This just in on the wine and spirits front
Stock up, dress up and partayy!
Pacific NW associate editor
IT IS OUR great hope here at HQ that reading the magazine this week, Pacific NW's annual Wine & Spirits issue, is one happy hour!
Also, tip of the crown to Linda and Steve on Whidbey Island, an entertaining pair who graciously refer to their liquor cabinet as the "spirit center."
Cheers! Bottoms up! And here's to you:
Some chilling news
Forget the wine bucket, with all the melting and the dripping. Oy. Go cicle. Corkcicle. It's a cork and a cicle all in one! Here's how ya doit: Freeze Corkcicle. Chill bottle in fridge. Pour one glass, insert frozen cicle into bottle. Done.
There's the original, cork-like top, and the color version. Both come with food-grade gel sealed inside. Word is it keeps whites perfectly chilled for an hour. $24.95.
Find them all over the place: Precept Wine, Metropolitan Market, Fireworks, Alki Tours, Poggi Bonsi (Burien), No Thyme Productions (Mercer Island), Culinary Essentials (Bellevue). And at www.corkcicle.com and www.amazon.com.
Man, however, does not live by wine alone. What of our warming, watery highballs?
Chill out with tilt. The fellas at soiréehome (HQ for tilt and a groundswell of those averse to capitalization) describe tilt as "chilling technology (that) preserves the full flavor of your beverage and lasts far longer than cubed ice. A sphere's surface-area/volume ratio allows for better, more even chill, and tilt's mirror-finished, sealed, stainless-steel shell ensures purity of taste." Chills for at least 30 minutes.
Store tilt in the freezer until 4:59:59 p.m., or whenever your cocktail hour begins. Also good for dips.
Nothing worse that a hot dip.
$34.99 for a set of two. Fish tilt out with included retrieval hook, cleverly disguised as a cocktail stirrer or garnish stick. Store on included silicone base. www.soireehome.com, www.amazon.com.
It's a short hop to vinegar
Never again once you get A Date with Wine, a stopper that looks, as one guy put it, "something like a cross between a bike lock and an industrial-strength hose nozzle." Set the three twistable date rings so you know the last time you popped that cab for steak night. Stopper is made from food-grade stainless steel and silicone. Brought to you by le moutin noir & co., launched in New Yawk City two years back to "introduce fun, quirky, safe and interesting design products to the market " $59. coolmaterial.com, www.amazon.com.
Honey, should I wear a tie?
Why, yes, you should, Mr. Bottle. One should always look one's best for an evening out. Sure, decorative wine bags do the job, but they are not near as amusing as Botskis bottle ties. They blink, they sing, they fit any bottle. Think party favor, table decoration or finishing touch to any bottled gift (wine, spirits, sparkling juice). And, don't you know, there's a bottle tie for every occasion: sports enthusiasts, wine lovers, holidays, birthdays, anniversaries and on like that; more than 20 designs (also custom). $9.99. Hallmark stores; Bed Bath & Beyond; www.botskis.com.
• Another downright cheerful way to tote your fermented grape products is with Wine Monkey. Hardworking sock monkey is made, like all true sock monkeys, from an all-American red-heel sock. Fits most wine and sparkling bottles up to 1 liter. $14.50. Find at Fireworks (seven locations) and at www.fireworksgallery.net, www.popdeluxe.net, www.amazon.com.