We’re seeing a little movement out there and that’s encouraging, but the team here behind wine down and chill asks that everyone continues to do their part by social distancing and practicing good hygiene. Many of you have begun venturing onto your balconies and patios with the warmer weather while most of us are drinking more wine lately with virtual happy hours (VHH) so we understand that you want some suggestions so that you can pour yourselves a glass! Got it; let’s get to it.
We’ll continue to offer affordable suggestions for music, wine, dinner and movies with a different wine down and chill theme each week. You can also follow me on Instagram for wine art and photography @WineDownAndChill. We’re here to help you sit back, wine down and chill. If you missed an article, fret not! You can find every article here.
If you like podcasts, well, wouldn’t you know, I’ve got one of those, too! Join me for Women-in-Tech “Like a BOSS” every week for snappy insights in a quick power-up 10 minute format; find it on Apple, iHeart Radio, Spotify and more. And, we’ve got a surprise coming – stay tuned for the pending launch of our wine down and chill podcast.
Theme: Tiger’s Eye
Global pandemic? Check. Insane unemployment? Check. We need more than wine here in our wine down and chill column, we need talismans like tiger eye. Spiritual believers value the red-brown chatoyant (eye-like reflection) stone confers protection, good luck, focus and healing of mental illness. Hence, all things tiger seemed like the way to go for this week’s theme.
Summer’s almost here – can you taste it? Here in the greater NYC area, we had a dose of summer at 84˚F and sunshine last weekend. This weekend? We’re bracing for cold and snow. It’s a good thing we’re all social distancing at home so that we can pretend it’s summer.
Listen: Eye of the Tiger
On the topic of rising above challenges, there is nothing quite like the motivational power of Survivor’s song, Eye of the Tiger, not to mention the highly relevant name of the band behind it. For your wine down and chill playlist list this week, here are another 50+ songs. Who knew there were that many tracks with “tiger” in the title?!
Learn: the rise of Seltzer
Seltzers have been around for a long time in Germany, arguably the world’s connoisseurs of the bubbly water. J.J. Schweppe, a Swiss-German, was seltzer’s first influencer when he launched back in 1783. Nearly two centuries later, in 1971, Perrier launched the seltzer movement in the US. Now, nearly 50 years later, seltzer is truly a “thing.” Americans are consuming around 200 millions cans per year and sales are rising almost 10% year over year. Seltzer has become a national obsession with home-brew appliance sales exploding 10-fold in the last five years. Global sales of non-alcoholic seltzers are projected to hit $6 Billion in the US by next year.
Seltzer has exploded onto the scene. Some refer to hard seltzer as “Gen Z’s Zima” whereas others call it “Millennial champagne.” Whatever you call it, there is no denying its popularity. Last year, hard seltzers accounted for $2.5 Billion in sales with White Claw grabbing the tiger’s share of the payload at $1.5 Billion in sales; the company is forecasting a staggering $4 Billion in sales for 2020. If you’re curious as to which brands Good Housekeeping selected as its favorites, here you are.
Club soda, seltzer, sparkling and tonic waters are all carbonated waters. Club soda is produced through artificial carbonation and the addition of minerals. In contrast, sparkling mineral water is a natural club soda with waters derived from bubbling springs. Tonic water results from the addition of quinine (in the news as a source of the anti-malarial drug) to either club soda or sparkling mineral water. Seltzers originated in Germany but have grown popular worldwide with the addition of natural fruit flavors.
No tigers were hurt here
Since I couldn’t come up with a wine down and chill selection that was on theme with tigers (which is unusual as I firmly believe that there is a wine for everything!), I scoured the internet. In my horror, I was aghast to learn about tiger wines, an outlawed and ancient practice in China that still makes a play in the nefarious and shady underground markets. Thankfully, cultural practices are changing around the world to be more kind to animals but there’s still a lot of room for improvement.
For those of you that missed a wine selection from today’s wine down and chill column, here’s a way that can mind the gap. Purchase a custom tiger striped wine label from one of the craftspeople on Etsy to help as a way to help a small business and affix that label on your favorite wine. Voila – cruelty-free tiger wine!
Wine: White Claw Hard Seltzer
Mark Anthony Brands has been on the scene with “hard” (meaning, alcohol-infused) beverages for a while. Mike’s Hard Lemonade continues to be brand for the company but its White Claw Hard Seltzer has taken the company to soaring new heights. In fact, today’s wine down and chill selection scaled back marketing last year because they couldn’t keep up with demand, not to mention how the brand seems to “sell itself” through word of mouth and the appeal of gender-neutral black and white marketing themes. With nearly $400 million set aside to build new production facilities in Arizona and New Jersey, the company is well positioned to keep up with demand once those plants open sometime later this year.
Part of the appeal is the 5% alcohol by volume level and 100 calories per can which comfortably allow sipping more than one can per sitting. A gluten-free alcohol base and reduced sugar content are also broadly appealing to today’s younger consumers. Several fruit flavor options are currently available with more to come, including half size (6 oz) cans. Stay tuned – summer just got more interesting.
Dine: Tiger Shrimps
Sustainably sourced, tiger shrimps, particularly the giant ones, offer mouth-water flavors packed with protein. Don’t be boring – you can do more than flavor today’s wine down and chill menu item with garlic, butter and lemon. Skewer them, cook them up on the grill, then coat them in soy sauce, ginger, fresh green onions and Thai chili sauce. Yum! Assuming, of course, that you’re not deathly allergic to the little beasts.
Watch: Tiger King
Perhaps the trend has already passed us by. For the twelve people that haven’t yet watched this intriguing docuseries chronicling the fascinating life of Joe Exotic, a big cat park owner and polygamist with an over-the-top sense for the grandiose and himself, complete with a run for President, you need to see it while you still can. Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness is must-watch TV.
Within the first ten days of the release of this critically acclaimed Netflix true crime series, more than 34 million people watched it, marking it as one of the most successful releases for the streaming services provider. The series not only dives into how Joe’s life fell apart in a nefarious attempt to take out Carole Baskin, his archnemesis, but it highlights how all the lives of the real people involved in the scandal have changed since the show debuted. It’s a nice closed-loop that you don’t often see from Hollywood.
It’s the weekend. Time to wine down and chill. Cheers!