Entries from February 2009 ↓

Open That Bottle Night

dustywineWell, the second month of 2009 has almost come to an end. February may be the shortest month, but it’s going out with a bang. February 28th is Open That Bottle Night.  Created by Wall Street Journal wine writers Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher, OTBN is a great excuses to open that bottle of wine that you’re saving for a “special occasion”. You know how it is, you bought a bottle of wine a couple of years ago, and there it sits. In your wine rack. Waiting. Waiting for that perfect occasion. Well, as Dorothy and John put it:

“This is exactly why we invented Open That Bottle Night, a celebration of wine, friends and memories during which all of us finally pull the cork on that bottle and enjoy the aromas, tastes, tears and laughter that always spill forth. “

While I’m a pretty optimistic person, even I know the importance of seizing the moment. We live in times where we need to cherish the ones around us, and celebrate life’s little successes. Besides, isn’t procrastination usually frowned upon? So, don’t procrastinate – open up that bottle! I think I’ll finally crack open a 2004 Harlan Estate that I got for my birthday. 

blomusIf you’re having your OTBN wine at dinner, why not display it on the table during the day? I just got this Blomus Stainless Steel Wine Holder, and I think it may become my new favorite tabletop wine rack. I like how it looks like a crazy paper clip, or one of those old-school hair barrettes. This wine rack does a really nice job of creating a showcase for your bottle.  With a centerpiece this nice, you may not even need a traditional bouquet of flowers.

A tabletop wine rack would be a great way to create anticipation for what will be a memorable night of good wine, good friends, and good times. Your friends will come over, see the wine, and you can spend some time talking about how fun it will be to drink it. Don’t forget to add the label to your wine tasting notebook! What will you be drinking this Saturday night?

Sangria!

Although sangria was popular in Spain for many years, it first gained popularity insangria2America during the 1964 World’s Fair. I love sangria, it’s easy to whip up and extremely versatile. You can make it with red or white wine, add any fruit you like, and finish it up with some carbonated water. In Portugal, it’s common to add some cinnamon to sangria!

Sangria is a perfect drink, no matter the season. In the warm months, it feels refreshing and invigorating. In the cold months, the freshness of the fruit makes you feel like you’re drinking summer in a glass. Sangria is also a perfect drink to serve to unexpected guests – it’s a way of stretching out a bottle of wine! Much better than giving everybody tiny thimble-sized servings of a bottle!

Here’s one of my favorite Sangria concoctions:

  • 2 oranges, washed and sliced thinly
  • 1 apple, washed and sliced thinly
  • 1 lemon, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 cup of brandy
  • 1 bottle of medium bodied red wine

Pile the sliced fruit into a large pitcher. Pour the sugar on top of the fruit, and let sit for 20 minutes. Add the wine and the brandy, and stir gently. I like to served the carbonated water on the side, so people can control how much fizz they get.

There are a lot of great ideas for Sangria recipes out there! I saw one using white wine, passionfruit and kiwis! That’s definitely one I’m going to try. Do you have any awesome sangria tips? Let me know!

Wall Mounted Wine Racks

So, you don’t have any counter space. And you don’t have any floor space. Cabinet space? Forget about it.

If this is your situation, you may have given up on having a wine rack. But guess what? Storage possibilities are all around you – literally! How about a wall mounted wine rack?

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This Wine and Stemware Rack is a great solution for a small kitchen. It holds up to five bottles of wine, and can hold up to 15 wine glasses. Don’t worry, there are retaining bars on top of the rack – and the grooves they make hold the wine bottles in place. Plus, if you’re not much of a wine drinker, but enjoy shaken drinks like martinis or cosmopolitans, this wall mounted rack would be a great way to accommodate liquor bottles and cocktail glasses.

 

1_115133_buIf you want a wall mounted wine rack that’s a little bigger – and you like a modern, minimalist look, here’s the Estate Wine Rack. This wine rack is crafted from steel and chrome – so it’ll really give your kitchen a clean look. It’s a whopping 35″ wide, so you’ll be able to fit a plethora of wine bottles and stemware. 

Another bonus of wall mounted wine racks is that they can actually help free up space in your cabinets! No more accidentally knocking over wine glasses when you reach into your cabinet – they’ll be safely stored on the wine rack!