Fireplaces & frosts, Winter is here which means you may be looking to mix up your weekend sips. Our friend Angus Raddon from Blackhearts & Sparrows has given us his 5 hot tips to keep your taste buds warm this winter.


Vermouth is a fortified aromatic wine, originating in Italy in the 18th century, and later spreading to France. While for years it fell out of favour with younger drinkers, being reserved only for cocktail mixing, or what your grandad might sip straight, it has made a big comeback as a drink to be appreciated on its own. With modern versions being made all over the world, using local and native aromats, it is a perfect way to start or finish a meal. Sweeter and more appreciable, then drinking straight spirits, but enough spice and herbal qualitlies to have plenty of depth and intrigue. I recommend Maddeii sweet vermouth as a winter sipper, made using native Australian botanicals. Serve on ice with an orange wedge and a green olive.


Winter has always been the domaine of stouts, porters, and all manner of dark beer, and as a man that drinks Guinness all year round, its a great time to see whats new in the world of dark beers. A trend that has become more and more common recently, is using nitrogen instead of carbon dioxide to add texture to these beer. Nitrogen gives the beer a much creamier feel (think Guinness), compared to the fizziness of carbon dioxide. Just remember to give the can a good shake, and rough pour when you serve it.


Cab frank is most famously grown in the Loire and Bordeaux regions of France. While not uncommon in Australia, it is often a variety that not many people have tasted, or gravitate too. Often a rich, fruit forward red wine, with flavours of forest berries and spice, its also have a herbal quality, that cuts through these more rounded notes, and stops the wine from being to heavy and over baked. Definitely a good winter wine to explore.


Rye whisky shares a lot of similarities to its cousin corn whisky (bourbon), but often has a slightly spicier, and fruiter flavour, which is the reason bourbons often contain a portion of rye in the mix. This spicy, fruity quality makes it a great winter sipper, whether its neat, or mixed with ginger ale and a slice of lime. I recommend Gospal rye, a great Australian craft rye, at a reasonable price.


Like vermouth, sparkling red has lost a lot of popularity with younger drinkers. Unfortunately that is the cruel reality of trends, however I believe sparkling reds are due for a come back, with Christmas spice flavours, and at the same time, a crisp and refreshing, there’s not much to dislike. Maybe this winter is the year we will all be drinking sparkling reds. I recommend Cofield sparkling shiraz durif, super easy drinking, and an insanely good price.

All seasonal sips are available from Blackhearts & Sparrows which you can get 7 days a week.

Shop 15/27 Lonsdale St, Braddon ACT 2612