December 22, 2017 8:00 am

Come celebrate the holidays with local wines, beers and spirits


Come home for the holidays when you give the gift of local this holiday season. The Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation (NSLC) proudly stocks local wines, spirits and craft beers, with a range of festive seasonal releases to suit all your gift-giving needs.


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“Though we don’t like to brag, Nova Scotia is the third-largest wine region in North America, home to over 40 craft breweries, and it’s seen a recent incline in local craft distillers,” says NSLC senior vice president and chief operations officer, Tim Pellerin.


He takes us on a tour of some of his favourite local products available at NSLC stores this holiday season.


Benjamin Bridge Nova 7 – “This wine is an absolute juggernaut,” says Pellerin. It’s consistently one of the NSLC’s top-selling products and it has put Benjamin Bridge on the map in markets well outside of Nova Scotia.


Pellerin likens this wine to Muscat because it’s light and highly aromatic. Tropical flavours like lychee and grapefruit shine through alongside subtle floral notes. The wine is also lightly effervescent, so it’s a great substitute for sparkling wine or champagne around the holidays.


“New wine drinkers will love Nova 7”, says Pellerin. Its effervescence makes it feel gift-worthy, and it pairs well with any and all food.


For ideas on how to pair sparkling wine with food, check out Kayla’s Bubbly Night In.


Ironworks Bluenose Rum – Nova Scotia is known for its rum-running past, but Ironworks Distillery writes the next chapter in Nova Scotia’s love story with this sweet and spicy spirit.


Ironworks Bluenose Rum is produced out of Lunenburg, N.S., in a blacksmith shop responsible for some of the Bluenose’s original parts. The distillery pays homage to this history with a likeness of the ship on every bottle.


The rum boasts all the typical dark rum flavours such as molasses, caramel and baking spices, making it the perfect gift for the rum lover on your list. “The novelty of trying a rum made right here at home is sure to get them talking,” Pellerin says.


This is also a great rum to include in eggnog – a seasonal favourite.


What could be more Canadian than a maple-infused spirit hailing from Antigonish, N.S.? Steinhart Distillery produces small batch spirits, which they use to showcase local seasonal ingredients. Their maple-infused spirit is a sweet and delicious taste of Canadiana and is a great gift for hosts.


Its natural affinity with chocolate, caramel and vanilla make it great for drizzling over desserts, but it can also be served as a sipping beverage at the end of a meal.


It gets bonus points for its elegant glass bottle and reusable stopper. This is a gift hosts will be proud to share with their guests.


Garrison Winter Warmer ale – Garrison Brewery is known for its seasonal beers, and their Winter Warmer ale is a great way to celebrate in the spirit of the season.


“This is a beer for the non-beer drinker,” says Pellerin. It’s an amber ale loaded with warming winter spices such as cinnamon and cloves and it also carries notes of dried fruit and chocolate. ‘Tis the season!


Pellerin recommends showing up at your next holiday event with a six-pack of this festive beer. “Most people will be curious to try it, so it’s great for sharing,” he says. Hosts will also appreciate the kind gesture.


Gaspereau Tidal Bay – Pellerin calls this wine the pride of the NSLC. It’s a crisp, Appalachian-style wine made from 100 per cent Nova Scotia grapes.


“There’s nothing to be hesitant of in this wine,” says Pellerin. It’s clean and free from oakiness, with notes of apple, pear and citrus. Though its structure makes it good all on its own, Pellerin says it’s meant to be paired with fresh seafood – what could be more Nova Scotian?


Stock your fridge with this NSLC favourite and send bottles home with holiday guests. “There’s something exciting happening in Nova Scotia and the best way to showcase these products is to have guests bring that message home,” says Pellerin.


Bringing a taste of local home for the holidays is a message he believes in.  “We’re known for being modest, but that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate our strengths,” he insists.


With a little help from the NSLC, you too can share in the spirit of Nova Scotia this season with top quality wines, craft beers and spirits. Let NSLC make the most of your holiday season with hosting and gift ideas.

Benjamin Bridge Nova 7, $24.99, 1008194, Aromatic & Vibrant

Ironworks Bluenose Rum, $43.08, 1021498, Local, Base

Steinhart Maple, $49.98, 1020484, Local, Base

Garrison Winter Warmer, $14.99, 1019916, Local, Bold & Full Flavoured

Gaspereau Tidal Bay, $21.99, 1014163, Local, Crisp & Light
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