Hallo-Wine: Costumes, Flavors, and Decorations

While nothing says fall like a pumpkin ale, there are plenty of ways for wine lovers to celebrate Halloween, too!  Whether it’s your costume, your flavor, or your party, we have ideas to add your favorite drink into the seasonal occasion.

HALLOWEEN PARTY DECOR

1. The Pumpkin Cooler

pumpkin wine

Why cool your wine in a traditional cooler when you can put your bottles in a pumpkin? This Pinterest user has the step-by-step instructions on how to carve your pumpkin, fit a protective bowl inside (we don’t want pumpkin guts on our ice!), and fill it with ice before planting a few bottles inside.

2. Decorated Bottles

Why settle for a plain label when you could spruce yours up, Halloween-style? If you love crafts, these decorated bottles are sure to thrill your guests or – if you’re headed to another house – thrill your hosts. Check out the instructions at these crafty articles.

HALLOWEEN WINE FLAVORS

1. Sangria, sangria, sangria!

We made a post in the past about great autumnal wine flavors, with plenty of sangria recipes to satisfy any fall craving! From apple to pear, from pumpkin to pomegranate, these wine mixes are sure to please you and your friends’ pallates on the 31st!

2. Pick your bottles wisely!

There are plenty of wines with spooky, funky, or Halloween-themed labels. For instance, East Coast locals will recognize wine brands based around the Salem Witch Trials:

6a0120a86f70d7970b0133f4d5f9aa970b

But even fantastical or eerie bottles could work as well:

File Jun 22, 4 03 34 PM

35017_XXX_v1

Even if you can’t find your perfect bottle, you can print your own spooky labels and decorate your bottle for the holiday!

3. Impress your guests with candy/wine pairings!

Who says you can’t have your candy with a glass of wine? If you pair your snacks with your sips, you can balance the flavors and avoid a sickeningly sweet sugar rush. Check out this graph (which can be found full-scale here) for your perfect Halloween pairings!

a47fccedb9872da6fd18123800b9d535

HALLOWEEN WINE COSTUMES

Who said you’re too old to indulge in a bit of holiday dress-up? And who said your costume can’t revolve around your love for wine? We certainly didn’t, and here are some funny ideas to consider when picking your Halloween attire!

1. You can literally dress as your favorite wine

Why not just cut to the chase and just own your favorite brand? Smack on a cork hat and wear your favorite label with pride. Better yet, get your friends to dress as their favorite varietals within any given brand, like this group below!

71ec709e096ac3084b43f45d284445f3

We even have a pic of Lady Gaga representing our favorite grapes:

gagwineoutfit

2. Or, you could be a bit less literal

This couple basically agreed that if they were to have a child, it would be wine:

12196015_10153319446627991_543520427534622997_n (1)

3. Or you can wear your own costume and just sneak as many wine puns in as possible

We think Zooey Dechanel as an oenophile kitten is pretty hilarious:

tumblr_nurukdFQfl1tpri36o1_500 What are you doing for Halloween? How will you incorporate wine into your festivities? 

Advertisements

Themed Wines and Bizarre Bottles

We know our advice to you all last time was to never buy a wine based on its bottle alone. However, we want to give credit to the producers who really try to rope in consumers with creative themes or wacky bottles. They definitely keep wine shopping fun!

The sheer amount of planning and work that goes into original bottles and themed wines is no joke. We would like this post to be dedicated to wines that really go above in beyond in creativity.

Cat Lore

Our feline friends are a famous German Reisling produced by Moselland. Their webpage explains the cat-bottle lore:

According to legend, three wine merchants came to the town of Zell (in Germany) to buy wine. They were about to sample out of a barrel when a black cat suddenly jumped on it, arched its back, and swiped its paw at anyone who approached it. The wine merchants chose the barrel guarded by the cat thinking it held the best wine.

Zeller Schwarze Katz wine sold so well that wines from this vineyard in Zell have maintained the name since. But Moselland was the first and only winery to actually market their wine in a black, cat shaped bottle! Now there are many colors, finishes for holidays, and a special pink bottle to raise funds and awareness for Breast Cancer Research.”

Does She look familiar?

Hello_Kitty_drinks

Japan’s original Hello Kitty has her own wine collection. Don’t be fooled however, this is fine quality wine produced by the Italian Torti “Tenimenti Castelrotto” family. This wine is specially from the Lombardy Region in the Oltrepo Pavese area. Hello Kitty isn’t messing around here.

 

 

 

Real Wine for Real Bitches

Excuse you?!

This wine is a famous juicy Grenache from South Australia. We’re sure you’ve seen it in wine stores all over or at your best friend’s house. “R Wines” is also labeled as one of world’s most gifted wine makers. They are very proud of their wine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where Dreams Come True

download (1) download (2)

Did Disney just call? This creative wine branding IS actually sold on Walt Disney World Property (I was there and I can prove it) However, the wine is produced by Faraway Vineyards in Sonoma, CA. So pop in Cinderella for a taste of their “Lost Slipper Sauvignon Blanc.” We are not sure as to the quality of this wine so I bought two bottles to figure it out 🙂 Expect a new post on that soon!

What Happened Last Night?

wine

 

OOPS! Some mistakes were meant to happen.” This wine brand produced in Chile advertises bottles like “Voluptuous Beauty,” “Cheeky Little White,” and “Bodacious Blonde.” The vineyard has a history of accomplished owners along with a catchy brand name. Did you have any Oops moments with this wine?

 

 

Can’t Smash This

cab_family_042914

Wanna Share? Stack Wines promotes that these shatterproof CA wine cups are the best way to party in style. Currently they only sell 4 varieties: Chardonnay, Red blend, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Pinot Grigio. If any of you try these we definitely want a review.

 

 

 

Blinded by Science

12421553_10208392591678285_642592420_n

Educated Guess produced by Roots Run Deep Winery depicts the wine formulas of the chemical reactions that take place in the wine making process. They even have a PDF on their website that explains the formulas. This Cabernet Sauvignon will take you to school and change your palates life.

Flip It

12511820_10208392591758287_1839512475_n 12511775_10208392591718286_1342994915_n 12483534_10208392591838289_1015268278_n

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now these Flip Top bottles really caught our eye in the stores. No need for the standard wine key here!

Bledsoe Family wine (left 2 pictures) is from the famous football player Drew Bledsoe’s Doubleback Winery. Though there famous “Doubleback” wine is far more expensive, the Bledsoe family wine is a slightly cheaper option. This red blend sells at Whole Foods for $49.99

Now Mija Sangria  is produced by 90+ cellars. To produced a sangria that is HEALTHY for you. May we repeat HEALTHY!!! Everyone knows red wine is packed with antioxidants to promote long life but this wine claims it has 3 times the antioxidants of your typical red wine. Packed with superfruits like acai, pomegranates, and blood oranges and reaching a 9.5 ABV this wine is ready to make a difference!

Do you even pair bro?

12476473_10208392591998293_328987969_n

House Wine brings you these two varietals of Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon for your tasting pleasure. They made it incredibly simple for new Wineos to pair. Pick up with “Fish House” for your seafood and probably poultry needs and “Steak House” for that sultry steak in your life. Thank you House Wines for making dinner with the in-laws a little bit simpler.

 

 

Fishing for the Best Wine

12476446_10208392614598858_1982257174_n

 

Finally we have the fabulous fish bottle. Brought to us by Opici Wines, this white wine blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Trebbiano, and Verdicchio is an import from Italy. Originating from the Marche region, this bottle is a tradition that is centuries old. Obviously, we recommend serving this with seafood (and so does the vineyard). Let us know if this fish lives up to its reputation!

 

 

Thank you for reading about our fun bottle findings! If you find any funky bottles with fabulous wine let us know!

Stay Sipping!

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome to Autumn! Wine Cocktails edition

Happy Fall everyone!

In celebration of the changing leaves and not-so-slowly dropping temperatures, we would love to share some creative seasonal wine drinks that we have discovered on our way. With the help of our friends at Pinterest, we also have some recipe links!

Let’s start with the obvious flavor of the season – Apples 

After you have gone through your local apple orchards and chosen only the best little red, green, or yellow bundles of joy that you could get your hands on, you may realize that you have picked far too many apples to eat in one week. Never fear; apple wine drinks are here!

For bubble lovers:

For Sweet apple lovers:

Moving on to the flavor craze of the season – Pumpkin Spice 

We know the “Pumpkin Spice” craze can be a bit overwhelming and sometimes overly sweet or spicy. So cruise past those pumpkin coffee signs and go straight to the liquor store for these pumpkin drinks that are worth the craze.

Don’t forget the forgotten fall flavors- Pear and Pomegranate 

These fall fruits are also at their perfect harvest season but tend to be majorly overshadowed by the apple and pumpkin. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your forgotten fruits!

Or make your own!

Finally, we have desssert – Chocolate 

For those of you who remember our wine pairing post, chocolate (darker the better) pairs wonderfully with deep red wines. So warm yourselves up with these recipes!

Let us know which recipes you try and send us some pictures! We’d love to see what Fall combinations are making in to your glass!

Cheers!

Featured image credit

The wine game you MUST play!

THIS is ZinZig -The Wine Edition- 

Photo Oct 01, 11 01 26 AM

and this is game you must play with your friends or family!

Photo Oct 01, 11 01 42 AM

It’s simple: All you need is at least 2 – 3 players and 2 – 3 bottles of wine. You can make this game as challenging or as easy as you like. It all depends of the wine you choose.

Study those bottles! What vineyards are the from? Do they have a vintage? Where in the world are they produced? What is the variety of grape(s) in the wine? Try your best to remember everything on the label. Remember the flavor! Yes, you need to open and have a few sips of each wine before starting the game.

Do you know absolutely nothing about wine? DON’T WORRY! The game provides booklets of information on grape varieties, wine characteristics, wine terms, tasting notes, and the most common red and white wines. So you don’t need to be a wine genius to play the game. We promise!

So I have my willing participants and my bottles of wine. What’s next?

Simply pick a winemaker and start on a vineyard of your choice. It’s your new home.

Photo Oct 01, 10 57 36 AM

Now slide those wine bottles into those red silk wine bags (that come with the game) and make your way around the board by taking turns rolling the die. On each space you will answer a trivia question about the wine industry in general or about one of the wines you have chosen to play with. Get the question right and you will usually win a resource card. Get the question wrong and you may lose a resource card or just plain lose that round.

You need one of each resource card to win the game. You must have one Cork Card, one Barrel Card, one Bottle Card, and one Grape card. Once you have one of each proceed to the center of the board.

Photo Oct 01, 10 57 24 AM

Here you will see the 4 stages of wine production. You only move through the stages if you answer the trivia correctly. Once you answer 4 trivia questions right you WIN!

The Half Past Team beta tested the game for all of you and we discovered even more fun aspects of the game.

*insider scoop* there are even spots on the board where all you have to do is “Sip and Savor” whatever wine is in your glass. No trivia required! We all agree that the game is fun, educational, and the learning booklets that come with game are WONDERFUL for beginners!

Photo Oct 01, 10 57 20 AM

Now that we’ve got you all pumped to play, Where do you purchase this game?

We stumbled upon the game one day when our Selective Contributor Demi took us for a shopping spree at the Merrimack Outlets in NH. They have a store called The Winemakers Kitchen and the game was waiting right inside the door. For those of you who don’t want to drive to NH, we found the board game for cheaper on Amazon.com Click Here!

Also, a simple google search of the term ‘ZinZig’ will provide many other online sellers of the game.

So put on your thinking caps and get your buzz on fellow winers!

Happy Sipping!!

p.s. send us some pictures or comments of you playing the game!

Getting Crafty with Corks

“In wine there is truth” – Latin phrase

So you drank your wine, gotten giggly from the bubbly, spilled your secrets, devoured your meal, conquered dessert, and are left with empty wine bottles, popped corks, and the occasional red wine stain. Where do you go from here?

Why not turn your evening’s trash into memorable treasure? Let’s get crafty!

I’m sure many of you have seen pins on Pinterest or blog posts that advertise something like this…

 

Well I (Kristen) decided to take one of these craft challenges for a spin. To re-create my experience, Here’s what you’ll need:

Wooden Letters
Wooden Letters
Saved wine corks from your adventures
Saved wine corks from your adventures
paint pens
paint pens
Glitter acrylic paint
Glitter acrylic paint
A hot glue gun with clear glue sticks
A hot glue gun with clear glue sticks

The process is VERY simple. Arrange your wine corks on the letters and hot glue them once you find a place you like. I advise arranging them all FIRST and then gluing AFTER to ensure that they all fit.

The process in question
The process in question

In order to spice this up a bit, I added a few extra touches….

1) use paint pens to color in wine cork designs for added color
1) use paint pens to color in wine cork designs for added color
2) Use dark colored paint pens to write memories on special wine corks that you want to remember
2) Use dark colored paint pens to write memories on special wine corks that you want to remember
3) Grab the glitter paint to add shimmer and this will help the letter to match the room that it's being placed in. (blue glitter for a blue room or red for a red bedroom like mine)
3) Grab the glitter paint to add shimmer and this will help the letter to match the room that it’s being placed in. (blue glitter for a blue room or red for a red bedroom like mine)

The final result will look like this! ….

Photo Aug 11, 1 56 03 PM Photo Aug 11, 1 55 58 PM

For today, I only had enough corks to finish one of my four letters. Looks like I’ve got a LOT of wine tasting to do.

*Craft tip* you can buy bags of wine corks at Etsy.com if you need corks fast!

Happy Crafting Wine Nerds!

Salute!