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March is Women’s History Month and what better way to celebrate than by hosting your very own wine gathering! Here are some suggestions to make your wine gathering a success and celebrate the courageous women who have been an integral part of shaping our world.

Making History

Start by choosing wines that are cultivated by wineries owned by women and created by female winemakers. Record them in a wine journal to plan for your gathering, and create your own keepsake of history!

Some female winemakers to consider:

Margo Van Staaveren (Chateau St. Jean, Sonoma)
Stephanie Jacobs (Cakebread Cellars, Napa)
Berlin Crystal Kelly (Proud Pour, Oregon)
Nova Cadamatre (Trestle Thirty One, Finger Lakes)
Marcia Torres Forno (Matanzas Creek Winery, Sonoma)
Cathy Corison (Corison Winery, Napa)
Krista Scruggs (Zafa Wines, Vermont)
Geneviève Janssens (Robert Mondavi Winery, Napa)
Melissa Burr (Stoller Family Estate, Oregon)

If you’re feeling creative, why not explore building your own wine cellar in the tradition and style of a favorite historical figure or time period. Consider designing a wine cellar in the spirit of the ancient world and its famous women, like Cleopatra, Hypatia the astronomer, or the Roman poetess, Julia Balbilla—or maybe you want a wine cellar that is inspired by the authors and artists of 1920s Paris, like Gertrude Stein, Josephine Baker, or Maria Blanchard. The possibilities are endless!

Matanzas Creek Winery (Winemaker Marcia Torres Forno) Decorate with History

Celebrating Women’s History Month gives you an opportunity to decorate for a compelling theme.

Make it easy to find your house by announcing it with a colorful wine tapestry. Designed with the history buff in mind, this decoration by artist Domingue has a 1930s flair that can point the way to your gathering.

Inside, start with placing vintage candles in strategic locations, like the foyer when guests enter, or near a cheese platter to create ambiance. Each candle is made from biodegradable coconut wax and burns twenty hours. The scent even changes as the candle burns!

Pair with a pretty cork cage vintage wine jug, to display the ‘history’ of wines you’ve sampled. Another favorite decorative accessory is a tea towel set. The pattern has an antique look, which will support your history theme in the kitchen or the bathroom.

Castillo de Feliciana Vineyard and Winery (Owner Deborah Castillo) Cheese Please!

Every wine gathering will benefit from an impressive cheese platter. Did you know that historically women were a driving force in the 1970s artisanal cheese renaissance in America? Consider a Sonoma goat cheese made by Laura Chenel, a popular female cheesemaker. You can pair it with a glass of regional wine from Sonoma Valley, and offer it on a decorative serving board. It’s always nice to have a variety, so why not offer warm appetizers in a cheese fondue set.

White Wine (Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, etc)
Choose a cheese that is creamy and mild, like Brie or Bleu Cheese.

Red Wine (Tempranillo, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, etc)
Strong, aged hard cheese pair best, such as Asiago, Manchego, and Cheddar.

Piega Artisan Cheese Knives and a Petrified Wood Platter Grab Bags and Giveaways

While you’re shopping for your Women’s History Month gathering, you might also want to treat your guests to a gift bag. What person doesn’t like a memento or keepsake to remember the event, or an item they can use at a later date?

If you’re looking for ideas, try the Wine-Away stain remover, or a to-go emergency kit. You never know when you might need to get rid of a stain! Having several wine-infused hand soaps for guests to take home will keep them remembering your kindness for months.

One way to top the party experience is to send everyone away with their very own box of Wine Lovers Chocolate. Each decadent set pairs easily with a favorite wine, like cabernet, pinot noir, merlot, port and more.

King Estate (Master Gardener Jessie Russell) Gratitude Sharing

Before the last of the wine is poured, take a moment to remember what brought you together, and the bond you share, through wine. Tell stories of gratitude about the memorable women who’ve helped shape your lives. It might be a mother, aunt, sister, daughter, teacher or coworker. We don’t have to look far to find someone who has impacted our life in a positive and meaningful way. Raise a glass to them!

While you celebrate your friendship with a final toast, pledge to come together again next March. In doing so, you’ll have a chance to review your year and all the history you’ve made!

About the Author: Hunter Liguore teaches creative writing at Lesley University. Her novella, “L’ultimo Polare Orso,” has been translated and published in Italy, 2018. www.hunterliguore.org

The post Create Your Own History: Women’s History Month Wine Gathering appeared first on IWA Wine Accessories Blog.

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In Argentina, wine is an essential component of meals like spicy slow-cooked asado, inspiring the country to become a formidable wine producer and fifth largest in the world. Growing regions range from the Northern Salta through Catamarca, La Rioja, San Juan, Mendoza, Neuquén and Patagonia, moving to the coast with Santiago. Because of this wide variety of climates and soils, the regions have unique characteristics that stand out on the palate, making Buenos Aires a delightful city to visit for wine lovers.

Wines of Argentina

Malbec
The jewel of Argentinian wine, it has a pleasant mixture of flavors that shift based on vineyard region and harvest timing. Notes found in Malbec include ripe cherries, black pepper, coffee, hints of vanilla and even chocolate. It pairs perfectly with a charcuterie board or heaping plate of fresh, steaming pasta.

Bonarda
Sommeliers have categorized Bonarda as “the next Malbec” of Argentina. It has a similar body and rich color, but the grape has high acidity and milder tannins. The wine is fruit-forward with dark berries and in some cases fig and dry tobacco leaf flavors. Pair it with tender chicken or pork and tropical fruits like pineapple and mango. Bonarda’s hints of baking spice give it the ability to hold its own with intense flavors.

In addition to the flagship varietals, Buenos Aires tastings include Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Syrah, and Chardonnay.

Where to Visit

Pain Et Vin
This is a must for wine lovers, offering delectable cheese boards accompanied by sourdough bread with a tasting flight of four wines. Most importantly, an expert explains facts about the country and winemaking process. Book in advance to ensure a seat at this popular location.

Lo de Joaquín Alberdi
This tasting room pays tribute to the best in Argentinian wine. Its relaxed atmosphere encourages conversation, where you will meet other wine lovers, and sample from the best wineries in the country along with food bites of flavorful cheese and juicy ham. You can join a group or book a private tasting.

Vico Wine Bar
A personal favorite, this revolutionary wine tasting has a unique presentation. You receive a “credit card” to try the different samples of wine that are contained in dispensers. There are three size glasses from a dainty tasting glass to a traditional wine glass, and 140 labels of high quality wines from around the country. Diners wander past the dispensers and can talk with sommeliers, who are able to recommend which wines to try.

Vinoteca de Palacio Duhau
Inside Palacio Duhau, a luxurious hotel in Buenos Aires, is an elegant restaurant that offers an exclusive wine cellar characterized by their exquisite wine tasting events. A chef and wine expert guide diners through a seven course meal with a delicious selection of wines that compliment the region’s gastronomy.

Experience the Argentinian wine country by taking a tour from the capital, Buenos Aires, or stroll through the city while sipping a delicious red. Wine tasting in Buenos Aires can be exciting, even for those who are not wine aficionados.

About the Author: Gabriela Molina is a journalist student from Guatemala with passion for writing about food and travel. Recently she moved to Argentina where she fell in love with the culture, mainly because of their exquisite wines from different regions.

The post Wine Tasting in Buenos Aires appeared first on IWA Wine Accessories Blog.

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Chocolate punctuates many major holidays, like Valentine’s Day, Easter and Christmas, so it is a good idea to know how it pairs well with wine. Finding the right varietal for the right type of chocolate is key, and it is important to make sure that your flavors compliment, rather than overwhelm each other.

There are some main guidelines to keep in mind when choosing the perfect wine for your chocolate, starting with identifying the texture, the heaviness, the percentage of cocoa (the sweetness), and the other ingredients in your chocolate. Keeping that in mind, let’s get started!

Boska Fondue Pots
  • When you have a slab of chocolate with a smooth, creamy texture, pair it with a wine that has softer tones, rather than a bold, high tannin wine.
  • Pair light, elegant chocolate with light red wines, and heavier chocolates with full-bodied wines. The heavier the chocolate, the more body your wine should have. For instance, a piece of hard, bittersweet chocolate would pair well with the punchy, acidic, fruity flavors of Cabernet Sauvignon.
  • An important tip when pairing wine with chocolate is to start off with a wine that is slightly sweeter than the chocolate itself. Try to find a wine with high sugar content or a fruit-forward flavor, to ensure the perfect balance. If the chocolate is much sweeter than the wine, it will result in a dry mouth feel. Fortified wines like Madeira, Marsala, Port and Sherry tend to work well.
Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate evokes rich, deep flavors, and needs a full-bodied wine that can match its character, preferably with hints of darker fruit such as blueberry, cranberry and blackberry in the wine. You can’t go wrong with the wonderful fortified French Wine Banyuls, which blends seamlessly with the flavors in dark chocolate.

Semi-sweet Dark Chocolate
A Syrah or Muscat works well, drawing out the complex fruit notes in your chocolate, creating a fantastic blend.

Bittersweet Dark Chocolate
Look for an intense wine like Barbera, or a warm climate Merlot, that will compliment the slightly dry tones. Zinfandel Port-style wine is also a great choice, with its robust spicy taste, or a Malbec. If you prefer heavier wine, try an original Portuguese Port, whose cinnamon flavors will bring out the best in your chocolate. To highlight nutty or coffee flavors, try pairing it with a PX Sherry.

While all these pairings are delicious, Italian dessert wines are my go-to when it comes to dark chocolate, like a good Vin Santo del Chianti, which brings out lovely hints of nuts, cherries and cinnamon.

Wine Lovers Chocolate Collection Milk Chocolate

This is one of the easiest chocolates to pair with wine, as a result of its creamy texture and gentle sweetness. A number of dessert wines go well with milk chocolate, like Riesling, Muscat, or a PX Sherry which will stand up to the distinct milk chocolate flavors. Make sure that the wine is sweeter than the milk chocolate; otherwise, you might end up with some unpleasant bitterness.

Late-harvest wines, when paired with milk chocolate, bring out wonderful flavors. You can also use a light-bodied Pinot Noir or Cabernet Sauvignon. A Ruby Port’s spicy, berry flavors will be enhanced when paired with milk chocolate. For delicate hints of peach and strawberry, try pairing with the sparkling Lambrusco di Sorbara or Brachetto d’Acqui.

I’m quite a fan of milk chocolate myself, and one of my favorite pairings is an earthy Maury, especially with treasured milk chocolate truffles. They complement each other wonderfully.

White Chocolate

Since white chocolate is made with cocoa fat, as opposed to actual cocoa, it tends to have a buttery texture and pairs best with extremely sweet wine that allows its mild flavors to shine through. Popular wine pairings with white chocolate include Sherry, Orange Muscat or Moscato D’Asti, which will bring hints of orange, while accenting the creaminess of the chocolate. You would also do well to try white chocolate with Champagne, preferably one that isn’t too dry. One of my go to pairings with milk chocolate is ice wine. When you pair a Vidal Blanc, or a Riesling, with white chocolate, you get some fantastic bright citrus tones.

If you are feeling adventurous, experiment with contrasting chocolate and wine. Try pairing a mild white chocolate with a spicy Zinfandel, which might not be for everyone but makes an exciting combination. Light reds like Beaujolais, Petite Sirah and Pinot Noir are excellent contrasting wines.

Flavored Chocolates

Chocolate comes in all sorts of flavors and fillings. Here’s a little cheat sheet to help you pair chocolates with additional ingredients:

  • Caramel Chocolate: Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Vin Santo, Sherry, Madeira, and aged wines like Tawny Port and Moscatel de Setubel.
  • Mint Chocolate: Petite Syrah Port, or a Touriga Nacional.
  • Orange Chocolate: Pinot Gris, Madeira.
  • Peanut Chocolate: Oloroso Sherry, Amontillado Sherry, Madeira, or oaked Chardonnay.
  • Fruit & Coconut Chocolate: Pinot Grigio, Viognier, Chardonnay.

There is so much more to know about pairing wine and chocolate, but I hope this comprehensive guide will help you dip your toe into this whole new world. It is important to keep exploring when it comes to tasting and pairing; finding a sweet spot can be a beautiful thing, but you will never know unless you give it a try.

About the Author: Thalia Bell has always had a passion for writing. She recently took a trip to France and visited Bordeaux, where she fell in love with wine, and has been a fan of cheese from a young age; when she put the two together, she felt a sense of satisfaction, and since then, has attended many wine and cheese tastings.

The post How to Pair Wine and Chocolate appeared first on IWA Wine Accessories Blog.

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Spain is a beautiful country, especially for wine lovers, since it is one of the world’s largest producers of wine with over 70 recognized regions. This fall, I went on a trip to Barcelona, where I fell in love with food all over again, like fromage, finely cured Catalan meat, and best of all, great wine.

It is highly unlikely that you will go anywhere in Barcelona without hearing about Cava, the sparkling wine of the locals, since 95% of it is produced in Catalonia. It is primarily comprised of three grape varieties, macabeo, parellada and xarel.lo, and is either sparkling white or rosé. The wine is wonderfully light and refreshing, and goes with just about every meal, including desserts. It has remarkable flavors, ranging from dry to sweet, and leaves quite the impression on your palate. Be sure to pay a visit to Freixenet and Codorníu, two famous producers of Cava in Barcelona, and of course, the region that claims to be the first producer of Cava, Sant Sadurní d’Anoia.

There are many other wines in Spain that are simply too good to miss. Try white wine from the regions of Empordà and Penedès, or splendid reds from Priorat. What makes Barcelona remarkable is that wine is a passion shared by all; traditions are explored and celebrated without pretension. Some of the best places in the city are bodegas you see along the street, which are a combination wine cellar and shop.

Bodega Maestrazgo – This was one of my favourite wine tasting spots in Barcelona, with a remarkable collection from all over Spain, and prices ranging from two digits to four, perfect for any customer. The ambiance is wonderful too, with a charming exterior and a cozy back room, where you can sit amidst crates of wine and sample as much as you like. Pair with the lovely Spanish hams and traditional olive dishes, served at the bodega itself, for the perfect experience.

Vila Viniteca – This is another hot spot for wine lovers, with a fabulous range of varietals, cheeses, confitures, and Iberian ham, often described as an emporium of gastronomy. Their deli is well worth stopping by. Don’t forget to check their calendar, which is full of tastings, festivals and other fun events  throughout the year.

Our Slate Serving Board is perfect for serving your own tapas.

Monvinic – Everything about this wine bar sets it apart, from the atmospheric mixture of contemporary furnishings with farmhouse chic to its sterling reputation as one of the best places to learn more about wine.  Bottles are shipped in from all over the world, and they offer blind flights to explore wine based on taste and aroma alone. Monvinic is an unforgettable experience for wine-zealots to journey through.

Eldiset – This unpretentious and increasingly popular wine bar in the Passeig del Born is perfect for sampling Catalan wine and exploring all its different flavors. Staff at Eldiset are wine connoisseurs or sommeliers with excellent recommendations, and there are tasty tapas to enjoy. If you are looking for an alternative to wine, they also have unique cocktails.

You should be all set for a wine tasting trip to Barcelona. To learn more about Spanish wine, and sample a variety of flavors from different wine and tapas bars, I strongly recommend taking a Spanish wine-tasting tour, so that you can “drink in” the entire experience while being guided by passionate experts.

About the Author: Thalia Bell has always had a passion for writing. She recently took a trip to France and visited Bordeaux, where she fell in love with wine, and has been a fan of cheese from a young age; when she put the two together, she felt a sense of satisfaction, and since then, has attended many wine and cheese tastings.

The post Wine Tasting in Barcelona appeared first on IWA Wine Accessories Blog.

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Following basic guidelines when pairing wine with vegetarian dishes can help you find that “sweet spot” of flavor. With this guide, you will be able to select the perfect wine for a vegetarian meal.

Just as with all food and wine pairing, paying attention to the tones of the food is crucial, keeping in mind its acidity, sweetness, saltiness, tartness, intensity, and so on.

General Trends
  • Brighter whites go with most vegetables.
  • Light red wine, like Chianti, Pinot Noir and Zinfandel can augment the main course.
  • Wines with fruity tones like Shiraz can also pair well, as long as they are not too strong.
  • It is important to keep in mind how the food has been cooked, as this can change its flavor intensity.
  • If you are working with something light, like a salad, pair it with a crisp wine like a dry white or rosé that is equally delicate.
  • A hot, hearty dish like a bowl of pasta or a casserole, pairs well with a deeper bodied red.

Find the Dominant Flavor

  • One of the reasons why pairing food with vegetables can seem more daunting than pairing them with meat or fish is because vegetarian dishes often include more ingredients, which might make pairing seem more complicated. Identify the dominant flavor in a dish and accentuate it with the right wine.
  • Dishes with dominant mushroom flavors taste great with a Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay works quite well too, if you prefer a white wine.
  • For potato based dishes, whites like Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc as well as medium body reds like Merlot or Barbera would stand up to the potatoes without overpowering their flavors.
  • Dishes with green, herby flavors can sometimes be overpowering, which makes pairing them with wine complex. They work quite well with whites like Sauvignon Blanc, unoaked Chardonnay, and, with certain distinct herby flavors like that of capers and basil, a Pinot Grigio can work.
  • Dishes prepared with rich ingredients such as olive oil, cream, butter, or cheese, which have an enriching effect on the vegetable, an buttery wine, like oaked Chardonnay, is perfect, blending seamlessly with the fatty veggie flavors.
Schott Zwiesel Tritan Pure Collection

Roasted Vegetables

When vegetables are roasted, they lose most of their earthy tones and take on sweeter, more powerful flavors that need a stronger wine to compliment them. Red wines, like Syrah, Zinfandel, and Chianti go well; if you prefer white wine, try a strong Riesling. Here are some roasted vegetables that are more difficult to pair with wine:

  • Tomatoes become sweet and strange once they have been roasted, retaining only a hint of their natural acidity. These flavors go beautifully with Italian red wines like Chianti, Barbera d’Asti and Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. You would also do well to look for a full-bodied, fruity flavor for roasted tomatoes, like Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, and Malbec.
  • Broccoli or brussel sprouts hang onto their earthy flavors even after they’ve been grilled. For these, make sure to give white Bordeaux or a Chenin Blanc a shot.

With these tips, pairing vegetables with wine should be easier, and give you an idea of what flavors to look for. Don’t be daunted by the challenge! Exploring new possibilities will give you a chance to widen your comfort zone and knowledge of food and wine.

About the Author: Thalia Bell has always had a passion for writing. She recently took a trip to France and visited Bordeaux, where she fell in love with wine, and has been a fan of cheese from a young age; when she put the two together, she felt a sense of satisfaction, and since then, has attended many wine and cheese tastings.

The post Wine Pairing with Vegetarian Dishes appeared first on IWA Wine Accessories Blog.

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The holiday season is fast-approaching. The mood is set and expectations are high; it’s time to reconnect with friends and loved ones. Do you have the needed home bar items to complete the holiday and make it full of fun? If you enjoy festive alcoholic drinks, you know that the glass, environment and presentation all play a key role in adding merriment. These seven bar tools will ensure the season goes smoothly.

1. Glass Globe Display Rack

Have you ever faced a challenge of neatly storing a wide array of glasses? If you have ever entertained an alcohol drinking party at home, you will identify with this challenge. No matter how big your countertop is, you always find glasses unevenly scattered about. Overcrowded countertops do not look good, and worse still, a guest may accidentally knock and break one of the stems.

Make this holiday completely different by purchasing the glass globe display rack. Not only will this display organize and simplify your glass handling, it will also boost the overall aesthetics of the house. Who doesn’t like to earn a few praises from friends over their taste for art and organization?

2.  Ultimate Pewter Funnel

The Ultimate Pewter Funnel comes in handy when your preferred drink is red wine. Pour through the aerator without wasting a drop. This pewter funnel comes with a filter which will help you eliminate any wine sediments ensuring that you get a clean pour. If you are a wine enthusiast, this is a must-have home bar item.

3. Soapstone Serving Slab

Raise the celebratory ambiance with this one-of-a-kind serving dish. The Soapstone Serving Slab is not only functional, it depicts a sense of art and reflects the harmony of nature. It will add to the convenience of serving and creates the wow moment every party host longs for.

4. Crafthouse Cocktail Smoking Box

From time to time, you will be crafting specialty cocktails at home, especially when hosting big parties. With this smoke gun and box, you’ll be able to give a professional quality experience without leaving your kitchen.

Designed by Chicago award-winning mixologist Charles Joly, it is inspired by Art Deco era cocktails and architecture, with a latching door and polished metal top. Simply place wood chips into the smoke gun and pull the trigger to light them. When the box fills with smoke, it infuses the drink or food with special flavors.

5. Italesse LED Chilling Tub

If you are intending to serve chilled wine or champagne this holiday, then it is helpful to pick up this chilling tub. The Italesse LED Chilling Tub keeps drinks chilled for serving, and the white lights in the rechargeable base create a sparkling effect on the immersed bottles.

6. Laguiole En Aubrac White Bone Waiters Corkscrew

The list of must-have bar items would not be complete without this corkscrew. Hand-crafted in France according to centuries old tradition, it comes with a foil cutter, making it a double-purpose tool. Fashioned from strong smooth stainless steel with an artistically carved handle from white bone, it is guaranteed for life. If you love art and durability, then this is the best corkscrew for your home bar.

7. Milano Tray Set

Surprise your guests by serving snacks and appetizers on these striking serving pieces. Faux crocodile leather lines the top and bottom of the rich wood trays that nest inside each other for easy storage. If you are looking for a spectacular item to showcase this holiday, this is it. Boost the flair of any holiday gathering with these lovely trays.

If you have a great party idea, then you need to equip yourself with essential bar items to ensure a merry gathering that will evoke nostalgia in the years to come. Season’s Greetings!

About the Author: Philemon Mulwa is a freelance writer who loves crafting engaging articles to inform, educate, and entertain his readers. He blogs at Ncenafipost.com.

The post 7 Must-have Bar Gifts for the Holiday Season appeared first on IWA Wine Accessories Blog.

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‘Tis the weeks before Christmas and all through the land
People are shopping for gifts that aren’t bland.
Stockings are hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes IWA would soon share its wares.
While bottles are nestled all snug in new totes,
Visions of gift-wrapping dance with gift-notes.
And Mama with her Winekeeper faucet of brass,
Had just settled in for a long winter’s glass
When down in the cellar there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the pub table to see what was the matter.
Away to the Transtherm I flew—no, I soared,
Tore open the doors, and pulled out a drawer.
And like the moon on the breast of the new fallen snow,
Reflected the luster of bottles below;
Then what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a Cork Cage Sleigh, and eight Placecard Reindeer,
With a Collectible-size driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick!
More rapid than aerators, his coursers they came,
As he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
“Now Glasses, Decanters! Now Openers and Stoppers,
“On Wine Charms! On Coasters! On Tags and Cork Poppers;
“To the top of the list! Forget trips to the mall!
“Now click away! Click away! Click away, all!”
(And as dry mouths before Christmas parties do smack,
Until met with libation once foils are cracked…)
It was up to the main house, our family they flew,
With a carrier full of treats – and edibles, too!
Tinkling of cocktail pics was to be heard ‘neath our roof,
among various glassware holding various “proofs.”
We swirled our liquids and wines round and round,
Til up from the cellar came ‘Nick’ with a bound:
Dressed in pajamas, from his head to his foot,
Not one piece of clothing sported ashes or soot;
He wheeled a VinGardeValise close behind,
And look’d at us cheerily “Oh Great! Just in time!…
I heard all the twinkling and laughter so merry,
Might I share in a cocktail with one of those fancy Cherries?”
Then he drew up his mouth like an IWA gift bow
Atop of his beard white as the snow;
A piece of Wine Chocolate he bit down with his teeth,
While standing below our Wine Country Wreath.
“Down you go into my little round belly…”
And next popped in his mouth a flavored Wine Jelly.
Then he refilled our glasses, the right jolly old elf,
So I had another in spite of myself;
(A shake of the Shaker and a twist of fresh lime
A new Moscow Mule in frankly, no time…)
Then he spoke not a word and went straight to his work,
To fill all our stockings; then turned with a jerk,
“I know some look skinny, but they’re e-gift cards, you see
Visit IWA and your gifts are on me!”
Then he sprung to his sleigh and to his team gave a sign,
And away they all vanished, like a downed glass of wine:
We heard him exclaim as he drove further away-
“Happy Holidays to all, from me & I-W-Aaaa!”

Tips for Holiday Shopping with IWA eGift Certificates

Our no expiration gift certificates are available in seven denominations ranging from $10 – $2000. (Apply to any number of purchases until the full balance used.)

Cork Cages

IWA offers a wide variety of decorative cork cages celebrating themes from around the world that are perfect for your holiday party centerpieces.

Full-size cages are available in 37 styles within 11 over-arching themes: Wine, Home, Holiday, Farm, International, Nautical, Fashion, Country-Western, Animals, Technology and Transportation.

Ornaments are available in 20 styles—perfect to match to loved ones’ interests: Wine Barrel, Wine Bottle, Champagne Bottle, Wine Glass, Eiffel Tower, Handbag, Ladies’ Boot, Hot Air Balloon, Teapot, Watering Can, Bird’s Nest, Guitar, Cowboy Boot, Pineapple, Dog, Sleigh, Snowman, Reindeer, and 3-Ornament Assortment.

Stoppers available in 6 styles for stylish, wine-loving & entertaining-types:
Barrel, Watering Can, Cowboy Boot, Pineapple, Dog, Pouf Design

Personalization Deadlines

“Order by” to receive items by December 24:

Dec 3 – Barrel Top Lazy Susan
Dec 7* – Most Glassware and Decanters; Wood Boxes, including Olive Oil & Vinegar gift set in Wooden Box; Most Wood Carriers (WineKeeper upgrade optional)
Dec 9 – Peppermills, Marble Chillers.
Dec 13 – Bourbon Barrel-Top Lazy Susan; Wood Cutting Boards & Serving Trays; Oak End Table
Dec 14 – Most Coasters, Barrel Plaque
Dec 15 – Small Whiskey & Wine Aging Barrels; Oakwood Tray with Iron Base

*NOTE: Some Dec 7 items only apply to East Coast: deadline extends to Dec 13 for West Coast buyers. See product details for specifics.

Gift Wrapping

Available for most “In Stock” inventory.

  • Only $4.95 per item, it includes a beautifully wrapped gift finished with a ribbon and a hand-written card with your message.
  • Please include a “FROM: name” with your message, unless it is Secret Santa!
  • To add: select “Gift Wrap” on item’s page, add your message, then click “Add to Cart.”
More Holiday Articles

Thanks for a stellar 2018 and we’ll see you next year!

About the Author: Seattle-based writer, Lori Stevens, is the author of Wine: A No Snob Guide. Drink Outside the Box. Berkeley, California, Rockridge Press, 2015.

The poem is © 2018 Lori Stevens – All Rights Reserved, adapted from Clement Clarke Moore.

The post Season’s Greetings from IWA – Tips for Holiday Shopping appeared first on IWA Wine Accessories Blog.

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There’s something about holiday decorations that bring out the inner child in everyone, like when a home looks like Santa crash-landed his sleigh sending bits and bobs cascading like New Year’s fireworks onto every surface. You’ll be the most Instagram-worthy home in your neighborhood!

Do you love the holidays as much as us? Then imagine the joy that will fill your candy hearts once you lay eyes on IWA’s latest seasonal selection—enough to turn any apartment, home, or business into a mini North Pole—without setting you back too many gold-covered chocolate coins!

Deck the halls, nestle seasonal doo-dads and décor in every nook and cranny, and then IWA can help you distribute good spirits, literally and figuratively, as you Ring in the Jolly with a slew of great gifts guaranteed to fill loved ones with holiday cheer.

Deck the Halls

 

What are holidays without a wreath? We’ve got two festive options, so take your pick: real (lasts up to 3 months,) or faux (never out of place.)

Our Santa collectibles aren’t for little ones: proving once and for all the wine-loving man in the red suit is just like us! Choose from three premium hand-crafted poses.

Santa Collectible with Wine and Cookies

Next, top off those holiday tables with a bright & shiny Reindeer Trivet of sturdy metal with rubber feet. Also in Snowflake design. (Perhaps you prefer Ceramic?) Either way, they won’t be lonely with a table full of Reindeer Placecard Holder buddies who will keep them company while reining-in guests.

For wine-lovers, make everyone’s glasses absolutely “charming” with magnetic holiday glass charms, and keep Sleigh Stopper bottle-toppers nearby.

For cocktails, make sure glasses and garnishes are twinkling with pewter or silver-plated Snowflake Cocktail Picks.

For the bar area, add one of our special holiday-edition cork cages—cork collecting has never been so attractive and convenient! Available as old fashioned Sleighs, in silver or patina; Holiday Boot; or Wreath.

And introducing (cue the twelve drummers drumming…)
Miniature Versions! Our wonderful, whimsical cork cages are now available as Ornaments! We have a jaw-dropping 20 styles—enough to decorate a whole tree! They’re way too cute to keep all to yourself; so buy two sets, maybe three!

Appropriate for year-round décor, match the ornaments to guests’ personalities to stuff stockings, adorn gifts—or be the gift, (even better around the neck of a special bottle to swap corks with, later.) Great for Host & Thank You Gifts, too.

Our eye-popping selection includes: Wine Barrel, Wine Bottle, Wine Glass, Eiffel Tower, Handbag, Ladies’ Boot, Hot Air Balloon, Teapot, Watering Can, Bird’s Nest, Guitar, Cowboy Boot, Pineapple, Dog, Sleigh, Bell, Snowman, Reindeer, and 3-Ornament Assortment.

So go ahead: tell guests to find their name attached to a Cork Cage Ornament on your tree to take home with them and remember your magical night forever.

Now Spread the Jolly! Personalized Recycled Wood Gift Box

Halls decked – check! Next on list? Spread good cheer. And how else but with Gifts! All the makings for holly-jolly holidays are just one-click-away.

Have loved ones been extra-good this year? Great! Because our elves have hand-picked a spectacular lineup of presents and even sorted them by category and price for you to boot.

KEY:
$ = Under $25     $$ = $25-50     $$$ = $51-100     $$$$ = Over $100

IWA’s GIFT BUNDLES FOR THE…

…HOST!
$$      Black Leather Wine Tote
$$      Le Creuset Foilcutter, Black Nickel
$        Wine Soaps
$        Vintage-Chic Ceramic Memo Board
$        Eco Candle in Wine Bottle
$        Beaded Snowflake Coasters
$        Mini Skull Decanters

…WINE-LOVER!
$$$    Barrel Stave Decanter Flight Set
$$      Vino Gondola 3-bottle Champagne bucket
$        Marble Arabesque Coasters
$        Wine Charms: Glasses & Icons sets
$        Wine Bottle Thermometer
$        Fine Stemware Polishing Cloths

…FOODIE!
$$     Wine Lovers Chocolate Collection
$$     Whiskey Lovers Caramel Collection
$$     Boska Fondue Set
$$     Mini Marble Cutting Boards
$       Perfect Pairings Book (Hardcover)

…FASHIONISTA/ SHOE FAN!
$$     Ladies Boot Cork Cage (Ornament size, too.)
$$     Black Stiletto Wine Bottle Holder
$       Magnetic Pump Glass Charms
$       Couture Shoe Wine Bottle Stopper
$       Love Shoes & Wine Coasters

…SPORTS ENTHUSIAST!
$$     Virginia Peanuts Gift Set
$$     Football Helmet Cork Cage
$$     Beer Cap Keeper
$       Golf Bag Wine Holder
$       Graf Lantz Coasters

…PET-LOVER!
$$     Cat Cork Cage Cat or Dog (Ornaments, too!)
$$     Dog Wine Bottle Holder
$$     Pet Wines for Cats or Dogs
$       Pet Party Coasters

…MEMORY-KEEPER!
$$     Wine Album
$$     Photo Frame Cork Cage
$       Selfie Magnetic Glass Charms
$       LabelOff Label Remover 8

…CRAFTER!
$$     CORKS Sign Cork Cage
$$     Cork Bulletin Board Kit
$$     Cork Trivet Kit
$       Recycled Corks Set of 50

…MIXOLOGIST
$$$$ Crafthouse Cocktail Smoking Box & Smoke Gun
$       Wine Barrel Wood Chips
Premium Bar Tools:
$$$ – Crafthouse Set 
$$$ – Swissmar Set 
$$   – Bitters
$     – Cherries
$     – Crafthouse Steel Bar Spoon

…ABSINTHE LOVER
$$$$ Lucca Café Goblets & Pitcher Set
$$     Chianti Decanter
$       Islay Whisky Tumblers Set
$$    Absinthe Spoons Set

Absinthe Spoons Set and St Remy Aperitif Glasses

Enclose this tip sheet on nice paper with your Absinthe Gift:

Enjoying Absinthe
Fine absinthe – 1 oz. in a flared or open-mouth glass.
Absinthe spoon – allows water and melting sugar to pass into the glass below.
Sugar cube – gourmet sugar cubes take longer to dissolve
Ice-cold water – at-the-ready in a pitcher, carafe, or absinthe decanter

Absinthe, in the 106 -148 proof range, is not intended to be drunk neat. Temper with water to the strength of a glass of wine by pouring a small amount of water onto the sugar cube. Allow to sit for a minute to saturate, loosen and begin dissolving.

Then drizzle a slender stream, watching closely as the sugar and water mix and emulsify the essential oils to create a “louche”—the cloudy effect for which absinthe is famous. Coordinate pouring speed to dissolve the sugar cube around the same time the glass is nearly full. (The water-to-absinthe ratio should reach ~5:1.) Stir any remaining, undissolved sugar in the bottom of the glass. Take ice into account if using, as it will dilute further.

Schott Zwiesel Air Sense Collection

… THE PREMIERE CONNOISSEUR: ($$$$)
Laguiole Buffalo Horn Champagne Saber
Aroma Kits (Choice of Four at two price points.)
Schott Zwiesel Air Sense Burgundy Set
Cascade Pewter Funnel
Clef du Vin Set (Wine aging tool)

Final Touches… Santa Collectible with Wine Tapestry Cape

Don’t forget to check out our personalization and gift messaging options for each item; plus totes and boxes to deliver the goods!

Throw a couple sets of these stylish, fun wine-themed wine bottle gift tags in your cart for good measure. Two styles: white on black or holiday red on white.

Don’t delay—the merch is flying off our shelves faster than we can shout “tis the season!” Order soon or risk the dreaded “Backorder” spoiling your yuletide cheer and perfect gift.

All that’s left is cozying up with your favorite people for warm, festive revelry knowing IWA was the best Santa’s lil’ Helper this side of the North Pole.

As they say in Hollywood “that’s a wrap!” We can package your gifts in festive wrapping paper with a custom message and send it directly to your loved ones! Our $4.95 gift wrap service is available on “In Stock” smaller products. Take the hassle out of holiday gifting!

As they say in Santa’s workshop:
HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL & TO ALL A GREAT NIGHT!

About the Author: Seattle-based writer Lori Stevens shops IWA for her holiday needs and hopes you will, too! Have a safe and wonderful season. Thanks for being an IWA customer and supporter. Happy 2019!

The post Deck the Halls with Holiday Gifts & Decor appeared first on IWA Wine Accessories Blog.

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When holidays have landlubbers trading snow for sand and Ho-ho-ho’s for Yo-ho-ho’s, IWA still delivers the goods. Whether that urge to escape lands you on, next to, or surrounded by water, don’t be left high and dry without these sea-worthy seasonal scores. Anchors aweigh!

 

SMOOTH SAILING HOLIDAYS

“I saw three ships come sailing in…” while the wind and waves sent things slip-sliding and soaring. But you can make every bon voyage très bon with these trusty unbreakable mates in tow!

No longer will cramped quarters limit festive cocktailing options: go overboard with pre-prepped holiday grogs in our lightweight canvas cocktail totes. (Two fabric flasks, 8 and 4 oz., with silicon & aluminum shot glasses.)

For shatter-proof class without glass, use Govino! Choose from five styles: red or white wine, flute, whiskey, and beer. You can personalize them, too.

Our new double-wall, sweat-proof Swig Tumblers are durable, great-looking, and keep liquids cold or hot for up to 9 hours. Choose from colors of Pearl, Rose Gold, or Turquoise. Perfect for warm mulled wine or cold holiday toddys!

‘Leak’ is not a good word to hear on board a ship, but at least we’ve got the wine covered—literally! Everyone loves leak-proof Capabunga wine stoppers! Flat tops allow for easy-squeezing and sliding into coolers and tight boat fridges, even sideways.

What’s worse than sailing away with purple teeth? Seeing them immortalized in post-float party pics! Keep your smile snow-white with handy wine wipes.

COASTAL CELEBRATIONS Treasure chest? Try treasure cage! Save special corks with sea glass and shells in exotic cork cages. (Pineapple shown, more coastal-themes available, many in 3 styles: Full Size, Ornament, or Bottle Stopper.)

Traveling with wine? Whether coming or going, IWA’s convenient and reliable carriers, totes, and trolleys make for personal seaside sleighs-full-o-goodies. Amazed companions will say “You fit all that in your bag?” faster than you can say “I come bearing gifts!”

ISLAND HOLIDAYS

TERROIR.
Most of the world’s best wine regions are coastal-adjacent (rivers included,) but only a few islands boast world-class vineyards, so the tropics often leave options lacking. When bringing your own wine on a holiday vacation, start with leak-proof WineSkin bottle transport bags. They fit easily into luggage and keep both your bottles and belongings safe and stain-free.

VinGardeValise Silver Wine Luggage

TRANSPORTABILITY.
Four-wheeling and islands go together like menorahs and dreidels. Our wine carriers are airline-friendly and the numbers have got us singing! Even stuffed with up to 12 bottles, they stay under the checked 50 lb. luggage limit. (Bonus? Checking bags costs less than shipping.)

Go super-deluxe with WineKaddy’s thick, durable and lightweight aluminum shell with temperature-stabilizing styrene interior that protects and insulates wine. (Silver or Bronze.)

Or, the sharp and reliable VingardeValise, which boasts a polycarbonate shell, configurable high-density foam interior, and 360-spinners. (12 or 8-bottle. Multi-colors available.)

Our budget-aware reusable Wine Check Luggage is a no-brainer, featuring a collapsible fabric shell around a cardboard shipper with lightweight Styrofoam compartments and telescoping handle.

Wine Check Luggage Red Set

TEMPERATURE.
Tropical latitudes may chill attitudes, but heat and humidity do a number on beverages. Even Frosty would be safe with these quick, keep-it-cool solutions, if only he could fit!

Pack a Vacu Vin Rapid Ice Chiller in your carry-on, then freeze this bottle jacket as soon as you check in. Once frozen, slip over any wine bottle to chill down in five minutes and stay that way up to two hours.

Extra containers a nuisance? Pour a whole bottle of wine into our unbreakable, earth-friendly, BPA-free, Corkcicle Canteen and go! Clean, stainless steel won’t affect taste, and three layers keep drinks cold (or hot) a whopping 25 hours. (In 2 colors.)

Before you hit the road, throw IWA Wine Bottle Stoppers into your bag. You’ll thank us once tiny flying critters start circlin’ and humidity-swollen corks won’t fit back into that half-finished, over-priced bottle from the mini-bar. Stocking Stuffer deal!

HOLIDAY ROAD TRIPS TO SEASIDE DESTINATIONS

When coastal excursions don’t require boats or planes, the world is your oyster, and IWA is here to help you shuck it! (Don’t forget their perfect pairs: scotch, dry whites or bubbles–and add in our Tsar Nicolai Caviar Sampler while you’re at it!)

First place a fish cork cage center-stage wherever you’re staying to let fellow revelers know you’re collecting cork-and-cap memories (while keeping the place tidy!)

Next, before you get that beach campfire roaring, break out the Schott Zweisel Sangria Glasses for a light, fruity sunset ‘Welcome’ toast. Set of 6.

Sangria Recipe:

  • 1 bottle of dry red wine (750ml)
  • 5 oz brandy or light rum
  • 3 oz orange juice
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • 4 oz soda water or grapefruit soda
  • 2 slices each: lemon, lime, orange
  • Optional cinnamon stick
  • Serve on ice
Sea Turtle Cork Cage

Rise-and-shine with mimosas and bellinis, then use our Super Seal Champagne Stopper to keep bits o’ bubbly fizzy until you wet-yer-pipes later with a pre-dinner apertif:

French 75 Recipe:

  • 4 oz Champagne
  • 1/4 oz gin
  • 1/4 oz Cointreau
  • 1/4 oz lemon juice
  • Shake the gin, Cointreau and lemon juice with cracked ice, then strain into a chilled flute
  • Top with Champagne and a twist of lemon

No friendly beach volleyball or football match is complete without cold bevys! Our 15L Waterproof Cooler Bag is made from heavy duty tarpaulin—the perfect transportable refrigerator-on-straps for the group’s drinks-of-choice. (So versatile!)

Maybe your romantic getaway left the group behind? Then nothing says R&R like a Picnic. Check out our broad selection of cocktail cases, picnic baskets, backpacks and totes—perfect for walks along winter-wonderlands and sand!

While Mother Nature crashes waves onto rocks and sand outdoors, cozy up indoors and decant a gorgeous bottle (or two) with our charming Ocean Series Puffer Fish Aerator. Placed in wide mouth decanters, it diffuses and aerates wine in gentle cascades. 100% pewter and on sale!

Can’t finish the bottle? Fret not! Repour Wine Savers are another Christmas miracle! Unlike complex vacuum pumps and preservation systems, simply insert. Repour’s special cartridge reduces bottle oxygen to less than half a percent! (Professionals swear by them.) Set of 4.

Dolphin Cork Cage

Whenever non-traditional holidays have you seeing (or feeling) blue, let IWA help tie up loose ends. We’ve got the largest selection of nautical and beach friendly wine wares across the seven seas. Très bon voyage!

About the author: Seattle-based writer Lori Stevens loves being on or near water almost as much as wine. Learn more about her book, Wine: A No Snob Guide: Drink Outside the Box Berkeley, CA: Rockride Press, 2015.

The post Coastal and Seaside Holiday Entertaining appeared first on IWA Wine Accessories Blog.

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She’s the glue that holds the family together, the one who always remembers little details and makes everyone feel special. If your mother loves to entertain, consider these 11 gifts that will help her host charming parties, from book club gatherings to family potlucks. Some of them are customizable, so you can put your own personalized stamp on your holiday gift to let her know just how much she means to you.

Under $200 Artisan Cheese Knives Piega #75-345

Artisan Cheese Knives
Where there’s wine, there’s cheese (or at least there should be). If you need one more stocking stuffer to surprise your mom, consider this artisan cheese knife set, which comes with three stainless steel knives. Whether she prefers parmesan or gouda, these rustic knives can get the job done while looking elegant on a serving platter — there’s one for semi-hard cheeses, one for soft cheeses and a serving knife.

Spiegelau Vino Grande Champagne Glasses
The next time you have something to celebrate, whether that’s a birthday or ringing in the New Year, she’ll definitely want to break out these Spiegelau Vino Grande champagne glasses and pour some bubbly. This four-glass set is made in Germany from lead-free crystal. The glasses are durable and chic, plus they’re dishwasher safe.

Teapot Cork Cage
If she loves to have a glass of wine with dinner, then chances are she has quite a few corks around the house — why not use them to decorate? This whimsical teapot cork cage can help you do just that. The white paint and soft patina will match any decor color scheme, plus the multi-colored glass accents add a bit of intrigue and playfulness.

Reindeer Place Card Holders
Throwing a holiday dinner party soon? Make good use of these adorable reindeer place card holders, made with an antique metal finish. Their prancing design will add a bit of whimsy to your holiday place settings, as well as tell your guests where to sit. They’ll look perfect next to your red and green napkins, festive dishes and, of course, your wine glasses.

Crafthouse Bar Tools and Shaker Set
This elegant bar tools and shaker set has a timeless design, which means she’ll be able to use it to mix yummy beverages for years to come. The commercial-grade set was designed by Chicago mixologist Charles Joly and creates a feeling of nostalgia for the Prohibition era. It features a Boston shaker and Hawthorne strainer, as well as a muddler and a multi-functional jigger.

Arabesque Marble Coasters
These arabesque marble coasters are both adorable and affordable, making them the perfect stocking stuffer for your better half. She’ll love the intricate patterns and bold gem tones used on these durable stone coasters (they look especially great with a glass of deep red wine on top of them, though they can hold any beverage of your choosing). Plus, the base is made from cork, so they’re sure not to slip and they won’t cause scratching on a coffee table.

$200-500

WineKeeper Personalized Serving Station
This personalized serving station definitely needs to be on your gift list. You can completely customize it, choosing between vintage, modern and wedding for the overall design. Then, select which icon you want to appear above the text — a circle with a letter, a fleur de lis, a crown, a circle with grapes or no icon. You can also enter the text that you want to appear on the side of the serving station. It’s super functional, too, featuring four stopper faucets, a four-way manifold, a disposable argon cylinder and a single-stage regulator. Plus, the carrier itself is made from recycled wood, so you can feel good about giving her something sustainable.

Schott Zwiesel Tritan Pure Punch Bowl Set
Whether it’s a graduation party or a family reunion, this Schott Zwiesel Tritan punch bowl set will add a little beauty to any occasion. It’s both sophisticated and modern, with a simple and elegant crystal design. In addition to the punch bowl, the set also comes with a ladle and six tumblers. The best part? It’s dishwasher safe, so after everyone goes home, your mother won’t have to worry about handwashing it.

Glass Globe Display Rack – Bordeaux Bundle
Hosting a ladies book club or brunch? An easy way to decorate your kitchen or dining room is with this sophisticated glass globe display rack. It holds up to 40 glasses and is designed to hold most types, even oversized burgundy glasses. When guests arrive, simply grab a glass from this waterfall-style rack and pour.

Barrel Stave Wine Flight Set
This elegant wine flight set is perfect for impressing guests at a holiday party or an intimate gathering. It comes with four glass mini decanters and a wood base made from a recycled wine barrel, which makes it perfect for serving your guests their individual pours. The curvy design of the wood is tasteful and classy — it’s sure to make an impression friends and family no matter what varietals are being poured.

Laguiole En Aubrac Turquoise Waiters Corkscrew
This handcrafted Laguiole En Aubrac corkscrew is both decorative and sturdy — and it looks great opening any bottle of wine during a dinner party. In addition to being easy on the eyes, it was functionally designed with ultra-strong Sandvik stainless steel metal components, a contoured turquoise handle and a serrated foil cutter. Plus, it comes in a gorgeous French oak gift box so you won’t have to worry about getting pretty gift wrap for this one — simply place it under the tree or in her stocking and wait for a huge smile.

About the author: Sarah Kuta is an award-winning Colorado writer and editor who regularly writes about travel, food, nature, education, personal finance and other topics. Her favorite wine is cabernet sauvignon and she visits Napa Valley at least once a year.

The post 11 Holiday Gifts for Mom appeared first on IWA Wine Accessories Blog.

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