Category Archives: Uncategorized

Celebrate Repeal Day!

Of all the national holidays we celebrate with glasses raised, one day is more deserving of that fanfare than all the others.

December 5th marks the anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition – the 81st anniversary, as of 2014. The enactment of the Twenty-First Amendment in 1933 was one of the greatest milestones in American history, marking the only time a constitutional amendment (the Eighteenth) has been repealed.

Prohibition was a time unlike any other in the United States. What began in the late 19th century as advocacy for temperance quickly became a drive toward teetotalism that would cleave a nation, turn law-abiding citizens to lawlessness, drive governmental crime and corruption, fund astonishing levels of gang violence, spark a monumental shift in social customs, especially for women, and profoundly shake public faith in federal institutions. It spawned speakeasies, generated the word scofflaw, and fanned the careers of people like Lois Long, a writer and socialite in New York City whose illicit escapades into Prohibition’s kaleidoscopically colorful nightlife the rest of the city followed ardently.

gal-prohibition18-web-jpg1922, St. Pierre, champaigne being offloaded 2 (Mrs.Y.Andrieux Collection)

Consequently, its rescission demonstrated a national willingness to accept and remedy misguided policy, returned funding to a government in straits, and rekindled a national industry and traditions whose legacies carry on today. Yet for decades – up until about eight years ago, when Portland bartender Jeffrey Morgenthaler began officially championing the reinvigoration of Repeal Day – December 5th passed almost unnoticed.

Morgenthaler, who had been encouraging his patrons to celebrate Repeal Day for years, began using his blog in 2006 to publicize the date, which he felt far more people ought to fete. Reaching out to like-minded industry bloggers and bartenders across the country and beyond, Morgenthaler began to build a small but stalwart support for the cause, which quickly snowballed.

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Today cities from Seattle to Chicago to Washington, D.C. commemorate December 5th with parties, decor, drink specials and general revelry, and while the movement is still gathering steam, it seems a likely candidate for imminent adoption by the masses. After all, who doesn’t want another excuse to celebrate?

Today, spread the word to customers and coworkers alike – for most people, all it takes for them to get in the Repeal Day spirit is knowing about the occasion. And after work, we recommend gathering your friends, popping a bottle of wine or champagne, pouring a mugful of foamy beer, or kicking back with classic cocktails – because you can. Cheers to Repeal Day!

Z24.1679 H.L. Mencken1920s-dresses-womens-hats-flappersyoutube20140218-110515

A version of this post appeared today on our sister blog, Twine Living.

 


Sources: Jeffrey Morgenthaler, PBS. Images: Copp Brewery, Gallery Hip, Grand Colombier, EWM Interactive, The Daily Beast, New York Daily News, YoutubeDaily of the Day.

Dogs of True: Taiko

Meet Taiko, product model extraordinaire and one of our many #DogsOfTrue!

Taiko Modeling

Name: Taiko

Job Title: Product Model

Taiko & BoneModel Taiks

Person: Val, Marketing Design Manager

Val

Best Dog Friend: Shadow

Shadow & Taiko

Time at True: 1 year, 8 months

Puppy Taiks

Favorite True Product: Playful Pup Bottle Holder

Eating the Bottle

Favorite True moment: When we moved into our new office, the first time I got to run around the roof with the other dogs. It was the BEST.

Dog Collision!

(Left to right: Oakley, Rain, Cedar, me and Rasta. You’ll meet them all soon.)

Favorite activity: I love testing the Beer and Wine FREEZE Cups – I take them from Erin in HOST and run around the office with them.

Erin in Crate

(That’s Erin in my kennel.)

Office Friends

(I’m very popular.)

Signature trick to get attention: Tripping, bumping into walls.

Clumsy Taiks

Worst trouble I ever got into: One time Val went into a meeting without me, so I pulled all the papers off her desk and ate her catalog.

Hard at Work

Fun Facts: I’m the only known dog to have failed the guide dog test on clumsiness alone. Here’s what my reviewer said about me:

“Early in training, it was noticed that Taiko lacked coordination and general body control, tripping and even falling on a regular basis, especially on stairs. He was thoroughly examined by our vet and an outside neurology specialist. Though nothing definitive was found during medical testing, his coordination was compared to that of a 6 month old puppy. It was decided that Taiko’s lack of coordination could pose safety issues when guiding a blind client. Due to this, Taiko is being career changed. He is a friendly and affectionate dog who will make a nice addition to a loving family home.”

The entire True team was ecstatic when I failed the test – and I got to come back to Val and True for keeps!

Canadian Tuxedo TaikoTaiko at the OfficePuppy Pillow

 

Follow me on Instagram @TaikoWaiko, and check back on the True Blog soon to meet my fellow #DogsOfTrue.

National Apple Cider Day: A Revolutionary History

Shutterstock Cider

A lot of food holidays are arbitrary. (You just missed National Pizza With the Works Except Anchovies Day, for instance.) But National Apple Cider Day comes with a folkloric history.

According to legend, on November 18, 1307,  William (Wilhelm) Tell and his son Walter were passing through the town square in the Swiss Alpine village of Altdorf. At the center of the square stood a pole, upon which the town bailiff, Gessler, had placed his hat. The hat stood for the imperial Austrian authority, under whose rule Switzerland was subjugated, and which Gessler represented. All who passed before the hat were to bow, upon penalty of death.

As can be expected with this type of legend, William Tell refused to bow. Gessler ordered Tell’s immediate arrest. Seeking to make an example of the dissident, Gessler then posed Tell, who was a known marksman, a simple challenge: shoot an apple from his son’s head, and both would be allowed to walk free. Miss, and both would die.

Altdorf

Altdorf, Switzerland.

Tell took two arrows from the selection offered, and took aim at the apple atop Walter’s head. He shot cleanly through it. Tell was then asked what he had taken an additional arrow for, and he replied that had his son been harmed, it would have been for Gessler. At this second act of treason, Gessler refused to release Tell. Instead, he had him bound, and Gessler himself set off with Tell to bring him to jail in Kussnacht.

Had there not been a storm in sailing to Kussnacht, Apple Cider Day still might not have a backstory. Instead, a storm blew up on Lake Lucerne, and the crew released Tell, who was capable of steering the boat to shore. Tell leapt to shore himself, pushed the boat with Gessler and his crew back out onto the wind-whipped lake, and set off to Kussnacht. There, he awaited Gessler’s party, and as they approached in pursuit he shot Gessler through the heart. As the story goes, the act would spark a series of events that would lead to the Swiss revolution.

True or not, eight hundred years later people across the globe commemorate the folkloric incident by sipping cider on the same day.

Wilhelm

Statue of William and Walter Tell in the town square in Altdorf, Switzerland.

Apple cider itself is more tightly bound up in American revolutionary history than in Swiss. It was a de facto national drink of choice around the time of the revolution, which circumvented colonial dependence on Old World imports like wine and tea. Another folk hero, Johnny Appleseed (John Chapman), is to thank for taking seeds from Pennsylvania cider mills and planting the early states’ western frontiers with apple trees, paving the way for American expansionism. As pioneers moved west, hardy fruit awaited them. The apples were used not to eat (cider apples are extremely bitter, often to the point of inedibility) but to make cider, a safe alternative to water that likely helped many colonists, including children, survive.

Cider apples

Cider apples in Sister Bay, Wis.

Today, the joys of apple cider are being rediscovered.  The fruit is so genetically diverse that the seed of any given apple will grow to produce a fruit entirely unique from its predecessor, meaning there is no shortage of apple varieties to be explored. Meanwhile, traditional American cider apples, used in colonial times and reproduced over the years by grafting, are resurfacing along with a cider culture that has begun to truly recover for the first time since Prohibition. Cider bars, cider festivals, cider pairings and cider cocktails – even cider mimosas – are all trending at breakneck speed.

Thanks to its renaissance, November 18 is certainly a day to celebrate.

Cider Cocktail

Craft cider cocktails – find five cider cocktail recipes on our sister blog, Twine Living.


 

Sources: Swiss Info, The Smithsonian, Ken B Travels, Sister Bay, The Boys Club and Cidercraft Magazine.

Trending: Innovative Beverage Branding

Hipster ChablisAbove: Glow-in-the-dark bottles of “Hipster Chablis” from prestigious Domaine William Fevre.

Welcome back to the True blog! We’ve been busy, but we’re ready to return with weekly posts dedicated directly to you, our readers. Here, you’ll find hypercurrent information addressing everything you need to know in the industry: wine, beer, spirits and merchandise trends, gift guides, retail tips and tricks, the stories behind our products and people, and go-to beverage basics to rely on. Bookmark, and check back next week!


The beverage industry is rebranding.  Where the markers of the finest wines and liquors were once indecipherable French labeling, prestigious chateau designations and intricate design, today’s most enticing brands are bright, bold and modern.

Set 3 - Modern & artistic

Top left: Minneapolis’s Bauhaus Brew Labs Sky Five. Top right: Queseria La Antigua de Fuentesauco, inspired by vintage milk bottles. Bottom right: La Cale, France. Bottom left: Kabinet Brewery, Serbia.

The trend stems from both the producer and consumer sides. For producers, obstacles to joining the industry are ever fewer. New World wine regions are unlocking their potential, encouraging a plethora of new winemakers in regions from the Finger Lakes to South Africa and Walla Walla to New Zealand. Antiquated liquor laws are relaxing their grip on small-scale distillers. Beverages once considered second-tier, including beer and cider, have risen dramatically in quality and, accordingly, prestige. These advances have bred a healthy competition for consumers’ attention.

Set 1 - Young, fun & novel.

TL: Aluminum bottles support an outdoor adventure theme – Base Camp Brewing Co., Portland, Ore. TR: Niagara Oast House Brewers, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. Center left: Calif.’s Stack Wines come packaged in four unbreakable take-anywhere vessels. Bottom: 450 North Brewing Co., Columbus, Ind. Below: Great Raft Brewing, Shreveport, La.

Reasonably Corrupt

And more consumers are taking notice. Much has been made of the rising numbers of younger drinkers, especially Millennials. This generation is more adventurous than previous ones in its beverage decisions – nearly 15% of its members will try a new drink at any given bar, as compared to only 8% of the general population – and though Millennials’ spending power per capita is currently the lowest, overall spending power is expected to overtake every other market segment based on the generation’s raw numbers.

Millennials’ consumption patterns challenge producers to provide a unique experience sans wine snobbery at a low price point. These patterns reflect a larger democratization of beverage: where once fine wine and spirits served as status symbols, the movement to make them accessible across new demographics has simplified complex vocabulary,  devalued pretense and made it okay for drinkers to like a beverage simply because it tastes good – no need to pick out all the subtle undertones and nuances.

Set 4 - Cross-boundary

TL: Rosso del Vigneto Nuovo bagged wine by Reverse Innovation. TR: Westbrook Brewing Co.‘s Gose, brewed in Mt. Pleasant, S.C. with coriander and sea salt. BR: Alcohol branding has crossed over into other specialty beverages, especially coffee. Here, Colo.’s Whiskey Barrel Coffee beans. BL: Paradise Gourmet Club coffee sampler in wood box.

As shelves fill with the bounties of a new guard of urban craft breweries and biodynamic micro-wineries, branding and packaging have become the most effective way to communicate accessibility and individuality. Bright colors, simplified labels and bold graphics are among the motifs of modern beverage packaging. Where vintage aesthetics are tied in, they are incorporated with a modern spin, and sometimes even ironically. Unconventional packaging shapes and functions are frequently used as building blocks of a unique brand identity. The overall outcome is a reconfiguration of the world of beverage as low-key, highly varied and enjoyable for everyone.

Nalewka

Above: A bottle of traditional Polish Nalewka designed by Foxtrot Studio in Warsaw.

Below: Where brands reach for traditional or handmade aesthetics, they often do so in a modern way. TL: Quebec’s Chic Choc Spiced Rum modernizes a classic look. TR: Stockholm-born global company Our/Vodka makes its liquor local by building microdistilleries in various cities, sourcing ingredients from nearby and naming the final product after that city. BR: Tennessee’s Ole Smoky Charred Moonshine, packaged in long-trending Mason jars. BL: Auckland, New Zealand’s Stolen’s Coffee & Cigarettes Spiced Rum goes for a handmade look.

Set 2 - Authenticity

 


Product popularity reflects the same trends. Brightly colored and playful beverage accessories have been enjoying steady increases in popularity, as have vintage pieces with a modern spin. Click to shop top sellers.

Ombres Screw It Santa Beerzillas       Boppers   Prost

 

 

Photo credits: Punch Drink, The Dieline, Uncrate.

Bruce on the Loose

Bruce is on the Loose! Get creative and take a picture of this fun guy for a chance to win $50 in True credit and an exclusive gift. Submit photos on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter with the hashtag #bruceontheloose. The photo with the most likes wins! Contest ends March 31, 2014 at 11:59 pm PST.

Bruce on a Dino Bruce Hides at Work

You represent that you own all copyrights in the photographs and have been given permission by each individual depicted or represented in the photo and bind such individuals to these release terms. As a condition of submitting your photo(s), you unconditionally and irrevocably 1) assign all copyrights and other ownership rights in the photo to True Fabrications, Inc. (“True”); 2) waive all claims to compensation for use of the photo; and 3) waive any claims under copyright law, right of publicity or privacy, misappropriation or misuse of image, defamation, and another common law or statutory claims under the laws of any jurisdiction. You acknowledge that True may, in its sole discretion, use said photos for any purpose including videos, publications, advertisements, catalogs, news releases, web sites, and any promotional materials in any medium of communications and may be used for advertising, promotion, the use of trade, and/or other commercial purposes.

No Plans for Friday? Our Top Tips for Cooking with Wine.

Twine_Enviro4_v2

Valentine’s Day, love it or hate it, is almost here. Don’t worry singles, you only have four more days of watching the lovebirds canoodle until VDday 2015. Lovebirds, if you’re not going out for dinner, why not stay home and cook for two? Here are the TrueFab top three tips for cooking with our favorite ingredient, wine!

1. Cook with what you’re drinking. If you’re serving red wine, don’t cook with white – the acidic flavor of the white won’t complement the richness of the red. Even better: buy two bottles of the same wine, one for cooking, one for drinking (bonus: if you cook with less, that means more to drink).

2. DO NOT COOK WITH “COOKING WINE.” This is likely a cheap wine with food coloring and nice packaging. You’re better off sticking with a classic two-buck chuck.

3. You can’t drink it? Don’t cook with it. Poor wine can ruin an otherwise wonderful dish. This can be tricky though (see point 1) as you may find yourself running low in the bottle as you sample your ingredients (hence, the importance of two bottles).

Cooking not your style? Wine and takeout pair quite beautifully as well.

Cheers to a very Happy Valentine’s Day from The True Fabrications Team

Sparkling Wine or Champagne? A Celebratory Primer.

Crop NYE

Champagne, by any other name, is typically a blend of of vibrant, high-acid wines blended down to create a house style that shouldn’t vary from year to year. While that is comforting when you’re looking for the old stand-by, smaller grower/producers are creating some vintage releases that are unique, vibrant, and still won’t break the bank. Look for champagne that is labeled RM (Recoltant Manipulant) and don’t be afraid to spend a couple dollars more than you might have on one of the big name Champagnes. The larger houses and distributors offer special incentives to retailers to offer these wines at small-losses, just to establish themselves as the champagne of choice. The return when buying RM wines should be two-fold; the retailer and the grower are getting paid, and you’re getting a wine that is hand-crafted and unique. Look for the vintage “Special Club” releases for wines that are typically affordable and are drinking well above above their price.

When looking outside of Champagne, there are terrific wines and terrific values. Franciacorta, Prosecco, and Moscato are all great options from Italy. Spain has their Cava, but beware the lowest priced bottles as they tend to be headaches waiting to happen. The Loire Valley has some incredible Samur Mousseaux, which is a Chenin Blanc perfect for seafood. Domestic wines are producing some excellent contenders, and offering them at very (very!) reasonable prices. Oregon and New Mexico (yes, really) are making some of our favorites.

So as you celebrate the New Year, think about exploring the versatility of these wines on a more regular basis. The bright acidity will cut through fats, and the toasty notes will come through in the finish. With bubbles becoming increasingly affordable, you can try them all and celebrate your way through the year!

National Game and Puzzle Week 2012

This year’s annual National Game and Puzzle Week is November 18th through the 24th, so gather your closest friends and family for some board game fun.

A perfect way to spend Thanksgiving week, a guaranteed great time while learning something new; ZinZig is the perfect game for you.  Grab 3 bottles of wine and up to 6 friends, and be the first to make it through the production process and up to the ZinZig Winery to win!

Compete individually or in teams, taste your way to the winning winery.  Along the way, players will avert disasters, swap and steal resources, and test how much they really know about wine. With over 250 trivia questions and blind wine tasting cards, ZinZig is the game that can be played over and over again.

ZinZig was designed by wine lovers for wine lovers. Drinking wine is a sensory experience and every aspect of the game was designed to replicate that. With trivia questions ranging in difficulty from novice to expert level, the game promises to be a good time for all oenophiles.

So, turn off the TV, unplug the phone, and pull out your ZinZig box; National Game and Puzzle Week is right around the corner.

A Glass of Red Wine a Day, Keeps The Doctor Away

I am sure you have heard red wine is good for your heart, but do you know why?

Many doctors agree a minimal amount of red wine each night can result in heart-healthy benefits, and it is because of resveratrol.

Resveratrol is a chemical found in various plants, including the skin of red grapes, and reaches the blood stream about 30 minutes after being consumed. It is an antioxidant that also has anti-inflammatory properties contributing to the heart-healthy benefits in red wines.

The effects of resveratrol were originally studied because of the French paradox, a puzzling fact that people in France, who enjoy a high-fat diet (rich cheeses and buttery croissants) seemed to suffer less heart disease than Americans.

After many studies, researchers believe that the amount of resveratrol in a glass of red wine each night may help prevent fat accumulation and reduce insulin resistance.  This can therefore lower bad cholesterol by protecting the lining of blood vessels, which lowers the risk of inflammation and clotting, preventing diabetes and obesity.

A four-ounce glass of wine is equivalent to one serving.  Generally speaking, men would benefit from consuming one to two glasses per day, while woman should consume just one serving per day to gain maximum benefits.  Those who consume three or more drinks per day increase their risk for “elevated serum triglycerides” (fat in the bloodstream), which can do long-term damage to the nerve cells in the liver and the pancreas.

So as the holidays approach, enjoy a glass or two of red wine guilt-free.

Find the Perfect Wine-Anytime, Anywhere

Have you ever walked through the wine aisle and had no idea what wine would complement the steaks you are marinating for dinner?  Or reminisced about that glass of wine you had last night that tasted of sweet red berries, plums, tomatoes and cherries but could not remember the name?

These top 5 apps will eliminate these problems right in the palm of your hand, and are perfect for every wine lover.

Wine Enthusiast Guide App has the ability to instantly transform your iPhone into a wine connoisseur.  Adding approximately 500 qualified reviews each month, the Wine Enthusiast Guide App gives you easy access to up-to-date details, ratings, reviews and retail prices for over 100,000 wines worldwide for $3.99.

Snap a photo of the label of your favorite bottle of wine and Snooth Wine App will do the rest.  This free image-based app can find wine stores near you, organize and store wines you have tasted and reviewed, or let’s you browse popular vintages.  Upgrade to Snooth Wine Pro for $4.99 to eliminate advertisements.

CellarApp has the ability organizes all the wines you love and the wines you hate by a list of names and vintages- your entire cellar in the palm of your hand for $4.99.

Hello Vino App is a free wine pairing and suggestion tool right at your fingertips.   Hello Vino offers an easy-to-use “Question & Answer” option giving you the ability to identify what wine to pair with a meal, buy for a special occasion, what is perfect for holidays or what flavor will satisfy your taste preferences at that moment.

Once you have decided what you are going to serve at your next dinner party, or what you want to order when you are out at that fancy dinner, be confident with how you are going to PairIt!  This interactive app for $4.99 suggests matches for over 180 varietals with 1,000 food items reducing all questions you may have about what to pair with your next dinner.

We would love to hear about your favorite wine apps!