Wine Culture

Q&A with Holly Mueller from Botskis Bottle Ties

IntoWine recently caught up with Holly Mueller, Marketing Director from Botskis Bottle Ties, to discuss what bottle ties are and how this fun accessory is sure to be an instant hit at any party or occassion.

 Tell me about Botskis and how it got started:

 Botskis Bottle Ties are miniature sized neckties that fit on any bottle and increase the enjoyment of what’s inside.  Whether accessorizing wine or spirits, beer or sparkling water, Botskis are the perfect way to dress up any bottle for any occasion.

Botskis got started because we are bottle enthusiasts (and we know we are not alone)!  We love to entertain and gift bottles for all of life’s occasions.  Whether it’s a backyard barbeque or a formal wedding, we are toasting and gifting with bottles.

Crisp and Refreshing Summer White Wines by Broadbent, Dr. Loosen, and Spy Valley

Wines to Go Buy This Week: Crisp and Refreshing Summer White Wines by Broadbent, Dr. Loosen, and Spy Valley

The dog days of August are upon us and we have but a few weeks remaining before hot summer nights give way to crisp autumn leaves. This summer has been brutally hot for most of the US -though not too bad here in San Francisco, though September tends to be our hot month, if "hot" and "San Francisco" can actually be used in the same sentence- and I've had the great pleasure of discovering some fantastic white wines that are both tasty and refreshing for those hot nights. So before summer ends, here are three white wines to go buy this week:

Broadbent Vinho VerdeBroadbent Vinho Verde - Vinho Verde is a staple of Portuguese culture. Translated it means "Green Wine" which refers to its youthful freshness. It's a low-alcohol, light, crisp, and slightly effervescent wine that is about as close to perfection as a summer wine can be. Broadbent makes a fantastic Vinho Verde and at about $9 a bottle, it's worth buying a case to serve at your Labor Day picnic. Your guests will love it. About $9. Buy Broadbent Vinho Verde 

Messin with Texas…Wines

Wine has been made in Texas as far back as the late 1700s when the Spanish planted the underwhelming Mission grape. Today the state is the 5th largest producer of wine in the U.S., which may surprise you; however the caveat for Texas wines is that most of it is consumed by the 25 million dedicated Texans who drink it before the rest of us can get hold of some. “There’s a pent up demand for Texas wines,” admits Grape Creek Vineyard owner Brian Heath. And let’s face facts, Texas and the rest of the U.S. have had little to drink wine-wise except for what California produces, and now, with the help of the slow food movement, and awareness of all things “local,” states want to drink what they make.

Baseball and Wine: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

What's an appropriate wine to serve at a Los Angeles of Anaheim themed party? What wine would be a good gift for a hard core Angels fan? 

Although their baseball stadium is in Anaheim rather than Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim display their own brand of L. A. glamor.  The team was created in 1961 as a Major League Baseball expansion team, with Gene Autry, the "Singing Cowboy" and media mogul, as its first owner.  The Angels' name dates back to Los Angeles' first professional baseball team, the 1892 California League Los Angeles Angels.

Baseball and Wine: San Francisco Giants

What's an appropriate wine to serve at a San Francisco Giants themed party? What wine would be a good gift for a hard core Giants fan? 

The San Francisco Giants came into existence as the New York Gothams and joined the fledgling National League in 1883.  Two years later, the baseball team was renamed the New York Giants, and a legendary sports name was born.  The Giants moved from New York to San Francisco in 1957, taking up residence first at Seals Stadium, then at wind-blown Candlestick Park, where they played for 39 years.  In 2000, the San Francisco Giants moved to AT&T Park, which was first known as Pacific Bell Park, then as SBC Park until SBC and AT&T merged.  No matter where the Giants have played, this historic baseball team has attracted star players, created a rivalry with the same team, the Los Angeles Dodgers, on two coasts and, according to Baseball Almanac, racked up more wins than any other team in Major League Baseball.

Baseball and Wine: Philadelphia Phillies

Philadelphia PhilliesWhat's an appropriate wine to serve at a Philadelphia Phillies themed party? What wine would be a good gift for a hard core Phillies fan? 

When it comes to professional baseball – or any professional sport, for that matter – no team has been in one city and maintained the same team name longer than the Philadelphia Phillies.  Founded in 1883, the Phillies have won two World Series and fostered the careers of numerous players, including the famous Whiz Kids of the 1950s.

Of course, when your team has accumulated over 125 years of statistics, there are bound to be some less-than-wonderful moments as well as high points.  For the Phillies, this means that they have the dubious honor of being the first U. S. professional sports team to lose 10,000 games.

Q&A with Andrea Robinson, One of the Country’s Leading Wine Educators

Andrea RobinsonAndrea Robinson one of the country’s leading wine educators, and is one of only 16 women in the world who have been appointed Master Sommelier by the prestigious Court of Master Sommeliers. She was the first woman ever chosen Best Sommelier in the United States by the Sommelier Society of America. In 2007 she was appointed Master Sommelier for Delta Air Lines, for whom she selects all of their in-flight wines as well as develops flight attendant wine training. Her production company JGR Productions produces informative food, wine and travel video content for Delta Air Lines, Borders Books, and broadcast media and she has worked with the Food Channel and PBS. She is the author of eight wine and food books including Andrea Robinson’s Wine Buying Guide for Everyone, and her articles have appeared in publications such as Health, Eating Well, Esquire, Real Simple, Money, and Bon Appétit. She has received a James Beard Award for Broadcast Journalism. Formerly this busy mother of three was the Wine Director at Windows on the World, and was Corporate Director of Beverage Programs for Starwood Hotels.

Q&A with Adam Strum, Founder/Chairman of Wine Enthusiast Companies and Editor/Publisher of Wine Enthusiast Magazine

Adam StrumAdam Strum is the Founder and Chairman of Wine Enthusiast Companies and Editor and Publisher of Wine Enthusiast Magazine and heads up the largest group of wine commerce and media companies in the world. With more than 800,000 readers Wine Enthusiast Magazine and its Web site Winemag.com provide editorial content and authoritative reviews and ratings of tens of thousands of wines every year. The Wine Enthusiast Catalog/Web business is the world’s leading inventor and seller of wine accessories and wine storage. Strum, a second-generation, 35-year veteran of the wine business, is a pioneer whose multi-faceted wine-related businesses have had a major impact on increasing wine consumption and wine culture in America. Since 1979 Wine Enthusiast Companies has mailed and distributed more than 300 million wine-related publications in the United States and around the world. Not bad for a husband and wife team who started a mail-order business in their attic.

Baseball and Wine: Detroit Tigers

Detroit TigersTigers legends abound: Mickey Cochrane.  Charlie Gehringer.  Al Kaline.  Willie Horton.  Ty Cobb.  Sportscaster Ernie Harwell.  Since 1894, when they joined the Western League, the Detroit Tigers have been in the spotlight each and every season.  With a loyal fan base and a distinguished history, the "Bless You Boys" continue to attract huge crowds to Comerica Park each year.

In truth, the Detroit Tigers are part of some of baseball's best and worst moments.  When the Tigers won the World Series in 1968, they did so with center fielder Mickey Stanley at a position he had only played nine times before – shortstop.   The Tigers' 1984 World Series victory over the San Diego Padres was the culmination of a fantastic season with a team record 104 wins.  The Tigers have won four World Series and ten American League Championships.  They have also, unfortunately, earned the unwanted record for most losses in American League history – 119, in 2003.  In 2010, pitcher Armando Galarraga's hopes for a perfect game were dashed in the bottom of the ninth when umpire Jim Joyce declared Cleveland Indians batter Jason Donald safe at first base.  Replays showed that Joyce had, indeed, made an incorrect call, and Galaragga left Comerica Park without his perfect game.

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