Sauce Hound Newsletter: Staff Picks for the Holidays

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Welcome to our new monthly newsletter! Every month we’ll be sending you our staff picks for the craft beer, wine and spirits that we’re loving at the moment. If you’re looking to stock up for holiday entertaining or just need a special gift for a boss or friend, come see us! We have a everything from unique high-end spirits to delicious, stocking-stuffable craft beers from around the world—and so much more. We also offer gift cards in any amount.

If you’re in the market for BC VQA wines, please vist our sister store, BC Wineguys VQA Store (2579 Cadboro Bay Rd.). They are having a monthlong Holiday Wine Sale. You can also sign up to win a trip for eight to Oliver Osoyoos Wine Country when you visit the store, or by clicking here.

Cheers & Happy Holidays
Glenn Barlow & the staff of Cook St. Liquor

spice box whisky

Compass Box Great King St. Artist Blend Whisky $62.90
If you enjoy Scotch whisky there is a good chance you purchase a single malt when you are feeling flush, and a blend for mid-week, because they are half the price. Recently, premium “small batch” blends have been released by single malt distilleries and the result is very impressive. My pick in this category is the Great King St. Artist Blend by the Compass Box Whisky Company. Its honey, apple, vanilla and sweet spice notes carry from nose to palate with a long lingering finish. It’s the same cost as a cheaper single malt but the pleasure units per dollar will over-deliver, I guarantee.


Ployez-Jacquemart Extra Quality Brut NV Champagne $54.90
In the heart of Champagne lies the village of Ludes, home to Champagne Ployez-Jacquemart. This small family-run Champagne house produces excellent quality wines at an incredible value. Their Extra Quality Brut is very dry and made from predominantly black grapes which bring greater richness and depth to the wine. Flavours of toasted brioche, lemon zest and crisp pear with bright acidity and a lengthy finish allow for this wine to be easily enjoyed alone as an aperitif or with food. Pair this with your finest caviar, or just pop a bottle with dinner— it will complement fresh seafood or a light fruity dessert quite nicely. No celebration is required to pop a good bottle of Champagne!

Sound Monks Indiscretion

Sound Brewing Monk’s Indiscretion 650ml $10.90
While traveling south of the border, the brewery I’ve visited most is Sound Brewing in Poulsbo, WA. Their dedication to brewing proper Belgian-style beers in North America is unmatched in my opinion. Monk’s Indiscretion, when first released, put Sound Brewing on the craft beer map as a must-try brew. Generously dry-hopped, this beer carries intense tropical fruit flavours, a light citrusy character and is pleasantly bitter, making it scarily drinkable for 10% ABV.

Avec Les Bon Voeux

Brasserie Dupont Avec Les Bon Voeux 375ml $7.90
Bubbly has been the traditional pour for holiday celebrations, but there are premium beers worthy of being opened for special occasions. Avec Les Bon Voeux means “with best wishes” in French and it’s a delicious, complex and flavourful brew from Belgium’s Brasserie Dupont (makers of Dupont Saison). This saison has tons of vinous, fruity notes—lemon, fruit cocktail, canned pears—on the nose and the taste is similarly fruity with pear notes, spicy pepper and a huge drying bitter finish. It’s bottle-conditioned and very aggressively carbonated—like bubbly!

pknt carmenere

PKNT Carmenere $14.90
When I drink wine, I want versatility. That’s why this is my choice for drinking with food or by itself. It has a solid body and remains approachable with savory notes. But it’s not my go-to just because it’s adaptable to almost any situation, it’s my pick because it is good for a night relaxing alone, bringing for a dinner with friends, or when you’re alone with someone special and you want to get the right atmosphere going.

capoccia maremma

2013 Vignaioli Morellino di Scansano Capoccia Maremma Toscana DOC $21.90
For my red wine pick, I want to take you a little farther south in Italy than you might normally venture. Ciliegiolo is the dominant variety here with a touch of Alicante, together producing a great little food wine with tones of cherry fruit and wild berries with hints of rose and violets. Medium bodied with smooth tannins and a lingering earthy minerality. A great way to enjoy a slice or two from the neighbourhood pizzeria!

bulldog gin

Bulldog London Dry Gin $32.90
So many gins, so few days in the week! Is it going to be the complex Dorothy Parker, or the delicate and subtle Bloom? The straight forward Boodles, or the textured local new comer Endeavour? If I’m reaching for a favourite gin, it’s usually the Bulldog, a well-priced upscale London Dry. It has bright citrus, clean juniper and floral notes. Subtle enough for the straight-up martini crowd, but with enough personality for blending in cocktails.

RogueyellowsnowipaRUFUS’ PICK
Rogue Yellow Snow IPA 650ml $8.90
Even Rufus knows better than to eat yellow snow, but he gives this seasonal IPA from Rogue two paws up.