Marine Layer was created by a tight-knit team of free-spirited colleagues who share a devotion to quality wine, genuine hospitality and living life to the fullest. They have already amassed a small cult-like following of industry insiders and locals who have embraced their stellar lineup from sought-after vineyard sites.
“This winery is a passion project many years in the making for the team,” said Baron Ziegler, founder of Marine Layer. “It’s pretty rare that you get the chance to work with a group that has this much joy for their craft, and it’s no surprise that it’s expressed through our wine, which is authentic, small-batch, and sustainably sourced. We can’t wait to share Marine Layer wines with everyone.”
The name Marine Layer pays homage to the prominent blanket of fog that pours in from the Pacific. Known for cooler temperatures and wild and rugged terrain, the wines are vibrant, structured, and finessed. With a focus on sustainable farming, heritage clones, and hand-harvesting, Marine Layer’s obsession for quality guides their path. Every bottling of Marine Layer is produced in tiny quantities, some as small as four barrels.
“With decades of experience and deeply rooted relationships with the top growers in the Sonoma Coast, we built Marine Layer with an intimate knowledge of this region,” said Winemaker Rob Fischer. “Our wines are a pure expression of the land, history and soul of the Sonoma Coast.”
Marine Layer has partnered with local designers, the Hommeboys, who have perfectly captured the spirit of the Sonoma Coast in the design of the tasting room. With its warm, earthy tones, low-key coastal vibe and layered textures, the space exudes the look and feel of the ultimate laid-back Northern California retreat. Marine Layer’s Tasting Room is slated to open in downtown Healdsburg, June 2021.
California Wines Livestream & Video Series Celebrates Down to Earth Month in April
Facebook Live & Instagram Events Share Tips on Enjoying Sustainably Grown & Produced Wines
For “Down to Earth Month” in April, California Wines is celebrating the state’s global leadership in sustainable winegrowing with a series of fun and informative virtual events and videos on Facebook Live and Instagram. Throughout April, the free livestream events and videos will present a variety of discussions, cooking demonstrations, and virtual wine tastings focused on sustainability.
Hosts for the Facebook Live events include Napa Valley sommelier Amanda McCrossin of SommVivant and Aida Mollenkamp, Food Network personality and founder of Salt & Wind Travel.
Videos shared on the California Wines Instagram channel will demonstrate recipes, how to pair and enjoy California wines, and what makes a wine sustainable. Programs will feature food and beverage influencers, including Meg van der Kruik of This Mess Is Ours, Jerry James Stone of the Jerry JamesStone blog, Britney Brown Chamberlain of Britney Breaks Bread, and Sarah Gim of The Delicious Life.
April 1 – What Is Sustainable Wine? It’s time to clear up the confusion around what defines sustainability! Participants will learn what sustainable winegrowing and winemaking practices are and get the inside story on California’s sustainable certification programs, including the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA) program.
April 8 – What Are Biodynamic and Organic Wines, and How Are They Sustainable? Explore the differences between organic and biodynamic practices and learn how they fit into the sustainability equation.
April 15 – Why Is There a Chicken in the Vineyard? Chickens, sheep, and goats don’t just look adorable in California vineyards—each has an important job to do. Learn how animals are helping California vintners in their sustainable farming efforts.
April 22 – How to Look for Sustainable Wines Finding sustainable wines is easy—if you know what to look for. Participants will learn about the sustainable certifications, logos, and terms to look for on wine labels.
April 29 – How California Is a Leader in Sustainable Wines & Sustainable Farming California is not only a world leader in sustainable winemaking and winegrowing practices, but producers also embrace sustainability in dairy and other agricultural areas. Learn about California’s innovative farming practices and how the state leads in sustainable wine and food.
IGTV Videos: Tuesdays 10 am PST
Every Tuesday in April, videos from well-known food and beverage influencers will be shared on the California Wines Instagram channel, each demonstrating a recipe inspired by the Wine Country Table cookbook paired with sustainably made wines from California. Recipes and information about sustainability will be shared on each influencer’s website and social media platforms.
April 6 – Meg van der Kruik of This Mess Is Ours
April 13: – Jerry James Stone of the Jerry James Stone blog
April 20 – Britney Brown Chamberlain of Britney Breaks Bread
How Sandra Guibord Pivoted to Success During the Pandemic& Sandra’s Wine Life’s Valentine’s Day Wine Recommendations
What was your career like pre-pandemic?
For the past 20 years, I have been a wine educator as CEO & Founder of Sandra’s Wine Life. The in-person education aspect of my business involved leading wine seminars for large corporates, entertaining large groups of high-net-worth clientele for private banks, accounting firms, technology firms, and non-profits.
What changed about your business when the pandemic hit?
In Spring, 2020 when all my in-person presentations were canceled, I knew I had to transition to virtual events. All of my corporate clients now needed an intimate connection platform with which to reach their customers. I create Sandra’s Wine Life’s Virtual Wine Seminars to entertain small groups of advisers and their select clients.
What inspired you to make this change rather than just take a few months off?
On a Zoom call with my ski friends, we were commiserating over cocktails about our beloved ski season being cut short from the pandemic. Zoom was new to me, but it was such an easy platform to use and I realized how easy it could be to connect with people all over the world. Right away I knew that it was the path I needed to take to jumpstart my company.
How is business going?
The wine seminars have been an extreme success. I am conducting presentations at least three nights a week all year long – and I’ve had some re-bookings already from clients I just gave seminars for in September as their clients have been very responsive. Seeing the great excitement generated from these seminars is incredibly rewarding.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started leading my organization” and why? Please share a story or example for each.
My service is more valuable than I realize.
When I started Sandra’s Wine Life, I viewed my service as simply entertainment. I have grown to realize that my services are quite valuable as a business generation tool for my clients, particularly in these pandemic times. My virtual seminars are an opportunity for agents to reach out and effectively connect to their clients. I create an environment that is relaxed and enjoyable to set the mood and facilitate open conversation. This might seem a small thing, but as there is so much to be distracted by about in these times, having the ability to keep people upbeat and in the moment right now is a skill that has proved very valuable, and it’s also very enjoyable for me to be able to provide.
People are not always nice.
Unfortunately, I have seen behavior at wine conferences and other industry events that can be reminiscent of a high school cafeteria. As an attractive woman who is friendly and approachable, people will make assumptions that I don’t take my business seriously and that I’m not as committed to my craft or qualified. I ignore their behavior and simply do what I do to move my business and initiatives forward. In my accomplishments, I prove them wrong.
Don’t be shy about developing your network.
If you never ask or reach out to those in your network, you could be missing out on enormous opportunities. For example, Thomas Preti Catering has separately been providing food to match my wine pairings to some of my clients for as long as 10 years. Just a few months ago I first approached him with an idea about the two of us teaming up to provide food and wine pairings together for exciting virtual events such as Wine & Opera with International Opera Performers, Wine & Cinema tastings. Immediately he was on board. Now I kick myself for being shy about reaching out years ago!
Your perspective and brand tone can change dramatically as your life changes. Lean into it.
When I first started Sandra’s Wine Life, I was a single woman in New York City, and as such I focused on the demographic that I was a part of. As life evolved, adding children, increased obligations and more Corporate services, the focus of my company also evolved to incorporate my perspective on how wine fits into life and its moods and situations, broadened to home entertainment, business dinners, family holidays, International travel and large-scale corporate entertaining.
Be patient and stay the course.
Over the last 20 years, I have had to go to great lengths to keep my business alive. I have had to be creative, carve out time that didn’t exist, continue selling my services, collaborate with others, and learn a number of new skills on the fly — and with great enthusiasm! I did this all while raising children, dedicating myself to growing my former husband’s business and without having any encouragement or support. My business was always my voice and I needed to keep it alive and growing slowly so when the time came that I could fly. The time finally came, and when it did, I was truly ready. Now I’m flying and loving every minute!
It’s almost Valentine’s Day – and Galentine’s Day. How should our readers celebrate?
Impress your date with romantic chocolates alongside Champagne.
Treat your best girlfriends to pizza and Pinot Noir.
Send Mom a bottle of her favorite Chardonnay.
Cook a romantic spicy seafood pasta dinner for two with a luxurious Brunello.
For that “new” special person in your life, a picnic with Prosecco and cheese is friendly and thoughtful – and pandemic friendly.
If you’re in a restaurant and in doubt, White Burgundy or Pinot Noir are great food-friendly choices that are smart to order.
What are your top wines for celebrating Valentine’s Day this year?
I will be sharing plenty of wine tips similar to these and much more in my forthcoming book, titled ‘Wine Identity’, due out this Spring. Look for more news on this shortly! In the meantime, you can check out my Instagram at @sandraswinelife each Wednesday at 6 p.m. ET for my weekly #WineWednesday recommendations, where I’ll share details about my favorite wines of the week and practical tips on how to enjoy them.
As Valentine’s Day quickly approaches, the team at 360 Magazine has come together to share their favorite gift ideas that your loved ones are sure to cherish. When getting that special someone a gift, it’s important that it’s romantic as well as useful and these gifts encompass these qualities.
ArT Wine Preserver®
More people are finding reasons to enjoy a glass of wine at home these days. In some areas, the bars still aren’t open. As kids go back to school, parents are finding themselves needing an extra glass of wine or two, especially with homeschooling and distance learning this year. What’s a better gift for Valentine’s Day than a tool to preserve this romantic beverage.
Most opened bottles of wine go to waste and an estimated $1.5 billion worth of wine is poured out every year due to oxidation. ArT Wine Preserver® wants to change this wasteful drinking habit. At the same time, it’s promoting moderation drinking in a sustainable way. This made in the USA, recyclable wine saver uses pure argon gas to displace oxygen. Argon gas is the preferred method by winemakers to prevent oxidation in wine.
Argon is a natural atmospheric gas that’s non-toxic and non-reactive. It makes the perfect wine preserver because it doesn’t react with your wine flavors or aromas, it simply displaces the oxygen. It also, keeps wine fresh 7 to 30 day, preserves up to 40 bottles per can and takes two seconds to use.
Oakley® and Patrick Mahomes II recently launched the Patrick Mahomes II Signature Series. Dreamt up by the reigning Super Bowl Champion and MVP, the debut sunglass of his Signature Series is a fresh and unexpected take on the all-new Sutro Lite. The stylish and functional frame features discoverable details throughout to honor the unconventional talent who is shaping the future of the sport. These are the perfect gift for the athlete in your life.
The frame features a red color theme for the quarterback’s teams: Kansas City Chiefs and Texas Tech, an etched lens with II for Mahomes, and a unique print that nods to the MVP’s nicknames “Showtime” and “2 PM.” Each frame is also equipped with Oakley’s Prizm™ Lens Technology, designed to enhance color and contrast to see more detail, and a custom microbag that features his signature.
“When I first joined Team Oakley, I was instantly drawn to the Sutro family – a bold and sleek performance frame that is style driven for life off-the-field,” said Mahomes. “Now today, to have the opportunity to launch my own Signature Series that represents who I am as an athlete has been an honor.”
Patrick Mahomes II Signature Series – Starting at $196
David Beckham Sports NEQI Mask
David Beckham, known for his high-quality performance and superiority in the world of Professional Soccer, is known to dress as equally well as he plays. The greatest soccer player of our time spares no details, especially when it comes to wearing a mask, and is among the latest celebrities to wear superior face covering, NEQI Reusable Mask!
Stay safe (and soft) with NEQI, the UK brand that specializes in keeping you clean and safe, which has now made its way to the USA via Amazon.com. Natives of the Earth standing for Quality and Innovation, is the motto that NEQI embodies. Founded in 2020, NEQI focuses on producing premium face coverings, disinfecting sprays, and hand cleansing gel products. NEQI believes good health belongs to everyone and stands behind quality.
The design affordable, reusable, sustainable face masks are lightweight, ultra-breathable and easy to style. Designed with comfort in mind to ensure we are protecting our environment as well as ourselves. Masks come in 3 colors and multiple sizes, all perfectly pocket-size for on-the-go storage. No one imagined face masks would be the perfect Valentine’s Day gift, but in 2021, nothing says I love you like protection from Covid. The masks come in two colors and sizes and there is also a children’s option.
Nothing says Valentine’s Day quite like exquisite jewelry for that special someone. Jewelry has always been a classic gift for Valentine’s Day and The House of Luxury will ensure you pick the right piece. For Valentine’s Day The House of Luxury has created a beautiful selection of fine jewelry from their leading designers Alessa Jewelery, Tabbah, Aisha Baker, Terzihan, YEPREM and Dreamboule.
From a Y-NOT Necklace by YEPREM in 18K White Gold in Diamonds to Fizzy: Red Enamel Square Earring by Terzihan in 18K Rose Gold with Diamonds and Red Enamel, these superb selections are sure to be a hit with any woman in your life.
A variety of pieces and styles – Starting at $1,700
The “Don’t Block Your Blessings” Festival
Give your loved ones the gift of blessings and mental health as we navigate what holidays look like through Covid-19. We have loved watching the Don’t Block Your Blessings movement develop. They have announced a one of a kind live-stream festival featuring musicians, artists, and some of the most innovative minds in self-growth and healing. The DBYB Festival boasts three interactive rooms on an exclusive virtual platform allowing festival-goers to jump from room to room attending talks and sessions, accessing musical performances, and viewing live art as it’s created.
Produced by Erez Safar, whose first live-stream festival, Lo-Freq Fest, was featured in Billboard, and shared around the globe. The debut DBYB festival featured over 40+ world-wide presenters with 25,774 viewers.
The next festival will be free to participate in and free to attend virtually, and is set to take place on Valentine’s (Sunday February 14th), between 6-9pm PST.
Casio has recently introduced an all-new timepiece to G-SHOCK’s premium Full Metal Series, the GMWB5000RD-4. The new model is constructed with a tough yet fashionable exterior that boasts an eye-catching red stainless-steel case and solid stainless steel band.
The latest Full Metal 5000 model carries on the tradition of the original G-SHOCK DW-5000C with its classic square case shape and digital display. The GMWB5000RD-4 also features a band created with a bold red IP finish, and a screw back with a diamond-like carbon finish for outstanding wear resistance. This is sure to be a show-stopping gift for anyone in your life.
In addition to an updated look, the new Full Metal timepiece comes equipped with several of G-SHOCK’s new and most premium technical features, including Bluetooth Connectivity via the G-SHOCK Connected app, and Multi-Band 6 Atomic Timekeeping for self-adjusting and accurate hour / date display virtually anywhere on the globe. It also boasts a STN-LCD digital display that makes the watch easy to read from any angle, as well as Tough Solar Technology, making it capable of self-charging even with low sun exposure.
The GMWB5000RD-4 will retail for $600 and be available for purchase starting January 20th at select Jewelers, the G-SHOCK Soho Store, and gshock.com.
New accessories from ZAGG Brands that support the Galaxy S21, S21+, and S21 Ultra have just been announced and they would be the perfect gift for any Samsung Galaxy User.
The line consists of two screen protectors as well as a variety of cases in four different colors. The GlassFusion VisionGuard+ with D3O is a hybrid screen protector that is engineered to be unbreakable and features an Eyesafe® technology layer that blocks HEV blue light without distorting the color performance of the smartphone screen. It also contains anti-microbial properties that protect the screen protector by inhibiting the growth of odor-causing bacteria. The GlassFusion+ with D3O, is a slightly cheaper model without VisionGuard+.
The phone cases include the Havana , the Crystal Palace, the Copenhagen, and the Denali, all priced reasonably starting at $29.99. The cases are slim, stylish and protective, everything you could want from a phone case.
Samsung Galaxy S21 Accessories – Starting at $29.99
PUMA x Michael Lau Collection
This new unisex collection consists of footwear, apparel and accessories that features hand-drawn pencil graphics, graph paper textures and other playful design references with a hand-made inspired look and feel. Key footwear styles include bold iterations of the Mirage Mox, Ralph Sampson Mid, Ralph Sampson Lo and RS-2K. Additional items from the pack include the Two-Face track jacket which features a unique print with a pencil mark graphics, a reversible style and a tall collar, a Flat Brim Cap with a detachable “PUMA SAMPLE STUFF” graphic and a Tote Bag that comes with unique graphic prints.
The PUMA x Michael Lau collection will be available on PUMA.com, PUMA stores and select retailers starting Friday, January 22, just in time for Valentine’s Day.
Sperry has always been a classic shoe perfect for the summer. With a timeless style this shoe is 50 percent boat shoe and 50 percent sneaker which makes this boat-sneaker hybrid come with double the wearability.
It has a canvas upper featuring rawhide laces and uses Sperry’s 360° Lacing System™ for a customized fit. The shoe also features a non-marking flexible rubber outsole with molded Wave-Siping™ which provides the ultimate no-slip traction so these shoes can handle any slippery terrain. Sperry has a large selection of shoes for men, women and children which makes them the perfect gift for anyone.
Sperry Men’s Bahama II Sneaker – Starting at $59.95
Oakley® x Turtle Beach
The gaming accessory brand Turtle Beach recently announced a new partnership with Oakley®, a leader in sports performance and optical innovation. As a brand rooted in competition, Oakley continues expanding its lineup of eyewear developed for gamers who share a passion for performance. The new partnership pairs Turtle Beach’s expertise in creating high-quality, glasses-friendly gaming headsets with Oakley’s quest for optimized vision and performance in a collection designed to help gamers see better, hear better and conquer their opponents.
The new collection features two products. The Metalink RX features headset-compatible temples to ensure they stay in place even in the most intense gaming sessions and come with a custom Turtle Beach logo microbag.
The Frogskins Lite is a limited-edition set that is the newest evolution of Oakley’s most iconic lifestyle eyewear. The eyewear features a throwback Turtle Beach color scheme, Oakley’s Prizm Ruby Iridium Lenses, and a rainbow gradient Oakley and Turtle Beach logo on the temple. Either of these are a great selection for Valentine’s Day for any game lover in your life.
Oakley® and Turtle Beach Collection – Starting at $166
Whether your partner cranks up the music during workouts, listens to a podcast on a walk or has days filled with work calls, Adidas Headphones has you covered with lightweight headphones, long battery life and uncompromising sound.
In-ear headphones; knitted tangle free cord and passive transparency to hear your surroundings
16-hour battery life
$150 retail, $99 sale
The upcoming sale runs February 7- February 13 on Adidas’ website for all colorways, like the eye-popping Signal Coral. Adidas has a large variety of headphones for your loved ones, that are sure to support
Valentine’s Day is all about decadence and your Valentine’s Day meal should be no different. What better way to celebrate than with caviar, and D’Artagnan’s Ossetra Malossol Caviar is the caviar of the highest quality.
D’Artagnan’s Ossetra Malossol Caviar is unpasteurized, low-salt and preservative-free, giving it the best authentic and fresh flavor. This caviar is harvested from Siberian sturgeon on a state-of-the-art aquafarm in France. This sustainable product follows the strictest of animal welfare and environmental protocols. The high quality of the caviar is evident in its color, flavor, and texture. The round, plump pearls have a lingering and nutty flavor reminiscent of hazelnuts or fresh walnuts. With ultra-silky mouthfeel and a color that ranges from clear grey to golden chestnut to deep brown, this buttery caviar is truly unforgettable. Make your Valentine’s Day extra special with caviar.
Farm-Raised Ossetra Caviar Malossol – Starting at $124.99
WHOOP Health Monitor
In case you aren’t familiar, WHOOP is a 24/7 fitness tracker and health monitor that provides personalized, actionable feedback and tracks key metrics like heart rate variability, resting heart rate, respiratory rate, and sleep staging with industry-leading accuracy. WHOOP distills all of this data down into three key pillars – recovery, strain and sleep – and provides coaching so users can balance their daily lives, train optimally and unlock the secrets to their body’s true potential.
In April, WHOOP reported findings about the importance of tracking respiratory rate (RR) during the pandemic, and how sudden changes could be significant. In short, WHOOP found that people who had tested positive for COVID-19 had elevated respiratory rates (while people experience most other illnesses did not exhibit that change in RR). Pro golfers, Nick Watney & Scott Stallings, both used WHOOP to track RR and subsequent positive tests for COVID-19, and countless members have shared similar experiences on social media. Lots more info on WHOOP & COVID-19 here and here.
STRAIN, SLEEP & RECOVERY
Strain is a measure of the cardiovascular load your body takes on over the course of a day or during a given activity. WHOOP does not count steps, but calculates your personalized exertion and quantifies it on a scale from 0-21.
Recovery is a personalized measure of how ready your body is to take on strain each day. WHOOP calculates your recovery based on 4 physiological markers: heart rate variability (HRV), resting heart rate (RHR), respiratory rate (RPM), and sleep.
Sleep Performance is the amount you slept compared to how much sleep you needed. WHOOP auto-detects your sleep and wake times each day as well as your sleep stages throughout the night to determine your sleep performance for that night.
The WHOOP Lux Kit includes a band and clasp and is the perfect gift for your loved one this Valentine’s Day. It’s sophisticated and useful, so it’s sure to be a hit. Add a WHOOP membership to your gift so they can always stay healthy.
The apparel brand Roots Of Fight and American stand-up comedian, actor, and producer Kevin Hart recently announced that they have joined forces and launched a limited-edition apparel collection. The collection pays homage to different milestones in the comedian’s life that helped get him to where he is today.
The first capsule in the collection, titled the PHILLY 15 & ERIE COLLECTION, pays tribute to his North Philadelphia roots and the intersection where he grew up. Kevin is unequivocally Philly-made and the art in this capsule commemorates that formative time in his life. This capsule, and others to follow in the coming months, will see a portion of all proceeds going to charities.
Items included in this first capsule include a hoody, sweatshirt and tee, which retail for $48 – $85. The full collection is available in limited quantity for purchase now, exclusively on rootsoffight.com.
This month House of Luxury launched their new hyper-immersive luxury retail platform ‘Virtual Xperience‘. It is literally a virtual House of Luxury where exquisitely furnished 3D spaces like the ‘Parlour of Perfection’ and the ‘Chamber of Calibre’ accentuate choice designer products ranging from fine jewelry by renowned brands such as YEPREM, Simone and Alessa; contemporary art by Banksy, Condo and Kaws; interior décor from Fendi and Ralph Lauren; haute horlogerie from Patek Philippe and others; as well as limited-edition objet d’arts created by leading artists such as Zhuang Hong Yi.
This is the perfect way to shop for luxury gifts this Valentine’s Day in a covid friendly way. You will be able to find the most lavish, designer gifts that will wow anyone on your gift list.
These clothes are the perfect unique gift for any fashion lover in your life. With bold prints and snazzy design, this is a gift that will show your love in a BOLD way.
“We use the post-apocalyptic artwork of BOURBON SUMMER CARTOON CRISIS! to produce exquisitely constructed clothing from the most sumptuous and sustainable fabrics. Our clothes explore the tension between ostentatious prints and refined silhouettes. These garments embody the CRISIS philosophy—finding meaning and beauty amidst the chaos that surrounds us.” Find out more about the product line and the company here.
There’s no better way to say I love you than with food! This chocolate heart pizza from Sugar Plum is a unique treat to share with your loved one.
The solid milk chocolate heart is topped with a festive assortment of chocolate candies and finished with a white chocolate drizzle. Every Chocolate Heart Pizza comes with a wooden mallet, so you can feel free to break this heart into bite-sized bits knowing it’ll never return the favor! Perfect to share with your girls on Galentine’s day as well! Sugar Plum also offers complimentary two-day shipping!
With so many wineries now offering virtual tastings as a way to connect consumers with their favorite winery, ADAMVS winery in Napa Valley is now offering more than just a virtual tasting. ADAMVS has created a wine country harvest offering, connecting consumers with CA’s wine country at a time when most cannot visit during this spectacular season.
Consumers can choose from a variety of ADAMVS’ library wines which can be sent to their home in a hand-crafted wooden box along with a selection of handmade seasonal harvest-inspired items from ADAMVS’ 80-acre Howell Mountain property.
Items include: 2020 ADAMVS Cabernet Sauvignon jam, orchard fig jam; apple butter; mulled spice mix; dried oregano; ADAMVS herb salt; lavender shortbread and a few other seasonally-inspired harvest specialty items. Also included are seasonal recipe pairings from the Estate’s culinary director.
To enhance the offering further, recipients can schedule a private, virtual tasting with ADAMVS’s Owner, Denise Adams. Denise encourages guests to also invite others to the virtual tasting, to connect for a reunion over fine wine.
Spirits Network is a shoppable streaming entertainment channel dedicated to the world of premium spirits. Watch hours of entertainment, buy directly from any device with on-demand home delivery and experience monthly bottle memberships, hand-picked by Spirits Network curators.
Elevate your at-home bar this holiday season with these expert cocktail tips, recipes and stories from Spirits Network.
Spirits Network, the digital streaming platform where spirits enthusiasts can learn directly from industry experts while purchasing premium product, is launching four new programs this December. These episodes will give you the perfect shoppable guide to holiday spirits, must-haves for your intimate gatherings, informative instruction for your home cocktail creations, and stories – and spirits – from the masters to share with family and friends.
The month commences with a Special Edition of ‘#WhiskyWednesdays’ on December 9. Spirits Network’s Chief Curator Flavien Desoblin is back to lead a tasting of Diageo’s 2020 Special Releases Collection of Single Malt Scotch Whiskies. Comprised of eight cask strength Single Malts from some of Scotland’s most beloved distilleries, these bottles are extremely rare, so be sure to stock up while you can. The tasting will feature Lagavulin 12 Year Old, Talisker 8 Year Old and The Singleton of Dufftown 17 Year Old.
Also launching on December 9 is the premiere episode of ‘Take Out’ hosted by culinary influencer Corey Marshall. Get your PJs and plates ready for this one, as Corey orders in some of the best takeout you can find and pairs it with a Cutwater Spirits canned cocktail for the easiest, most delicious night spent at home.
Spirits Networks’ newest series, ‘Cellar Sessions’, will premiere on December 18. This program answers the question, “What do the world’s spirits experts take out of their personal cellar when they get together with friends?” For the premiere episode, spirits industry veteran Elayne Duff cracks open three bottles from the Jose Cuervo Reserva De La Familia portfolio with acclaimed spirits writer Tony Sachs and author Kurt Maitland. Curious drinkers everywhere can enjoy being a fly on the wall during this discussion of agave, aging, and their experiences from careers in this alluring industry.
Closing out the year is liquid chef Rob Floyd, who is back with two new episodes of Home Bar Hero, Holiday Editions airing December 18 and December 23. From a Pinnacle Peppermint Hot Chocolate to a Maker’s Mark Gold Rush, Rob is mixing up some delicious cocktails from TheCocktailProject.com, an online recipe resource for easy at home bartending. You don’t have to be a mixologist to ensure your intimate gatherings this holiday season do not disappoint.
All the content airing this December will be available for Spirit Network members to watch on NBTV channels. Viewers can stream their favorite Spirit Network shows at any time, from any location, at home or on-the-go. Compatible devices include Apple TV, Apple iOS, and Android, as well as Smart TVs.
In case you are not already a Spirits Network member, here is how it works: The Explorer membership, consisting of hundreds of hours of curated premium content, is available free of charge. With Enthusiast and Connoisseur memberships, subscribers receive one bottle per month of spirits, hand selected by a team of specialized in-house curators, and based on a user-submitted custom profile. Other benefits include quarterly gifts, free shipping, and the ability to purchase individual bottles. All memberships are now available in Arizona, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
With a mission to watch, buy, and taste from virtually any location, the Spirits Network provides members with an exclusive look behind the bottle at the stories and craftsmanship of this unique spirits community.
Spirits Network is a community of engaging spirits experts and enthusiasts, creating meaningful connections through original, shoppable video programming. Through the platform, members can engage with and purchase from the top players defining the spirits business, as well as access exclusive products, gifts, and experiences. Launched in 2019, Spirits Network offers shoppable streaming video programming on any device.
Spirits Network LLC is the newest venture from NBTV Channels. NBTV Channels builds unique content for brands and direct-to-consumer businesses, transforming marketing from a cost to a revenue center by offering in-platform ‘click to buy’ opportunities.
The wine educator and top New York caterer have pivoted their businesses, traditionally in-person wine education courses and large-scale in-person events respectively, to provide services virtually, shipping their wine and culinary creations to virtual event participants located throughout the United States for meetings, holiday parties, as well as Sandra Wine Life’s Wine Seminars.
Both companies have experienced tremendous success with this new model, working independently and together. Since the onset of the pandemic when physical events were put on hold, Sandra’s Wine Life has held four virtual events per week at minimum and experienced a growth rate of 100%.
“Our new normal has empowered me to shift my business, previously in-person wine education seminars for top financial institutions, legal firms and non-profits, into a virtual format,” said Sandra Guibord.
“Through this experience, Sandra’s Wine Life has gained new clients and enthusiasts. I have not lost one client during the pandemic – in fact, I have grown my business 100%,” Guibord continued. “This additional partnership with New York’s top caterer, Thomas Preti, is a testament to the opportunities that can be created through collaboration during this unique moment in history.”
“Sandra and I have worked together, supporting the same clientele, yet separately, for nearly 10 years with tremendous success. I’m thrilled to now add our company’s catering expertise – traditionally shared in New York City’s most prestigious event venues – virtually through our new ‘Preti, Set, Go!’ offering,” added Thomas Preti, Founder of Thomas Preti Events to Savor.
“Although events are now primarily virtual, we continue to be able to provide cuisine that is just as beautifully presented and flavorful as for live, in-person events,” continued Preti. “The additional success that we’ve experienced teaming up with Sandra’s Wine Life has been incredible, with dozens of new events added, as well as the ability to now provide a full-service food and wine offering for virtual events.”
Sandra’s Wine Life Virtual Wine Seminars offer an array of custom and pre-packaged wine courses for beginners to wine connoisseurs. Thomas Preti Events’ ‘Preti, Set, Go!’ culinary offering is available to pair with Sandra Guibord’s wine selections for any of the virtual wine seminars.
Seminar topics include a primer about wine and pairing called ‘All About Wine Tasting & Discussion,’ frequently hosted alongside a top wine industry expert. More topics include, ‘Wine & Cinema Tasting,’ including the preview of the film, ‘Wine Calling’ which captures the story of France’s natural winemaking movement, as well as ‘Wine & Opera’ which presents relevant wines and conversation alongside a ‘live’ virtual performance by International opera singers, Charles Castronovo and Ekaterina Siurina, from Berlin, Germany.
With two decades of wine expertise and knowledge, Sandra Guibord offers wine tips and thought leadership for selecting and drinking wine that fits into everyone’s lifestyle. Sandra’s Wine Life celebrates selecting and enjoying wines for entertaining, gift giving, romance, parties and life’s many other occasions that call for a fabulous glass of wine.
About Sandra Guibord, Sandra’s Wine Life
Sandra Guibord, CEO and Founder of Sandra’s Wine Life has over two decades of experience the media and entertainment business. A former Wilhelmina model and actress, including soap operas, network television series, films and corporate spokesperson roles, Sandra is now a preeminent guide within the wine and spirits community. She assists top corporations, legal firms, and nonprofits with entertaining their top clientele and senior executives.
Utilizing her hands-on learnings gained through vineyard internships and travel to wine regions worldwide, Sandra Guibord has made the often vexing world of wine enjoyable through her fun, festive and informative approach that has been well received by wine enthusiasts from novices to connoisseurs. She offers from practical wine advice for casual events (virtual and in-person), business dinners, romantic dates, and building custom wine collections. Sandra will be unveiling her first book, titled ‘Wine Identity’ in early 2021.
Since 1987, Thomas Preti Events to Savor has seamlessly orchestrated thousands of events at New York’s most prestigious venues. Our team has earned a reputation for delivering an unmatched culinary experience and first-class service by tailoring the needs of each event to enhance its unique image and style.
You’re not just choosing a menu. You’re choosing an experience. People who know caterers choose Thomas Preti for the events that matter. When we promise grilled grouper, that’s precisely what we serve. Grilled perfectly. Served impeccably. We’ve been delighting our clients and their guests for over 30 years. We’ve seen fads come and go. We don’t follow fads. We focus on what really matters. Real food, prepared in surprising and delicious ways. Preti is famous for delivering what we promise, flawlessly.
In 2020, we launched Preti, Set, Go!, a modern evolution of the classic Thomas Preti experience, individually packaged & delivered to you!
Wines of South Africa (WOSA) USA, the industry association that promotes the exports of South African wine, is calling on members of the wine trade, media and consumers to support the South African wine industry by buying and drinking South African wine. The ban on alcohol, currently back in place in South Africa, could be potentially devastating to the wine industry.
The South African wine industry has been hit especially hard by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the country having experienced one of the strictest lockdowns in the world. The country’s lockdown and prohibition on the sale of alcohol began at the end of March, which included a ban on wine exports. Wine industry associations and organizations came together to lobby against the decision, and, thankfully, the ban on exports was lifted effective May 1.
However, the prohibition of alcohol sales in South Africa remained for over two months, until it was lifted on June 1, for at-home consumption. Restaurants and bars were allowed to reopen in mid-June. Yet with the rationale of the need to free up hospital beds occupied by those suffering from alcohol-related traumas, the South African government reintroduced the latest ban on alcohol on July 13, which is still in effect, with no definitive end date.
The new regulations include both on and off-premise sales, so it is affecting not only wineries, but restaurant workers as well. Those in the wine and hospitality industry have been taking to the streets to protest and put pressure on the government to allow for on-premise sales for sit-down restaurants.
The alcohol ban brings a significant risk to the economic and socioeconomic sustainability of both the South African wine industry and the country as a whole, along with risking the livelihoods of rural communities who are directly affected due to the financial implications from an industry that could quite likely see devastation.
The wine industry creates close to 300,000 jobs directly and indirectly, and is South Africa’s second-largest exporter of agricultural products. As an industry, the contribution to the GDP for the South African economy exceeds more than $2.6 billion annually. The liquor industry as a whole has a deep value chain in the country, employing almost one million people.
The government’s decision has serious economic consequences, placing hundreds of thousands of livelihoods at risk. Many of South Africa’s wine producers are small and family run. It has been estimated that one in five wineries may not survive.
South African wine exports make up roughly 50% of the total production. Since exports of South African wine are still allowed, support overseas is crucial. The US, and other export markets, can play a vital role and make a difference in keeping the industry alive. We are urging those in the trade and media to spread the word, and to educate and encourage consumers to support the South African wine industry by purchasing and drinking South African wines. Keep the discussion and support going on social media with the hashtag #DrinkSouthAfrican.
WOSA USA has some great resources on its website. For those in the wine trade, a list of importers of South African wine is available. For those looking for local retail shops that carry South African wine, a list of retailers across the country can be accessed on the site.
Wines of South Africa (WOSA) is the organization representing all South African producers of wine who export their products. WOSA, which was established in its current form in 1999, has over 500 exporters on its database, comprising all the major South African wine exporters. It is constituted as a not-for-profit company and is totally independent of any producer, wholesaling company or government department but is recognized by the South African Export Council. WOSA’s mandate is to promote the export of all South African wines in key international markets including the United States.
Good wine, good food, and sustainability; Discover California unites all three topics in a tasty new blog. Food and wine sustain us best when produced with care and shared with friends.
Patio perfect: Time to take it outdoors. Dust off the patio furniture, fire up the grill, and uncork a juicy Zinfandel. Whether you’re celebrating Dad on Father’s Day, or just enjoying a warm evening al fresco, your backyard barbecue could probably use a refresh. Grilled pork shoulder chops and a nectarine slaw are definitely not the same old grilling.
Which Zin? Zinfandel is like that dinner party guest whom you can seat next to anyone—the extrovert who makes everyone feel comfortable and fits into any group. As Zin fans know, California wineries make this variety in a vast spectrum of styles, from fresh and lively to dark and brooding. So, what’s best for grilled pork? Red wine.
The choice is yours; It’s not easy, when you’re racing down a supermarket aisle, to be thoughtful about the wine you buy. Sustainable? Organic? Biodynamic? Do you even have time for that? When you’re tempted to grab-and-go in the wine aisle, remember that your choices matter. A little knowledge can help you quickly select a California wine that is made responsibly.