Open that Bottle Night: Get Your Corkscrew Ready!

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We’ve all got that one wine bottle.

You know the one. Maybe it’s on the pricey side, but it’s that one bottle that you bought for a “special occasion” to celebrate or commemorate. Yet somehow that occasion has passed by, or possibly it hasn’t even presented itself yet. We’re here to tell you – it’s time to stop holding on. Break out that significant bottle and enjoy it!

No Jess, not that one.

No Jess. We’re pretty sure that’s not the one.

This Saturday (2/28/2015) is finally the day to uncork, swirl and sip. The last Saturday in February is known as Open that Bottle Night (OTBN), and this year celebrates its 16th anniversary.

Invented by American journalists Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher,  the day was first celebrated in 2000 when the duo encouraged their Wall Street Journal column readers to open a special bottle they had been holding onto. So on Saturday, let’s do just that. Open that wine and free it from its glass prison. It’s time to let it breathe!

Keep in mind, OTBN isn’t just about the wine though.

Sure, the wine is a big (and tasty) part of the celebration. But the night is just as much, or even more so, about the story and memories attached to that bottle.

Fond memories, bittersweet ones, or even hopes for the future; There’s a story that is unique to you and perhaps a few select others which makes that particular bottle so special, and that’s more than likely why it remains unopened. This is the one that we’re encouraging you to open; not your most expensive, or even oldest, bottle you have.

Open the wine the one that holds the most significant sentimental value, and while you enjoy it relive those happy moments and let go of the bittersweet ones.

No matter what your reason for holding onto that bottle is, we’d be honored if you shared the story behind it with us. Comment below and let us know what bottle you’ll be opening and the reason it’s so special!

Oh, and remember not to be stingy. Sharing is caring.

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Classic Cocktails for the 87th Academy Awards

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This Sunday the 87th Academy Awards will be broadcast live to honor all of favorite actors, actresses, film makers, and more from the past year. Whether you plan on entertaining a few friends or having a relaxing night in watching The Oscars, watch it in style. Mix up one of these classic cocktails that have graced the big screen so you can enjoy during the award ceremony.

 The Manhattan

Marilyn Monroe certainly had a bright idea when her and co-stars found a bottle of bourbon and some vermouth in Some Like it Hot in 1959. While the characters in the movie went the bourbon route based on what was available to them, we prefer to use Rye Whiskey and a few other ingredients. Make no mistake, any version of this cocktail would still get “the party started” in Upper 7.

Planning on making a Manhattan for Sunday? Check out the video below and grab the ingredients here.

Dirty Martini

Shaken, not stirred. James Bond’s classic martini might be the Vesper, but there are many variations of his go-to drink. We prefer a Dirty Martini which makes for a relaxing cocktail that will appeal to any gin or vodka fan. Also, the olive. Yum.

Make sure this version is stirred, not shaken. Grab the ingredients here.

The Muddled Old Fashioned

Whether you’re thinking of Ryan Gosling’s character from Crazy, Stupid, Love. or Don Draper from Mad Men, this cocktail has made it’s rounds in movies and on TV. Draper may not have graced the big screen, but he did win an Emmy. Also, let’s be honest. That guy knows his cocktails.

Watch the video below to learn how to make the Muddled Old Fashioned. Get the ingredients to make this cocktail here.

Grab Your Glass — It’s National Drink Wine Day!

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Hey, would you look at that — It’s February 18th again! Get the wine glasses out, because today is National Drink Wine Day.

Indeed, you heard us right. It’s a real thing!

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Today we celebrate everything wine. We honor its production and producers, who have have been making it since 7000-6600 B.C.E.  We also toast the popularity of wine, with over 19 million acres of the world’s surface being planted with grape vines today. While the methods of producing wine and its popularity have changed over time, the end product still retains its original intended purpose — a drink with which to celebrate.

Yet, while we know all this information about wine, National Drink Wine Day is still somewhat of a mystery. We know that it has been celebrated for some time, but it has no historical record to help clearly pinpoint its origin. What we do know is every February 18th in the United States, no matter what day of the year it falls on, is dedicated to celebrating our common penchant for enjoying a tasty glass of wine.

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Grab a glass!

So today we ask you to grab a glass, a favorite (or new) wine, and some friends or family. Let’s toast to the ingenuity of the human spirit that allowed us to concoct such a marvelous wonder for everyone to enjoy.

Salud. Proost. Skål. Santé. Sláinte. No matter how you choose to say it, a raised glass of wine can be understood in any language. Cheers!

downton-abbey-wineNeed help finding the right wine to enjoy tonight? Check out our wine selections!

Already have everything planned out? Share your wine recommendations and food pairings in the comments to help give everyone else a few extra ideas!

5 Reasons to Celebrate National Drink Wine Day

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National Drink Wine Day is back on February 18. If you’re not already planning on celebrating with us, here are a few reasons to grab your best wine pals and participate.

1. You had a great day

Everything seems to be going your way today! Work went great, you got that promotion you’ve been gunning for, or maybe it’s something as simple as getting the kids off to school without anything crazy happening. No matter how large or small your triumph was, it’s time to celebrate!

Great day

2. You had a bad day

They happen. Things in life just don’t always go the way we plan. Don’t get down, call a friend or two over for some company, and just unwind with a glass … maybe two.

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3. You deserve it

You know reason #1 and #2? Whichever kind of day you had, just know you deserve to relax. Because if you haven’t heard it lately, you’re awesome.

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4. You have friends that love wine, and you enjoy sharing

You and your friends both love wine. What better day to get together and enjoy your common love than on National Drink Wine Day? Grab your phone and text/call a few friends. Just make sure to drop a hint that a couple of them should bring over a bottle, in case you end up having more guests than you bargained for.

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5. You don’t need a reason

It’s National Drink Wine Day. Do you really need more reasons? Probably not. Grab a glass and a bottle of your favorite red or white wine tonight, and kick your feet up. Cheers!

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Which wine will you be enjoying on February 18th to celebrate Drink Wine Day?

Sierra Nevada Beer Camp “Fade to White” Stout Tapping begins January 30

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This past fall, twelve Total Wine & More store team members from eleven states traveled to Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. in Chico, California for a special Sierra Nevada Beer Camp. Beer Camp is an intense two-day immersion in craft beer and brewing, during which attendees select a style of beer to brew and the beer’s ingredients, and work with brewing experts in Sierra Nevada’s state-of-the-art pilot brewhouse to brew the beer.

Total Wine & More Beer Camp Team

The Total Wine & More Beer Camp Team

Working as a team, our group zeroed in on brewing a beer that would be unique, flavorful, intriguing, appealing, sellable, and memorable. Pale Stout, a.k.a. White Stout, is a nearly extinct beer style rooted in 18th and 19th century English history. Our Beer Camp version includes some modern craft brewing twists. Named Fade to White, this pale stout is golden in color with a creamy texture, displaying a rich aroma of baker’s cocoa and roast coffee, akin to a chocolate-covered espresso bean.

Fade to White measures 7.1% ABV and 43 IBUs. The grain bill comprises Two-Row pale, smoked malt, acidulated malt, wheat and oats. Aurora hops provide bittering, with Aurora, Celia, and Australian Cascade hops for finishing. Additional ingredients include star anise, coffee and cocoa powder. Fermentation was with ale yeast.

Rob Hill adding the malt

Rob Hill, adding the malt

“We’re incredibly excited to share Fade to White with our customers,” says Rob Hill, Certified Cicerone at Total Wine’s home office. Hill, who attended Beer Camp with his Total Wine colleagues, added, “Our Beer Camp experience was incredible. Sierra Nevada’s dedication to quality, process innovation, sustainability, product consistency, and all things craft beer is evident in everything they do. Beer Camp is expertly run and a great education.”

Fade to White Pale Stout is draught only and will be available for sale in growlers beginning 5:00 P.M. local time on Friday, January 30 in all of Total Wine’s 36 stores with growler stations. Check www.totalwine.com/whatsontap for store locations and growler tap listings.

Total Mixology Series: Moscow Mule Cocktail Recipe

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Starting January 29, we’re kicking off our #TotalMixology series at select stores in Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, Texas, and Washington state.

Attendees will learn how to mix classic cocktails, enjoy a sampling of tasty mixed drinks and save with the best spirit prices in town. Then you can take your new mixology skills and show them off at your next get-together with friends and family!

Learn more on our mixology cocktail event page.

Here’s a taste of what you can expect, check out our Instagram video below to learn how to make a Moscow Mule featuring Tobaritch Vodka, Ginger Beer, and lime juice.

Be sure to join us in-store for these mixology events each Thursday-Sunday through February 8 to learn other great recipes!

An Exclusive Bordeaux Event: Tickets Going Fast!

One Evening, 100 Bordeaux

Experience the unveiling of 2012 Bordeaux vintage in the U.S.

Taste more than 100 top Bordeaux wines from more than 80 producers, poured by chateau owners, winemakers and wine experts.

This rare opportunity to taste the finest wines that Bordeaux has to offer is presented in partnership with the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux. The Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux, founded in 1973 by a group of Bordeaux winegrowers, comprises 133 member estates located exclusively in the most prestigious Bordeaux appellations

Experience the unveiling of the 2012 Bordeaux vintage in the U.S., at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach Liv NightClub.
January 22, 2015 from 7:30 to 10:00 p.m.

Tickets: $150/person
You can purchase online: http://www.totalwine.com/bordeauxtasting

 

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Total Wine & More Celebrates Our Communities on #GivingTuesday

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This year, Total Wine & More will join thousands of other corporations, volunteer organizations, charities, and foundations as a partner of #GivingTuesday, and we will celebrate the holidays by giving back to our local communities.

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For those of you new to #GivingTuesday, it is a national charitable holiday that started in 2012 as a day to transform how people think about, talk about, and participate in the giving season. On the Tuesday after Thanksgiving — December 2, 2014 —  families, charities, businesses, and individuals will come together to improve their local communities and contribute to the causes they support and help create a better world.

Since opening our doors in 1991, Total Wine & More has been committed to enriching the lives of wine lovers, as well as being active and supporting the communities in which we work and live. Total Wine strives to be a responsible corporate citizen and make a difference in our communities through philanthropy and social responsibility programs.

In support of #GivingTuesday, Total Wine & More will double all in-kind donations granted to registered charities for requests received on December 2nd.

giving tuesday

If you’ve never requested a donation for a local charity before, information on how to apply for an in-kind donation for one of your upcoming fundraisers is located here: www.totalwine.com/donations

Celebrate with us! What will you do for your community on December 2nd? Share your story below or on our Facebook page.

The jaws are coming to a close: Our final shark-themed cocktail recipes

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OK, this week of puns has pretty much jumped the shark … but we still have a few more Sharktails to share. They haven’t lost their bite just yet! Enjoy these killer shark-themed cocktail ideas as you channel-surf TV this weekend.

And don’t think our Sharktails are dead in the water just because the week’s almost over. Saturday, as all the sailors and fishermen know, is National Rum Day, so we’re floating a few ideas for tasty rum drink recipes as well as tequila drink recipes. We’re in the tank for all of these Sharktails. Cheers!

Hungry Shark Daiquiri

Rum Drink Recipe: Hungry Shark Daiquiri

Fill blender with Doorly’s Macaw White Rum, coconut water, cream of coconut, ice and grenadine. Blend mixture and pour into serving glass. Garnish with plastic sharks filled with grenadine. Yield: 2 servings

Looking for more rum drink recipes? Let us reel you in to our cocktail corner for some tasty suggestions.

Shark Paloma

Tequila Drink Recipe: Shark Paloma

  • 2 ounces Don Sergio Blanco Tequila
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 5 fresh cherries
  • 1/2 cup ice
  • Grapefruit soda
  • Garnish: Fresh cherries and a plastic shark

To a cocktail shaker add Don Sergio tequila, lime juice, four cherries and ice. Muddle mixture, shake for 20 seconds then pour mixture into serving glass. Top with grapefruit soda. Garnish with one more cherry and a plastic shark. Yield: 1 serving

If this Sharktail doesn’t quench your thirst, more cocktail recipes are lurking just under the surface!

Natalie head shotNatalie Migliarini is a mixologist, cocktail stylist, photographer, and recipe developer in Seattle, Washington. Her passion is discovering new and creative ways to use booze through fabulous cocktails featuring seasonal ingredients. Check out her other delicious creations on her blog Beautiful Booze.

Shark Cocktails 2: More fin-spiring cocktail recipes

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We have so many shark-themed cocktail recipes flying around, it’s like a drinknado in here! As shark season continues, test the waters with some more killer cocktail recipes for your TV-viewing parties. Try an Irish cream recipe and our rum cocktail recipe — hey, you’re barely taking a bite out of all the possibilities. And what goes well with Sharktails? Oh, you know, just some nibbles.

Shark Attack Shot

Irish Cream Recipe: Shark Attacks

Pour Mr. Stacks Blue Curacao into shot glasses. Layer the Fennellys Irish Cream on top of the blue curacao. Then drip the grenadine into the shot glasses. Serve immediately. Yield: 2 servings.

If this Sharktail doesn’t quench your thirst, more cocktail recipes are lurking just under the surface!

Shark Fin Daiquiri

Rum Cocktail Recipe: Shark Fin Daiquiri

Fill blender with Doorly’s Macaw White Rum, coconut water, strawberries, Aperol, banana, and ice. Blend until smooth and pour into serving glass. Top with grenadine. Garnish with coconut-water ice cubes made in shark fin molds and strawberries skewered on a paper straw. Yield: 1 serving.

Looking for more rum drink recipes? Check out our cocktail corner for some tasty suggestions.

Natalie head shotNatalie Migliarini is a mixologist, cocktail stylist, photographer, and recipe developer in Seattle, Washington. Her passion is discovering new and creative ways to use booze through fabulous cocktails featuring seasonal ingredients. Check out her other delicious creations on her blog Beautiful Booze.

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