Filled with harvest events and the crown jewel of the month, Halloween, October is a bustling time for dinners and drinkers. The leaves have traded their green hue for bright orange and yellow tones, and restaurants and bars all over have started to lean into the flavors of the season in creative and unique ways. It’s the perfect time to get experimental.
This month our drink choices at VinePair included a myriad of options, ranging from exploratory ingredients like coffee butter to smoked sherry. Many of us were also taken by the intriguing mixology offerings of Double Chicken Please, winner of “Bar Program of the Year” in VinePair’s 2022 Next Wave Awards, and host of the celebration party.
Without further ado, here are the best things we drank in October.
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“The best thing I drank this month was a white wine made from the Semillon grape (native to Bordeaux) from Palmeri Wines. The wine comes from the second-oldest plot of this grape in the world, the Monte Rosso Vineyard on Moon Mountain in Sonoma, California (the oldest is in Hunter Valley, Australia). It was the definition of balance with amazing grip — it might be the best wine I have had all year. It went well with a selection of American cheese but did not improve my lawn bocce game as I lost to VinePair CEO Adam Teeter over a perfect New Jersey fall Saturday afternoon … sigh.” —Keith Beavers, tastings director
“The best thing I tried this month has got to be the Smoked Sherry Manhattan from Barcelona in Philly.” —Dave Infante, contributing editor & columnist
“The Japanese Cold Noodle cocktail from Double Chicken Please, HANDS DOWN!” —Rob Gearity, senior director, integrated marketing
“I enjoyed a lovely Zinfandel with some friends recently from Dutton-Goldfield Morelli Lane Vineyard. A 2013 vintage, the wine offered a lighter take on the style, with aromas of blackberry, cherry, and cedar, and tastes of tart blueberry and cracked pepper.” —Dario Foroutan, social editor
“I’m obsessed with the Red Eye Gravy from Double Chicken Please. Never in a million years would I try this without a recommendation, but I’m so happy I did. The unconventional ingredients, like mushroom and coffee butter, come together to create a funky yet savory sip.” —Nicolette Baker, news writer
“I popped into Barley Disfigured one night after dinner and had an amazing cocktail called the Prelude to a Broken Arm. I’ve been on an Italicus kick as of late and was drawn in by the freshness of the ingredients, like ginger and cucumber water, in this cocktail. It was so refreshing, intriguing, and delicious that I just had to order a second!” —Jessica Fields, assistant editor
“The best thing I drank this month was the 2000 Chateau Montelena ‘Estate’ Cabernet Sauvignon. I was visiting Napa and got the chance to check out the Montelena tasting room, and that pour — paired with the estate’s stunning views — was delicious and truly memorable.” —Katie Brown, editor
“The best thing I drank was the Mango Sticky Rice at Double Chicken Please.” —Marc Jacobs, chief revenue officer
“The best thing I drank this month was Taptail #13 at Double Chicken Please during our Next Wave Party. The cocktail (on tap, can you believe it?) is a mixture of Acqua di Cedro, cold brew coffee, shiso, yuzu, and agave and was unlike anything I’ve tasted before in my life. So unique, so refreshing, and so delicious!” —Olivia White, editorial assistant
“Among so many other wonderful drinks, mostly from our Next Wave Award Winners, a 2018 Renato Ratti Conca Barolo was one of the best things I drank this month. It had beautiful freshness and fruit and acidity, while also being light and delicate. A truly stunning wine I hope to have again in the future.” —Joanna Sciarrino, editor in chief
“This month, I had the pleasure of spending some time in the Seychelles. I drank a lot of the local Takamaka rum while there and enjoyed many incredible cocktails. But the highlight was a daily luge of white rum sipped from half a fresh passion fruit and topped with coconut nougat. Try it yourself — and thank me later!” —Tim McKirdy, managing editor