Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Holidays from Denise's Press Fractions Wine Blog

I'm afraid that I'm going to leave you for one week, wine blog readers!  It's the first time in over a year that I'll actually be away for the holidays... without my computer... or any other form of technology that would force me to up date my blog daily.  So please, have a HAPPY HOLIDAY SEASON and WONDERFUL NEW YEAR!  I'll return to write on January 2, 2012!!!  And with that, I leave you with a fun Champagne cocktail to ring in the New Year (originally found in Woman's World Magazine).

Cranberry-Orange Champagne Cocktail
Fresh cranberries
Small cocktail skewers or toothpicks
Orange zest (peel)
Decorating sugar (pink in color if you'd like)
100% No Sugar Added Cranberry Juice
Orange-Flavored Liqueur (e.g. Grand Marnier)

1) Skewer 3 cranberries each onto 8 different toothpicks.
2) Wrap 8 thin, orange zest strips around toothpicks and cranberries.
3) Dip rim of Champagne flutes into water and roll into decorating sugar.
4) Combine 1.5 cups cranberry juice, 2/3 cup orange liqueur, and 2 tablespoons grenadine in 
large pitcher or bowl.
5) Add 1 bottle of sparkling wine to pitcher or bowl.
6) Divide mixture among flutes.
7) Garnish flutes with toothpicks. 
8) Serve and enjoy!

Sparkling Wine (e.g. your favorite!)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Dressing Up Wines for the Holidays

What better way to present your wine then by decorating it up with some holiday cheer?!  There are so many fun ways to decorate your wine this holiday season.  Here are some of my favorites:

Santa Pants from Manatawny Creek Winery

Wine Sweater Sleeves by Topaz Event Design

Elf Pants from DreadNought Wines

Santa's Reindeer Sleeves at DreadNought Wines

Holiday Wine Bottle Tote
Holiday Wine Tote at Etsy

Personalized wood wine box - wedding gift - groomsmen gift - in alder wood - sized for two wine bottles
Personalized Wooden Wine Box at Etsy

all that glitters wine bottle corsage
Wine Bottle Corsage at Etsy

Burlap Wine Bottle Cover at The Little Green Bean

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wines for the Holidays

As we approach that time of year, I think it's important we talk a few wines that may be worth a buy for the holiday season.  After all, what is one to really take to a holiday party?  ;)

I always tell people to first check their local winery listings: make a small (fun) trip, do some wine tasting, and support your local wineries.  For Pennsylvania, you can check the Pennsylvania Wine website to find a winery near you.  For those Virginians, check out the Virginia Wine website.  Other states have websites like this - just search "state of interest" + wineries on Google, and you should be set!
(Photo from

Second, if all else fails, remember that most people actually like to drink sweeter wines.  A fail-safe bet is to buy a California Chardonnay simply because people generally enjoy this variety.  Examples of this Chardonnay include Cupcake ChardonnayKendall Jackson's Reserve ChardonnayClos Du Bois Chardonnay, and La Crema Chardonnay (Russian River).
(Photo from Google Images)

Another good bet is bubbly.  Why?  Because bubbly goes with everything!  Trust me on this one.  Americans tend to want to buy bubbly for celebrations only, but I can 100% guarantee you that bubbly on Christmas day equals one good time!  Try a Korbel Extra Dry (I know the phrase is confusing, but it's actually sweeter than a Brut!) or Barefoot's Moscato Spumante (a crowd pleaser).

(Photo from Google Images)

Or try a spicy Zinfandel - jammy, high alcohol, ripe red raspberries, and holiday delight!  Try one of Cline Cellar's Zinfandels or Bogle Old Vine Zinfandel.
(Photo from Google Images)

If you are looking for something to celebrate Chanukah, try one of the many excellent Kosher wines from Hagafen Cellars.

And remember, no matter what you choose, enjoy it!  Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

12 Days of [Wine] Christmas: Day 12 - Wine Suitcase Bottle Protector

Here's something that EVERY wine lover can appreciate.  Honestly, what do you do when you are overseas and you find that bottle of wine that you just HAVE to take home with you?  Getting it in a suitcase is a risky business, but now there are some trendy (and thrifty!) solutions that will save you the headache of trying to find that wine once you return home.

Neoprene BottleGuard from Wine Enthusiast ($25)

WineSkin by WineSkin ($10 for 3)

Or a more expensive option:

Wine Sleeves by AIRBAG ($285)

Monday, December 19, 2011

12 Days of [Wine] Christmas: Day 11 - Cheese Boards

Doesn't everyone always love to have wine with cheese?  I think they do!  ;)  Then why not add a cute cheese board addition to someone's wine glass and bottle collection?  Below are a few of my favorites that you can find throughout the U.S. in tasting rooms or in local wine-themed stores.

These make great additions to a wine gift!  Just think - a small basket (or box), bottle of wine, and a cheese board!  What a thoughtful present.  Throw in some local cheese and you have yourself a real treasure.  :)  They also make really unique host gifts for when you need something to take to a holiday party.

Some of the most obvious are those cheese boards made from recycled wine bottles (Photos from Google Images):

(This one was being sold on Etsy)

(Another sold at Etsy)

Recycled Wine Bottle Serving Tray/Cheese Board With Wine Cork Spreader
(Another cheese board sold on Etsy)

I've found these everywhere - from local winery tasting rooms, to Etsy, to, to farmer's markets (especially the one in Roanoake, VA), to little island towns like Cedar Key.  Many stores have recognized how popular this boards are, and they make a cute addition for entertaining!  Even I have one of my own that I bought from a local artist when I lived in Virginia.  It's very charming.  :)

Here's a look at some more traditional cheese boards that fit all sorts of budgets:
Antonini Olive Wood Cheese Knives & Board
Olive Wood Cheese Board by Williams-Sonoma ($59)

Small Slate Cheese Board by Crate and Barrel ($10)

Marble Cheese Board by Crate and Barrel ($20)

Acacia Cheese Board by Crate and Barrel ($35)

Cheese Dome & Tools Platter
Cheese Dome with Tools by Pottery Barn ($69)

Wine Barrel Lazy Susan
Wine Barrel Lazy Susan by Pottery Barn ($99)

Vintage Wood Cheese Boards
Vintage Wood Cheese Board by Pottery Barn ($15)

Chancellor Cheese Board
Chancellor Cheese Board by Pottery Barn ($69)

Friday, December 16, 2011

12 Days of [Wine] Christmas: Day 10 - Wine Ornaments

Here's an extra something that became a holiday tradition in my family, and I see so many more of these walking throughout Wegmans, tasting rooms, and stores like Target and Hallmark.  Ornaments are perfect holiday exchanges especially when you need an extra touch for a family gift, a stocking stuffer, or something small and cost effective for Secret Santa at work.  Here are a few of my favorites:

Red Wine and White Wine Christmas Bulbs 
(Photos by author)

Wine Bottle Cork Cage Ornament
Cork Cage Ornament ($20)
(Photo from

You can often find the Lolita Wine Glass Ornaments at your local Hallmark store:
Elf Shoes Mini-Wine Ornament by Lolita
Elf Shoes Lolita Wine Glass

Happy Holidays Mini-Wine Ornament by Lolita
Happy Holidays Lolita Wine Glass

Holiday Splash Mini-Wine Ornament by Lolita
Holiday Splash Lolita Wine Glass

Hot Mama Claus Mini-Wine Ornament by Lolita
Hot Mama Claus Lolita Wine Glass

Jingle Bells Mini-Wine Ornament by Lolita
Jingle Bells Lolita Wine Glass

Kiss Me Mini-Wine Ornament by Lolita
Kiss Me Lolita Wine Glass - $12
(All photos from Lolita Glasses)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

12 Days of [Wine] Christmas: Day 9 - Metal Wine Signs

Here's a gift for the wine obsesser!   These signs are funny, sarcastic, and can fit into almost any motif.   Plus, they are "Wine Country Approved" as I found them all over the place in Napa, California.  Enjoy these funny signs - maybe they'll make the perfect gift for the wine lover in your family.  :)

Wine a Bit... You'll Feel Better Wood Sign - Plaque - New 
(Photo from

Moore - Make me Wine Metal Tin Sign 16"W x 12.5"H
(Photo from

Schonberg - Wine Improved Metal Tin Sign
(Photo from

(Photo from
Ephemera - Wine - For Classy People Metal Tin Sign 16" X 12.5"
(Photo from

Framed Wine Tasting Bistro Cafe Label Sign Picture
(Photo from

(Photo from

KimsCrafts Kitchen Collection Handmade in Maine Stenciled 6"x8" Slate Wine Saying Sign
(Photo from

(Photo from

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

12 Days of [Wine] Christmas: Day 8 - Wine Coasters

Here's something that I see when I walk into tasting rooms these days.  How fun, thoughtful, and cost efficient.  You can go anywhere from stocking stuffer to classy, pricey wine coasters!  Happy wine coaster hunting:

Holiday Wine Coasters found at Pamplemousse in Salem, MA ($5.99)
I've found these coasters in wineries all over the place
(Photo by author)

Marble Wine Coasters (Set of 4) at Dreadnought Wines in Pittsburgh, PA ($40.00)
(Photo by author)
Wine Description Coasters found at ($11)

Nostalgic Wine Labels Sandstone Thirstystone Coasters
Sandstone Coasters found at ($19)

Wine Collage Absorbent Wine Coasters found at ($13)

Slate Coasters found at ($11)