NAKED WINERY BLOG
In honor of our newest club wine Off the Record Carmènere we sat down (virtually) and got real with our Club Naked team members Maija and Grace.
In true Zoom fashion, these lovely ladies threw on their best sweatpants and did their make-up for the first time in months to answer all of our burning Real Talk questions.
We started with a couple of ice breakers to check-in and catch up before we got down to the business of really spilling the tea. Enjoy!
What do you miss the most about our old normal? And what are you kind of unexpectedly enjoying about our new normal?
Grace: I really miss getting to hang out with Club members at all of the events that we usually do. Because that was a really big part of my day to day life, pre-COVID and now I’m not really able to do those things. So, I really used to enjoy getting to hang out and getting to know members on this whole new level. But we just did the Rogue River Rafting trip with Club Naked and that was a wonderful opportunity to get to know those people on the river so much better. However, I am enjoying that I currently live out in the middle of the woods. So I can take a quick hike at lunch and enjoy all of the wildlife, like a huge buck that was hanging out in my front yard this morning. It’s kind of fabulous. Although the reality that I am going to be shoveling a lot of snow this year is just starting to sink in.
Maija: I’ll definitely second Grace on missing Club events. Not being able to share fun things with members and have that time getting to connect with them is a bummer. The Rogue trip was so much fun! We went from doing nothing for the last 5 months to doing a four day trip with people. It was like a little teaser and I’m excited for when we are able to start events back up again. I miss the camaraderie in the office too, just seeing other people and the day to day interaction with other people that just aren’t able to happen right now. I’m also a little bit of a hermit anyway, so I feel like COVID has given me the opportunity to get into my own routine and live in my own little bubble and I kinda like it. I like the flexibility of my schedule now that I’m working from home.
Is a hotdog a sandwich: The great dilemma of our time?
Grace: It’s a taco. Because of the way you hold it, it’s not a sandwich. Like, pizza is an open-faced sandwich, but if you fold your slice in half it’s also a taco.
Maija: A hotdog is just one piece of bread, so it’s not a sandwich. I agree with Grace, it’s definitely a taco. I think it has a lot to do with how you hold it.
If there were a song that would play when you walked into any room what would it be?
Grace: That’s a hard one, because no matter what you chose it would probably eventually ruin that song for you because you would hear it every time you opened a door. Like, Ugh this song again!
Maija: Probably any song by Lizzo, because no matter what it is most people are gonna be stoked and will wanna dance with you. Although I have noticed a trend where people send me songs about wine, so maybe one of those would be more appropriate.
If you were arrested with no explanation, what would your friends and family assume you had done?
Grace: Attached googly eyes to a building… defacing public property? Like graffiti or something.
Maija: They’d probably assume that I stole a dog.
What did you think was cool when you were younger that is not cool now?
Grace: Those butterfly barrettes. I used to put them all over my head, like a crown of butterflies.
Maija: Candy cigarettes.
If you could come back in another life as any animal, what would you want to be and why?
Grace: I would love to come back as my dog. She is 14 and has had such a great life. She’s truly spoiled every day.
Maija: When I was growing up I really wanted to be a horse and then my dad told me I couldn’t be a horse. So, I decided I wanted to be a dolphin instead. A dolphin would be cool.
What is the last random act of kindness you performed?
Grace: I don’t go into public very often these days, but I’m pretty good at complimenting people. Even if I don’t know them. I like to pay compliments forward.
Maija: This one makes me feel like I should do more nice things for people. I did just send a bottle of champagne to one of my friends, who I miss a lot.
What fact amazes you every time you think about it?
Grace: I was listening to a podcast and one thing that I can’t wrap my head around still, is that all the people who are alive today only represent about 7% of the total number of humans who have ever lived over the course of human history.
Maija: I’m pretty fascinated by dogs' noses and their scent abilities. I just read recently that dogs can smell a teaspoon of sugar in a million gallons of water. Which totally blows my mind.
If you could ask your pet three questions, what would you ask them?
Grace: I would wanna know how I could make her more comfortable. Why does she act like she’s being abused when I leave her at my parent's house when I go out of town? Because I know they are spoiling her rotten, so like why is she acting like that? Do you dream as vividly as humans do?
Maija: I would wanna know are you really that excited to see me or do you just know that I’m gonna feed you? What do you want to be when you grow up? What are you gonna do with that squirrel if you catch it?
What are your favorite holiday season traditions?
Grace: Instead of doing Christmas dinner, we choose a different ethnic food and then everyone brings a dish from the country we chose. We also do a big white elephant with different themes. I think this year it will be books. So everyone brings your favorite books to exchange.
Maija: I really like cutting down my own Christmas tree. Like going into the woods and finding our tree and bringing it home to decorate. I think it’s really fun. We also like to try and watch a holiday movie every day during the month of December.
What is the best prank you’ve ever pulled?
Grace: In college three of my guy friends lived in a house across campus, and my roommate and I broke into their house. We stole all of their underwear and hung them up like prayer flags in the front of their house. They were super confused when they got home. Then they stole all of our underwear and we didn’t even notice.
Maija: My roommates in college used to have prank wars with the guys upstairs and the best one they actually did to us. They duct-taped the outside of our front door shut and then filled the space in between with packing peanuts. So when my roommate went to open the door to go to class, all of the packing peanuts just flooded into the house and then she had to kick down the duct tape to get out. It was really funny.
Some things in life just make you feel good. Things like getting into bed with freshly washed sheets, finding a $20 bill in an old pair of pants, or pouring a big glass of wine at the end of a long day. It’s a million little things like these that make up our shared human experience, universal and totally relatable simple pleasures that seem to cross all differences and divides.
This little quarter never felt so big, and we are celebrating the small moments in life that make a world of difference. Moments like sleeping in on a rainy day, when you have nowhere you have to be. As the rain beats lightly against the window, you nestle your head deeper into your pillow. The sound is soothing and your bed feels like a sanctuary. There is no other place in the world you would rather be. This is bliss!
Another underrated pleasure is receiving a real letter or package via snail mail. Most mail these days is either digital, junk, or (worse) bills. But when you go to check your mailbox and find a real letter or package from someone you love inside, excitement overtakes you as you tear into this rare gift.
One of our favorite satisfying moments is making the yellow light when you are running late. For me, it’s the ultimate act of beating the pack. As you blaze through the yellow light and you glance in your rearview to see all the cars behind you stopping at the red light. Yes! You made it!
Our March Club Naked exclusive wine Simple Pleasures Cabernet Sauvignon was created to reflect all of these feelings and is satisfying for any and every occasion. It’s a delicious, approachable and indulgent Cabernet Sauvignon, as easy to love as it is to drink. So, treat yourself to more than one glass filled with notes of cherry, red currant, and snagging a pull-through parking spot.
Club Naked shipping members can pair their bottle of Cab with the Naked Winery head massager that was included in your shipment. It’s the perfectly querking object you never knew you needed… until now! So, take a moment to tickle your senses and indulge in a simply pleasurable experience, just because.
Naked Winery Team
Spring Barrel Tasting
Club Naked members will receive 2 complimentary tickets to the Naked Barrel Tasting event happening in our winemaking facility on March 7th, 21st, and 28th and April 4th, 18th, and 25th. This is your chance to spend time with our winemakers, taste some great wines, and learn about what it takes to create your favorite Naked Winery wines. You can even look forward to an opportunity to bottle your own wines and get screaming deals on some of our library selections!
We look forward to this event every year, so be sure to sign up at HERE and reserve your spots today! p.s. Additional guest tickets may be purchased for $20 per person if available.
2017 Oh! Cabernet Sauvignon Double Gold
2019 San Francisco International Wine Competition
Not to brag, but Naked is kind of a big deal. Turns out, we make some damn fine wine right here in Hood River, OR. We make the kind of wine that competes against fancy pants Napa Valley Cab at the San Francisco International Wine competition, wins double gold, and gets a nearly perfect 97 point score! Don’t worry, we won’t let all that snobby wine stuff go to our heads... but we are extremely proud. This gold medal-winning cabernet is available while it lasts online HERE and in our tasting rooms. Stop by to raise a glass of gold!
Get Uncorked Weekend
Get Uncorked with us on Saturday, March 7th & Sunday, March 8th as we serve up our newest club wine along with delicious treats! Stop into any of our tasting room locations (Bend, Seaside, and Hood River) to pick-up your March Quarterly Wines and enjoy your membership wine flight featuring our newest exclusive Club Naked Wine, 2017 Simple Pleasures Cabernet Sauvignon. Learn more HERE.
We also invite you to join us on Friday, March 6th for great music in all of our tasting rooms as we kick off Get Uncorked Weekend! All ages are welcome in our tasting rooms!
Bend | Live Music from Eric Leadbetter (6 pm start)
Hood River | Live Music from Mary Ryan (6 pm start)
Seaside | Live Music from Alex Heckel (6:30 pm start)
Let’s get together soon!
Naked Winery Team
Halloween has come and gone, leaving in its wake the beginning of the holiday season. As we look ahead to gatherings and celebrations dominated by football, family and Norman Rockwell-esque scenes around the dining room table, we wondered how we could make this year a little less jingle and a little more meaningful.
How about a good ol’ fashioned card game? Something so old school and ageless that you can’t actually play with a phone in your hand! Okay, maybe you can, but that’s not really the point. The point IS to put down the screens and have real face to face, low tech, high fun, quality time with friends and family. So Shuffle the deck, pour yourself a glass of wine, and get ready to connect!
Club Naked wine club shipping members will get a deck of cards along with their quarterly wines in their holiday shipments specifically for this purpose. This quarter includes our Club Naked exclusive Malbec, aptly named Better Together. Not a member? You can find more info about our not-so-average Club Naked wine club here.
In the spirit of the season, we've asked our employees to come up with some of their favorite 52 card games for you to try out. As always, they came through with some fun and unique suggestions that go way beyond Black Jack and Solitaire. Check out their recommendations below!
Maija (Club Naked Manager & Wisconsin Native)
The Midwest has a lot to offer, and indoor card games during the incredible cold and snowy 9 months of winter is definitely one of my personal favorites. Nothing like gathering in front of a wood stove with loved ones while some of that 30 below wind chill business happens outside. I love a little bit of strategy and teamwork when it comes to games, and Euchre certainly has that and more. Though a bit complicated to learn at first, this game is well worth getting through the first few rounds, and good luck stopping once you start! The best perk of all is that it goes well with a tasty adult beverage (or three)! You'll find the full instructions for how to play here.
Jesse (Tasting Room Manager - Bend Old Mill District)
First of all, it is important to ensure that you have an even number of people (since this game involves pairs playing together.) This game includes a lot of intrigue and attention to detail as you work with a partner to create secret signals and communicate with each other without the other team figuring it out. So every wink, nose scratch or phrase could have a deeper meaning. It's the kind of card game James Bond would play with the family when he comes home for the holidays. Follow the link here for full instructions on how to play Kemps at your next get together.
Lindsey (Tasting Room Manager - Hood River)
Pusoy Dos (or Phillipino Poker)
This game goes quick and pretty easy to learn and master. This popular card game originates from the Philippines and can be played by 2, 3 or 4 people. The object of the game is to be the first to discard your hand by playing them to the table. If you can't be first to play all the cards, then the aim is to have as few cards as possible. Cards can be played separately or in certain combinations using poker hand rankings. Click here for full details on how to play this fast-paced take on classic poker.
Classic Slapjack - An oldie but a goodie!
You have definitely played this game before. However, it may have been a few decades ago, so we’ve included a link to the full instructions to this classic card game here. The goal is to get as many cards as possible by being the first to slap the pile of discarded cards as soon as someone lays down a jack. This game can be played with almost anyone at any age (4 years or older) so it’s perfect for the whole family to get in on the action! This easy-peasy game is exactly what you'll want to play after a few glasses of wine and a little too much pie.
However you decide to spend your holidays, we hope they are merry, bright, and full of the wine you like, with the people you love, in the places you want to share! Happy Holidays from Naked Winery!
Naked Winery Team
After a long (not so hot) summer, fall is finally here! That magical time of year when the days get shorter, the leaves begin to change, and we all turn into the most cliche version of ourselves. When we revel in all things pumpkin spice, collect an irrational amount of decorative gourds, run around in fuzzy sweaters, and break into the red wine stash with gusto! Even though summer is over, the good times in the Gorge keep on rolling. It’s the perfect time of year to head out of the gloom that covers much of Western Oregon, and take advantage of the sunshine and harvest activities that make this season so special in Hood River.
Naked Winery's kicking off the harvest season on Saturday, October 5th and 12th with Naked Winery Harvest training!
If you’ve ever wondered how wine is made, then wonder no more! We're going to give you a hands-on experience. It’s your chance to live the life of a Naked Winemaker! Join us for this exclusive event in our Hood River Winemaking facility, just a few blocks from our downtown Hood River tasting room.
Tickets are available here and include winemaking with our Naked Winemakers, BBQ lunch or dinner, beverages (wine to taste of course) and a special Harvest bottle of wine to take home.
Make sure you stop in to check out our brand new Hood River tasting room while you're in the area! There are plenty of cozy nooks and crannies to snuggle up in. It’s the perfect way to spend a chilly afternoon with friends enjoying a glass of wine.
The Autumn fanfare continues with Hood River Valley Harvest Fest! More than 120 farmers, artisan food producers, wineries, cideries, and artists will gather along the Columbia River from October 11-13 to celebrate the region’s bounty. Naked Winery will be serving up wine flights, glass pours, and bottle sales all weekend long, so stop in and taste what’s new this season!
Grab your friends and join in the fun for the 2019 Hallo-Wine Walk. It’s all treats, no tricks for grown-up boys and ghouls! Come out, costumed or not, and taste the impressive wines of the Columbia River Gorge October 28th and 29th! Sip on complimentary tastings at all 8 downtown tasting rooms, and enjoy live music and special discounts at participating wineries. Tickets are available here and include 2 tastes at each winery, 6 bottle wine tote, and wine glass for tasting.
After all that apple picking and wine tasting, the last thing you’ll want to do is drive all the way home. Make it a weekend and take advantage of the cozy and convenient accommodations Hood River has to offer. Make your reservation at the historic downtown Hood River Hotel and mention Naked Winery when you call to receive 20% off of your stay.
However you decide to spend your time in the Gorge this season, make sure to drink the wine you like, with the people you love, in the places you want to share. Happy Fall Y'all from all of us at Naked Winery!
Naked Winery Team
We're not so good at cooking with wine....now, drinking the wine while baking, we're fabulous at. For our September wine club shipment, we decided to create luscious lip-licking brownies that would pair well with our Club Naked Wine exclusive wine, Missionary Cabernet Franc. Together they're basically the boozy BFF we've been searching for our whole lives. Join Liz (Naked Winery Marketing Guru) and her fiancé Max for our step-by-step recipe video, "Baking Naked."
Warning - you will get hungry (and thirsty) watching this.
MORE ABOUT THE WINE
Missionary Cabernet Franc has been highly sought after since it's last release back in 2014. After many requests from Club Naked members, we've brought it back with a beautiful new label, but the same essential flavor attributes.
Your pleas for herbaceous flavors, punctuated by notes of dried strawberry, and a clean minerality on the finish have been heard, and we are proud to present you with our eighth vintage of Missionary Cabernet Franc, made with fruit from the 2017 harvest. We recommend pairing this approachable red wine with a laid back date night, complete with ooey-gooey homemade brownies and a romantic playlist to get you dancing in the kitchen with the one you love.
Check out our Naked Winery Missionary playlist on Spotify HERE.
Don't be afraid to make a mess, to make a mistake, or to have a damn good time in the kitchen! There's nothing very funny about something done perfectly, ya know? Get together and get inspired to mix it up a little and do some Naked baking of your own... It pairs perfectly with wine!
So whether you are enjoying your first bottle or revisiting an old favorite, this Missionary is love at first sip! Two glasses. One bottle. Endless possibilities.
Naked Winery Team
We recently invited a few Team Naked members to sit back, relax and sip wine in the place where all the magic happens -- our Hood River Winery. We took the fun to Facebook Live with Maija (Club Naked Wine Club Manager), Alaina & Tracy (Winemakers) and Liz (Marketing Guru) where we treated all of them to a tasting of our current C-Mix wines: Foreplay Chardonnay, Naked Pinot Gris, Booty Call, Dominatrix Pinot Noir, and Oh! Orgasmic Meritage. With the final tasting in the line up being our newest Club Naked exclusive wine, A Little Classy, A Little Sassy Red Blend. This red blend was beautifully crafted by our winemaker Alaina Waller. It's full of elegance, finesse and some sass! Read more about it here.
Our winemakers gave the ins-and-outs of the wines and what inspired them. Then the fun part—wine tasting. Our favorite quote of the day was from Liz who said: “my peasant pallet would definitely pair this wine with a Midnight Milky Way.” 🤣 🍫 🍷. Watch the video below for the recap!
We would love to have you stop into any of our 4 Oregon Tasting Rooms for a wine tasting - we've got over 30 wine varietie...basically something for everyone. Stay tuned for more info and wine tastings from our Naked Winemakers and Club Naked Wine Club Managers!
Not a Club Naked Member? No worries. Check out our wine club HERE.
Naked Winery Team
Alaina Waller, winemaker - Naked Winery
Each quarter, we put on our thinking caps and develop a wine that we think our club members will enjoy. Sometimes those special wines are romantically themed. Sometimes they're just fun. So this quarter, we decided to create a wine that pays homage to Alaina Waller, our female winemaker and tada! A little Sassy, A little Classy was born!
We sat down with Alaina and asked her to to walk us through how she designed our newest Club Naked exclusive wine and what makes her a little classy and a little sassy.
Tell us, what inspired you to create A Little Classy, A Little Sassy?
So Classy, Sassy is a blend I've been wanting to make for a long time. Right after I graduated from college, that summer I went to California for my first job at Gallo. On the weekends we would go out and do Napa tours at Gallo-owned wineries. In Santalina, there is a winery called Louis Martini, and they make a wine called Mountain Red. Mountain Red is the harvest from their Monte Rosso vineyard. So you climb up this big water tower and you look out and you see the Monte Rosso vineyard with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background. Mountain Red has been my favorite blend for a long time. I buy it every time I go down to Napa, and I hoard it away and don't share it, but it is a blend of what they have grown on that vineyard for close to 100 years now - Zinfandel, Syrah, and Petite Syrah. And I tried to mimic the blend of Mountain Red, right down to the percentages of each of those.. So Classy, Sassy is based off of that wine.
What is it that you love so much about the Mountain Red?
I would have never thought of taking Zinfandel - a super fruity, spicy red wine and putting Syrah as the backbone to that. Which brings out some spiciness and still fruity and then Petite Syrah, just a little bit for the tannins, and some savory qualities to it. It is nothing that I would have thought of on my own, and I love the complexity of the blend.
What is the blend?
60% Zinfandel, 31% Syrah, 9% Petite Syrah
If you know Alaina, you know she loves Mexican food of all kinds, especially Taco Bell. What do you pair this wine with off the Taco Bell menu?
Well, if I'm feeling Sassy, I'd go spicy potato soft taco, a double decker taco and rolled chicken tacos with nacho cheese.
And when you're feeling Classy?
If I'm feeling classy, I go for grilled lamb lollipops from The Wine Cellar in Los Gatos.
Well, let's play a fun game of Classy, Sassy then! I'll give you some questions and you have to answer with a Classy and a Sassy response. Ok!
What music would you listen to while eating Taco Bell and drinking Classy, Sassy?
Ariana Grande's Seven Rings. Or if I'm feeling classy, definitely Chopin's Nocturne in C Sharp Minor.
What about your dream destinations?
Classy - in Singapore, 55 stories high at Marina Bay Sands. Yes, I love the movie Crazy Rich Asians. Or my dream Sassy spot? Anywhere I can gamble on things moving quickly. Like fast cars, fast horses. That kind of thing.
What are your Sassy shoes, and what are your Classy shoes?
Sassy? My Air Force Ones for sure. Classy shoes? Hmmmm.... Well, I do have some blue suede heels....that I don't really wear that much.
Ok, last question. Who is your celebrity crush? Sassy first, then Classy.
Well, I do like Chris Pine! So my Sassy Chris Pine crush would be him as Captain Kirk in Star Trek. My Classy Chris Pine crush would be him as Steve Trevor in Wonder Woman.
There you have it! A little classy, a little sassy with Naked winemaker Alaina!