VinePair Happy Hour: The Best Things We Drank in November

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The end of November officially marks the arrival of the holidays. And though Thanksgiving has come and gone, a long season of festivities awaits. Before we dive into the marathon of parties and celebrations, we VinePair staffers took a moment to consider the drinks we enjoyed best this month.

With a few of the team traveling to Italy — for business and pleasure — November’s list of top drinks includes a few remarkable European wines, most notably from one particular producer. Additionally, we savored holiday moments with family and friends with a few good drinks in hand. From savory cocktails to creamy beers and seasonal beverages, here are the best things we drank last month.

“We had so much incredible wine while in Verona for the 2022 wine2wine Business Forum, but the 2015 Emidio Pepe Pecorino Colli Aprutini was really exceptional — a definite standout for the month.” —Joanna Sciarrino, editor in chief

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“This Thanksgiving I had the privilege of spending the holiday in sunny San Diego, so the best thing I drank this month was a beer called Cali Creamer Vanilla Cream Ale from Mother Earth Brew Co. Seriously, this could be one of my new favorite beers. It’s a light ale but carries tasting notes of vanilla and slight cocoa, which is something I never would have expected from a beer that’s not a porter or a stout. But man, was it delicious. The heavier flavor profile was balanced perfectly by a lower alcohol content, so I wasn’t feeling too heavy (or too drunk) to have another (and then another). I’m going to be so bummed if I find out I can’t secure a few cans on the East Coast.” —Olivia White, editorial assistant

“The best thing I had this month was a bottle of 2016 Domaine Alain Chavy Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Folatieres white Burgundy.” —Zach Geballe, contributor and producer of the VinePair Podcast

“Hands down, the best thing I drank this month was the Le Connection from Yves in Tribeca. A bit boozy, with warm and seasonal flavors like crushed pistachios, Armagnac, and baking spices, it was the perfect cocktail for a cold night.” —Jessica Fields, assistant editor

“The best thing I drank this month is a tough one because it’s actually a list of 50 wines (wink, wink; nudge, nudge). But if I had to choose one thing it would be the dry Gin Martini I had at the new José Andrés restaurant Zaytina. It was hard not to go back to it every five seconds.” —Keith Beavers, tastings director

“I was in Italy this month for vacation and was lucky enough to share some pretty spectacular bottles with friends. The highlights for me were the 2019 Emidio Pepe Trebbiano d’Abruzzo and a magnum of Rizzi Barbaresco Riserva from 2016. It ruled!” —Emily Arseneau, director, brand sales and partnerships

“While I vehemently support the use of gin in any non-Espresso Martini, da Toscano’s olive branch vodka-based Martini was incredibly smooth, fragrant, and didn’t fail to hit the spot for someone who admittedly avoids vodka-centric variations.” —Dario Foroutan, social editor

“I got my hands on a bottle of 2018 Daou Vineyards Patrimony Cabernet Sauvignon, which I brought to an early Thanksgiving celebration. It was delicious and really impressed everyone.” —Bobbie Thorn, account manager, brand partnerships

“I finally made it to Thai Diner in the Lower East Side, and it did not disappoint. The Spicy Tamarind Margarita was so delicious and went so well with the crab fried rice.” —Katie Brown, editor

“Easily the best thing I drank this month was The Halifax from Archivio.” —Dave Infante, contributing editor and columnist

“The best thing I drank this past month would have to be the Emidio Peppe Pecorino I had while in Verona Italy for the wine2wine conference. A close second to that would be the Le Moné freezer door Martinis I made for Thanksgiving. They were a huge hit and the perfect way to kick off the meal.” —Adam Teeter, CEO and co-founder

“I’d have to say the best thing I drank this month was Vinea. It’s a small-batch, grape-based liqueur from a winery up in Niagara-on-the-Lake in Ontario, Canada. My partner and I went for a tasting at the vineyard and the consultant was incredibly helpful. Not only did she advise us on each pour but then insisted we try a few additional items. Vinea was one of them. Its rich flavor reminded me of Chambord but not quite as sweet. She then added some of their sparkling to make it a spritzer, completely transforming both products. I absolutely had to buy a bottle after that.” —Rob Gearity, senior director, integrated marketing

“Since our managing editor, Tim, taught a class on Martinis, I have become a die-hard fan. That said, the best thing I drank last month was a Yonder Martini from Yonder, a hole-in-the-wall bar in my hometown. This one featured Fords Gin, The Botanist gin, Dolin vermouth, and was finished with a twist. Classic.” —Sylvie Baggett, branded content editor

“I’ve been on a Mai Tai kick this month ever since I found myself at Old Tony’s in Redondo Beach, Calif. I don’t want to say that a cocktail I’m working on is the best thing I drank in November, but it’s the drink I’m most obsessed with. Currently, I have my spec nailed down to three rums (Real McCoy 14 Year, Appleton 15 Year, and Rhum Clément Canne Bleue), orange curuçao, lime, and Orgeat Works T’Orgeat. Who said tiki drinks are just for summer?” —Tim McKirdy, managing editor