Yearly Archives: 2011

How to Pair Wine & Chocolate

True Fabrications believes that wine and food go together hand in hand. The right wine with a meal can make the dining experience that much better. But what about wine and chocolate? Commonly paired together, wine and chocolate are thought by many to be a perfect combination. However, this is not always true. The wrong wine with the wrong chocolate can make for a very unpleasant experience.
To keep this from happening, consider the following when pairing these two foods. First, be selective with the chocolate you are choosing to go with your wine. While sweet milk chocolate is great by itself, the high sugar content has a habit of masking the sugars in certain wines and making them taste lifeless or even worse, astringent and harsh. According to CNN.com , the selected chocolate should never be sweeter than the wine it is being paired with. To keep this from happening, select a chocolate with a very high cacao percentage. This will help prevent your chocolate from being too sugary. Try our Brix Medium Dark, and Brix Extra Dark, with 60% and 70% cacao respectively. If you’re looking for an easy add on for wine sold in your store, the In Vino Veritas Bottle Neckers feature chocolate in the 64% and 71% cacao range and fit conveniently around the neck of a bottle.

In Vino Veritas Chocolate Neckers by True Fabrications

To choose the right wine, ask a professional who can provide a selection that has good balance. A wine that has a balance of sugar, acid and fruit will be perfect for chocolate. Wines like grenache, merlot and port all go well with chocolate. But, just because one wine goes well with a certain chocolate, does not mean it will pair well with another. Each wine and chocolate will pair differently. Wine and chocolate can be a very enjoyable experience. However, we would encourage you to pair wisely to get the most out of both your wine and the chocolate.

There’s Still One Holiday to Go: Don’t Forget about New Year’s Eve

While this week marks the end of the Christmas buying chaos, there is still one holiday that we would encourage our customers not to miss. New Years Eve is just around the corner and it is not too late to make sure your store has what it needs to finish off this very busy season. We at True Fabrications have found that our sales, and your sales, tend to be higher when Christmas or New Year’s Eve falls on a weekend. Because New Year’s Eve falls on a Saturday night this year, we would encourage our customers to be prepared for a busy selling window. Don’t miss out on lost sales opportunities this year. Consider the following products to help your customers ring in the New Year.

For many, celebrating the New Year would not be complete without champagne. Consider bringing in some champagne stemware for your customers who shop last minute. Also, for your leftover, open bottles of champagne, you can lock in the bubbles for another night using our best selling champagne stopper. This is a very popular item this time of year.

Champagne Stemware by True Fabrications

New Year’s is also a great time to feature champagne themed bags for customers who are looking to turn their purchase into a party gift. Consider our Pop Goes The Party Bag for a champagne themed bag. We also recommend our sheer sacks for those who want to dress up their bottle.

Wine Sacks by True Fabrications

Wine Sacks by True Fabrications

We know New Year’s is a big holiday for our customers. We would encourage you to not miss out on accessory sales next weekend. Cheers!

How to Store Wine: A Refresher on Proper Storage

Proper storage is essential for getting the most out of your wine. Whether you have a cellar in your basement, or just a few bottles in the pantry, taking good care of your wine will allow you to get the maximum amount of enjoyment out of each bottle.

There are a few basics to remember when storing wine long term. First, make sure your wine is kept in a dark area. Too much exposure to light can be damaging to wine. This same effect is true for beer. Next, make sure the selected dark space is cool and climate regulated. Wine stored in an area that is too warm can be problematic. True Fabrications recommends avoiding kitchens, laundry rooms, or any other space that can be heated up by appliance usage.  While dark and cool is good for wine, make sure the storage space does not get too humid. Humidity can cause mold to grow, ruining the flavor of the wine. If you own an extensive cellar, consider a device that controls the humidity in the room. This will help to fight off mold growth.

StorVino Wine Storage by True Fabrications

Next, make sure your bottles with real corks are stored on their sides. Wines that are stored upright for long periods can be affected by dry corks. If a cork dries up, it can let too much oxygen into the bottle, ultimately causing the wine to go bad. Once you’ve found the ideal space, consider a way to store your wine. Try the Storvino Modular & Transportable Storage System to let your wine rest. These six-bottle, U.S.-made crates snap together and can either be stacked up to create a large rack, or taken apart to be used as six-bottle crates for easy transportation.

Once you’ve found a good place to store your wine, consider how you want to organize it. Make sure to keep notes as to what wine is being stored in your cellar. Keeping notes will allow you to enjoy each wine’s peak drinking window. Consider cellar tags for easy viewing and a program like Cellar Tracker to keep tabs of your wine. Cellar Tracker allows you to keep track of your collection, while giving you each wine’s optimum drinking window.

Whether your collection has 10 bottles or 10,000 bottles, storing your wine correctly is the best way to enjoy each bottle to its fullest.

Wine Gifts for All Occasions

With a catalog of more than 800 products, True Fabrications offers great gifts for all occasions. Whether you’re looking for stocking stuffers, bridal shower gifts, or a birthday present for that hard to shop for uncle of yours, we have everything your store needs. Having a successful accessory section is a great way to make extra money in your store. With the positive news about this year’s holiday sales numbers, there is no time like the present to offer your customers a line of wine and bar accessories.

Creating a gift section and recommending products to accompany your customer’s purchases is a quick and easy up-sell. For example, consider the following products, to make sure your store is ready with gifts for all occasions.

Wine shops are excellent at recommending the right wine with the right food. If you can learn to pare the right accessory with the right wine, you can see your sales increase with each customer. Figure out why your customers are looking for a specific bottle and recommend the best accessory to go with it. For the bachelorette or girl’s night out, see our hand painted wine glasses. If someone buys a bottle of champagne, always recommend our best selling champagne stopper. This product is great around the holidays, thanks to Christmas and New Year’s Eve.  If someone comes in to buy a nice bottle of whiskey as a gift, suggest that they buy our glacier rocks to turn the gift into something even better.

Glacier Rocks Set by True Fabrications

Making recommendations such as these are a quick and easy way to boost your store’s revenue. Whether it’s having a quality, well priced corkscrew near the register, or a section devoted to gifts where you can recommend the right gift for the right wine, providing your customers with great gift ideas of all types is a necessity for every store.

Rack it Up! Sweet Storage Solutions for Your Wine

Whether you’re just entering the world of wine, or you’ve been purchasing bottles for decades, every wine drinker needs at least one good wine rack. True Fabrications has racks ranging in different sizes, shapes and styles. We believe we can help you find a rack that fits both your budget and the size/theme you’re trying to achieve.

Wine racks are an excellent purchase for more than one reason. First, using racks to store wine allows for safe and organized store. Instead of having a bottle sit on the counter or in the pantry, put it in a rack. Second, racks are a great way to display your wine, especially if you plan on using them for an event. Finally, with the variety of racks in our line-up, you’re sure to find a piece that accents your living space as art/home decor.

For the skier, check out the three bottle ski rack. For those who are into the outdoors, see our bear cub rack and our antler wine rack. For something a little more straightforward, the new, wine shrine has been an excellent selling six-bottle rack this year. For something a little more unique, see our Monterey Arbor racks. Finally, for a larger space, see our 32-bottle, wine barrel rack made from a used wine barrel. This elegant piece is perfect for the serious wine lover.

32 Bottle Wine Rack | True Fabrications

Whether it’s one bottle or 32, we have racks for every person and every occasion. Gives us a call and have your sales rep find the right rack for you.

Perfect Wine Pairings for Your Holiday Feast: Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is celebrated all across the U.S. in a number of ways. From dining with loved ones to watching parades and football, Thanksgiving officially kicks off the holiday season. Although the Thanksgiving meal is often marked by turkey and side dishes that have been passed down from generation to generation, True Fabrications would like to remind you to not forget about the wine this Thanksgiving.

 According to Better Homes and Gardens, more wine is consumed with the Thanksgiving meal than any other meal of the year. We would like to suggest a few wines that we think would pair well with this weekend’s meal. Because turkey is a lighter meat, a lighter wine with high acid is perfect for your table. A heavy read like cabernet or Syrah would overpower a meal like this and leave your mouth not being able to appreciate everything on your plate. Instead, if you are a die-hard red drinker, try a Pinot Noir. We recommend visiting your local wine shop and asking for a nice bottle from the Willamette Valley.

Two other wines that are great with Thanksgiving meals are Rieslings and Gewurztraminers. We recommend tracking down a bottle from Germany to enjoy this Thanksgiving. Our final recommendation would be a rose. A happy medium between red and white, Rose as well as the other wines listed are acidic enough to cleanse your pallet without overpowering your meal. From all of us at True Fabrications, have a great Thanksgiving!

Wholesale Wine Bags and Tubes for Your Business

With the holiday sales season officially kicking off next week, True Fabrications thought it would be worthwhile to go over some basics for the holidays. As wine and liquor stores arm themselves with extra stock for the gift giving season, it can be easy to forget merchandise other than wine and liquor. Obviously, wine, liquor and beer are the primary items your store is selling. However, forgetting to include wine bags and wine tubes this year will lead to many missed sales opportunities. Wine tubes and wine bags can easily be sold at a 100% markup. This is a great way to make extra money this holiday season.  Ask each person who buys a bottle(s) if they’re purchasing it for a gift. If so, have your bags and tubes at the ready to up sell!

Ruby Slippers Wine Bag by True Fabrications

True Fabrications offers bags at all price points, with many different themes and designs. No matter the store, we have a bag for your needs. Our most common bags are .79 to $1.75 paper bags. Because we originally started as a bag company, we work hard to still offer a wide selection. We offer from year round elegant bags that can also pose as Christmas bags, to those that are covered in Holiday cheer. Offering paper bags in your store is an easy way to make a few extra dollars with every sale.

Lovely Leaves Jute Bag by True Fabrications

If paper’s not what you’re looking for, we offer a number of fabric bags as well. Quite elegant and at a number of price points, upselling these bags around the holidays is a great idea.  Finally, don’t forget our jute bags. For a great natural look, our jute bags are where our company started. These classic bags have been with us since the beginning and are still quite popular.

Whether you prefer, paper, fabric or jute, we can help you find the right bags for your store. We highly recommend investing in some bags for the holiday season if you haven’t already. The margins are great and they are very easy to sell. Try some out and see what they can do for you and your business.

Guide to Viticulture & Encology in Washington State

Because True Fabrications is based in Washington State, we thought we would pay tribute to the Washington wine industry. Although the history of Washington wine is relatively young, the state of Washington is the second largest producer of wine when compared state by state. The diverse variety in climate from region to region in Washington allows the state to specialize in a variety of grapes. Grapes featured in Washington include Riesling, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah, just to name a few.

According to Washingtonwine.org, the wine industry “generates more than $3 billion for the state economy and it employs more than 14,000 people directly and indirectly.” Over the past 50 years, Washington wine has grown with every decade. To support its 11 federally defined American Viticulture Areas, Washington has invested in wine education. Washington State University and Central Washington University both boast very successful and in depth wine programs.  Many of the regional community colleges have picked up two year wine programs as well.

At WSU, the university’s Viticulture and Enology program focuses on the science and business of wine. The V&E courses take students to annual trade shows and meetings, winery and vineyard tours, and even a WSU Cougar Mediterranean Wine Cruise in the summer. Washington State offers undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs for scholars interested in wine-grape growing and winemaking, as well as critical research and development opportunities in the wine industry.

From the warmer areas in the east and the south, to the cooler climates in the west, the diversity across Washington’s landscape allows for a variety of grapes to flourish. For those unfamiliar with the expanding and vibrant Washington Wine Industry, we highly recommend taking the time visit or at least picking up a bottle next you’re at the store. We think you’ll like what you find.

Image Courtesy: Washington State Wine

 

The Harvest: How Climate Change Affects Where Wine Grapes Grow

With climate change constantly in the news, many people often ask about its effects on various wine growing regions around the world. While the extent and cause of the change in the climate is unclear, a shift in average temperatures and seasons has had an impact on areas that have traditionally been regarded as established growing regions. In fact, True Fabrications carries many essential books on the topic.

According to an article in USA Today, average temperatures are expected to be 2 to 4 degrees higher than they were in the 1970s. No matter the cause of such increases, the effects on many wine regions would be drastic. A temperature that is constantly warmer by 2 to 4 degrees would not only impact day to day growth, but also the push harvest to an earlier date. An article from Wired.com featuring the subject says the increase in temperature would “eliminate wine-grape production in many areas of the United States.” In America, areas like California’s famous Napa Valley and centuries-old wine growing regions overseas like those in Southern Europe would be dramatically altered and possibly eliminated.

However, this new change in weather would also open the door for other areas around the world to take up grape growing. Locations that have been too wet and cold in the past may become the new garden states for wine growing. Areas like Southern England, the Willamette Valley, Washington’s Puget Sound and New York’s Finger Lakes area, are a few of the places that have expanded in recent years. While many of these areas have already been established as great grape growing areas, their popularity will only continue to increase should the global climate continue to shift.

Image Courtesy: Washington’s Wine Country Regions, from www.washingtonwine.org/explore

Health Q&A: How Wine Can Prevent Diabetes


If you’re looking for a good excuse to open a bottle of red wine, look no further than its ability to reduce the risk the diabetes. True Fabrication has found that moderate consumption of wine can actually help reduce the risk by up to 40%, according to some studies. While we’re not suggesting you go on a bender in the name of leveling out your blood sugar, studies show that a glass of wine can help balance blood sugar levels that spike after a meal. At the same time, while a glass of wine a day can benefit the body, wine in excess can lead to weight gain and conditions like diabetes when consumed in excess. Moderation is the key to extracting benefits from your wine.

But just how does wine help your body? An article from naturalnews.com tells how grape skins and red grape juice are high in polyphenols. According to the article “These antioxidants have been shown to help the body regulate blood sugar, and may thereby help prevent or control diabetes.” When you eat, there is a spike in your blood sugar. The polyphenols help the body return this spike back to almost even levels. Having a glass of wine after a meal has proven to be equally effective as the diabetes drug avandia.

While there are many great reasons to enjoy a glass of wine with good friends, here’s another reason you can all drink to your health. Cheers!

Image: John Kasawa / FreeDigitalPhotos.net