Margaret Pearman is a certified sommelier under the Court of Master Sommeliers and is responsible for curating the award-winning wine list at Charlie’s L’Etoile Verte. Here are her sipping suggestions for October:
October conjures up spooky images, a crispness in the air, and lots of outdoor activities from pumpkin carving to oyster roasts. We cool off in the summer with light white wines and crisp lean-style beers. Now it’s time to switch gears, and there is no better representation of the season than what beer can offer.
My first pick highlights a very local brewery in Okatie: the River Dog Kindred Spice Winter Warmer. The term winter warmer refers to the spiced Wassail style, which typically includes cinnamon, allspice, ginger, clove, vanilla, and nutmeg in brewing. Wassailling heralds back to the tradition of singing and drinking to scare off the evil spirits and ensure a healthy fall harvest. Imagery on the label illustrates all the spices used in brewing with the addition of the “calavera” known for the Mexican holiday Dia de Muertos, a celebration of past family and loved ones. Calavera sculptures are used to decorate the family altar. Smoked chicken, grilled pork chops, or a hayride pair perfectly. ABV 6%
Taking things up a notch, my next pick hails from Great Divide Brewing Company out of Denver. Great Divide is one of the original craft brewers to come on the scene in the late ‘90s. Its Yeti Pumpkin Spice Imperial Stout gets some of the highest ratings for seasonal brews on the ubiquitous beer-head app Untapped. The imagery of the Yeti on the label refers to the Himalayan folklore creature made up by elders warning to stay close to the village out of harm’s way. You may need a batch of brownies or perhaps some Halloween chocolates to pair with this one. It’s opaque black in color, brewed with Pablo’s Coffee, American hops, and spices. Flavors of coffee, cacao, and bittersweet chocolate are well enjoyed in a snifter glass. ABV 9.5%