One of the benefits of working on the Upper East Side is the sheer array of luxurious places to relax with a beverage after a satisfying day of business. If you’re looking for somewhere classy to unwind after work or to wine and dine clients and co-workers, we would recommend trying out one these fabulous bars on the Upper East Side:
If you have out of town clients that stay at the Carlyle, it’s quite possible that you’ve already discovered the art deco sanctuary that is Bemelman’s Bar. Not your average hotel watering hole, this classy bar has been the discreet relaxing place of choice for politicians, the business elite and celebrities for over half a century. The décor was given a revamp in 2002, but the 24-carat gold leaf ceiling remains gorgeously intact. Beyond sophisticated.
Wine enthusiasts looking for a cozy after-work spot to relax with an array of reds and whites from around the world, should look no further than here—especially if your long day has left you ravenous: the food here is exquisite. Split a pizza and a cheese plate with your colleagues and, if you’re feeling particularly extravagant, invest in a bottle of Chateauneuf-du Pape Roquette—you will not be disappointed. There’s also outdoor seating for those warm summer evenings.
For drinkers who respect and revere the majesty of high-end whiskey and scotch there is no better place to imbibe a warming dram than the Caledonia—a warm and welcoming pub with over 180 single and blended malts on offer. If you’re wondering what whiskey-lovers drink in Japan and Wales, but your schedule is too packed to jump on a plane right now, head here instead. And don’t worry: your non-whiskey enthusiast colleagues will love the cocktail menu.
For many of us, at the end of a long, hard day at the office, the last place we want to go to unwind afterwards is an over-crowded, rowdy tavern. What we’d rather do is retire to an elegant study that’s decked out in antiques and rich mahogany furnishings, and draped in red velvet, for a sturdy tumbler of something reviving. Which is why The Auction House exists: it’s like stepping back in time and drinking like your distinguished grandfather did—and we mean that in the best possible way.
This ultra-chic black and white hotel hotspot makes the list because of its ridiculously fabulous booths—it’s like being in your own private bar-within-a-bar-within-a-noir novel. The servers are attentive and knowledgeable, the cocktails are refreshingly inventive and meticulously put together, and the décor is inspired by Coco Chanel. C’est magnifique!
Author Credit: Written by, Rae Alexandra.
Party hour comes and you do not know what to prepare for your birthday? Not to worry, there are many ways to come up with a healthier alternative to get wasted.
Just because you are living a clean diet, does not mean you have to sacrifice some happy time. However, always remember to keep things in moderation. Too much of anything is bad.
Get ready to have some fun with these healthy cocktail mixes. Drink to your heart’s content. Whip up a few of these and enjoy quality time with your friends.
Cocktail number One: Orange Gin Twist
What you need to have:
What to do:
Simple and easy mix all the ingredients in a pitcher. Put some in a cocktail shaker add some ice. Shake well. Transfer in a glass. This makes about five servings.
Cocktail number two: Creamy Lemon Cocktail
What you need to have:
What you need to do:
Cocktail number three: Orange Tequila
What you need to have:
What you need to do:
In a pitcher, place some ice cubes. Pour in the ingredients. Stir well to combine. You can garnish with lime or orange wheel. Transfer in glasses filled with ice and enjoy! This is good for five servings.
Cocktail number four: Citrus and Ginger Mix
What you need to have:
What you need to do:
In a pitcher, throw in some ice, vodka, lemon juice, freshly squeezed grapefruit juice and ginger Beer. Stir well until the ingredients are evenly distributed. Use orange slices for garnish.
Cocktail number five: The Lime Slush Gin and Tonic
What you need:
For the Lime Slush:
What you need to do:
Remove the seeds, rind and stems of the lime. Cut them into quarters. Blend the lime with water and use a sieve when transferring to a pitcher.
Mix the juice, sugar and ice in a blender. Puree at a high speed until smooth.
Blend all the ingredients in a pitcher and mix well. Pour and enjoy! This makes more than five servings.
Author Bio: Linda Rosario, a food enthusiast from Chef Needs “The Kitchen that Every Chef Needs” for these great recipes. Linda also loves arts and crafts and works as a pre-school teacher.
I would like to thank Joe Errington of http://www.juicygrapewines.co.uk for this wonderful infographic that teaches us how to make champagne.
There are many reasons you may need to send wine via a cheap courier service, whether it’s just the one bottle as a gift, or multiple cases from your business. The problem is that as with any glass items, bottles of wine are fragile and with the price of wine varying from £5.00 per bottle right up to tens of thousands of pounds, it can not only be risky for the sender, but some carriers won’t even accept it for transit in the first place.
Before you ship wine safely there are a few things you need to consider:
Where are you sending it?
Before you start looking for a courier service, you need to first review the laws on sending alcohol to your destination. For example, if you are sending to the Middle East there are many countries that do not allow alcohol for religious reasons and personal shipments of wine are not allowed to the USA unless the sender is licensed to do so. It is also worth checking state laws as New Jersey and Virginia don’t allow alcohol shipments at all.
Who should you send it with?
Once you are sure that the destination of your wine shipment is ok to send to, you need to look at which carriers you can use to send it there. All carriers and courier services will have a prohibited items list on their website so you need to make sure that alcoholic beverages are not listed there.
It is important to remember that your wine shipment will be very fragile and if it is travelling over a long distance it will have a much higher risk of getting damaged in transit. With this in mind, it’s worth checking for online reviews, or using a carrier that you have confidence in to get your wine shipment to its destination safely and securely.
Can you insure it?
As with all fragile items and particularly glass you will also need to check if insurance is available. In most cases, carriers will not offer compensation on high risk items such as glass or liquids so you may need to seek alternative insurance providers for your shipment. In any case, the best thing you can do to ensure your wine shipment is delivered in one piece, is to make sure you get the packaging right!
How much will it cost?
There are a few things to factor in when working out the costs of shipping wine. You will be able to find a cheap courier service online and get a quote within seconds; however the quote must be based on the wine in its packaging. The volumetric weight of the parcel can affect the price you are given if it is greater than the actual weight of the parcel. Once you have the quote you need to factor in the cost of the packaging which will vary depending on how large the consignment is and which packaging you find is suitable. You also need to add insurance costs and check import and duty taxes that may be applicable to the country you are sending to. For small quantities you may not need to pay taxes and duties if the shipment is a gift.
How should you package it?
Once you have checked the conditions of sending wine to your destination and have a cheap courier service to send it there, you now need to think about how to prepare the parcel for shipment.
Depending on whether you are sending one bottle, an entire case, or boxed wine there are different packaging options available to you.
Single bottles should be triple wrapped in bubble wrap and then ideally placed inside a secure wooden box labelled as fragile.
Cases of Wine:
Sometimes the original case that wine comes in may not be suitable for shipping, so as with the single bottles you will need to wrap each individual bottle in a triple layer of bubble wrap and pack tightly into a single-ply cardboard box making sure there is no room for the bottles to knock in to each other. If necessary fill any gaps with news paper or packaging chips. Now put the box inside a double-ply cardboard box and secure tightly. Alternatively use a wooden box, though this will increase your costs significantly.
As the wine is in a bag instead of a glass bottle, boxed wine is much easier to ship and should not require extra packaging. If you are sending lots of boxes, your cheapest option will most likely be to ship on a pallet. In this case you must neatly stack your boxes on the pallet and tightly secure with plastic wrap.
When shipping any kind of wine it is important to remember that it will be travelling on multiple vehicles together with other parcels. You should always consider that:
With this in mind, you should always package your wine to survive these conditions. If you have any questions about your shipment, don’t take any risks and call your courier service before placing your booking.
If you are looking for some fun and adventure that will put your palate to test, then, witness some of the most popular wine festivals around the world! You will see that different regions have their own unique blend of wines to boast of, so it’s really interesting to get to know brand new cultures right by taking a glass of wine. Ready for the adventure? Read on and find out some of the most exciting wine festivals that you surely won’t want to miss.
Boston Wine Expo
Dubbed as the largest wine festival in the U.S., the Boston Wine Expo attracts thousands of visitors with the 1,800 different wine tastings offered by more than 300 international wineries. But the expo isn’t just all about drinking. If you want to be a winemaking expert, join dozens of tasting seminars to equip you with all that you need to become the best in this field.
Southern Oregon World of Wine Festival
The Southern Oregon World Wine Festival is a global affair attended by thousands of wine connoisseurs who are all eager to familiarize, if not master, the trade of winemaking and wine tasting. This year’s event holds a surprise for everyone! The Awards Dinner and the Riedel Glass Seminar are two additions in this year’s program, so any participant in the event will never regret joining.
Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
The Epcot International Food and Wine Festival runs for more than six weeks, held every fall at the Epcot Theme Park. The event highlights the best food and wines coming from 25 participating countries. You will surely behold the many amazing stuffs you will find here, including kiosks, cooking lessons, wine mixology classes and tastings sessions, plus mini-concerts to liven up the occasion.
International Pinot Noir Celebration
Oregon is fast becoming a popular wine country thanks to its pinot noirs. So, there’s really no other place to celebrate the International Pinot Noir Celebration than here, which attracts thousands of visitors to the popular Willamette Valley, a 160-mile long valley of vineyards where some of the world’s best pinots are found. The festival is held every mid-summer, showcasing some of the products coming from the most famed pinot-producing regions, including California, Burgundy, New Zealand, Australia and Italy. Winemaking seminars, vineyard tours, wine pairing meals add excitement on the event!
St. Crois Food and Wine Experience
The St. Crois Food and Wine Experience started in 2002 to hail the talents of the best chefs in St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands. The event draws attentions of visitors from all over the world, with its “Iron Chef, Top Chef, Island Chef” competition welcoming dozens of the best chefs, including Kevin Rathbun, Johnny Vinczencz, and Antonia Lofaso. The annual festival serves to unite the community together to enjoy food and wine that abound in the area.
While Texas is known for its amazing barbecue recipes, it is though little known when it comes to fine wine. But wait… Texas is actually America’s 5th largest wine-producer. And GrapeFest, the Southwest’s most prestigious wine festival every September is only an affirmation that the Lone Star state is also a winemaking bigwig. More than a quarter a million people flock here every year to sample Texas vintages, including chardonnays, viogniers and merlots. The festival also features the International Wine Garden, where you can sample the best local flavors and international wine vintages. You can also satiate their quest for fun with the grape-stomping contest and a culinary pavilion where you can take a peek at cooking demos using wine and herbs.
Author’s Bio: Aside from being an event planner and caterer, Manilyn Moreno also writes for a catering software company. She specializes in weddings and never forgets to include quality choices of wine to make any event a fun affair.
When the weekend arrives and your plan involves a comfy couch and a glass of your favorite Moscato d’Asti, why not combine relaxation with entertainment? Invite friends for a casual night featuring wine tasting and a wine lover’s movie. Plan monthly gatherings to sample wine and review a must-watch film for wine lovers. Instead of a book club with coffee, make it a wine club and a movie.
From comedy to drama to documentaries, wine appears in several big screen hits and near misses. Check out the following top five films for wine lovers.
A Walk in the Clouds
This movie features a big name actor overshadowed by lush wine country landscapes in northern California. In the post-World War II love story, Keanu Reeves, returns to an empty marriage. Then he meets his true love. While staying with her family at their vineyard, complications arise. Highly regarded movie critic, Roger Ebert praised “A Walk in the Clouds” saying it was a glorious romantic fantasy, aflame with passion and bittersweet longing.
A Good Year
Based on the novel by Peter Mayles, this movie is a must-see for fans of wine and Russell Crow. In the film, Crow’s life revolves around his banking job until he finds out he inherited a chateau and vineyard. When he returns to the familiar setting, he decides he must sell it. As he works on the long renovation project, he realizes the tranquil lifestyle is what he needs. Glorious scenes featuring vineyards in the French countryside serve as an impressive backdrop for “A Good Year”.
The Kids Are All Right
Although this film doesn’t revolve around a vineyard, wine seems to symbolize choices. Wine also adds depth to the humorous storyline. The film serves as a lesson about relationships, life and love when unconventional parents must deal with their teen son’s quest to find his biological father. The lesbian couple shows wisdom in their search and in their choice of good wine. Their philosophy hints that life might be better if we relax and enjoy what we have. Somehow the wine just blends into the story helping to cultivate relationships into a whimsical, yet realistic, ending.
“Sideways” is the wine lover film any bona fide wine lover must see several times. It tells the journey of two men traveling from one stage of life to another. Their journey of self-discovery is literally a journey through the sprawling Santa Ynez wine country in California. As the main characters learn more about themselves, the viewers learn more about wine. Almost immediately tagged as a huge hit, “Sideways” is a comedy/drama combination. Any true lover of wine puts this classic film on a well-deserved pedestal.
Based on the true story known as the Judgment of Paris, this film chronicles the historic upheaval in the wine industry following the 1976 taste test. For the first time in history, a small winery in California gets picked over the prestigious French wine. Putting Napa Valley in the international spotlight, the monumental decision gained new respect for California wine. The back story leading up to the blind taste test includes a look at the life of the winning wine maker. It parallels the man’s passion for his work to his challenging relationship with his son. The historical element in “Bottle Shock” makes the film required viewing for any American wine lover.
The five wine movies mentioned are a small sample. From the obscure to the well-known, many more wine lover flicks are available.
Dominique is a full-time writer, who loves nothing more than to sit back with a glass of Merlot and troll through the movie offerings of DIRECT TV.
Cork or a screw cap? For years this has been a hot debate among wine lovers, a question which regularly appears at tastings, fairs or around the dinner table. Both have their merits, but are about to have their powers combined now that the cork has been given a new twist.
The helix cork was unveiled last month at the VinExpo wine fair in Bordeaux. At first glance, it looks just like a champagne cork, closer inspection though, reveals the helix’s signature thread finish.
To understand how this could be a defining moment in winemaking, first we have to look at what the helix could displace. Justin runs through the history of each design here, but let’s have a quick look at the perks.
Cork, the material of choice for centuries, is fairly airtight, but has a porous surface which allows a slow intake of air. Over time, a combination of oxidisation and airborne aromas has an effect on a wine’s flavour, and many say this this needed for wine to age gracefully.
This has meant that corks are still the mainstay for higher end vintage wines, which are made to be stored indefinitely. The problem here is that producers have to perform a fine balancing act, too much air will ruin a wine.
This is known as cork taint, and affects around 7% of stored wines. Imagine you’re a wholesaler paying £50 per bottle, now imagine the dent that 7% leaves in your profits.
For wines made to be drunk within a year then, the screw cap has become king. Forming a more airtight seal, these prevent aging in the bottle. While this creates a class ceiling of quality, it gives the producers a bit more control, the can produce a wine to exact specifications before sealing in the flavour.
These two approaches are a bit of a generalisation; many table wines still feature a cork, while more bespoke wines are moving over to screw caps. The stigma and stereotype isn’t moving anywhere though, many people still look down their noses at a screw cap.
That is where the helix seems to be heading, a collaboration between Portuguese cork manufacturer Amorim and US bottle maker O-I, it will be initially aimed at the £5-10 per bottle market. In this price bracket lies plenty of good quality supermarket wines, whose choice of cap could be causing an unfair dismissal.
On looks alone, the helix cap is already an upgrade. Like a sparkling wine with the cage removed, the cork sits snuggly on top, giving the bottle a far more handsome appearance. Opening the wine seems almost effortless, but the satisfying pop sound is still there.
As for flavour, testing has shown no alteration in colour, taste or bouquet after 26 months. This could mean that those who see cork as an essential means of aging a wine will be slow to adopt. They could just see the helix as a well presented screw cap, the same old product with a few cosmetic tweaks.
It should be a great way of combining looks and practicality, but could face an uncertain crowd. We don’t know exactly why people prefer corks, we just know they do. If we like the natural look and density of a cork, or that satisfying pop sound, the helix will be a hit, but we might just like using a corkscrew, and the sense of occasion it offers.
Author Bio: Joe Errington is a wine lover who writes about food and drink for Juicy Grape Wines.
There’s nothing better than picking up a pricey chiraz when you get the opportunity and stashing it away ready to celebrate your Friday night at the end of a long week at work. But if you’re going to go home and simply dump it on the kitchen top and forget to store it properly, you will notice a difference in taste as the wine’s balance and aroma can be disrupted if not stored correctly. The greatest merlot in the world can taste like a cheap, economy version if you leave it for a long period of time in the upright position in temperatures that are either too hot or too cold.
Initially when transporting your haul from A to B, you should carry your bottle or bottles upright to ensure they do not leak. It is also best to travel during more moderate weather, when it is not extremely hot or cold as temperature is possibly the largest factor when it comes to altering the taste of wine. If you allow a wine to become too hot, it will become flat and age prematurely. On the other hand a lack of moisture in too cold conditions will cause the cork to dry out and permit entrance to oxygen, which immediately distorts the taste of your wine. Placing wine in a fridge is an okay short term solution if you intend to consume your wine within a few days, but long term it is just so cold. Steer well clear of freezers as these will cause the liquid in the bottle to expand and explode!
A fine wine does not appreciate rude shocks so you will need to let it rest for two to three weeks before serving it. So if the kitchen top is not the right place to leave your wine, then where is? Well as mentioned before temperature is crucial to the well being of your wine. So leaving it in an open space like a kitchen which gets heated up when cooking and where sunlight beams through the windows is not a good idea. Around 12 °c is often cited as being the most perfect temperature for wine storage; however we must not forget to distinguish between the red and white varieties. Red wine can take a little more heat than white and can really be stored anywhere between 8 and 16°c. White wines can be stored at lower temperature ranges, around 7°c. Worrying about slight fluctuations in temperature however is pointless, only when wine has been exposed to extreme temperature swings should you panic!
You want to opt for cool areas of you house which are most devoid of heat fluctuations- airing cupboards, boilers and washing machines are obvious no go zones. A cellar or underground basement would be the most ideal location for storing wine as it is cool and devoid of sunlight. However the vast majority of people do not have a cellar so it may be best to go for a dark corner of the garage or if you do not have any suitable space for your prize wine collection at home, it might be worth considering off-site storage. Temperature controlled spaces and cellars will help ensure the protection and longevity of your wine so if you love your wine, it might be something worth investing in.
When you have found the perfect space to store your bottles, it is essential that you do not place them upright in the same formation as found in the supermarket. Supermarket’s leave bottles upright for ease since they do not have facilities to store each bottle sideways and to avoids spillages. If your visit a specific wine shop, you will find a much more professional attitude with wine stored in the horizontal position. You need the liquid to remain in contact with the cork as if the cork dries out, it will allow oxygenation to occur.
Some people believe that storing wine bottles at an angle is the best tactic since both wine and an air bubble are in contact with the cork. This theoretically allows some degree of expansion and contraction due to any temperature variations. Storing your wine horizontally or diagonally is subject to preference, just so long as you do not leave bottles in the upright position… unless they have a screw top of course!
Lucy Carswell is a Blogger and Marketing Assistant for Cube Self Storage, Cube Record Management Services and Cube Fine Art Services. UK based storage companies specialising in secure storage of documents and climate controlled storage for fine art.
Europe has long been the originating source for modern wine culture, with its leading wine merchants representing some of the premium producers in the world; European wines tend to rely on traditional methods, and on seals of quality that make them among the best selling in the world. Established regions like Champagne and Burgundy in France are also subject to strict regulations to protect their quality. While Europe’s long held status as the home of the world’s best wines was shaken in the 20th century by the emergence of rivals such as Australia, the United States, South Africa, and Argentina, its status as the birthplace of modern wine is undeniable. Who, then, are the top wine producing countries in Europe?
The sheer versatility and variety of wines in France arguably allows it to claim to be the most historically significant wine producer in the world. As well as champagne from Champagne, and Cabernet Sauvignon from Bordeaux, or Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France is home to excellent white wine growing conditions in Alsace. While France has had to adjust to global competition for wine production, its classic terroir methods and tight regulations on quality means that you can still find much of the best wine available in French vineyards.
Like France, Italy has a long history of wine making that stretches back thousands of years; well established wine growing regions include Piedmont, Tuscany, and Veneto, while key vintages include Chianti and Brunello. Italian wines account for billions of sales a year, with the country’s rich Mediterranean climate allowing for deep bodied reds to be a speciality – Italy’s high production rate also means that it’s one of the most competitive countries for wine pricing.
Tempranillo, Rioja, and Ribera wines are among the specialties of Spanish wine production, which while never on the same scale as France or Italy, is still significant. Indeed, Spain’s lower yields compared to these countries is partly down to wider spacing of rows in vineyards, and a focus on high quality vintages, of which there are 400 in the country. Spain is also home to world class Cava and sherries.
While Portugal is traditionally associated with the invention of port and other dessert wines, its production of a variety of wines makes it one of the best in Europe. Portugal’s association with wine making has been helped by its joining of the EU in the 1980s, and by its tendency towards under cutting competitors on price, with the US market being a key target. Popular wines from Portugal include roses, dry wines, and always popular dessert wines.
The appeal of German wines tends to be more focused on a few excellent vintages and grapes than the scale of other European countries; the Baden region in Germany produces Pinot Noirs with low acidity, while Rieslings account for some of German wine makers’ most popular exports. Germany’s climate is similar to France’s, meaning that vintages such as Scheurebe and Gewurtzraminer can compete in terms of quality.
Emily Steves is a food and wine writer who regularly contributes to a range of food and drink websites and blogs. She loves drinking a quality white wine on her patio while watching the sun go down.