Power Couple = Wine Couple

Allan and Gina Graham

Allan and Gina Graham, proprietors of WineStyles in Johnston, IA

The Graham’s both come from corporate backgrounds – Allan in IT and Gina in Accounting. They had always appreciated wine, learning about the agriculture behind it (both having grown up on Iowa farms), learning about different varietals and regions, and developing their palates. Owning a boutique wine shop by day, wine bar by night hadn’t occurred to them.

As wine connoisseurs, they had frequented many different wine shops locally, but the couple was first exposed to WineStyles as customers of the West Des Moines, Iowa location. The concept really resonated with them and helped in their growing appreciation and knowledge of wine.

“I had always warded off drinking Chardonnay until I learned how it can range from lighter and silkier to richer and more buttery in flavor through experiencing different styles of the grape”, mentioned Gina. (For the record, she prefers SILKY style of Chardonnay.)

They were hooked and quickly became Wine Club members, participating in the many wine tastings and education events  available at the West Des Moines WineStyles store.

All of these experiences led Allan and Gina to opening their own WineStyles store in January of 2010. The couple continued working their corporate jobs for three years before deciding that Allan would focus 100% of his time on their WineStyles store.

This decision has helped them to grow their store even further, and even branch out to having a role in area development on behalf of the franchise. Gina continues to work at her corporate job full-time, but is an active partner in the store.

Johnston, Iowa WineStyles Store

Johnston, Iowa WineStyles Store

Today, Allan and Gina continue to enjoy learning about wine and craft beer, and love having the frequent opportunity to share that knowledge with others, whether during an individual retail experience or through one of their portfolio tastings or education classes.

“Owning our WineStyles store has provided us with the opportunity to meet so many new people and friends, including other industry professionals, our fellow WineStyles store owners, and our customers.”
Johnston, Iowa WineStyles Store

Wine bar at Johnston, Iowa WineStyles Store

WineStyles is more than just wine on the shelves – it’s about building a community, a true “Clubhouse” experience. Allan and Gina have a few touching stories of community development due to their involvement with WineStyles:

Expanding their customers’ palates can be very interesting to watch. “We had customer who was ‘nothing but Chardonnay’.   He ended up joining our Wine Club, and over time, he evolved into a ‘big red’ wine drinker” noted Allan.

“Once, a couple that had been dating for a while, joined our Wine Club and regularly frequented the Friday night tastings. When he was ready to propose, he chose our store because this was a favorite date night and they enjoyed the store and our company” added Gina. “Amazingly, they also decided to hold the actual wedding at our store, one year later, on December 23, 2017.  What a blessing to be part of their new lives together!”

As a valued member of the Johnston community, Allan was also elected to the Board of Directors of the Johnston Chamber of Commerce and served as President in 2016.

“It has been fun to see the many friendships form among our customers over the years and the small-world connections when they engage in conversation”, remarked Allan.

Learn more about Allan and Gina’s journey at the Open House on Wednesday, February 28th at 6:00pm. Discover the world of franchising and learn about WineStyles business opportunities in Iowa. The event is free to attend. Please call to RSVP.

WineStyles Open House Event:

Monday, March 5, 2018
6:00pm

WineStyles at Iowa River Landing
920 East 2nd Avenue, Suite 115
Coralville, Iowa 52241

Phone Allan to RSVP: 515-334-9463

Hope to see you on March 5th!

Cheers,

Allan and Gina Graham,
Area Developers for Iowa market and Proprietors of WineStyles in Johnston.

Will 2018 Be Your Year?

With the holidays wrapping up, many people take the last few days of the year to contemplate where they’d like to be in the New Year.

As 2018 looms in the near distance, do you feel thrilled at the opportunities before you? Or, are you less than thrilled at what lies ahead for you professionally?

You may have a good job, even a great job, but is it fulfilling in all the ways you’d like?

With a career as a WineStyles Tasting Station franchise owner, here’s a little preview of what your 2018 could look like…

wine business owner picture

You start the year with a phone call to the WineStyles Corporate Office (1-866-424-9463), and speak with franchisor and store owner, Andrea McGinness. You’re delighted to hear all about the WineStyles opportunity from Andrea.

After due diligence and your attendance to a WineStyles Discovery Day, you’ve decided to go for it and open your own WineStyles Tasting Station franchise in your home town. The fun begins as you start imagining what your storefront would look like as you pass by the shopping and dining areas in your neighborhood.

Finally, you find the perfect spot. You park your car and just have to get out and look. Yep, this is it!

Your training with the WineStyles Corporate Staff has you feeling confident to begin your new adventure as a small business owner, in business for yourself, but as they say, not by yourself.

Before you know it – wine, craft beer, delicious gourmet foods and fun gifts and accessories are lining your shelves. You think to yourself, now this is a place I would shop!

Your first customers are raving about your new business, and can’t wait to bring in their friends, family, and coworkers.

open for business wine shop

You sit back after a successful Grand Opening, and thank your lucky stars.

But, don’t take it from us, here are a few reasons you may consider opening a franchise location:

When you hear the word “franchise” what do you think of? I’m guessing fast-food, cleaning services, etc.  What we hear is “small business owner”, “in business for yourself, but not by yourself”, “proven system”, “kinks worked out”, “training and marketing support”, “team of assistance at every corner”, “help in your back pocket”, etc.

2018 could be the year you uncork your dream business, and open your own boutique business.

As someone much greater than me once said, “just take the first step”. So give us a call, talk with Andrea, and let’s see if opening a WineStyles Tasting Station in your neighborhood would be a good fit.

Visit www.WineFranchise.com for more information and to request a meeting.

We look forward to making your 2018 the best year yet.

Thanks for reading,

Ashleigh Rader
Director of Marketing & Social Media
WineStyles Tasting Station

#ShopSmall at WineStyles this Weekend!

black-friday-wineShopsgiving Weekend (Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and Giving Tuesday) has become as much a tradition as Thanksgiving itself. The two go hand in hand – much like a tall glass of wine and a nice spread of artisan cheese *puffy heart*.

As you sift through endless piles of coupons and prepare your family’s Shopsgiving game plan, remember to visit WineStyles.com for 10% OFF ALL GIFT CARDS bought online Black Friday through Cyber Monday.

members save more

Our Wine Club Members already enjoy 10% savings on all wine purchases in-store, as a perk of being in the club. With this offer, that total savings DOUBLES to 20% OFF!

Beer Club members already receive 5% OFF in-store beer purchases. Combined with this gift card offer that savings TRIPLES to 15% OFF! Now that’s a deal!

Give the gift you’d want to receive. Treat yourself, family, and friends for the holidays and the year ahead with a WineStyles gift card.

Join Wine or Beer Club and earn $10-$20 in Bottle Bucks to spend on MORE #wine and #craftbeer!

Earn BOTTLE BUCKS this Holiday Season

When you #shopsmall this weekend at WineStyles, you’ll be rewarded with BOTTLE BUCKS! Now through December 31st, each time you spend $100 in-store, you’ll get $15 back in Bottle Bucks! That’s 15% back to show we appreciate you, our customers.

So stock up and enjoy the beginning of a beautiful holiday season ahead! Participating locations only. Void where prohibited. View promotional details here.

bottle bucks promotion

 

#ShopSmall at your local WineStyles store!

WineStyles stores are locally owned and operated, by real people in your community. They are passionate about great wine, craft beer, gourmet foods, and sharing their experiences and expertise with their customers (YOU)!

At WineStyles, you can find your perfect bottle of wine by following the Style guides above each section – CRISP, SILKY, and RICH for white wines, and FRUITY, MELLOW, and BOLD for reds make up 6 of the 8 wine “styles” our stores are segmented by. The other two – particularly appropriate for the Thanksgiving holiday – are BUBBLY and NECTAR (fortified wines).

These style sections make finding the right wine for your occasion a breeze. Looking for a food-friendly red, check out the Fruity section. Love those dry whites, try the Silky section. See? EASY!

winestyles store owners

Bryan and Andrea McGinness, store owners of the WineStyles in West Des Moines, Iowa and CEO and COO of WineStyles Tasting Station.

 

inside winestyles store

Choose from hundreds of wines and craft beers that have been sorted for you by style and taste, which complement our selection of handcrafted chocolates, artisanal cheeses, and gourmet food.

Don’t worry, you’re not alone. WineStyles team members will help you select the perfect wines, craft beers, gourmet foods and gifts for any occasion, big or small. What you’ll find at WineStyles is genuine help, led by genuine experience. Our team is well-trained in their craft (AKA we drink a lot of wine and beer!) 🙂

If you’re looking to quench the thirsts of friends and family this holiday season (not to mention your own after long hours of holiday shopping) visit your friends at WineStyles. PLUS the more you spend, the more you’ll earn with our special BOTTLE BUCKS promotion going on now through December 31st.

Locate the WineStyles store closest to you here.

Thanks for reading, and happy shopping!

wsts-full-logo-jpeg

WineStyles Thanksgiving Guide

Happy Thanksgiving

Dust the dining room. Count the chairs. Polish the wine glasses. Thanksgiving is almost here! #happythanksgiving

Are you ready to prepare all the trimmings for the table? Or perhaps you’re visiting family or friends and don’t want to show up empty handed! Either way, we’re here to help.

Shop WineStyles, Earn Bottle Bucks!

First things first – remember you can earn Bottle Bucks for your Thanksgiving shopping! Throughout November and December, spend $100 at participating WineStyles stores, and you’ll get $15 back in Bottle Bucks to use on more goodies! WineStyles is your one-stop shop for premium wines, craft beers, artisan cheeses and gourmet foods perfectly suited for your Thanksgiving feast. View details here, and find your local WineStyles store here. Offer void where prohibited.

bottle bucks

What to serve before dinner:

Wine: Bubbly is perfect for a pre-dinner apéritif. Plus it starts off your feast on the right foot. It is a celebration after all! Toast your guests as they come through the door and make them feel right at home. It’s even a good idea to keep out some bubbles for an in-between courses palate cleanser. Bubbly does a great job at cutting through fats and sweets.

Food: Put together a simple yet stunning cheese and charcuterie board in no time at all. To please everyone’s palates, opt for a diverse selection of tastes (smoked, tangy) and textures (hard, soft, grainy) so there will be plenty of variety for your guests to nosh on. Once your cheeses and charcuterie is cut and displayed, add some colorful cheer! Colorful pickles, mustard, olives, cherries and nuts will make your board look tasteful and polished. Pick up all the artisan cheese and charcuterie you need at your local WineStyles store.

cheese board

Above: Cheese board with variety of cheeses

 

charcuterie board

Above: Charcuterie board with baguette, pickles, olives


What to choose if you want 1 or 2 wines to go with the whole feast:

Choosing just one or two wines to go with your Thanksgiving feast is possible. Granted, each dish on your table may not be the perfect “match made in heaven” pairing to your wine, but we can get pretty close. Here are our best red and white wine picks for you:

Red: Fruity Pinot Noir 

A high-acid, low-tannin Pinot Noir, such as from the Willamette Valley in Oregon is your best bet for a red wine to pair with Thanksgiving dinner start to finish. The key-word here is “fruity”. A dry red can lose its presence among all the fruity, sugary, and salty dishes on the table. The fruit-forward flavors of cranberry and cherry in a Willamette Valley Pinot Noir will complement your turkey dinner and all its dressings. Hint: At your local WineStyles store, ask for help selecting the perfect Pinot Noir for your dinner under the Fruity style section.

White: Semi-Sweet Riesling

A semi-sweet Riesling such as Weingut Geierslay from Mosel, Germany is your best bet for a white wine that can stand up to the turkey and all its dressings on the big day. You may remember this particular wine from your October Wine Club selections! (View Wine Club details and our special holiday sign-up offer here.) Riesling is incredibly versatile with typically low alcohol content and high acidity. It will complement just about anything you pair it with, and the touch of sweetness may be welcome by friends and relatives who aren’t wine connoisseurs.

tgivingwines

Thanksgiving-friendly wines at your local WineStyles store


What to pair with ___insert dish here____

Ask your local WineStyles staff to help you pick the perfect wines to pair with all your Thanksgiving dishes, whatever they may be. If you want to branch out and try a little something different that will pair perfectly with each and every dish from ham to pie, we commend you! WineStyles is here to help make your Thanksgiving one for the memory books. 🙂

Thanks for reading, and Happy Thanksgiving!

wsts-full-logo-jpeg

Happy Hallo-WINE! Wine Costumes and Candy Pairings

skeleton Halloween

We’re so glad people have come to the conclusion that wine can pair with anything and make it more enjoyable – we couldn’t agree more! The good news is you don’t have to go blindly into the cauldron of pairing Halloween candy with wine – we’ve found the perfect info-graphic for you!

Below is a chart from VinePair that details exactly what type of wine, beer, or other alcohol you should pair with your Halloween candy (or your kid’s leftovers!) Cheers!

complete-guide-pair-candy-wine-beer-booze-infographic

Forgot to pick up a costume?

Don’t worry, there’s still time! Here are a few last-minute wine-themed costume ideas you could pull off:

wine-goddessBacchus – Roman god of wine

Drape a white sheet over yourself Toga-style, and add grape and vine embellishments as you please! Try a crown of grape leaves. Don’t forget your prop – a delicious bottle of wine!

A box of Franzia

Find a large box and cut out the bottom, then cut arm holes in the sides and a place for your head to peek out the top. Print out some Franzia labels and tape them to the box. Bonus points for adding a pour spout!

wine-snobWine snob

This is an easy one for the gentlemen. Wear a white button down shirt with a nice blazer. Add a neck scarf (ask your wife or girlfriend for help). Slick back your hair. And, carry a big glass of wine (the bigger the better!)

bubblyYour favorite bottle of wine

Go as your favorite bottle of vino! Just print off a photo of the wine’s label and tape it to the front/back of your shirt. Wear all white (if it’s a white wine), pink (for rosés), red or purple (for red wines). Bonus points for incorporating corks! Try adding a cork garland, or make a cork hat!

Stock up on Haunting Halloween wines!

halloween-wine-all

Stop by your local WineStyles store to find the right wines for your Halloween activities – whether that’s handing out candy while watching classic horror movies, hosting a costume party, or trying out some of those wine and candy pairings once the kids have hit the sack! Find your local WineStyles store here.

Eat, drink, and be scary! Happy Halloween!

dont-drink-and-fly

winestyles_ts_logo.png

Charcuterie and Wine 101

 

charcuterie and wine 101 winestyles

What’s that funny word: charcuterie?

Charcuterie (French, pronounced: shahr-koo-tuhree) is the branch of cooking devoted to prepared meat products, such as bacon, ham, sausage, terrines, galantines, ballotines, pâtés, and confit, primarily from pork. Originally intended as a way to preserve meat before the advent of refrigeration, they are prepared today for their flavors derived from the preservation processes. (Source: Wikipedia

The history of charcuterie, in the sense of salting, smoking, and cooking to preserve, may date almost to the origins of Homo sapiens. It has been carried on in many forms through virtually every culture, and it has been one of the foundations of human survival in that it allowed societies to maintain a food surplus and therefore helped turn early peoples from nomads into clusters of homebodies. Sausage recipes date to before the golden age of ancient Greece. Even before that, the Egyptians were fattening geese for their livers-and possibly making the first pate de foie gras. (Source: Charcuterie by Michael Ruhlman & Brian Polcyn).

Charcuterie board

DIY Charcuterie Board

Step 1: Pick your Platter

Choose one, two, or a few! There are endless options of cheese and charcuterie boards. Have fun picking one that suits your style. Hint: check out the selection at your local WineStyles store.

Step 2: Select your Meats

When choosing charcuterie, opt for a diverse selection of tastes (smoked, tangy) and textures (hard, soft, grainy) so there will be plenty of variety.

Step 3: Add your Garnishes

Make it colorful! Add some pickles, small dishes with brightly-colored jams, olives, mustard, nuts, the options are endless!

Step 4: Slice the Bread

This main food group completes the picture. Best to stick with simple baguettes. Toast with olive oil for a gourmet touch.

Step 5: Serve with Wine!

When in doubt, stick to bubbles. Bubbly pairs great with charcuterie because the acidity will cut through the fattiness of the meats. Try a semi-sweet option to please everyone’s palates.

Wine and Beer Boot Camp Class “Charcuterie and Wine 101”

Charcuterie and Wine class

In this Wine and Beer Boot Camp class, you’ll learn the ins-and-outs of pairing charcuterie and wine – a gourmet tasting and learning experience! Attend this class so the next time you order a charcuterie board, you’ll know exactly how to enhance that experience with the perfect wine pairing. As part of our Boot Camp series in 2016, the more you LEARN the more you EARN in delicious wine tastings! Join us for multiple classes and you’ll be rewarded:

Stamper

3 STAMPS = Free Wine Tasting for 2 people

6 STAMPS = Free Wine Tasting for 4 people
8 STAMPS = Free Wine Tasting Party, up to 20 people
11 STAMPS = Boot Camp Survivor T-shirt

Please RSVP at your local WineStyles location. Seating space is limited, so make your reservation as soon as possible!

*Please note: Classes and Boot Camp rewards may vary at different WineStyles locations. See your local WineStyles Tasting Station for details. Find your local WineStyles store here.

Thanks for reading,

winestyles_ts_logo.png

German Beer Video Round-Up!

Oktoberfest is already in full swing in Germany!  Grab a glass and RSVP for our upcoming Wine & Beer Boot Camp Class “Exploring German Beer”!  Spruce up on your beer knowledge and check out these informative and fun videos about German beer. Prost! (Cheers!)

germanbeer

EXPLORING GERMAN BEER: In this Wine and Beer Boot Camp class, you’ll learn the ins-and-outs of German beer, its origins, how it’s made, and how best to enjoy it. The best part of learning is the tasting! Join us for a delicious and educational German beer tasting. As part of our Boot Camp series in 2016, the more you LEARN the more you EARN in delicious wine tastings! Join us for multiple classes and you’ll be rewarded:

Stamper
3 STAMPS = Free Wine Tasting for 2 people
6 STAMPS = Free Wine Tasting for 4 people
8 STAMPS = Free Wine Tasting Party, up to 20 people
11 STAMPS = Boot Camp Survivor T-shirt
Please RSVP at your local WineStyles location. Seating space is limited, so make your reservation as soon as possible!

*Please note: Classes and Boot Camp rewards may vary at different WineStyles locations. See your local WineStyles Tasting Station for details. Find your local WineStyles store here.

Video 1 German Beer – Centuries of Tradition

This video talks in-depth about the German brewing economy. It details how much beer is sold in Germany each year, and the number of breweries the country has. (Statistics as of 2013). You’ll hear from a Professor of Biotechnology from Berlin’s Technical University, as well as a student in the field, and how they feel about the ongoing use of the German Beer Purity Law, “das Reinheitsgebot”. Enjoy the views of Oktoberfest tents and crowds towards the end. It really is a big celebration!

Video 2 – Top 10 German Beer Styles

This video gives a great overview of the 10 most common German beer styles. The host, from Beerland Diaries, also peppers in some great German beer-drinking cultural norms, such as the two-man beer race called “Bierkasten Rennen”, and how to properly toast with a Weizen.

Video 3 – Beer Geek – Germany Part 1: The Reinheitsgebot

This third video is very approachable, from an avid beer-drinker and self-proclaimed “beer geek”, Oli Haydon. Oli will walk you through the Berliner Weisse beer style, as well as the German Beer Purity Law and what it means in Europe today. If you want to continue learning about German beers, follow Oli’s YouTube channel here as he continues with his series on German Beer.

Video 4 – Ein Prosit – Oktoberfest Song Karaoke

Now for a German beer drinking song! Oktoberfest isn’t complete without crowds of people sloshing around huge beer steins loudly singing together traditional German beer-drinking songs. This one is often heard in large Oktoberfest tents in Munich, and all over Germany. It’s titled, “Ein Prosit der Gemütlichkeit” which roughly translates to “A Toast to Good Cheer”.

“Ein Prosit”, means “A Toast”, but “Gemütlichkeit” is one of those untranslatable words from German to English. It isn’t just one thing. It’s cheer, and warmth, and belonging, and acceptance all rolled into one – rather fun to pronounce – word.

Of all the German beer drinking songs, you’re sure to hear this one should you visit Germany for Oktoberfest. It helps keep the party going, because each time it’s played, guests are invited to stand up, toast each other, and chug!

Ein Prosit der Gemütlichkeit – German lyrics:

Ein Prosit, ein Prosit
Der Gemütlichkeit
Ein Prosit, ein Prosit
Der Gemütlichkeit
OINS! ZWOI! DREI! G’SUFFA!

A Toast to Good Cheer – English lyrics:

A toast, a toast
To cheer and good times
A toast, a toast
To cheer and good times.
ONE! TWO! THREE! DRINK UP!

Thanks for reading, and Happy Oktoberfest! Prost!

winestyles_ts_logo.png

 

 

Wine, a Labor of Love

As Labor Day Weekend is fast approaching, let’s take a deeper look into the world of winemaking.

Wine makers must answer an array of questions to produce a distinct and delicious vintage, making the process both an art and a science.

There’s a lot that goes on between growing the grapes and bottling the wine. Let’s take a peek into the labor intensive world of winemaking through five most common steps:

Rows of grape vines in a vineyard with mountains in the background.Step 1: Harvest the grapes

Harvesting is more than just picking grapes. Wine makers must decide how much human interaction the grapes will have. In other words, will they be hand-picked or picked by machinery.

Additionally, not all grapes are picked during the daylight. In warmer climates, it’s common for grapes to be harvested at night. This is so workers who are hand picking grapes can beat the heat, and wine makers can be sure to capture the grapes while they’re at stable sugar levels.

Once picked, grapes must be sorted by hand for quality. Remember, it’s entirely possible to make bad wine from good grapes. Leaves and rotted or raisen-like grapes are removed from the bunches.

Step 2: Crush the grapes

The grapes are now ready to be completely de-stemmed and crushed. Grape clusters are put through mechanical de-stemmers which do exactly what they say: de-stem.Grape stomping

Crushing the grapes was traditionally done by men and women stomping grapes with their feet. Nowadays, there is more modern machinery for this task. The resulting freshly pressed grape juice is called ‘must’.

White wines are crushed much more quickly than the reds, and then immediately pressed to separate the juice from the skins. This is to minimize the amount of time the seeds and skins are in contact with the juice. For red wines, the seeds and skins are left during fermentation to add flavor, color, and tannins to the wine.

Step 3: Ferment the juice

Wild yeast can ferment the juice, however, most wine makers prefer to intervene to have more control over the fermentation process, and ensure desired results in the wine.

During fermentation, sugar is converted into alcohol. This can take anywhere from a week, to a month, or longer.

When fermenting red wines, carbon dioxide is released, which causes grape skins to float to the top of the fermentation tank. To keep the skins in contact with the wine for added flavor and tannins, and prevent growing bacteria, the red wine is repeatedly ‘capped’ or turned over multiple times daily.

Once fermented, red wines are pressed, removing the skins and seeds from the wine before aging.

Step 4: Age the wineWine barrels in cellar

Wine makers have important choices to make at this stage. Different aging procedures will impart different intensities of flavor in the wine.

The wine can be bottled right away and left to age, in oak or stainless steel barrels. The source of barrels (American or French oak) or whether the barrels are new, used or toasted (charred), all have an impact on flavoring the wine.

Typically, aging in oak will produce a smoother, more mellow wine. Stainless steel tanks are commonly used to age crisp white wines.

Wines can be aged anywhere from 6 months to several years before bottling.

Step 5: Bottle the wine

Another step in the process that can be done either by hand, or entirely by machine. To seal the wine, a choice of natural or synthetic cork, or screw caps. Finally, labels are added, and the wine is boxed and ready for sale.

WineStyles customers toasting in WineStyles store.(Step 6: Enjoy the wine!)

You’ve made it to our favorite step in the process!

As you can see, wine makers have many duties managing their grapes from vine to bottle. A day in the life of a wine maker can range from performing quality control, blending decisions, hosting tastings, marketing, selling, and everything in between.

So what’s the secret ingredient that makes a bottle of wine taste just so good?

A whole lotta love.

And, maybe a little blood, sweat, and tears. 😉

As you enjoy your wine this Labor Day Weekend, remember to raise a glass to the wine making artists and their teams who made it possible.

7-18-16newwine

Stop by your local WineStyles store to stock up for the long weekend! Cheers!

View store locator here.

Happy Labor Day Weekend

Thanks for reading,

winestyles_ts_logo.png

Choosing Wine by the Label and DIYs!

As you walk into a wine store, the varietals and wine label descriptions can be a little bit overwhelming.

What on earth is a “Blaufränkisch” and why is every French wine called “chateau this” or “chateau that” you whisper to yourself.

You’re perusing the red wines thinking, “OK, pinot noir, I know that one” and suddenly you see it – the coolest wine bottle label on the shelf. You pick it up and look it over with great intrigue.

Cool wine labels

Find unique and fun wine labels at your local WineStyles store!

Ah yes, this one has all the right components – striking colors, an illustration that reminds you of that one art class you took in college, and how you keep meaning to visit more art galleries (some of them have free wine tasting!). You think how your friends will comment on the label when you invite them for dinner or snap it on Instagram.

Then, suddenly, the store associate comes your way and asks, “finding everything ok?” You scramble to remember anything about the wine you’re holding that doesn’t have to do with its appearance and spit out, “yeah, pinot’s the best!”

Do you feel like a wine fraud? Let us be the first to tell you, it’s OK to love that bottle just because you like the label.

There’s no shame in wine shopping based on aesthetics! Appreciating wine is like appreciating fine art, and if you happen to appreciate the art on the label, then we say all the better!

Wineshop

Let’s take a look at what you can do with that beautiful label after you’ve tasted the grapes inside. There are so many ways to re-purpose wine bottles.

Below are a few of our favorite wine bottle crafts for preserving those quirky or funny wine labels. So go on, pick a wine based on your favorite label design. The point of wine drinking is to enjoy the whole experience!

And after you’ve been inspired with crafty tutorials, check out our upcoming class on How to Read a Wine Label! That way you can choose great wines by the grapes inside, and by the cool labels. 🙂

Want to enjoy that wine label and all the beautiful birds it attracts? Make a DIY wine bottle bird feeder! Find instructions on The Garden-Roof Coop blog:

wine bottle bird feeder winestyles

Photo: The Garden-Roof Coop blog

Make an easy centerpiece from empty wine bottles simply by adding candles! For a bigger centerpiece, use a few bottles grouped together. Enjoy supper as you watch the wax drip down the bottles representing time passing and an evening enjoyed with friends and loved ones:

Centerpiece wine bottles with candles winestyles

Wine bottle centerpiece with candles

Remove the label from the bottle to save in your wine journal, or to re-purpose later. This tutorial by blue i style will help you peel it off with ease:

remove wine labels winestyles

Photo: blue i style blog

Light up your outdoor gatherings by using small solar lights (the kind meant for sticking in the ground) inside old wine bottles! This project was found by happy coincidence from blogger Our Crafty Mom. A fun and simple way to add a little wine charm to your backyard summer BBQs:

solar light wine bottles winestyles

Photo: Our Crafty Mom

 

Check out WineStyles on Pinterest for more wine craft ideas!

Learn how to read wine labels in our upcoming Wine & Beer Boot Camp Class this August!   We won’t judge if you still want to choose your wines based on the fun and pretty labels, but just in case you’d like to impress your friends and know what all those markings on wine labels mean, we’ve constructed the perfect 101 class for you!

ReadWineLabel

HOW TO READ A WINE LABEL: In this class, you’ll learn the ins-and-outs of reading a variety of wine labels from different countries and regions, and of course the best part of learning is the tasting!  Join us for a delicious and educational wine tasting. As part of our Boot Camp series in 2016, the more you LEARN the more you EARN in delicious wine tastings! Join us for multiple classes and you’ll be rewarded:
Stamper
3 STAMPS = Free Wine Tasting for 2 people
6 STAMPS = Free Wine Tasting for 4 people
8 STAMPS = Free Wine Tasting Party, up to 20 people
11 STAMPS = Boot Camp Survivor T-shirt

Please RSVP at your local WineStyles location. Seating space is limited, so make your reservation as soon as possible!

*Please note: Classes and Boot Camp rewards may vary at different WineStyles locations. See your local WineStyles Tasting Station for details. Find your local WineStyles store here.

Thanks for reading, cheers!

winestyles_ts_logo.png

 

Happy 4th of July Weekend!

Happy 4th

We would like to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday weekend!

May your grills be hot and your wines be true – be they Red, White, or Blue!

Grill and wineWine is officially “all-American”, now donning all colors of our beloved American flag. Have you seen the latest news in wine innovation? We’ve been hinting at it… BLUE wine! As in, Red, White, and BLUE! (We just cannot get over it.)

A Spanish wine company, Gik (pronounced “geek”) is making their wines blue by using a special quality found in grape skins combined with naturally cultivated indigo.

Gik works with grapes from different areas of Spain to make their wine blends using both red and white grapes. The company’s wineries are located mainly in La Rioja, Zaragoza and Courthèzon. In case you’re wary of the blue coloring, Gik’s website assures that quality control checks are thorough, and everything used in wine making complies with EU food regulations.

Watch this brief interview of Taig Mac Carthy, Creator at Gik Blue Wine, at the ProWein Trade Fair in Germany this March. ProWein is the world’s leading trade fair for wine professionals, hosted annually in Germany.

Taig discusses how the innovative blue wine is going over at the German wine professionals trade fair, and how its radiant blue color is made:

For curious minds, Gik has answered the question – Why blue?:

“We are not vintners. We are creators. So we sought the most traditional and closed minded industry out there. Once having selected the wine industry as our battlefield, we set about creating a radically different product, changing the color to a vibrant blue and making the wine sweeter and easier to drink.When we started to work on our project we came across a book called The Blue Ocean Strategy. This explained that there are red oceans, full of sharks which have torn the little fish so much that they’ve tinted the water red. Then there are blue oceans, where there is no competition and fish swim un-harassed. Thus the poetic idea of transforming a red ocean into a blue ocean through changing the most traditional red liquid into blue was one which greatly appealed to us.

Apart from that, in psychology blue represents movement, innovation and infinity. It’s also a color frequently associated with flow and change.” (gik.blue)

Blue Wine

Image from ProWeinTradeFair YouTube video “No red wine, no white wine, but blue wine!” Watch video below.

Before you go rushing to the store, know that Gik’s radiant blue wine is not yet available in the US. Until we are able to raise our glasses of Red, White, and Blue, we send our support from afar.The WineStyles concept shares Gik’s goal of demystifying the wine world for our customers. After all, wine tasting can (and should) be fun! And if you ask us, the more colorful, the better! #GikBlueWine

July Wine & Beer Boot Camp – Wines for Summer Grilling 

WineSummerGrill

We know you’ll be out and about grilling, drinking wine and beer, and having a grand ‘ol time this 4th of July weekend celebrating America (and we support you in that endeavor!)

For further summer grilling and wine pairing preparation, join your local WineStyles for the next Wine and Beer Boot Camp Class, Wines for Summer Grilling! It will be a delicious event and the perfect complement to your summer grilling routine.
In this class, you will learn how to pair wines with your favorite grilling items, and of course the best part of learning is the tasting!  As part of our Boot Camp series in 2016, the more you LEARN the more you EARN in delicious wine tastings! Join us for multiple classes and you’ll be rewarded:
Stamper
3 STAMPS = Free Wine Tasting for 2 people
6 STAMPS = Free Wine Tasting for 4 people
8 STAMPS = Free Wine Tasting Party, up to 20 people
11 STAMPS = Boot Camp Survivor T-shirt

Please RSVP at your local WineStyles location. Seating space is limited, so make your reservation as soon as possible!

*Please note: Classes and Boot Camp rewards may vary at different WineStyles locations. Offer void where prohibited by state or local alcohol laws. See your local WineStyles Tasting Station for details. Find your local WineStyles store here.

Thanks for reading, cheers!

winestyles_ts_logo.png