Category Archives: Wine, Beer & Cocktails

Cocktails to sip while watching the Tokyo Olympics

If you’re like most of us, you won’t be traveling overseas to watch the Tokyo Olympics. Fortunately, you can toast to your favorite athletes or home town favorites with spirits from around the globe.

Check back daily for the Tokyo Olympics, 2021 Cocktail of the Day

Our first set of cocktails is for team USA with Woodford Reserve Bourbon Whisky, and team Australia with Starward Two-Fold Australian Whisky.

Starward Sweet Cherry Smash


  • 1.5 ounce Starward Two-Fold Australian Whisky
  • 1 ounce Cherry Jam
  • 1 ounce Fresh Lime Juice
  • 1 ounce Soda Water


Combine whisky, jam and lime juice in a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain over fresh ice in a stemless wine glass. Top with soda water and garnish with 2 brandy cherries on a skewer and a mint sprig. Enjoy!

Woodford Reserve Bourbon Porch Swing


  • 1/2 ounce Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • 3/4 ounce Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 ounce Honey
  • 6 ounce Peach Tea


Combine ingredients into a tall glass and stir. Garnish with a slice of peach or lemon wheel.

If you’ve thought about brewing beer or distilling spirits, this may be the course for you. Fall courses with August sign-up, Veterans qualify for educational benefits

“This course is great for students that want a deep dive into the theoretical and practical foundation of brewing beer and distilling professionally.”

The Brewing and Distilling Center (BDC), based in Knoxville, TN, is a trade school geared towards the student wanting professional training in beer brewing and spirits distillation that will help them get a job in the industry. The center is led by President, Dr. Todd White. The BDC is offering a new session of the Professional Brewing & Distilling Technology course, this fall starting August 16, 2021. Registration deadline is August 9th. The class qualifies for Veterans Affairs Educational Benefits – giving former service members the ability to increase their secondary education in brewing beer and distilling spirits.

“This course is great for students that want a deep dive into the theoretical and practical foundation of brewing beer and distilling taught by professionals in the industry. It’s also a great class for anyone who wants to work with beer distributors, become product reps, manage taprooms and start companies providing products in brewing,” says Dr. White. “Our graduates get jobs and we help many get their own breweries started right out of the gate!”

Lectures happen on site for students who can travel to the BDC and online for others who cannot, making classes available to anyone anywhere in the country. Each student also participates in 4 practical brewing days on a professional pilot system in the BDC Brew House onsite either throughout the session or in a concentrated week for online participants.

“The possibilities for students after this course are endless. Having a solid understanding of these two industries serves a wide variety of career choices whether for employment, professional enrichment or for the entrepreneur,” explains Dr. White. “We regularly work with our industry contacts to help connect our students with job openings in the industry. There is and will be an ever present and growing demand for qualified professionals for these industries.”

The class also accepts and works with many former service members to qualify for Veterans Affairs Educational Benefits and takes pride in helping place many veterans in job positions after graduation.

“Obviously, we support our veterans because of their sacrifice to our great country. We want to assist these men and women who want to enter the brewing and distilling industry job market,” says Dr. White. “We have many veteran graduates that are gainfully employed in the brewing and distilling industries. From our past experience, our veteran students are extremely disciplined, dedicated and passionate about learning the industry trade and entering the job market or even starting their own brewery or distillery.”

With a scientific and entrepreneurial background as veterinarian, an architect, a collegiate science instructor and a craft beer shop owner, “Doc” considered the rapidly-expanding US craft beer market and wondered “Where are these new breweries getting qualified, trained brewers?” After market research, he discovered a demand for affordable professional brewing and distilling instruction. In 2013, the Brewing & Distilling Center was established to meet this demand.

Fall Course
13 weeks | 12 hours/week
Classes: Monday – Wednesday, starting 5:30 PM EST
On Site Brew Days: 4.

Learn more here:

Brewing And Distilling Center Knoxville Is Kicking Off Sign Ups For Their New Class In The Fall.

Renowned Designer and Style Icon Vera Wang Debuts Prosecco

Last month Vera Wang announced PARTY, a premium Italian prosecco and we are obsessed.

PARTY embodies the Bright, FUN and Fashion-Forward side of the globally renowned Designer and Style Icon…with the same bold spirit that transformed fashion by reimagining the bridal space, Vera Wang is now turning her creativity and passion for design toward how — and what — we celebrate.

“First and foremost, I am a Designer, but I am also an entrepreneur and brand builder. I’ve dedicated my entire life to designing how people celebrate, and not just their weddings – from what they wear to how they entertain, from their tableaus and tablescapes, to how they live at home – and now, what they drink! PARTY is a natural extension of what I already do,” says Vera Wang. “Why prosecco? CELEBRATION! When I think of romance, fun, laughter, joy, friendship, I think of prosecco, it is the wine that personifies emotion and sheer happiness.”

Vera Wang’s attention to detail has shaped every step of PARTY from grape to bottle. Designed to look chic on any table, the bottle is a sleek matte silver with “PARTY” in bold neon yellow letters exuding a modern, easy sensibility. The back of the bottle features an invitation to PARTY from Vera.

“This project involved input from my friends, family, even clients. A sort of family affair!”

To craft the prosecco Vera Wang looked to find a winemaker with both heritage and pedigree. She turned to the top winemaking region Piemonte, known for its sparkling wines, and to Araldica, producer of the best- selling Moscato in America. Led by second-generation winemaker Claudio Manera, it is one of Italy’s fastest-growing producers and most forward-thinking winemaking co-operative. Manera continues his father’s commitment to Italy’s winemaking traditions, preserving local varieties, protecting the environment and valuing the characteristics of each wine.

“At Araldica we celebrate our roots, land and people, balancing our drive for innovation with respect to tradition,” explains Manera. “Vera Wang has our same philosophy, making this collaboration organic for us. This wine speaks to her fresh perspective, taste, passion and dedication to crafting a premium prosecco.”

Retailed at $25, Vera Wang PARTY is crafted from 100% Glera grapes and boasts aromas of apple and stone fruit, citrus notes and fresh acidity on the palate, with a soft and fruity finish. This new prosecco offers a fresh perspective in the sparkling wine category with its crisp effervescence, coupled with a bold aesthetic and playful voice. Vera Wang PARTY is currently available, and consumers are encouraged to visit for more information on the wine or where to purchase it.

As society reimagines what it looks like to gather, Vera Wang’s PARTY reimagines what it looks like to celebrate. It’s what we could all use right now – a little bit of fun, a little bit of joy, and a new way to commemorate life’s meaningful moments.

A native New Yorker who spent her career at the forefront of fashion, Vera Wang began a sweeping makeover of the bridal industry in 1990 with the opening of her flagship salon at the Carlyle Hotel in New York City. Today, the flagship continues to showcase collections known for sophistication, extraordinary detailing and a cool, modern sensibility.

In 2000, Vera Wang’s enthusiasm for couture resulted in the launch of her highly acclaimed ready-to-wear collection. The Council of Fashion Designers of America honored Vera Wang by naming her “Womenswear Designer of the Year” in 2005. Wang has been recognized with numerous awards and accolades but most notably she was awarded the prestigious Legion of Honor, an order of distinction by the Republic of France. The Vera Wang brand reflects her vision to create a lifestyle that goes beyond core bridal and ready-to- wear, and into publishing, fragrance, beauty, accessories and home. Driven by artistic, modern, luxurious design and a high level of customer service, Vera Wang’s collections hold impeccable customer appeal.

Vera Wang collaborates with leading global partners and manufactures the majority of its bridal collection in company-owned workrooms in the United States.

Affinity Creative Amplifies Women’s Empowerment Message for The Cycles Gladiator Wine Brand

Wine Hooligans, a beverage company focused on relentlessly solving puzzles together in Santa Rosa, CA, recently appointed Affinity Creative Group to design and develop a new digital style and website for Cycles Gladiator Wine.

Inspired by women’s empowerment, Cycles Gladiator derives its name from the Gladiator Company, a 19th-century bicycle manufacturer based in Le Pré-Saint-Gervais, France. To honor the spirit of the brand’s figurehead, the iconic woman flying on her bicycle, Cycle’s leadership wanted to update the brand’s website design and user experience to mirror the company’s influential wine label and support women’s equality. 

“With the help of Affinity Creative Group, the Cycles Gladiator brand celebrates a contemporary wine culture that is uncontrived and genuine. We believe in women taking back their agency and reveling in that empowerment, and we’re thrilled to finally make that a priority throughout the entire Cycle’s brand image.” – Adam LaZarre, Founding Winemaker of Cycles Gladiator & Director of Winemaking for Wine Hooligans.

The wine brand owners wanted a total digital revamp with a strong foundation, supporting their creative brand assets, both old and new. The Affinity Creative team rose to the challenge and developed a cohesive visual style and digital tone with meaningful messaging. 

After establishing a robust brand personality framework, the Affinity Creative team updated the brand’s logo, typography, and supporting elements, while retaining strong, existing brand equities. Thus, the agency magnified the powerful theme of the Cycles Gladiator brand—both on and off the website—effectively promoting a female-empowering message of self-love, confidence, and liberation. 

The agency’s brand strategy groundwork also informed and inspired the production of ‘evergreen’ media content for the brand’s digital channels beyond Cycles Gladiator’s new website. From a modern interpretation of Belle Epoque poster typography, colors, and textures to the use of candid female-focused imagery, new digital assets reflect the iconic cycling maiden’s brand values of sincerity and energy.

A seamless UX completes the digital package, with compelling lifestyle photography and dynamic video components. All elements merge perfectly to inspire wine lovers to “join the movement” and represent the brand’s late 70s California vibe with a confident nod to modern-day women’s empowerment.

Quick Bites – Salt Point® Margarita Canned Cocktails Available For National Tequila Day

Now available direct to consumer

This National Tequila Day, Salt Point® Canned Cocktails offers a new ready-to-drink canned Margarita cocktail for tequila lovers with an all-natural, great tasting recipe. Made with Blanco tequila using the finest Weber Blue agave mixed with house-made triple sec, agave syrup, lime and just the right amount of carbonation, the result is a fresh and bright tasting Margarita with sweet aromatics, 10% alcohol by volume and no artificial preservatives.

One can is equal to two ready-to-drink cocktails that can be enjoyed straight from the can or poured over ice making it convenient for outdoor or indoor activities, with no mixing necessary. Now there is no longer a need to buy premium tequila, triple sec and limes at an approximate cost of eighty dollars and look for a place to store the sticky mess.

The ready-to-drink sector is now bigger in volume than the total spirits category in the US, and is expected to overtake wine this year, according to the June 2021 IWSR Drinks Market Analysis. 

The ultra-premium and eye-catching design is blazoned with a whimsical mermaid reminiscent of seaport characters and stories, like all Salt Point packaging.

Margarita joins the successful Salt Point line up of canned cocktails, including Moscow Mule, Greyhound and Gin Highball.

All Salt Point cocktails retail for $4.99 per can or $17.99 4-pack in 11 states including California, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, Nevada, Arizona, Montana, Tennessee, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Connecticut and newly available direct to consumer online at

Salt Point Margarita Canned Cocktail

About Salt Point 
Salt Point Canned Cocktail Co. was one of the first ultra-premium canned cocktail companies to market, canning cocktails since 2013, created by female founder, Heather Wyatt. Inspired by Salt Point, a Northern California State Park two hours north of San Francisco on the Pacific Ocean, a place that evokes the natural beauty and character of Northern California and seaport towns everywhere. Salt Point has four refreshing canned cocktails in their line up with all-natural ingredients and premium spirits, including Moscow Mule, Gin Highball, Greyhound and the new Margarita with disruptive packaging highly recognizable by their seaport characters. Visit us at our website or follow us on InstagramFacebook or email us at

We hope you enjoy these “quick bites” of news. If you have questions or comments, please reach out to

Pairing of the Week: Spicy Sapporo Chili and a refreshing Summer Shandy

It’s been a long, hot summer already this year and one pot meals are the way to go to keep the kitchen cool. Drop it in the crock pot and leave it. This dish can be made as mild or spicy as you like, twist, tweak it and make it your own.

Sapporo Chili

Sapporo Chili / Sapporo

Sapporo Chili / Sapporo


  • Olive Oil (enough to coat the bottom of a large sauté pan)
  • ¼ cup of Minced Garlic
  • 1lb of ground turkey 85/15 (or other ground meat of your choosing. You can also combo other meats also like pulled chicken, ground beef, ground pork, etc.)
  • 1/8 cup of granulated garlic
  • 1/8 cup of granulated onion
  • 1/8 cup of paprika
  • 1/8 cup of ground cumin
  • A pinch of Italian seasoning
  • A pinch of ground coriander
  • A pinch of smoked sea salt
  • A pinch of ground pepper
  • 2 16 oz cans of organic vegetarian chili (if you cannot find organic canned veggie chili, a nonorganic one is fine also.                *Note: if you prefer and have time, you can use dried beans
  • kitchen-cutting-board-cooking-bell-pepper-large (2)1 16 oz can of cannellini beans (rinse and drain)
  • ½ of a 28oz. can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 6oz can of tomato paste
  • ½ cup of homemade or jarred tomato sauce of your choosing
  • ¼ cup of BBQ sauce (homemade or brand of your choosing)
  • ¼ cup of Heinz ketchup
  • ½ of a 12 oz bottle/ or ½ of a 16 oz can of Sapporo Premium


  1. Cover bottom of large sauté pan with olive oil and add minced garlic
  2. Season ground meat with a pinches of granulated garlic, onion and chili powder and salt and pepper
  3. Brown ground meat in large pan with heat turned up about half way so to not burn meat and spice mixture
  4. Once meat is browned, transfer to slow cooker
  5. Add canned chili or soaked beans, rest of all spices, sauces, pastes, beer and stir in crock pot to blend all ingredients together
  6. Set cooker to low and timer to 8 hours. After 8 hours, cooker will switch to warm if you are not serving right away
  7. Make sure to stir every hour or so, so chili doesn’t stick and tomato based products don’t burn
  8. Feel free to top with chopped up cooked bacon, fried onions, shredded cheese, sour cream, scallions or anything you like
  9. Serve with tortilla chips and an ice cold Sapporo!

**Note: We tweaked the recipe just a bit, adding one medium bell pepper, and added one small roasted chili pepper for garnish on top of each bowl filled with chili.

Morphing Sapporo Summer Shandy

Sapporo Morphing ShandyRaspberry ice cubes keep this shandy cool and never diluted for a 2-for-1 cocktail experience, as the ice melts so does the raspberry flavor adding a new layer to your cocktail’s flavor profile.

  • 4 oz. fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 oz. simple syrup (3 for a sweeter cocktail)
  • Sapporo Premium Beer
  • ​Raspberry ice cubes*​

Add raspberry ice cubes, lemon juice and simple syrup to pint glass or beer mug, top with Sapporo and gently stir with a bar spoon. 

*Add 1 cup of water and 1 cup of fresh raspberries to a pot of water and bring to a boil. Once water begins to boil, turn heat to a simmer and let steep 15-20 minutes or until raspberries begin to lose their color. Strain the raspberries and fill ice cub tray with flavored water and freeze until solid.

Make a little love with NEFT’s Love Potion #9

When we find something we love, we can’t wait to share. We have two cocktails to liven up your Friday night, NEFT Premium Vodka’s, Spontaneous Consumption and Love Potion #9. Stick around afterwards and watch the video below. Cheers!

NEFT Spontaneous Consumption


  • 1.5 oz NEFT ultra-premium vodka
  • 1 oz fresh clementine juice
  • .75 oz orange peel oleo sacrum
  • .5 oz spiced demerara syrup
  • 2 dashes barrel aged whiskey bitters
  • Dehydrated cinnamon orange slice soaked in 151


  1. Add all ingredients into mixing tin with ice and stir. Double strain into rocks glass
  2. over ice. Garnish

NEFT Love Potion #9


  • 1.75 oz *NEFT ultra-premium vodka
  • .75 oz egg white
  • .5 oz hibiscus & rose syrup
  • .25 Calvados Appellation
  • 2 dashes rose water
  • Juice from ½ lemon


  1. Dry shake all ingredients in in **Shaker33 and then add ice and shake vigorously.
  2. Strain into a coup glass over dry ice and garnish with a hibiscus flower.

*NEFT is an award-winning, super premium sipping vodka made with just two pure, clean ingredients: ancient, non-GMO rye grains farmed in lower Saxony and pristine, oxygen-rich spring water from the Alps of Austria. It is packaged in a unique, portable and unbreakable barrel that closely resembles a small oil drum, which conveniently keeps NEFT cold for hours. Distilled only once, the result is a creaminess on the tongue, a rounded earthiness, and a slightly smooth finish so good you’ll want to sip it neat. MSRP: $37 for a 750-mL barrel and available at

**The Shaker33 includes several new features that solve the woes of the classic cocktail shaker and lets users effortlessly create exquisite professional cocktails. Shaker33 is a leak-proof, easy-to-open and smooth pour cocktail shaker that gives drink lovers perfect cocktails, all the time, every time. Available in black and frosted options. MSRP $29.95 and available at

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson And Teremana Tequila Reveal The Mana Mobile And Launch The Great American Mana Mobile Road Trip

The Mana Mobile Will “Bring the Mana” to Main Streets, Military Bases, Fire Stations and Local Events in Towns Across the Country

Teremana, Dwayne Johnson’s small-batch handmade tequila, announces The Great American Mana Mobile Road Trip.  Inspired by The Rock’s famous phrase “MANA. GRATITUDE. TEQUILA.”, the Mana Mobile will travel the country, visiting towns, communities, and cities to “Bring the Mana.”

Teremana, Dwayne Johnson’s small-batch handmade tequila, announces The Great American Mana Mobile Road Trip.

The Teremana “Mana Mobile” is a rolling envoy designed to share the Teremana Tequila philosophy of “Bring the Mana”; sharing joy and gratitude and of course some fun throughout the country to local communities.  The celebratory Mana Mobile will stop by military bases, fire houses, hospitals, and other locations to share gratitude towards the nation’s first responders.  It will also stop at main streets across America to help encourage all to come out and support local businesses.  Road trip stops will showcase delicious Teremana Tequila cocktails (where allowed) shaken up by the Mana Ohana mixologists and delicious treats such as “DJ’s” cheat-meal favorites (his prized brioche French toast with Teremana Tequila-infused maple syrup) amongst others. 

“I created Teremana to bring people together and I can’t think of a better way to bring people together than bringing the Mana Mobile directly to them.  Our Mana Mobile will deliver delicious Teremana cocktails, fresh and amazing eats and a whole lotta gratitude to people, towns and cities across North America,” says Teremana Founder, Dwayne Johnson.  “Our Teremana is proudly crafted by hand at our distillery in a small town in Jalisco and has truly become the “Tequila of the People”.  So keep an eye out for the Mana Mobile in your neck of the country and let the Teremana adventures begin!”

The Great American Mana Mobile Road Trip stops can be found online at, with additional locations to be announced as the road trip progresses.

For more information, visit and follow the tour at #ManaMobile on Instagram and Twitter at @teremana.

Teremana Tequila

About Teremana Tequila
Teremana is an ultra-premium, small-batch tequila crafted at the highest peaks of the Jalisco highlands, founded by Dwayne Johnson. With two expressions, a blanco and a reposado, its name directly translates as ‘spirit of the earth,’ from the Latin word ‘terra,’ meaning earth, and the Polynesian word ‘mana,’ meaning spirit. Made from fully mature, thoughtfully harvested and naturally sweet agave which is slow roasted in small traditional brick ovens and distilled in custom made copper pot stills, Teremana has quickly become the tequila of the people.

SOURCE Teremana Tequila

Maker’s Mark® Bourbons Earn Top Honors at Spirits Industry’s Most Prestigious Tasting Competitions

Iconic Kentucky Producer’s Classic Maker’s Mark Expressions as well as Wood-Finished and Custom Offerings Named Among Best Bourbons of 2021

Maker’s Mark®, the iconic, red wax-dipped Kentucky Bourbon, created in Loretto, Kentucky in 1953, is proving that that its time-tested whisky still has what it takes to please the most discerning of palates, with top marks across its portfolio at the 2021 San Francisco World Spirits CompetitionInternational Whisky CompetitionUltimate Spirits Challenge and the International Wine & Spirit Competition.

Black Bourbon Society (BBS)’s collaboration with the Maker’s Mark Private Selection® program, the Black Bourbon Society’s Maker’s Mark® Private Selection: Recipe 2, has led the way as one of the world’s best bourbons of 2021, with numerous best-in-class designations and high scores from judges. The limited release, made by finishing fully-matured cask strength Maker’s Mark Bourbon in a single secondary barrel featuring a custom selection of ten proprietary oak finishing staves, was named Best Bourbon and Best American Whiskey overall at the 12th annual International Whiskey Competition (IWC); awarded 96 points and the Chairman’s Trophy as the top small batch bourbon at the Ultimate Spirits Challenge (USC); and earned 98 points and a medal of “Spirit Gold – Outstanding” at the International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC).

“Maker’s Mark Distillery at Star Hill Farm in Loretto, Kentucky, home of the award-winning Maker’s Mark portfolio.”

Results for other Maker’s Mark limited release, wood stave-finished bourbons, often described as some of the best values for bourbon hunters searching for special and unique releases, continued to prove the portfolio’s depth and quality with additional wins. The Maker’s Mark® CommUNITY Batch, a collaborative 2020 release benefiting hospitality non-profit The LEE Initiative, and the only blended whisky in Maker’s Mark’s lineup, was named a “Finalist” and earned 95 points at the USC, as well as a “Gold” medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition (SFWSC). The Maker’s Mark Wood Finishing Series 2020 Limited Release received “Spirit Gold” with 96 points at IWSC and its 2021 counterpart, the Maker’s Mark Wood Finishing Series 2021 Limited Release: FAE-01 earned its own “Gold” at the International Spirits Challenge (ISC).

The classic Maker’s Mark portfolio also impressed, with its Maker’s Mark Kentucky Straight Bourbon being awarded a “Double Gold” medal at the SFWSC, the competition’s highest medal tier. Judges at the USC agreed, awarding the iconic bourbon an impressive 91 points. Rounding out the lineup, Maker’s Mark Cask Strength earned 95 points and a “Spirit Gold” title at IWSC as well as another “Gold” medal at the SFWSC, while Maker’s Mark 101 was named a “Great Value” and awarded 93 points at USC.

“We’ve always been proud of each and every bottle of bourbon that comes out of our distillery here at Star Hill Farm, and it’s incredibly gratifying to see that the bourbon we’re making is something that whisky fans genuinely enjoy and continue to get excited about,” said Rob Samuels 8th Generation Whisky Maker and Grandson of Maker’s Mark Founders Bill and Margie Samuels. “With so many amazing American whiskies on the market these days, I have no doubt that my grandfather would be humbled to see his recipe continuing to be recognized as some of the finest bourbon available.”

For more information about Maker’s Mark and its award-winning bourbons, please visit

The Lake Chelan Wine Valley

As restrictions lift across the country and in Washington state, restaurants, wineries and tasting rooms are opening again at full capacity. Did you …

The Lake Chelan Wine Valley
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