November, for many, is a time to give thanks and an opportunity to gather with family and friends as the holidays approach. The heat of summer has subsided, and crystalline blades of grass, frozen by the year’s first frost, begin to crack beneath our feet. With rapidly falling temperatures, it’s only natural to stay indoors and seek a beverage, such as whiskey or vodka, for warmth while enjoying the company of family and friends.

“I’ll have a whiskey,” your uncle says. That may seem like a simple request until you discover the vast variety of whiskeys available. Does he want Scotch whiskey, single malt, perhaps, or bourbon whiskey? How about vodka instead? It’s bound to be a simpler choice, right? Although, how do you know which vodka to select? Some are made with corn, such as Tito’s, others from wheat or barley and then there are those that fall into subcategories like Awamori, a style of Shochu from Okinawa, Japan. And we haven’t started to talk about rum, tequila, brandy, gin, and aromatized spirits to consider.

With such a dizzying array of types and brands of spirits to choose from, it’s easy to be intimidated and unadventurous in your drink orders. However, now you can have all of your questions and curiosities answered. Join Ocean House Sommelier Gregory Astudillo on November 20-21 for “From Vine to Wine: Spirits 101.” Topics will include the history, production methods, ingredients and flavor profiles of many of the world’s distilled beverages. It’s the perfect time of year to learn about the beverages you love while warming your spirits as you taste through the spectrum. Please visit for more information.