In what will undoubtedly be one of the most important and intense elections in our country’s history, the clock is counting down with less than a month to go. Even though the final result will likely not be known on election night, the magnetic pull of the cable news voting tallies will be hard to resist.
For advice on what to pop open on election night, VinePair asked winemakers, sommeliers, and restaurant owners from around the world to share the libations they plan to turn to on Nov. 3. Whether they’re paying tribute to an American-made wine or sipping on a potent classic cocktail, these wine pros offer expert tips on what to sip for a dose of liquid courage.
The Best Drinks for Election Night Recommended By Wine Pros:
- Talisker single malt Scotch
- Overproof Ti’ Punch
- 2015 Clean Slate Riesling
- Old Fashioned
- Mosel Riesling
- Dry Grapefruit RAMONA
- Chambolle-Musigny ‘Les Feusselottes’
- Arrow & Branch 2015 Estate Cabernet Franc
- Tequila Sunrise
- Crémant du Jura Extra Brut
- Reisetbauer Blue gin Martinis
- JP Cellars Passe-Tout-Grains Syzygy Red
- Varnelli Amaro dell’Erborista
- Don Ciccio & Figli’s Amaro delle Sirene
Keep reading for details about all of the recommended bottles!
“I’m going to brew a cup of tea and go to bed on election night. My plan thereafter is to buy a bottle of Talisker single malt Scotch whisky to sip on for the next month, and watch the real drama unfold.” — Rachel Rose, Winemaker & Vineyard Manager, Bryn Mawr Vineyards, Willamette Valley, Ore.
“Overproof Ti’ Punch, and keep ‘em coming until the final whistle.” — Lauren Hunter Lee, Wine Director, Montrose Cheese and Wine, Houston
“For election night, I will be drinking the 2015 Clean Slate Riesling, from the vaulted Mosel region of Germany with its famous steep riverside slopes that catch the sun, because we need a little light in these times. These grapes were even lucky enough to be born in 2015, a time when we didn’t have to worry as much about massive election tampering. Ahh, alcohol.” — Adam Berlin, WSET Level 2 Sommelier/Owner, Buena Vida Tapas & Sol, Atlanta
“I am going to be drinking an American wine and hoping that democracy prevails on election day!” — Danny Lledo, Executive Chef/Sommelier/Owner, Xiquet DL and Slate Wine Bar, Washington, D.C.
“With Election Day being in the fall, something that is both booze and fall-forward is a must. Here in Colorado, the temperature will likely be getting cooler by November, so whiskey will do the trick for keeping you warm and sane! I will be enjoying a play on an Old Fashioned using Laws Rye Whiskey, Amaro Lucano, Leopold Bros. Apple Liqueur, and orange and black walnut bitters. The local apple liqueur is a really fun ingredient to keep handy on your shelf for seasonal cocktail application, as it adds some sugar and acidity to any beverage. If you aren’t a huge fan of whiskey, try a simple vodka, apple liqueur, and soda, with a dash of Angostura bitters to add some fall spice.” — Julie Masciangelo, Wine Director/Manager, Il Posto, Denver
“As an American in France, in a normal year I’d stay up and party with friends all night till the results rolled in, but this year I’m going to consider self-care as the most important thing, since it’s unlikely we’ll have any real results on the day. I’m going to enjoy a very nice bottle of fine Mosel Riesling, my ultimate yummy comfort wine, in [a] bubble bath with a good novel and lots of candles. I’ll pair it with 5 grams of melatonin and live to fight another day.” — Caroline Conner, Virtual Wine Teacher/Founder, Wine Dine Caroline, Lyon, France
“I’m going to start my night with a Dry Grapefruit RAMONA, of course, and then transition to a bottle of Chambolle-Musigny ‘Les Feusselottes’ made by two groundbreaking women, Marie-Christine Mugneret and Marie-Andrée Mugneret. They are two of the first women to make wine and run a domaine in Burgundy. Hopefully all of that groundbreaking energy will result in the first Black, first female, VP!” — Jordan Salcito, Sommelier/Founder/CEO, RAMONA, NYC
“This election night, I’ll need a wine that takes my mind off of all the craziness for a second. In a nod to all my friends in Napa Valley who are going through a tough time, I’ll be opening an Arrow & Branch 2015 Estate Cabernet Franc from their Heritage series. Made by the amazing Jennifer Williams, and producing one single barrel in 2015, 2016, and 2017 from the Estate Cabernet Franc vineyard, these wines are true showstoppers. I’m so going to vote!” — Randy Hester, Winemaker, C.L. Butaud, Austin, Texas
“Tequila Sunrise: Honestly, tequila may be the only thing that makes the night better. So, pass the bottle of Milagro, as we’ll need something with a little punch as we watch the states alternate blue and red. Adding a splash of OJ may be just the reminder I need to realize that my vote has been counted and the sun will rise tomorrow (we think…). Until then, make it a double…” — Tim Carron, Winemaker, The Infinite Monkey Theorem, Colo.
“I’ll be drinking a magnum of Crémant du Jura Extra Brut from Stéphane & Bénedicte Tissot, a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and their native Poulsard. It’s great value, made by lovely people practicing organically.” — Henry Rich, Owner, The Oberon Group (Rucola, June Wine Bar, Rhodora Wine Bar + Purslane), Brooklyn
“Some coffee to stay up and watch the entire thing: Ethiopian blend because it has BLUEberry tones; maybe some Syrah because it has a BLUE hue to it; Reisetbauer BLUE gin Martinis.” — June Rodil, Master Sommelier/Partner, Goodnight Hospitality, Houston
“I will be drinking something young, energetic, and made in some innovative way on election night. I’ll be doing this for two reasons: The first is simply because those are the types of wines I’m really enjoying drinking right now. Secondly, it’s my hope that the youth will be driving this election. Climate change is a major issue at stake, and young people in our country will sadly ‘pay the bill.’ People who are older than 60 right now will not be alive to see the full effects of the world they have created. In other words, I’ll be drinking a wine of energy and forward-thinking, not a wine that’s about pedigree or tradition. I have a bottle from my associate winemaker Jared Pierce ready to go, the JP Cellars Passe-Tout-Grains Syzygy Red.” — John Grochau, Winemaker, Grochau Cellars, Willamette Valley, Ore.
“Being on the East Coast, election night tends to be a long, drawn-out affair. I recommend staying away from any high-proof spirits or high-alcohol wines. An easy drinking Vinho Verde, Loire Muscadet, dry Riesling from the Finger Lakes, or Alsatian Pinot Noir would all be great choices to have on hand. I will also have handy a bottle of Amaro, as you never know when something stronger might be needed to match the bitter mood. My ‘go-to’s are Varnelli Amaro dell’Erborista and the local Don Ciccio & Figli’s Amaro delle Sirene.” — Darlin Kulla, Beverage Director/Sommelier, Knead Hospitality, Washington, D.C.