Valentine’s Day Gift: Crystal Candle Holders

Psst. Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Have you made your plans yet? Do you know what you will be doing on Valentine’s Day? Evening? Now is your friendly reminder to make a reservation at your favorite restaurant if you haven’t already done so. That takes care of one part of Valentine’s Day, but what about the gift?

Sure, there are flowers, balloons and chocolate. Those are certainly nice gestures, but it is a great idea to give your sweetie something that is going to last for years to come. And we all know that candles are uber romantic, right? So, why not give your significant other a couple candles and holders, classy crystal ones, of course!

Here are three ideas for beautiful Valentine’s gifts sure to impress your sweetheart:

Art Deco Votive:

These crystal votives are a small but elegant. Make a statement with a trio of them or deck out a room in them to dial up the romance.

Not only are these made of high quality crystal but they are quite affordable at under $12 per votive.

Slice Votive:

Looking for something a bit more modern for a Valentine’s Day gift? Look no further than the Slice votive. The Slice Votive Candle Holder features a unique and contemporary spiral design in a thick, clear non-lead crystal format. This stunning piece is the end result of design competition at the Parsons School of Design in New York. A group of students participating in the contest were taken to Germany on a tour of the Riedel Glassworks factories to spark their creativity, and Viktoriya Braginsky won the award with this modern design, which reflects the talent of this young American artist. This design also available in a 10-inch vase.

Two-armed Crystal Candle Holder:

This artfully designed candle holder makes a bold statement on its own. Not only does it make a perfect gift for that special someone, but it is also a great housewarming present or for a birthday.

Whether you have a romantic, no-expense-spared evening planned, a low-key evening at home or a gathering of friends, Valentine’s day should be enjoyed. However you plan on spending Valentine’s Day this year, I hope you have a fantastic one!

Beer Growlers: Available at a Liquor Store Near You

If you are a beer aficionado, then you’ve no doubt heard of beer Growlers. Beer Growlers are ideal for those who want to get the best deal on purchasing their favorit craft beer. These large glass jugs that can be purchased at some liquor stores and filled with a variety of brews.Why buy a growler instead of your favorite six-pack of craft beer? The cost can be significantly lower. Instead of paying around $10  for a six-pack, a growler holds more pours for the same price. The growler itself can be purchased for a one-time nominal fee, usually around three or four dollars.

Growler vs. six or twelve packs:

  • Use the growler over and over again – no need to deal with any recycling
  • Growlers hold more than a six-pack, so it saves money
  • Easy storage – buy

Caring for your Beer Growler
Make sure to wash your Beer Growler out thoroughly before getting it refilled. Don’t use soap as it can be hard to get out of the growler and sometimes leaves a residue that will affect the taste of your next brew. Instead of soap, use hot water.

Many beer advocates recommend consuming the entire contents of your Growler in one sitting to get the best taste from the beer. However, if consumed within two to three days of opening, the taste should be unaffected. Growlers can be stored for up to two weeks if they remain unopened. Be sure it is in a cool, dark place as well. In addition, for optimal taste, serve your brews to your guests in the best glasses for optimal taste – Spiegelau beer glasses. Here’s a link to the Spiegelau connoisseur set. Cheers!

Father’s Day Barware Gifts

Father’s Day is fast approaching and will be here before you know it. We all seem to remember to do something nice for mom, but just seem to forget that Dad needs to be remembered as well. Besides a nice tie or coffee mug here are some gifts that most dads will appreciate this Father’s Day.

Perhaps your Dad appreciates a good Beer or Spirits of some sort. Riedel has got you covered whether that is Tequila, Sherry a Martini or something in between. These selections of crystal glasses come in sets of two and are available starting at under $20.

Is your pop strictly a beer lover? Then you’ll want to get him the beer connossiueur set from Spiegelau. The beer glasses come in a set of four: Wheat, Pilsner, Lager and Tulip. Believe it or not, the shape of a glass really does play an important role in the optimum taste of each type of beer according to Spiegelau. And apparently thin glass is important as well for promoting malty sweetness and hop bitterness to it’s fullest potential.

Of course, every good bartenders needs a good barware set, right? WMF has got you all set with what may just be the cutest set of bar tools you will ever see.  Every piece has a face on it – from the bear face on the strainer to the shark (with teeth) ice tongs. All the pieces have rounded handles, and a stainless steel finish. See the full barware set here.

With pool season in full swing, Dad will no doubt want a case to carry his brews up the pool or to the beach with him. Check out this tote available from Built. It’s perfect to take to the beach, park, or party, and keeps beverages cool up to four hours. This beer tote is as slim as a thin mint when not in use, but don’t be deceived by its size—it expands to fit the canned or bottled beverage of your choice.

Show dad how thoughtful you can be and get him something he can use for years to come. Remember Father’s Day is Sunday, June 17, so don’t wait another minute putting off buying dad a terrific gift.

Tea Infusers for Loose Leaf Teas

Loose leaf tea sales have become extremely popular in the last several years. There are all kinds of different flavors of loose leaf teas available. Many argue that loose leaf teas give a better brew of tea than the traditional tea bags. Some tea enthusiasts even prefer to brew their own blend of tea.

Of course if you want to brew loose leaf tea you will need an infuser. The idea is the ease of removal of the tea leaves once you are done brewing your tea. Experts recommend not leaving the tea leaves in your water too long. This causes them to overbrew which leads to bitter tea.

The best thing to do is a use an infuser in a teapot. Simply place the leaves into the tea strainer in the teapot, add water and wait for your tea to brew. There’s even a whistle to let you know when the water is boiling. This is much more convenient versus other brewing methods which require you to boil your water elsewhere and then add to a strainer in a cup. This gets everything done in one step.

When ready, lift out the infuser with the leaves and you’re left with clear tea. The strainer lifts right out of the kettle for easy clean up.

Looking for a quality tea infuser? Made of stainless steel, the WMF Ball Tea Kettle with Infuser combines a beautiful design with sophisticated functionality. The strainers is perfectly sized to allow the tea leaves to develop their flavor,

• Brews up to 1-1/2 quarts of tea
• Removable whistle on spout adds merry note to tea-brewing
• Removable infuser fits into kettle opening with lid removed
• Made of heavy 18/10 stainless steel polished to mirror finish
• Lifetime warranty against defects

For the perfect cup of tea every time, the WMF Ball Tea Kettle with Infuser is the best choice. The elegant design is something any tea lover will be proud to display in their kitchen. Surprise the tea lover in your life with this Tea Kettle.

Barware Makes Great Gifts for Dad’s and College Grads

It’s that time of year when we start to think about Dads and Grads. Father’s Day and Graduations are upon us. One of the best gifts we can give Graduates and Fathers is a nice set of barware.

One of the things that make barware such great gifts is that you can start small and add to it as time goes on. It isn’t like fine china where it is necessary to have the entire set or it is incomplete. A couple nice wine or beer glasses, a cool decanter or liquor holder is all you need to start the collection. Here are some picks for barware and accessories that is sure to please Dads and Grads.

Wine Decanters
Wine decanters are certainly prettier than serving wine out of the bottle. >Wine decanters also serve a purpose. The transfer of the wine to the carafe and the amount of time the wine is exposed to oxygen will further develop the wines bouquet. Another reason for decanting is to separate the clear wine from the deposits at the bottom of the bottle also influencing the quality of the wine. Serving a good wine is a ritual for connoisseurs as well as new wine enthusiasts.

Basic Wine Set
Even if one only drinks wine on occasion, a good wine set is a necessity. With the WMF Basic 3 Piece Wine Set, WMF put together 3 of their best and basic wine tools that is a must for every wine bar! The Vino Foil Cutter. Vino Winged Corkscrew and the Vino “Corky” Bottle Stopper. Not just a pretty set, it is useful too!

Old Fashioned Cocktail Glasses
The Nachtmann Dancing Stars Bossa Nova Double Old Fashioned Pair is exquisitely crafted out of Lead-free Crystal. What’s so fabulous about these glasses is that they combined the classic look of cocktail glasses but incorporate the new checkered pattern in to the design. These crystal glass products do not fail to charm each time they are used, separately or paired with other items from the Bossa Nova line.

Drink / Beer Glasses
This is a terrific set to have. The glasses work well for beer but can also be used for cocktails too. So, they are dual purpose. The set is the perfect gift for a college student to start their barware collection or for a dad who enjoys a cocktail or beer on occasion.

Add a touch of class to your own collection or give a classy gift by choosing any of these barware options from Culinary Outfitters. We guarantee your Dad or Grad will be pleased that you thoughtfully purchased functional and decorative barware that can be enjoyed for years to come!

The Beer Connoisseur’s Beer Glasses

Spiegelau is a maker of high end wine and beer glasses. The German-manufactured glasses are high quality, but durable, even dishwasher safe. Never heard of the Spiegelau brand before? They are THE glasses in which to enjoy your beer as any beer connoisseur will tell you.

The beer glasses come in a set of four: Wheat, Pilsner, Lager and Tulip. Believe it or not, the shape of a glass really does play an important role in the optimum taste of each type of beer according to Spiegelau. And apparently thin glass is important as well for promoting malty sweetness and hop bitterness to it’s fullest potential.

The beer glasses while quality, are very lightweight. It helps promote the attributes of the beer, for the best taste. It’s also great for us gals who don’t want to pick up heavy glasses but do appreciate a good beer. Wouldn’t it be great if more restaurants and bars would adopt this barware?

Both the wheat and pilsner beer glasses have a slimish shape with wider rims that bottom, which help to promote the aromas in both beers. However, the wheat glass is much larger than the pilsner, holding nearly 25 ounces. Besides the obvious lager beer, the lager beer glass is well-suited for IPAs too. The glass is similar to a pint glass except wider at the mouth than the base, to promote the hoppiness of the beer.

Belgian beers should be consumed at a higher temperature than other beers, so let it sit for a while before sipping on it. And that tulip shape – not quite beer glass, not quite wine glass, seems just perfect for a sipping beer, which Belgian beers tend to be.

These beer glasses are so lightweight and elegant compared to the heavy, clunky beer glasses found elsewhere. But don’t get us wrong, these glasses are quite masculine too. Order them in sets of two by the type of glass or order the Beer Connoisseur Set. Tip: Father’s Day is just around the corner. The set makes a terrific gift for Dads or any beer lover!

Wine Totes and Carriers

Wine is kind of the like the perfect gift. It is kind of a safe gift too. It’s a good bet that most like and drink wine. And wine comes in many different price ranges. So, it is easy to purchase a bottle of wine and stick within a certain budget. But wouldn’t it be great if there were something a little better than those generic gift bags, found at every major retailer, to deliver you wine in? Well now there is.

A company called Built makes a Fishnet Wine tote. Here’s the neat thing about this wine tote: not only is it really cool and sexy looking to give, but it is reusable. So, when you give a bottle of wine as a gift, you can give the second gift of the wine tote and carrier.

This wine carrier not only has a sexy fishnet look to it, but it is stores flat for easy storage. Don’t be fooled by its small size, it expands and can hold a 1L bottle of vino.

Here are some of the other terrific features of this wine tote / carrier:

  • •Expands to carry and protect one 750ml–1L bottle
  • •Soft-grip handle
  • •Stores flat
  • •Stain resistant

But what about having one for yourself, right? Built also makes wine totes for single or multi-bottle carrying. These “wetsuits for wine bottles” as they are dubbed, are made of the same material that surfers’ body suits are made of. The Neoprene material is designed to keep your wine chilled. It also does a great job of ensuring they don’t clink together during transport.  They, too make a terrific gift, especially in the red or stylish black and white design.

Oh and if it’s beer you wish to carry, Built has totes and carriers for those too. There’s a great line of beer totes and carriers for the beach, picnics, travel and more. Get the normal black or the stylish blue / orange colored beer carrier. This comfortable to hold and carry tote makes carrying a six-pack to the party a breeze. And don’t worry if you have a bit of drive. Forget the cooler – with this stylish tote, your beverages will remain chilled for several hours.


Four Wine Accessories Every Wine Enthusiast Should Have

When it comes to your wine, WMF has you covered from opening, enjoying, and preserving your wine. WMF has such a stylish and affordable line of wine accoutrements that you’ll wonder how you lived without them.

First things first, you’ve got to open that bottle to enjoy it. The Vino Variable Corkscrew is probably the only corkscrew you’ll ever need. Due to its patented movable external buttons this corkscrew adapts automatically to all bottlenecks. No worries about fighting to get your bottle open.

Of course, you always have to remove that foil from the top of the wine bottle before you can pop the cork right? Why fight with it using a knife or the point of the corkscrew? Instead use an efficient foil cutter. Simply place this ergonomically designed tool flat on top of the bottle, hold and turn. It makes the process so much simpler.

While most times, you’ll enjoy a bottle in its entirety in one evening, there are times when a bottle must be kept for a day or two. Why just put the cork back in when you could provide a seal that does a better job of preserving your wine? The Zufix Bottle Stopper is versatile and so effective it will taste like the bottle was newly opened when you enjoy it the next day or two later. It fits most wine bottles and seals them air-tight! Comes in assorted colors including blue, orange, red, and green. The set of four is only $9.99.

If you have taken any wine education courses or have read up about wine, you probably are aware that red wine needs to “air out” a bit to be enjoyed at its optimal flavor. This process just means the wine mixes with oxygen to develop its flavor. So, you can certainly open the bottle and let it breathe for a while, or you can pour it in a decanter and let it do its thing.

But what if you don’t want to wait? That’s when the WMF decanting funnel comes in handy. This WMF decanting funnel is super classy but it is also speeds up the process of aerating your wine. The sieve catches any cork or deposit when decanting. The fine holes at the end of the funnel distribute the wine widely over the inside surface of the decanter allowing the wine to become enriched with the air it needs to develop its typical bouquet.

This set would make a lovely gift for a housewarming present. It is perfect for a couple just starting out or a young single getting their first apartment home. The wine package including the Decanter, Wine Opener, Wine Stoppers, and Foil Cutter is less than $80. Gift idea: package this set in a gift basket for an elegant and thoughtful presentation.