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Holidays

Memorial Day

May 20, 2013 No comments

Memorial Day weekend is right around the corner, and for many Americans it simply marks the official three-day weekend start of summer and a great time to shop for bargains. It didn't start that way.

Memorial Day is a US federal holiday that is celebrated on the final Monday of May. It was created as a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the US Armed Forces. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died. By the 20th century, Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died while in the military service. And while many people do honor those who have fought and died, most throng to backyard BBQ's and beaches, which is where Metrokane comes in.

If it's a hot weekend (we can only hope!) and the party isn't at your house, tote your wine with the Rabbit Wine Trek. It comes with a Chiller Wrap that is ready to use after 30 minutes in the freezer and keeps red wine cool and drinkable too.

When you get to the party, serve your wine with the innovative Rabbit Wine-Chilling Carafe, which uses no plastic ice chamber or freezable chemicals (the stainless ice chamber is a highly efficient cold-transfer material, far superior to glass or plastic).

Prefer a summer cocktail? Shake it up with the Rabbit Electric Cocktail Mixer ($20), kick back and enjoy.

PS Don't forget the sunscreen!

Mother's Day

April 29, 2013 No comments

Mother's Day was first celebrated in 1908, when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother in Grafton, West Virginia. She then began a campaign to make "Mother's Day" a recognized holiday in the United States. Although she was successful in 1914, she was already disappointed with its commercialization by the 1920s.

Jarvis' holiday was adopted by other countries and it is now celebrated all over the world, most commonly in March or May. In this tradition, each person offers a gift, card, or remembrance toward their mothers, grandmothers, and/or maternal figure.

The most popular gift, at least in my house, are flowers and candy. But if you really want to wow mom (she always did love you best!), why not pick her up a totally awesome gift from Metrokane? For the mom who enjoys her cocktails (even if it's just on the weekends), there is the Rabbit Electric Cocktail Mixer ($20).For the mom who is more of a wine connoisseur, you can start with the Electric Rabbit Wine Opener ($50). And why not ask dad to pitch in and get the Rabbit Aerating Decanter System too? ($60).

Of course flowers and candy still work. Just remember to throw in the Rabbit Flipper Pourer/Stoppers ($8.00). They're cute little air-tight wine stoppers and drip-free pourers too!

Tax Day—Need We Say More

April 9, 2013 No comments

In the United States, Tax Day is a colloquial term for the day on which individual income tax returns are due to the federal government. The term may also refer to the same day for states, even where the tax return due date is a different day. And although, to our knowledge, there has never been a survey done to prove it, we would venture to guess that Tax Day is also a top cause for drinking (which is where we come in).

Federal income tax was introduced with the Revenue Act of 1861 to help fund the Civil War, and subsequently repealed, re-adopted, and held unconstitutional. The early taxes were based on assessments, not voluntary tax returns. Tax payment dates varied by act.

The case of Pollock v. Farmers' Loan & Trust Co. challenged the constitutionality of the Wilson-Gorman Tariff Act of 1894 which taxed incomes over $4,000 at the rate of two percent. The case was decided by the US Supreme Court in 1895. The Supreme Court decided that the Act's unapportioned income taxes on interest, dividends, and rents were effectively Direct taxes. The Act was therefore unconstitutional because it violated the Constitution's rule that direct taxes be apportioned. In 1913, eighteen years later, the 16th Amendment to the US Constitution was ratified, giving the US Congress the legal authority to tax all incomes without regard to the apportionment requirement.

The filing deadline for individuals was March 1 in 1913 and was changed to March 15 in 1918 and again to April 15 in 1955. Today, the filing deadline for U.S. federal income tax returns for individuals remains April 15 or, in the event that the 15th falls on a Saturday, Sunday or holiday, the first succeeding day that is not a Saturday, Sunday or holiday.

But enough about taxes; let's talk more about drinking!

Two years ago, the website Kitchen Riffs wrote about The Income Tax Cocktail, which believe it or not is a classic, although with obscure origins. Legend has it that the ITC probably began as a variation on the Bronx cocktail (it's the same recipe, but with the addition of Angostura bitters). The Bronx was extremely popular in the pre-Prohibition era, although some of the more hardcore drinkers considered it "weak" because it contained orange juice. Speaking of orange juice, try to use fresh squeezed (easy with the Rabbit Citrus Juicer!), not the pre-made stuff, when you mix an Income Tax (or Bronx) cocktail. It really makes a difference. The recipe below yields one drink, although depending on how much you owe the IRS, you might want to fill your Rabbit Electric Cocktail Mixer to the top and make several.

Get Your Easter On!

March 25, 2013 No comments

Nothing says "rabbit" like Easter, and while most people don't put bunny on their menus, there is the conundrum of what wines to imbibe with the more traditional roasted ham or a leg of lamb.

Wines for Easter
Let's start with the ham. Ham is often prepared with glazes or toppings that are sweet and can balance the inherent saltiness of the actual meat. Well paired wines can accomplish the same objective. For ham, the best "tried and true" companion wines are, hands-down – a Riesling or a Gewurztraminer. Both wines tend to offer fresh, flavorful taste profiles with enough sweet fruit to balance the salt in the ham and enough acidity to support the combination without compromising the flavor in either the ham or the wine.

Use your handy-dandy Rabbit Electra to open a bottle or two, and to keep the wine cool while the kids hunt for Easter eggs, look no further than Rabbit Wine Chilling Carafe.

If red wine is your first choice, then a Zinfandel is a perfect pick, as the higher alcohol content and fruit forward approach can handle the ham's sweeter side.

You can still use your Rabbit Electra opener, but give the Rabbit Aerating Decanter System a try. This innovative gorgeous 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.

Not having ham for Easter? No problem. The trick with lamb—whether rack, leg or roast—is "to stick with your well grounded red wines - a red Burgundy, a northern Rhone red, a Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot or a Tempranillo or Shiraz. You are shooting for red wines with decent tannin structure, good fruit and a finish that can endure as long as the lamb itself. The goal is to have a wine with enough fruit and acidity to handle the robust flavors of the lamb, but not overpower it in the process.

Since it's a holiday, why not try the top of the line VIP Vertical Rabbit—or better idea, why not bring it as a hostess gift? The new Rabbit features all-chrome plated body with faux leather grip pad. It is housed in a hi-design storage case crafted of stainless steel and faux leather. Like all Rabbit Corkscrews, it opens a wine bottle in three seconds flat, has been tested for 20,000 cork pulls and carries a 10-Year Warranty. Metrokane offers many different Rabbit Corkscrews but only one "Super-Rabbit."

Serve the red wine via the Rabbit Aerating Pourer, which negates the need for a decanter and a separate aerator (so awkward to hold above the glass as you pour). Simply insert the Rabbit Aerating Pourer into a wine bottle as you would a conventional pourer. When you pour the wine, you see and hear aeration happening. When you taste it, you enjoy the enhanced flavor and bouquet of perfectly aerated red wine. The Rabbit Aerating pourer is the first easy, uncomplicated way to aerate wine.

Whatever wine or main course you choose, all of us at Metrokane wish you a very happy Easter!

All About Passover

March 19, 2013 No comments

We hope that everyone had a great St. Patrick's Day (even though in the East it was cold enough to freeze a leprechaun's pants off!). No matter. Spring is starting on Wednesday and we have Passover (begins Monday, 3/25) and Easter Sunday (the 31st) a little less than a week ahead.

The Passover holiday, for those of you who don't know, is a Jewish holiday commemorating the story of the Exodus, in which the ancient Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt. The Bible states that God helped the Children of Israel escape slavery by inflicting ten plagues upon the Egyptians, the worst being the death of the first born.

The Israelites were instructed to mark the doorposts of their homes with the blood of a spring lamb and, upon seeing this, the spirit of the Lord knew to pass over the first-borns in these homes, hence the name of the holiday.

When the Pharaoh finally freed the Israelites, it is said that they left in such a hurry that they could not wait for bread dough to rise. In commemoration, no leavened bread is eaten during the seven or eight days of the holiday, which is where matzo comes in.

It is traditional for Jewish families to gather on the first or second night of Passover for a special dinner called a Seder. Tables are set with the finest china, silverware and crystal are crafted in Europe of brilliant crystal and feature elegant "pulled stems," maximum transparency and clarity) to reflect the importance of the meal. During the meal the story of the Exodus from Egypt is retold using a special text called the Haggadah. Four cups of wine are consumed at various stages in the narrative. The most popular brand, in my house, anyway, was Manischewitz, which, in order to be Kosher for Passover, is produced using real cane sugar, instead of corn syrup.

Seder not at your house this year? No problem with the Rabbit Wine Trek, which does so much more than carry white wine and champagne. The Wine Trek comes with a Chiller Wrap that is ready to use after 30 minutes in the freezer. It keeps red wine cool and drinkable too—the first-ever carrier that keeps wine and champagne cool as you "keep on trekking" (not sure about 40 days and 40 nights, though).

How to preserve the wine not used? Try a Wine Preserver Vacuum Pump with 2 Stoppers.

The Passover Seder is a special time to spend with family and friends, acknowledging blessings, eating good food and drinking good wine. What could be better than that?

President's Day

February 18, 2013 No comments

For many, President's Day, which fell this past Monday, is nothing more than a federal holiday on which there is no mail, the banks are closed and kids have off from school. The official holiday—launched in 1879—was created to celebrate George Washington's birthday and was the first federal holiday selected to honor an American citizen. Today the holiday also honors Abraham Lincoln, whose birthday fell on February 12th (Washington's was February 22nd).

So where do Metrokane products fit in? Wine has long been a tradition in celebrations and dinners of the U.S. Presidency. One of the best known wine connoisseurs in the White House was Thomas Jefferson, who was the ambassador to France in the 1780s. His favorite wines were Burgundies from the Cote d'or, Hermitage Rhones, and Medoc Bordeauxs. For dessert he enjoyed Sauternes and Tokaji.

It took a few years before American wines began to be accepted by the White House. It was not until 1861, when Lincoln was president, that they were served at an official White House function. It was Mary Todd (aka Sally Field!) who originally put the local wines on the menu.

Lincoln, like Jefferson, had quite the connection with wine and drink - his father was a distillery hand, and he himself ran a number of taverns. Think of how much easier it would have been for them to be able to open their bottles with the Rabbit collection of wine tools!

Valentine's For All

February 8, 2013 No comments

The thing about Valentine's Day is that, often, one feels that if they don't have a significant other they have nothing to celebrate. Hogwash! The trick is to broaden your idea of a Valentine's can be. Remember back in second grade when you got a box full of CVS bought cards from girl friends and play dates and even (yuk!) members of the opposite sex? Back then it was less about romance (and pressure!) and more about just plain friendship, candy and glitter.

Following you'll find ways to celebrate VDay that work whether or not you're in the midst of a torrid romance (but that one works well too).

ALONE
Treat yourself (Ask Men's Guide to Valentines Day Alone)
Valentine's Day is normally a day to spend an exorbitant amount of money on gifts that normally cost half the price the other 364 days of the year: flowers, candy and even dinner prices get tripled because of all the suckers going all out on every Valentine's Day purchase. Since you don't have to worry about spending half your mortgage on gifts that don't make it to the end of the week, take half of that money and spend it on yourself. Buy that gadget (our suggestion) you've been eyeing since before Christmas, splurge on a new wardrobe or just drop it all on a guilty pleasure like a massage. Be your own Valentine. Do whatever the hell you want. Declare it a "Me Day" and go out and have fun. No one will even notice. They are all too busy crying and whining because they are not in—or sometimes because they are in—a relationship.

GIRLFRIENDS
Party at Home (Top 10 Gifts for Singles Awareness Day)
Are there other Single friends you normally hang out with or good friends whom you have not met for some time? You can organize a Singles Party at Home and have a blast with likeminded friends. Blogger's suggestion: Don't forget the cocktails and the Rabbit Electric Cocktail Mixer!

BOYFRIENDS (the operative word being "friends")
Tear it up with your buds
Men always have at least one or two single friends. It's just the law. Spend the night with the other guys who don't have a significant other. Don't settle for the typical night; make it a really big night. Go for dinner, drinks, to a bar or even for just a night of gambling at someone's house (Blogger's note: bring a bottle of wine and a Rabbit Zippity 2-Step Corkscrew)! Blow off some steam and forget all about the love-and-hearts crap. You also don't have to worry about any of the holiday talk creeping into the conversation unless it's: "Man, am I glad I don't have to waste time on that Valentine's junk."

MARRIED COUPLE
Go on a date (Romantic Dates for Married Couples)
Plan a traditional Valentine's Day date with a movie and a dinner. Leave the kids with a babysitter or at a friend's place so that you can spend the evening with your better half without worrying about what's going on at home. You could catch the latest blockbuster at the movie theater or perhaps an opera or a concert if you both are lovers of classical music. Follow this up with a cozy dinner at your favorite dining place and if there is a dance floor, don't hesitate to tug at your partner for a dance. Alternately, you can recreate your first date to add a twist to the Valentine tradition. Meet your spouse where you both had gone for the first time, order the same dishes and if possible, dance to the same music. This will not only enable you both to revive memories of days of youthful passion but also let you reaffirm your love for each other. Bloggers note: Don't forget that special bottle of wine!

HOT ROMANCE (Valentine's Day for New Couples)
What about getting Valentines gifts? Do not go over the top for this initial Valentine's Day together. Sure, purchase gifts for each other, but don't waste masses and in its place concentrate on stuff your other half will savour and utilize. (Your lover a wine aficionado? Find some great ideas on our site) A simple and effective Valentine's Day evening in together for new couples would be to prepare something together at either your house or theirs. That way you can chat and start to know each other much better while the two of you prepare dinner for the evening ahead. No matter how you spend the holiday, be sure to spread the love!