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Thanksgivukkah

November 25, 2013 No comments

Last week we talked about the unusual convergence of Thanksgiving and Chanukah. This week we're going to talk wine (and Metrokane wine tools and accessories, natch!).

Choosing wines for Thanksgiving courses and flavors—from salty stuffing to spicy pumpkin pie and everything in between—is never easy. And when you figure in the potato latkas for Chanukah it makes it even more challenging (food bloggers have been running amok, calling it Thanksgivukkah and suggesting cross-cultural recipes like turkey brined in Manischewitz with challah stuffing and sweet potato latkes).

The one thing that does remain constant (and much simpler than the final wine selection!) is how you'll open, serve and preserve whatever it is that you're drinking. To open the wine—and perhaps try a sparkling wine this year—pull out your Rabbit Electra Wine Tool Kit ($50) the combines a premium Electric Corkscrew with a polished chrome Foil Cutter and the Rabbit Wine Preserving Stopper.

If sparkling wines aren't to your taste, give the Rabbit Aerating Decanter System a try ($60) with a bottle of red (Pinot Noir, Syrah and Zinfandel are all good choices). This innovative gadget breaks red wine down into tiny droplets that spray down the side of the decanter, instantly picking up oxygen that enhances both flavor and aroma. The Super-Aerating system includes a hand-blown crystal decanter, crystal glass wine-spray funnel and super-fine sediment screen. Allowing wine time to "breathe" is now a thing of the past.

For white wines, the Rabbit Wine-Chilling Carafe is the perfect way to keep white wines chilled while the candles are lit. (No plastic ice chamber! No freezable chemicals!). It's a more effective chilling carafe because the stainless ice chamber is a highly efficient cold-transfer material, far superior to glass or plastic.

There probably won't be much wine left (but hopefully enough food for left-overs) so we won't talk about preserving until a later post.

However (and whatever!) you celebrate, there's nothing better than family, food and good wine. We at Metrokane wish you a happy and healthy holiday season.

Thanksgiving/Chanukah

November 13, 2013 No comments

The talk around the water-cooler this year (even the virtual ones!) is how late Thanksgiving falls, and how early Chanukah (there's actually an overlap of two days!).

According to Chabad.org (http://www.chabad.org/holidays/chanukah/article_cd...), "Chanukah was declared a Jewish national holiday 2178 years ago. Thanksgiving was declared a national American holiday on the last Thursday of every November by Abraham Lincoln in 1863. Before then, Thanksgiving was celebrated on different dates in different states, so we won't count those. But, using the Chabad.org Date Converter, you will see that Thanksgiving coincided with the first day of Chanukah on November 29, 1888. It also coincided with the fifth day of Chanukah on November 30, 1899.

On November 28, 1918, Thanksgiving was on Chanukah eve. But since it's still Thanksgiving until midnight, and Jewish days begin at night, that would still mean that Jewish Americans would have eaten their turkeys that Thanksgiving to the light of their first Chanukah candle.

It gets more complicated. Originally, Thanksgiving was always on the last Thursday of November. In 1939, FDR decided it would be good for the economy to push Thanksgiving back a little, so he declared the fourth Thursday of that November to be Thanksgiving—even though there were five Thursdays to November that year. In 1942, that became federal law. But not all states went along with it. As late as 1956, Texas was still celebrating Thanksgiving a week later than the rest of the country."

So now that we've cleared that up a bit, next week we'll talk about what wine to drink for each holiday.Thanksgiving/Chanukah

Oh Baby it's Cold Outside

October 25, 2013 No comments

The summer is all about casual: poolside picnics, family BBQ's, cocktails and wine coolers. But the colder weather (and what qualifies as "colder" is definitely a matter of preference) seems to bring out the more buttoned up in all of us.

Pool parties give way to dinner parties and wine coolers give way to…well, just wine.

Gregory Cartier of AskMen (http://www.askmen.com/fine_living/wine_dine_archiv...) put it best: "Seasons change, and when they do, so do the wines we drink. Unless you live in a climate like Arizona or Hawaii, where your concept of winter is nonexistent in comparison to someone in Vermont, for example, your selection of wines probably changes when the mercury drops. If that is not the case, you should consider the climate and season next time you choose a wine for dinner."

"The idea of "winter wines" is not so much about specific vintages being appropriate in one season and unacceptable in another. Rather, it is about which characteristics of certain wines not only match well with the season, but more importantly, with the foods we associate with the season."

"In the heat of summer, I doubt you eat a lot of thick, hearty soups or stews, or roasts for that matter. Winter is the traditional time to eat these dishes, given the need to warm up when the temperature dips and to get some meat on your bones."

One thing that shouldn't change, however, are the accessories you use for opening, serving and preserving your wine. And so it should go without saying that you should pick up the new Rabbit Electra Wine Tool Kit ($50)—one for yourself and a couple for gifts. The set combines a premium Electric Corkscrew with a polished chrome Foil Cutter and the Rabbit Wine Preserving Stopper. They are all displayed and stored in a sensational Lucite presentation case (kind of like an upscale Swiss Army Kit for wine drinkers).

So put on an extra sweater, a couple of wine glasses and grab a bottle or two of red. Just because the temperature has dropped doesn't mean its time to stop celebrating!

Columbus Day

October 9, 2013 No comments

On the east coast we had a relatively late Indian summer and its finally starting to feel like Fall. In our house that means switching the screen doors for the storm ones, making sure the generator still works and laying in some new wine (just in case we get snowed in).

According to the calendar, the next holiday is Columbus Day—commemorating the anniversary of Christopher Columbus' arrival in the Americas on October 12th, 1492. According to Wikipedia, it became a federal holiday in 1937. In 1892, President Benjamin Harrison called upon the people of the United States to celebrate Columbus Day on the 400th anniversary of the event when teachers, preachers, poets and politicians used Columbus Day rituals to teach ideals of patriotism (for those out there counting, this year will mark the 521st anniversary…boy, does time fly!).

Since 1970, the Columbus Day has been fixed to the second Monday in October and is generally observed by banks, the bond market, the US Postal Service and other federal agencies, most state government offices, many businesses, and most school districts.

So let's raise a glass of wine, on this 521st anniversary (opened via the battery-powered Rabbit Electric Wine Preserver and the Rabbit Aerating Pourer and toast to Columbus' successful journey!

Crush

September 24, 2013 No comments

Fall is the time for change. The kids go back-to-school, the leaves start to turn and--most importantly for wine lovers--it's "Crush Season", aka one of the most crucial steps in the process of winemaking. The period culminating in the crush (in the Northern Hemisphere) begins when the grapes start to change color in mid-to-late summer, with the actual the harvest season typically falling between August & October.

Thanks to Metrokane, you can pay attention to the timing of the "Crush Season" and leave it to us to worry about the details of opening, serving and preserving the wine.

What's new for fall at Metrokane?

Start with the new Rabbit Wine Preserving Stoppers, small but effective vacuum pumps (in chic black or red) that also serve as an attractive stopper ($10.00).

Or, for those who prefer high-tech, there's the battery-powered Rabbit Electric Wine Preserver (+ two stoppers!), a faster, easier and more effective way to preserve red wine ($39.99). A vacuum (strong enough to give you a hand hickey!) preserves the wine's flavor in 10 to 15 seconds and preserves the bouquet for a week or more.

Next there's the Rabbit Bottleneck Gift Collection, a great way to include a Rabbit--from Bottle stoppers ($4.99), Flipper Pourer/Stoppers ($7.99), Bottle Toppers ($4.99) or a Zippity Waiter's Corkscrew ($9.99) to bump up a bottle of wine or champagne (the little devils are ingeniously packaged to loop around the bottle top).

And finally, if design is your thing, you'll want to check out Rabbit's Space Saving Wine Rack (included MOMA's collection), which fits into a fridge, providing cool storage for white wine. Crafted of high-tensile-strength steel and structural plastic, it's the perfect solution to convenient wine storage. And for only $20 bucks, you'll be able to snag one for yourself.

Reflecting

September 12, 2013 No comments

The kids are back-to-school, casual Fridays are done and your tan lines are fading (I know it's bad, I just can't help myself!).

If you're Jewish, you have the holidays coming up (so early this year!) and if you're not you just have to wonder why the heck they're putting out the Halloween candy so early (it's only September!).

Either way, the start of a new season is often the time to reflect on what's past and what's ahead. I don't know about you, but I do my reflecting best at home, with a glass of red wine (how to open the bottle? You should know by now, using the original, award winning Rabbit Corkscrew ($50), which works on all bottle sizes and pulls a cork in 3 seconds flat).

Next I affix my Rabbit Aerating Pourer ($20.00) to the wine bottle (no need for a decanter or separate aerator). When I pour the wine I can see and hear aeration happening (it's almost hypnotic!).

As the leaves begin turn and the wine bottle begins to empty, I give thanks for my husband, my kids, my family and my health…and to Metrokane, for making it so easy to relax and enjoy the wine!

So Long, Summer

August 28, 2013 No comments

As it always seems to, summer has gone especially fast this year, from Memorial Day to Labor Day in less than the time it takes to pull a cork from a bottle of rose.

While Labor Day follows a familiar pattern of mall sales, backyard BBQ's and heavy traffic coming home from the beaches, it too—like Memorial Day and July 4th before it—had a more illustrious beginning.

Labor Day is a US federal holiday, observed on the first Monday in September. It celebrates the economic and social contributions of workers and was first nationally recognized in 1894 to placate unionists following the Pullman Strike, during which workers died at the hands of the US military and US Marshals (President Grover Cleveland signed it into law a mere six days after the strike was settled).

The initial celebration was outlined in the first proposal of the Labor Day holiday: A street parade to exhibit to the public "the strength and spirit de corps of the trade and labor organizations", followed by a festival for the workers and their families. This became the pattern for Labor Day celebrations. Speeches by prominent men and women were introduced later, as more emphasis was placed upon the civil significance of the holiday. Still later, by a resolution of the American Federation of Labor convention of 1909, the Sunday preceding Labor Day was adopted as Labor Sunday and dedicated to the spiritual and educational aspects of the Selector movement.

How far we've come. These days, more than anything, Labor Day weekend marks the official end to summer and (here in the east, anyway) the start of school. It may also mark the last time this year you'll use your Rabbit Wine Trek to tote a bottle of chilled wine to a neighbor's pool party or your Rabbit Wine-Chilling Carafe to keep things cool in the sweltering days of summer.

So gather your friends and family for one last summer blow-out, grab your Rabbit Electric Cocktail Mixer and whip up a batch of Sweet & Spicy Margarita's (http://chilledmagazine.com/Whats_Chilling_Right_No... ). Come Tuesday, it's time to say hello to fall!

Ingredients
1 part Chocolate Chili Liqueur
2 parts Tequila
2 parts Fresh Lemon Sour
1 part Fresh Lime Juice
Preparation: Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass over ice and shake. Strain into a margarita glass with ice.
Revised from Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labor_Day)

Dear MM

August 12, 2013 No comments

Dear Ms. Metrokane,

I live in a very small apartment with a husband, two kids, three cats, two dogs and a hamster. Both my husband and I are wine afficiantos—we love white in particular—and when we spot a great deal we tend to buy bottles in multiples. Thing is, I just can't find the space for one more bottle, let alone room in my fridge. We were thinking of getting rid of the hamster, but my eight-year old won't hear of it. Any suggestions?

-- From No More Room at the Inn


Dear Miss No Room,

Yes! You must get a Rabbit Space-Saver Wine Rack, the most compact wine storage system ever designed (there's even one in the Museum of Modern Art's collection!). Crafted of high-tensile-strength steel and structural plastic, it holds 6 bottles and folds up flat. It's the perfect solution to convenient wine storage in a small space. You can even fill it with bottles and pop it into the refrigerator! So tell your eight-year old that the hamster is safe. And for the $20 the Rabbit Wine Rack costs, you can even buy two!

Best,
MM

The Dog Days of Summer

July 4, 2013 No comments

July 4th marked the unofficial halfway point of the summer (that, and all the back-to-school commercials appearing on TV).

All that's left to do is plan as many beach weekends and backyard BBQ's as possible (and don't forget to slather on the sunscreen!).

As always, Metrokane has you covered, whether your plans include cocktails by the pool or a reunion with friends and family. Rabbit Wine Trek will ensure you get the goods where you're going, chilled (if you're able, check it out on July 30th on The Talk). The Rabbit Pocket Corkscrew—a patented invention with all the features of the Rabbit Self-Pulling Corkscrew—stores safely in your pocket to make sure you're prepared for whatever comes up.

Heat a problem? Not for Metrokane. From our Rabbit Wine-Chilling Carafe, (which features a stainless ice chamber, far superior to glass or plastic) to our new Wine Chillers (insulated with Neoprene, used in divers' "wet suits"), we help keep you and your beverages cool.

Vive la summer!

July 4th - Independence Day

July 4, 2013 No comments

Interestingly enough, July 4 is the 185th day of the year (186th in leap years), marking 180 days remaining until New Year's Day. Here in the US, it is also known as Independence Day, celebrated as a federal holiday marking the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain.



Independence Day is usually celebrated with fireworks, parades, pool-side barbecues and the like and the red white and blue theme often extends to what people are drinking.



The following recipes can be mixed up with the Rabbit's electric cocktail mixer ($20).



Blue Hawaiian (from the website http://mixthatdrink.com/blue-hawaiian/)
Ingredients
◦ 1 ounce Blue Curacao
◦ 1 ounce white rum
◦ 3 ounces pineapple juice
◦ 1 ounce sweetened coconut cream
Put the ingredients and the ice into your Rabbit Electric Cocktail Mixer and celebrate!



(from http://www.drinkoftheweek.com/drink_recipes/indepe...
Ingredients
◦ 1 ounce Baileys Irish Cream with a Hint of Caramel
◦ ½ ounce Zacapa rum
◦ ¼ ounce allspice dram
◦ 1 ounce iced coffee
◦ 1 cinnamon stick
Add Baileys Irish Cream, Zacapa rum, allspice dram, and iced coffee into a Rabbit Electric Cocktail Mixer full of ice and let her rip! Strain over fresh ice into a rocks glass. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.



Red, White, and B-Lucid Punch (from http://www.drinkoftheweek.com/drink_recipes/indepe... )
This punch packs…. well, a punch! Absinthe, Gin, fresh berries, ginger and OJ. Not exactly Apple Pie, but maybe we could start a new tradition.
Ingredients:
1 oz Lucid Absinthe
1 oz gin
2 strawberries, 2 blackberries
1/2 oz. Ginger Syrup
3/4 oz. Fresh Orange Juice
Directions:
Muddle the berries in the ginger syrup and orange juice. Add remaining ingredients and add to the Rabbit Electric Cocktail Mixer. Strain over ice. Garnish with sliced strawberries and blackberries.
No matter how you choose to celebrate, have a happy 4th!