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Wine

The Uncommon Life

7 Mixtape Mixed Drinks: A Week of Cool Cocktails & Toe-tappin’ Tunes

September 16, 2013

We’re super excited about our new Mixtape Glasses. Our Product Development Team put in some hard work to create these rockin’ low balls, so we had to do a little more to celebrate than just raise a glass to toast to the finished product. Instead, we raised all 6 glasses, each filled with a different cocktail (and we added in wine, too, to round out the week!).

Dark and Stormy Cocktail Recipe

Check out these delightful mixed drink recipes and the playlists that go best with them, compliments of folks across departments here at UncommonGoods.

Manhattan Cocktail Recipe | UncommonGoods

Throw back a Butterbee and put on this playlist of sweet-as-candy jams selected by our Quality Control Specialist, Kim.

Savor a Sweet and Lowdown and celebrate swing with this mixed drink and mixtape created by Human Resources Manager Mindy.

Mix up a Manhattan and listen the sounds of the city–a New York playlist picked by Carolyn, Our Director of New Business and Product Development.

Celebrate summer any time of year with a Creamsicle and some sunny songs selected by Operations Manager Lee.
French 75 cocktail recipe

Find yourself in France as you sip a French 75 and sing along with Senior Merchandising Coordinator Heather’s mixtape of music inspired by the City of Light.

Weather any storm with a mellow music mix from our Inventory and Drop Ship Operations Manager, Sean, and don’t forget to drink a Dark ‘n Stormy while you’re at it.

Finally, when you’re not in the mood for a cocktail and want an easy way to take it easy, wind down with a glass of wine and Marketing Assistant Emily’s playlist of songs for a lazy day.

The Uncommon Life

Mixtape Mixed Drinks: Wine (Not a Cocktail, but still in the Mix.)

September 15, 2013

I like cocktails, but I love wine a whole lot more. Nothing sounds better to me than pouring a glass of red wine into my new Mixtape Glass and playing these 7 feel good songs that gets me smiling (and, unfortunately for my neighbors, singing) every single time. I would title my mixtape mix: Keep Calm & Treat Yo’ Self (to a little wine). Some may call this the Lazy Girl Drink, and …I’m okay with that.

Wine in a Mixtape Glass

No time or just don’t feel like mixing a drink? There’s nothing wrong with a little fresh-from-the-bottle wine!

The Drink:
1. Uncork the Cabernet Sauvignon (or that cheap wine bottle you bought from your nearest bodega).
2. Pour.

The Playlist:
1. Part of This World – The Little Mermaid
2. Don’t Stop Believing – Glee Cover
3. The Way You Make me Feel – Michael Jackson
4. Quelqu’un M’a Dit -Carla Bruni
5. Dog Days Are Over – Florence & The Machine
6. Anything Could Happen – Ellie Goulding
7. Let’s Get it On – Marvin Gaye

Gift Guides

Melissa’s Game Night: ZinZig

September 10, 2012

Hello! My name is Melissa and I am a new buyer over here at UncommonGoods. I look for product for a number of categories, including and especially games and toys. Obviously, for these types of items, the question “is it fun?” comes up every time in our decision-making process. The thing about games is that the ideal way to determine how fun a game is going to be is not in reading instructions and checking it out alone at my desk at work – but rather with friends at home. Shocking and insightful observation, I know.

So, in an effort to do my job better (take note, boss!), make new friends (I just moved out to New York City to join UncommonGoods from sunny California – or, in my case, foggy San Francisco), and generally have fun, I decided to start hosting game nights to test the new product that I’m considering. When we were chatting about this in one of our sample review meetings, someone threw out the idea of sharing the experience with our UncommonGoods community, and Melissa’s Game Night was born.

Up first was ZinZig ™:
“ZinZig is the wine tasting and trivia game that will challenge your mind and palate. So sit back, relax, and sip your wine. You’re in for a Zin-ful good time ™!”

I bribed my friends over with offers of pasta & sautéed Brussels sprouts, convinced them that yes, it is a great idea to play a wine tasting board game on a weekday, and raced out of the office to get set up.
[Disclaimer: since I just moved to NY, my living room looks pretty sparse, I know — hopefully it will continue to get more interesting as these blog posts continue!]

Once I cooked dinner for the boys (note to self: make more female friends), I asked/told one of my friends to read out the instructions and help us get set up. Luckily for him, it was fairly straight-forward and user-friendly: the beginning of the game opens with drinking and testing all of the wines. We also each picked a winery as well as a figure to represent us on the board. We each started on the space of the Winery that we chose – since the board is circular, the location that you are on is not really important (until the end) – it is all about the squares that you land on. On each turn, you get a trivia card and have to try to answer correctly – once you answer, the square you are on determines whether you “Swap”, “Trade”, etc. There are a few wild squares (ie: Corked: Wine spoilage detected. Answer wrong and lose one bottle card), as well as my personal favorite – Sip and Savor – in which you “Sit back, relax, and enjoy your wine” while earning a free card.

Each trivia card has a ‘resource’ printed on the back; the point of the game is to collect one of each resource (barrel, grape, bottle, cork) to start production. Once you do that, you move to the middle of the board and go through the stages of production (crushing, fermenting, aging, bottling) by answering a trivia Card. The first player to complete production is the winner of the game. Even though I am overly competitive, I did not manage to win. The shout-out of victory goes to my friend Mike who came in from last to crush us all.

In terms of game play, I thought the range of the level of difficulty of the trivia questions was well-balanced and on the intelligent side. I am a fairly big wine geek, my friend Alex claimed to know nothing, and everyone else fell somewhere in between. All of us got answers right and wrong, which made it a fun learning experience as well. The game lasted roughly 2 hours, and a good time was had by all. This game was approved and is available now HERE.

Thanks to Barry, Matt, Alex, Gabe, Colin, Erik, and Mike for playing!

The Uncommon Life

10 Ways to Go Green for St. Patrick’s Day

March 12, 2012

Whether you’re Irish by blood, have the luck of the Irish, or just love a good celebration on St. Patrick’s Day, you’ll probably be going green on March 17. Of course, we’re all about celebrating another kind of green here at UncommonGoods. So we figured, why not take a double-edged approach with these green (and green!) goods.

Wearing green on St. Paddy’s will prevent you from getting pinched, but you don’t have to go overboard. Adding a few green accents to your outfit is a great way to show your Irish pride. (1.) Heli Belt’s are handmade using leftover fabric from tatami floor mats and (2.)Ellen Thurmond’s Tree of Life–Renewal necklace features green peridot on hand-shaped recycled sterling silver wire.

Whether you plan on dying your hair green or skipping the food-coloring-infused shampoo, a (3.)Recycled Glass Barrette will look lovely accenting your locks.

Once your perfect St. Patrick’s Day outfit is complete, you can start the party. Serve up green beer in (4.) Recycled Beer Glasses, which also happen to have a slight green tint, since they’re made from glass from car windows. And, if you prefer a mixed drink or something alcohol free, your beverage of choice will look nice in (5.) Protect Our Earth Glasses. These recycled Bordeaux bottle glasses were even called party “must-haves” by HelloGiggles.com.

When it comes to your centerpiece, take a cue from the lush landscape of the Emerald Isle and add a little vegetation to your St. Pat’s. Fresh-cut flowers aren’t always the greenest choice, but our (6.) Moss Terrarium Bottle is a fun DIY alternative. If your thumb is far from green, visit Local Harvest to find sustainably grown blooms and show them off in a (7.)Recycled Wine Bottle Vase, or skip the flowers all together and go with a handmade recycled glass (8.)Four Seasons Globe to ring in Spring.

The centerpiece won’t be the most enticing thing on the table, though. Celebrate with a traditional Irish meal of corned beef and cabbage, then use the (9.) Fresh Air Compost Collector to save the cabbage hearts and other unused portions for composting. And for dessert? These Beer Mug Cupcakes from I am Baker are too cute not to make.

From green beer to cupcakes that look like green beer, you don’t need luck (or a pot of gold) for your St. Paddy’s Party to be a success. But, the fun can only last one night, so don’t forget to take a few photos to capture the evening. Fittingly, your favorite will look fabulous on display in one of Margaret Taylor’s handmade (10.)Recycled Ceiling Tin Frames.

The Uncommon Life

Marie Antoinette, Grace Kelly and the History of the New Year’s Toast

December 30, 2011

(source ChampagnePascal Vuylsteker)

In a couple days we will gather with and count down the New Year. Whether you are watching the ball drop from your television or in the center of Times Square, there most likely will be a glass of champagne in your hand. I was curious as to why we choose champagne for toasts on momentous occasions like weddings, birthdays and holidays and found out some pretty interesting knowledge.

(source NotCot)

For the longest time, champagne was mostly drunk by men who were attracted by the unofficial endorsement of royal and noble men. Men of all classes and statures flocked to the bubbly on a regular basis, but in the early 19th Century champagne manufacturers thought it was time to start appealing to women. In order to get the attention of ladies, bottles were designed with labels depicting beautiful scenes that like romantic dates, weddings and christenings (not as romantic but very important to women as a special event). The tactic worked but also influenced drinkers to save champagne for more special occasions instead of daily happy hour.

Most drinkers reach for a champagne flute, a tall thin glass that connoisseurs recommend for a better drinking experience. A flute will not over-expose the drink to oxygen and directs the nose toward the wine allowing for optimal flavor. However, coupe glasses are known to come in and out of style for their chic shape although they may weaken the flavor of champagne. They are rumored to have been made from a mold of Marie Antoinette’s left breast as a birthday present to her husband Louis XVI. They were meant to signify the drinks coming from the kindness of her heart. I prefer these shallow, bowl-like glasses because they make me feel like Grace Kelly.

(source Anatomy of a Classic)

However you choose to drink your champagne this New Year’s Eve, please do so safely. When combined with carbonated water, alcohol is consumed more rapidly and champagne’s bubbles work the same way. They aren’t lying when they say champagne goes right to your head!

Design

Too Cool

August 1, 2011

Corkcicle

Julie said: “PERFECT!!! I have a shower next month – hope its available!! Cant wait to buy one-or two!”

John said: “What a great idea, no more ice bucket or ceramic chiller.”

What’s one part icicle and one part cork? The latest addition to our voting app, Corkcicle. This cool wine bottle stopper looks like a frosty stick of ice, but it’s actually BPA-free plastic filled with a reusable freeze gel. Just pop it in the freezer for two hours before use, then insert it into a chilled bottle of wine after you’ve poured the first glass or two. Like ice, it will keep your drink chilled. Unlike ice, it won’t melt and water down your favorite wine.

Could Corkcicle be the perfect companion for your favorite Riesling? Would a Chardonnay fan in your life love to get Corkcicle as a gift? Visit our community voting app to let us know whether you think this quirky cork is perfect for UncommonGoods!

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