chops or salmon, I always suggest Pinot Noir. But who knew it also pairs excellently with utter exhaustion? When you feel like you don’t have the energy to get off the couch, drag yourself to the wine stash and grab a bottle of Giesen Pinot Noir—complete with a screw top so you don’t even need an opener!

Hope you find the right pairing for your stay-at-home situation. Be safe out there!

Brian Price
Liquor Barn-Party Mart
Wine Buyer

Variety Is the Spice of Life—Especially in Quarantine

I don’t know about you, but when I go out I like to order a new beer, exciting cocktail, or glass of wine I haven’t tried. Now that we’re staying Healthy at Home, I have started buying variety packs to experience things I might not otherwise try. Here are a few I have enjoyed so far.

Cigar City Variety 12PK

Includes the classic Jai Alai IPA, Florida Cracker Belgian Style White Ale, Guayabera Pale Ale, and Florida Man Double IPA

Sierra Nevada Seasonal Variety 12PK

The beers in this variety pack change seasonally. Currently you get Pale Ale, Torpedo Extra IPA, 40 Years Anniversary IPA, and Hop Bullet Double IPA

Bud Light Seltzer Variety 12PK

This is one of the newest hard seltzer variety packs to make a splash on the scene. This fruity refreshment includes Strawberry, Mango, Black Cherry, and Lime.


Jessica Masterson
Buyer- Beer, Food, & Specialty
CICERONE® Certified Beer Server

Social Distance Drinking

While my favorite drinks during the age of Social Distancing remain the same, the ways I drink with others have certainly changed quite a bit. I’m still enjoying straight bourbon like Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel, or aged tequila like El Tesoro Reposado, served neat with a glass of ice water. However, in this age of responsibility to others, happy hour (at any hour of the day, wink wink) has entered the digital world. My wife and I get together with friends every couple of nights with the Houseparty app, or sometimes with Zoom or Facebook. It was a little weird at first, but it’s become the new normal.

We’ve also begun the nightly ritual of having drinks while prepping dinner together. Pre-COVID-19, it was kids, homework, baths, laundry.  Go, go, go. Now, we get together in the kitchen around 6pm, turn on some music, have a drink, and discuss what’s for dinner. Then we go about our separate tasks for preparing the food while chatting and drinking. It’s actually my favorite part of our new way of living.

Once things begin to return to normal, I’m sure we’ll still occasionally do digital drinks with friends and family, but I hope our nightly dinnertime is a more common occurrence. There’s always a silver lining, right?

Cheers to making the most of staying Healthy at Home!

Brad Williams
Liquor Barn Bourbon Master & Vice President

Purchasing & Product Development


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