Tag Archives: Wine

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.

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

2 Simple Wine Cocktails for Summer

Light, refreshing afternoon summer sippers.

As heatwaves pummel the west this year, we are looking for ways to keep ourselves cool. These two sweet, summer sips are the perfect way to sit and chill on a warm afternoon.

Note: Always remember to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated.


Avaline White Sangrito


Ingredients

  • 1 bottle of Avaline White
  • 3-4 limes, thinly sliced
  • 15-20 mint leaves

Method

  1. Add 3 to 4 sliced lines, mint leaves and a bottle of Avaline White wine to a large jug (or jar) and chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
  2. Serve with ice, a slice of lime and mint leaves for garnish.

Serves 2 to 4


BABE Frosé


Ingredients

  • 4 Cans of  BABE Rosé Tie Dye Cans
  • 1/4 Cup Vodka
  • 4 tbsp. Strawberry Simple Syrup
  • 1/2 Cup Water (for syrup)
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar (for syrup)
  • 1 Cup Finely Chopped Strawberries (for syrup)

Pour the BABE Rosé into a gallon ziplock bag set inside a dish then freeze overnight (don’t be concerned if it’s a little slushy.)

Strawberry Simple Syrup

  1. Combine water and sugar in a bowl and microwave until boiling, about 1 ½ minutes. Stir until sugar dissolves.
  2. Add the chopped strawberries and chill in the refrigerator overnight. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into another bowl then discard strawberry pieces.
  3. Add the frozen BABE Rosé, vodka, and strawberry simple syrup to a blender then blend until smooth. Serve immediately.

Serves 4 to 6

The Hess Collection Introduces Iron Corral

The 2019 vintage marks the first new estate Cabernet Sauvignon in 20 years

The Hess Collection

Today, The Hess Collection announces the release of its first new estate Cabernet Sauvignon in 20 years. Named after the recently acquired Iron Corral Vineyard, the 2019 Iron Corral Cabernet Sauvignon is the most recent addition to the estate wines from The Hess Collection, joining items such as Hess Collection Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon and The Lion Cabernet Sauvignon.

The Hess Collection 2019 Iron Corral Cabernet Sauvignon

Striking a delicate balance of Mountain and Valley Floor Estates, the 2019 Iron Corral Cabernet Sauvignon is complex yet accessible, designed for immediate enjoyment with the capability to age gracefully and be enjoyed for years to come. The intensity and structure of the Hess Mount Veeder vineyards combines with the supple, plush qualities of their Napa Valley floor estates to create a wine representative of the best the region has to offer. The 2019 vintage is a blend of 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Malbec and 2% Petit Verdot, displaying the full fruit retention of a classically styled Napa Valley Cabernet. The wine was aged 18 months in 40% new French Oak, resulting in a well-balanced wine designed to age beautifully.

The eye-catching Iron Corral label pays homage to the original Hess family crest from 1381. Bringing back the historic red is a nod to the past, while the design modernizes the Hess heritage and represents the future of the family. The resulting design amplifies the wine’s presence on the table, in the cellar and on shelf.

“We’re proud to continue our Napa Valley legacy with this next chapter from The Hess Collection,” says Tim Persson, Chairman & CEO for Hess Family Wine Estates. “Iron Corral is our new take on the classic Cabernet Sauvignon style our incredible wine region is known for. We’ve long anticipated the wine’s release and we’re thrilled to debut with this exceptional vintage.”

The Iron Corral vineyard was named after its history in Napa Valley agriculture. Before being discovered as a wine-growing gem, this 420-acre parcel nestled at the base of Howell Mountain was home to early Napa ranchers. The namesake Cabernet Sauvignon is a tribute to the history and legacy of the land as the grapes are harvested among remnants of the ranchers’ original iron gates. The estate vineyards are sustainably farmed according to founder Donald Hess’ philosophy: Nurture the land and return what you take.

Dave Guffy, Director of Winemaking, describes the new addition to the Hess Collection: “Iron Corral is a wine of quality and depth, with a composition built for aging, yet balanced, well-integrated tannins that allow our Cabernet Sauvignon to show beautifully for those unwilling to wait.”

SRP $60

The Hess Collection Iron Corral Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 will be available in stores Fall 2021. It is also available on HessCollection.com.


ABOUT THE HESS COLLECTION

The Hess Collection Winery is a family-owned company founded in 1978 by Donald Hess. Today, the next generation of the Hess family continues to uphold commitment to sustainable wine growing and wine making practices at its original home on Mount Veeder in the Napa Valley. The Hess Collection portfolio is comprised of the Hess Collection and Lions Head collection of wines.


SOURCE The Hess Collection

Santa Margherita Floral Winesicles

If you’re looking for a dazzling dessert to wow friends and family this weekend, we have you covered.

 
With their powerful and unique flavors, textures and colors, edible flowers have gained popularity as a creative and innovative ingredient for the culinary world ~Wikipedia
 
heartsease flower (Viola tricolor) in springThis recipe is perfect for your any outdoor party or even packed in a cooler for a day at the beach.
 
A great go-to treat for cooling off this summer, that combines your love for something chilled, wine and beautiful edible florals.
 
 
 
Get creative and customize your colors with edible florals or add colorful ribbons on the stick. Use your imagination and enjoy!
 
 

Santa Margherita Floral Winesicles

 
WinesiclesIngredients
 
 
Directions
 
  1. Place 3-5 edible flowers in each popsicle mold
  2. Fill popsicle molds with Santa Margherita Prosecco Superiore
  3. Freeze 4-6 hours, or until completely solid
  4. Once frozen, remove from mold and garnish with ribbon if desired.

 

Celebrate Summer with Red, White and Blue Sangria

strawberries-om-om-fruits-red-82978-largeHow do you quench the thirst of a hungry crew without spending all day behind the bar? A few pitchers of pre-made, chilled Sangria. The best thing about whipping up Sangria is that you can put together a pitcher or three the night before and pour after your guests arrive.

Customize this cocktail to fit your favorite flavor profile.  If you enjoy  peaches add peach schnapps or peach vodka and fresh or frozen peaches. Watermelon flavor? Do the same. In fact you can use nearly any flavor of vodka or schnapps and toss in your desired fruit. Keep in mind we are creating a “white” sangria today, and are keeping the “spirit” flavors light.

Since the wine will not be the focus of what you are tasting,  save what’s in your cellar for another time. When it comes to wine for sangria, look to quantity, not quality.

The best thing about a simple sangria is you can use whatever fruit you have on hand or is in season.  This recipe is all about celebrating Independence Day, so we are keeping the colors patriotic with red, white and blue hued additions.

For the red, strsummer-blueberries-stephanie-herington-largeawberries are the perfect addition. Blue, blueberries and the whites are apples, pears or pineapple. Cut in half, remove the core gently and use different sized star cookie cutters to cut out the white star shapes. How much fruit you use in your sangria is a personal choice. You may want to use 3/4 of your fruit to stir in and chill overnight, while freezing your remaining fruit ( strawberries and blueberries only ) to use instead of ice the following day so your cocktail stays chilled, but doesn’t get watered down.

One bottle of wine, makes about 8 servings of sangria. Pour all of the ingredients together and stir well, chill for at least four hours. Chill and save the ginger ale or sparkling wine for later.

Red, White and Blue Sangria

Red, White & Blue SangriaIngredients

  • 1 750ml bottle of sweet white wine, Pinot Grigio, Riesling or Moscato
  • 1 cup peach schnapps or peach flavored vodka
  • 2.5  cups, blueberry and strawberry combo – cut strawberries in half.
  • 2 large apples or pears
  • 2 cups gingerale or sparkling wine to top off.
  • Star Cookie Cutters, different sizes

Method

  1. In a large pitcher, combine wine, schnapps or vodka, and fruit. Stir well and chill at least four hours, preferably overnight. The flavors will develop more the longer it chills.
  2. When ready to serve add gingerale or sparkling wine. To keep chilled during your celebration add some frozen blueberries or strawberries. Your sangria will keep cold, not watered down.

Lavender DRY Mom-osa

Lavender FlowersAs a mother of three children, I love the basics. Weekend days can fill quickly with errands, sports and other activities so it’s important that when it’s time to sit and put my feet up, I can enjoy that brief moment. Keeping things simple cuts prep time to a minimum, which allows me to spend more of time with my family, watch a movie or read a great book.

DRY Sparkling Soda’s Lavender Mom-osa is a perfect example of my need for simplicity. The delicate floral flavor is the perfect companion to Prosecco and the amount of orange juice or fruit pureé is a variable, adjusted to taste.

Note: Look for more dazzling cocktail creations as we experiment with DRY Sparkling Lavender. 

Lavender DRY Mom-osa

  • Difficulty: Simple and delicious
  • Print
 

Lavender DRY MomosaIngredients

  • Orange Juice
  • Prosecco
  • DRY Sparkling Lavender Soda
  • Orange peel for garnish

Directions

  1. Pour orange juice and Prosecco into a chilled champagne flute
  2. Get in mom’s good graces and make it freshly squeezed OJ
  3. Top with Lavender DRY and garnish with a slice of orange peel

logo tipple and taste

 

 

An Intimate Dinner, a Toast or Two and a bit of Christmas Spirit(s)

The hustle and bustle of the season can knock you backwards and leave you craving some time to re-charge.  For me, this means locking the front door, turning off the porch light and basking in the glow of the quiet and candlelight.

Beef Tenderloin with Shallot Mustard SaucePhoto:  Martha Stewart

Beef Tenderloin with Shallot Mustard Sauce
Photo: Martha Stewart

A small family dinner or an intimate dinner for two is necessary to re-connect with loved ones and build communication.  Unwinding and spending time with the fam also means relaxation time for the family cook as well, so creating something delicious in the kitchen shouldn’t require your entire day spent at the stove.

Beef Tenderloin with Shallot Mustard Sauce ~ Martha Stewart.  With an ingredients list as simple as beef tenderloin, course salt, ground pepper, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, beef stock, Dijon mustard, grainy mustard and butter, this is an absolute delight the family ( or just the two of you ) will enjoy.  The time spent prepping and presenting is minimal so while it is resting someone else in the fam is tossing the salad.  Find the recipe here…..

Photo: John Kernick for Food & Wine

Photo: John Kernick for Food & Wine

Beef Medallions with Bacon and Morels ~ Food & Wine.  Total time start to finish for this gem is 35 mins and the ingredients list promises flavors will dance in your mouth.  Bacon, beef teres majors, salt, ground pepper, vegetable oil, fresh morels, large scallions, Madeira, mushroom stock and butter.  Serves 4 and is as gorgeous as it is delicious.  Find the recipe here….

Bloody Mary ~ Liquor.com  While preparing dinner some jazzy Christmas tunes, a great glass of wine or a fabulous cocktail brings relaxation in to the kitchen on swift feet.  This is a simple and classic recipe with the perfect amount of “spicy” flavor.  Celery salt, lemon and lime wedges, vodka, tomato juice, Tabasco sauce, prepared horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, celery salt, black pepper and smoked paprika.  Find the recipe here….

Photo:  Liquor.com

Photo: Liquor.com

Manhattan ~ Liquor.com  When I was a child I fell in love with the color of whiskey. I opened the bottle, and breathed in deeply, the aroma just about knocked me over.  It certainly did not have the same effect as the gorgeous, inviting amber color through the bottle.  Thankfully, as my tastes have matured, I have found a love for the fine spirit.  The Manhattan is one of my absolute fav cocktails and you can find the recipe here….

Last but not least, never underestimate the restorative powers of an intoxicating glass or three, of bubbles.  Open a bottle of Champagne or Sparkling wine and give a toast to the Holidays.  Merry Christmas Friends.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!