NAKED WINERY BLOG
What’s Galentine’s Day you ask?! Oh, it’s only the best day of the year! But for reals. It started as a fictional celebration of Leslie Knope and her lady-friends on NBC’s Parks and Recreation in the mid-2000s. However, in the last 10 years, it has exploded in popularity as a way to celebrate that most common and yet most unremarked-upon of things: female friendship.
Turns out, people aren’t really that in love with Valentine’s Day anymore. More and more it is being viewed as just another Hallmark holiday. One that only serves to make single people feel bad for no reason and puts undue pressure on people in relationships. So maybe you are single this year. So what! Chances are, even if you don’t have a significant other, you probably do have a best friend, and if so she is definitely worth celebrating.
Galentine’s Day has become a holiday that really connects with women in the current #metoo era we find ourselves in. And this made for TV holiday is absolutely trending IRL. In 2007 about 63% of Americans planned to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Compare that to 2018 when that number dropped to just 51%. This decline in popularity has been attributed to younger consumers associating Valentine’s with their parents. In other words, it’s lame. Whereas Galentine’s Day is projected to grow by 20% in the next three years. Now that’s some serious girl power! #yasqueen
So, mark your calendars ladies! Naked Winery will be hosting a Galentine’s Day pop-up shopping event in our Hood River tasting room on Saturday, February 8th. Just ladies celebrating ladies, Naked style! Stop in anytime between 4 and 7 PM to sip n’ shop for your besties with breasties. Keep it less commercial and browse gifts from local vendors including Whimsy Chocolates, Lucky Locks, Croze Creations, Sally & Sage, Columbia Gorge Confections, Hackle and Hide, Queen of Hearts Hemp Foods, and Morganic Handmade who will all be on-site with beautiful, delicious, and sparkly presents specifically for the gals in your life.
When: Saturday, Feb-8 | 4-7 pm
Where: Naked Winery Hood River Tasting Room | 606 Oak Street
However you celebrate the real loves of your life, enjoy a holiday that’s less hallmark and more unconditional love… and wine. Don’t forget the wine.
Naked Winery Team
For many people, the New Year is an opportunity for growth (think relationships) and loss (think waistline). Sometimes, this means cutting back on Taco Tuesday’s and Wine Wednesday (that’s a thing, right?). Having gone on many diets ourselves, we know how hard, and let’s face it, boring and tasteless, dieting can be. But we recently read that a person’s healthiest weight is the one they reach when they live a lifestyle they can actually enjoy. Luckily, a flute of champagne pops in at just 80 calories, meaning you can have your cake (um, wine) and drink it too.
If one of your goals this New Year is to lose weight, spend more time with friends, and practice better self-care, let us present the perfect resolution solution: brunch. In our opinion, brunch is the perfect meal and the perfect opportunity for a mid-morning glass of champagne. Soft buttery pastries, fresh fruits, and cheese marry perfectly with salty bacon, pan-roasted veggies, and fresh or smoked salmon. Combined with one (or all three) of Naked’s bubbly, and we think brunch might just be a resolution we’ll actually see-through. To help you achieve ultimate success, here are a few tips:
Plan your brunch accordingly. Most brunch items can be prepared the night before, leaving you a stress-free morning to complete your other resolution of working out more. Breakfast casseroles are versatile and can easily fit any dietary needs. Plus, Frisky Sparkling Wine, pairs perfectly with savory egg and cheese dishes (hello quiche). This Brut sparkling wine cuts thru those buttery dishes, and only packs 1.2 carbs for all your keto following friends.
If your goal is a healthier lifestyle, try switching out your breakfast favorites with lower carb options. We love Lox, but bagels pack a mighty caloric punch. Switch out the bread for fresh baby arugula, and top with smoked salmon, avocado, thinly sliced pear, and red onion. Pair with our Puma semi-sparkling rose, and this dish will leave you hungry for more.
The real showstopper here is a fresh fruit salad topped with a mimosa dressing. This salad works best with peeled and sliced mangoes and kiwi, chopped pineapple, and a blend of berries. Finely chop some fresh mint and fold throughout. In a separate container, mix one cup orange juice, one cup of Pounce Sparkling Wine, two tablespoons of honey, and a tablespoon of orange liquor (if you prefer). Pour over the fruit and serve immediately. This dish can be prepared the night before but make sure to keep your fruit and alcohol separate until serving time. (Unless you’d like to make sangria. Your guests won’t complain either way.)
Just because you’re dishing up some delicious eats and sparkling wines, doesn’t mean your home has to be sparkling clean for guests. This is lazy weekend brunch, remember? Pick up the obvious clutter (you’ll feel good doing it since tidying was also on your list of resolutions) and give your bathrooms a quick clean. Voila. Your guests will feel right at home, meaning they’ll be more time to talk about the last season of GOT, and less time searching for coasters.
If kids are attending, create a more sophisticated table for them. They might still be eating their morning cereal, but milk served in a clear carafe, and ramekins filled with fresh fruit, will go a long way to make a mid-morning meal feel extra special.
If you’re stressed about making your own pastries, don’t. After you click submit on our three-pack bubbly bundle, order local muffins, croissants, and tartlets for delivery the night before your brunch. No one will care that you didn’t spend the previous evening in heels and pearls, handmaking the Danishes when they’re sipping on a flute of one of Naked Winery’s perfectly chilled champagnes. The goal of brunch isn’t to stay up half the night worrying about tablescaping and whether your Palmiers taste more like fruit-leathers. Brunch is supposed to be about delicious food and drink and the opportunity to continue cultivating close relationships. And we think that’s something to celebrate all year long.
Naked Winery Team | Briana Loveall
When we were kids, the best part of a New Year’s Eve party was (duh) staying up way past our bedtime, and, the glass of Martinelli’s we downed at midnight (or nine pm if your parents were lucky enough to live on the West Coast and make you celebrate the East Coast New Year). We snacked on things called hors d’oeuvre’s, which usually included butter crackers, meat, cheese, and if you were at your grandparents’ house, little sausages on sticks. There were movies and something about a falling ball. And then, the countdown, the confetti, a weird tradition of adults kissing each other (yuck), and the sparkling cider.
As fresh young adults with a vertical license, we hit up the clubs, staggering from one bar to another, our laughter forming like thought bubbles in the cold night air. We congregated, eventually, in some park for fireworks or confetti or kissing (which no longer seemed gross). We lived for the pulse of the crowd as the countdown drew closer. The noise of a thousand (or one million, if you were lucky enough to be in Times Square) a reminder that we were small and yet infinite, untouched by time (or so we thought).
And now, a little older and wiser (read, more tired), we’re trading out our glitz and glam with leggings and oversized sweaters, for a more relaxed night in. Our New Year resolution may be to stay up until the new year, but just because we’re not going out, doesn’t mean we can’t go out with a bang. We’re popping bottles…on our couch, and (ironically) coming back full circle to our childhood, resplendent with snacks, fun, and a more sophisticated sort of bubbly.
The key to any successful party is snacks. And wine, but isn’t that a given? As the modern adult you are, you can toss those round butter crackers out (unless they’re your favorite because honestly who doesn’t like a butter cracker?) and upgrade them to a hearty cracker with a snap. Something that will stand up to the fig jam and goat cheese you’re going to put on top. Serve it alongside Cougar Semi Sparkling bubbly; a semi-dry, semi-sparkling wine that is reminiscent of prosecco. If, by some miracle, you have any left-over in the morning, whip yourself up a mimosa for a little hair of the cougar….um, dog.
While the kids munch on Canadian bacon pizza, order (or make it yourself if you’re feeling extra fierce) a margherita pizza and sip away at Frisky Sparkling Wine, Naked’s brut sparkling wine. This combination is the perfect marriage of everything you love about pizza (the crunch of a thin crust and the way pizza carried you through college) and a dry sparkling wine. You’ve traded out soda for something oh so much better; a fizz and bubble that tastes like early autumn. You’ve reached the pinnacle of adulthood with this combo, and that’s reason enough to celebrate.
Or, for something a little more reminiscent of your younger years, make a grilled cheese. Elevate this classic with crab, a variety cheese blend, and artisan bread slathered in mayonnaise instead of butter for a perfect, toasted sandwich. Serve it with kettle chips, pesto popcorn (seriously), and a chilled glass of Pounce Sparkling Wine, our newest sparkling wine.
While you snack, pick a movie to watch with your kids like Happy New Year Charlie Brown, Rudolph’s Shiny New Year, or (if your kids are too cool for those) High School Musical, because we’re all in this together.
Once the kiddies are snugly tucked away, bring out the movie classics like When Harry Met Sally, 200 Cigarettes, or, Trading Places. While Eddie Murphy uses his street smarts for success, end the culinary night with a dark chocolate mousse, whipped cream, and berries. Paired with Puma, our Semi-Sparkling Rosé, this feisty feline will titillate your taste buds with lingering notes of strawberry and orange.
Staying in to party doesn’t have to be boring. So, this New Year, stock up on your favorite Naked Winery bubbly. Grab your snacks, your sweats, your well-intentioned resolutions, and sip away on our sparkling wines while ringing in the new year.
Naked Winery Team | Briana Loveall
You’re shopping for a wine connoisseur but really don’t know if you should buy them another set of Naked Winery wine glasses for the 5th time around. Look no further! We've got the unique wine gift ideas that are perfect for anyone who enjoys sitting back with a nice glass of vino. Let’s check out some of our favorites.
Holiday Cheer Gift Set
Christmas is the prime time to drink and be merry. Say 'cheers' to Christmas with a quality bottle of wine that is perfectly paired with holiday stocking stuffers. Our Holiday Cheer Gift Basket comes with one 750 ml bottle of Sleigh the Day White Wine or Fugly Sweater Cabernet Sauvignon, a Yuletide Holiday Bottle Stopper, 2 stemless wine glasses, Fa La La Magnetic Poetry Tin, a Truetap Double-Hinged Corkscrew, a Santa Hat Wine Bottle Topper and "Love Beyond Measure" Heart-Shaped Measuring Spoons. It’s all put together in a beautiful packaged black gift box along with a personalized gift message from you. The recipient of this gift is sure to love it, and will hopefully be willing to share...it is Christmas after all.
You’re Awesome Wine Gift Set
Perhaps you’re looking for a unique wine gift idea for no reason other than to tell someone they’re awesome. If that’s the case – pardon the pun, then our You’re Awesome Gift Set is the perfect gift idea.
This gift basket includes the perfect self-care, pampering and vino experience. It comes with one 750 ml bottle of Naked Winery wine - Diva Sangiovese, Foreplay Chardonnay Frisky Sparkling Wine, Vixen Syrah or Sure Thing Symphony, plus a 3-piece Pure Luxe Apothecary Collection which includes a soothing face mist, mood mist and body butter. It also has 50 Affirmation Cards from Affirmators! and an I’m Loveable Mini Inner-Truth Journal. And of course, it’s all packaged together in a sleek gift box, making it easy for you and appealing for them.
Adventure-Ready Mixed Wine Pack
What would an Oregon winery be without some wine bundles that embrace the great outdoors? Our Adventure-Ready Mixed Wine Pack is the perfect gift idea for wine lovers who like to enjoy the beautiful sights and surroundings of Oregon – or anywhere in the world, for that matter. It comes with four 750 ml bottles of Outdoor Vino wine – Wanderlust White, Rambling Red, Pinot Gris or Cabernet Sauvignon. We encourage you to "Take It Outside" and explore with these adventure-ready wines; conveniently bottled in BPA-free plastic with easy screw caps.
Wine Connoisseur Gear
Want to create your own wine gift set or pick and choose different wine connoisseur gear to gift? We have that too! From our comfy Oregon hoodies to coffee mugs; Naked Winery shirts; warm & cozy beanies, champagne savers and more, personalize the gift with our unique wine gifts of gear and merchandise.
Naked Winery Club Membership
Gift the ultimate wine experience with a membership to our Naked Winery club. There are different Club Naked membership options to choose from that sends the wine right to your loved one (ahem, or yourself). Being a member of our wine club allows you to pick the wine, choose the amount, gift the package with a personalized note and let us do all the heavy lifting and delivery for you!
Naked Winery in Oregon is the perfect place for the most unique wine gift ideas. Visit our online store or come check out one of our 3 wine tasting room locations scattered across Oregon for the ultimate shopping experience.
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
It’s that time of year again: the frosty mornings have returned (or maybe even the first few snowflakes), Costco has stocked their glittering reindeer yard décor, you’ve started eyeing your favorite holiday playlist (wondering how soon is too soon), and . . . it’s time to start shopping for holiday gifts.
Whether holiday shopping fills you with excitement or anxiety (or a little bit of both), Naked Winery’s wine gift guide will light the way like a certain reindeer’s nose. We know wine can help with shopping (Amazon’s one-click order button + your second glass of Cabernet is a dangerous—joyful! efficient!—combination), but a bottle of your favorite Naked wine can also be your shopping solution.
With our Naked humor and quality, even the hardest to shop for person on your list will feel like they’ve received a personal hug. From the ugly-sweater-wearing, football-binging, cheese-dip-eating coworker to your fur-coat-and-pearls grandmother who has reserved seating at the symphony, Naked wine has got you covered for gifting. No matter how your peeps celebrate the holidays, these wines will have them feeling merry and bright.
🎁 Oh! Cabernet Sauvignon
Rule #1: Cabernet is a classic. This full-bodied red wine tastes expensive enough for the mother-in-law who loves you, but secretly (or not-so-secretly) thinks her kid could have done better. It will also please the father-in-law who only listens to classic music because anything that’s any good has already been created. The tannins in this Cab are as grippy as their ‘70s-style wallpaper. Unlike the wallpaper, this means it will only get better with age, like George Clooney. Gift to anyone who uses the phrase “they just don’t make things the way they used to.” Pairs with subtle judgment.
🎁 Take Me Away Rosè
This dry and fruity rosè is so free-spirited and flowy, your bestie from college will feel like she’s back at Coachella. It’s the flower crown of Naked wines, perfect for anyone you know who lives by the rule of YOLO. Sipped in winter, it’s a reminder of those sunny, pool-side days when you could drink at 2:00 p.m. on a Tuesday because you still had a magical thing called summer break. Gift to anyone who uses the phrase “rosè all day” like they invented it. Pairs with kale, goat cheese, and that new trendy food your bestie preaches that you’re still pretending you’ve heard of.
🎁 Outdoor Vino (6 Varietals)
Free-range fine wine. Choose from six Outdoor Vino wines for your younger sibling who discovered hiking in college and now owns more gear than REI. The reusable, BPA-free plastic bottle will fit right in with their minimalist pack (and they won’t need a corkscrew when they’re at 6,000 ft.). With a label as Instagram-worthy as their #nofilter views, this wine says “I’m outdoorsy AF, but I like a nice glass of wine with my epic mountaintop vistas.” Pairs with dehydrated meals and an unbreakable spirit.
🎁 Pounce Sparkling Wine
To some, nothing says holidays like a bit of bubbly. This effervescent wine is festive and sassy. Gift to the party host who’s as merry as Martha May Whovier from The Grinch, but still asks you to take your shoes off at the door. They’ve got multiple cheeses in perfect cubes, and their fireplace mantle looks straight out of a Pier 1 holiday catalog. Pounce bubbly will make sure no one gets their tinsel in a tangle. It’s extra dry (like your host’s smile when they hand you a coaster) and you won’t have to sweat it when you’re sipping on their perfectly white couch the way you would with a glass of red. Pairs with just-polished glassware.
🎁 “Sure Thing” Sweet White Wine
For that person in your life you really like, but don’t want to scare away. This wine’s notes of peach and pineapple provide an easy-breezy approach that will still keep serious commitment on the table with its complexity. Perfect for that new-ish person you matched with on a dating app and have been seeing regularly (if not exclusively) since early October. You haven’t defined the relationship yet, and you didn’t wear matching costumes to the Halloween party you attended together. We get where you’re at. So does this wine. It’s a sure thing no matter where your relationship stands. Pairs with optimism.
🎁 Oh! Nebbiolo
Our Nebbiolo is a class act, like your hardworking boss who puts up with a lot more BS than you realized and will appreciate a bottle of sanity. Their work-life balance is wildly off-kilter, but they’ve gotten pretty good at negotiating a phone conference while silently directing their kids like air traffic control. This bold wine will make them slow down and take a minute (just one) between reading emails to sniff the cranberries. It’s as bright and vibrant as their color-coded spreadsheets and multitasks with flavors of dark berry fruit and spice. Make sure you get the rest of the office to chip in and Venmo you their fair share. Pairs with an overpacked work calendar.
🎁 “Fugly Sweater” Cabernet Sauvignon
This is your one-size-fits-all holiday wine. It can go from the Secret Santa office party to the ugly sweater neighborhood bash and maintain as much holiday spirit as Will Ferrell in Elf on a syrup bender. With notes of dried cherries and baking spices, it’s cozy and approachable, unlike that thrift store Christmas sweater you purchased. (Wasn’t laundry detergent supposed to help with the itching?) Bad sweater choices and dance moves aside, this wine will say “I have a sense of humor AND great taste in wine.” Pairs with tacky—we mean festive!—knitted sweaters and socks that say MISTLE TOES.
Download our full 2019 Holiday Wine Gift Guide HERE.
🥂 Cheers, Naked Winery Team | Lisa Laughlin
‘Tis the season for clinking wine glassed and cheersing with your loved ones over the holidays. Christmas is that time of year where you get to spend cozy evenings inside, sharing laughs and memories over a glass of wine. So, whether you’re a self-proclaimed vino connoisseur, like to enjoy a glass of red and get toasty in front of the fireplace or know someone who is looking for the perfect wine gift box sets for their holiday shenanigans, we have the perfect selection of Christmas wines for you.
Sweet White Wine that Pairs Perfectly With Turkey
Our Recommendation: Side Dish Riesling
What’s better than feasting on an incredible holiday meal with all of your loved ones? Doing it with a glass of the best sweet wine, of course, but which white wine gift set should you bring? The secret to finding the perfect wine to pair with your holiday feast is to look for one that balances the richness of a heavy turkey dinner. Our bottle of Side Dish Riesling is the ultimate pairing. It has just the right amount of sweetness & acidity with aromas of green apple and pineapple that go perfectly with turkey.
Oh Hey Rosé With The Ladies
Our Recommendation: Take Me Away Rosé
For the holiday nights spent in with the ladies, pour a glass of our fruity Rosé wine for impromptu selfies, deep dark secret-telling (that might get you on the Naughty List), and for a night you will always remember… Or not remember – to each their own. Take Me Away Rosé is the perfect Rosé for Christmas, offering fruity splashes of kiwi and strawberry that all of your girlfriends are sure to love.
Pairing White Meat with Medium Bodied Red Wine
Our Recommendation: Dominatrix Pinot Noir
Perhaps you’re more of a red-wine-type-of-gal. Stick with medium-bodied wines that have low to medium tannin and higher acidity, such as a Dominatrix Pinot Noir. These types of red wines pair flawlessly with a Christmas dinner and everyone loves a rich glass of a classic, making our Pinot Noir gift basket one of the top red wine gift ideas for the holidays as well.
Red Trio for Holiday Gift Giving and Entertaining
Our Recommendation: Red Wine Gift Pack
Bring the three best selling reds that come in this red wine gift pack and you’ll be a hit at the party. In this red wine gift set, you receive a bottle of Naked Merlot, Naked Pinot Noir, and Climax Red Blend – our top three red wines of the year. This trio of red is the perfect red wine gift set for the holidays. So, whether you’re looking for the best gift ideas for wine drinkers or red wine gifts to bring to a holiday party, you’ve found it.
Sparkling Wine for Christmas Celebrations
Our Recommendation: You’re Awesome Sparkling Wine Gift Set
Christmas wouldn’t be complete without a sparkling wine gift set that turns the holidays into a celebration. And let’s get serious here, ladies - Christmas is a celebration. You made it through all of the ups and downs that came with the past 12 months and if that isn’t something to pull out the sparkling wine for, we don’t know what is. So, pop that bottle of sparkly and cheers to surviving the last year.
Sparkling Wine Gift Set for Bottle-Popping Memories
Our Recommendation: Bubbly 3-Pack Wine Gift Set
And if it’s been one hell of a year for someone you know (or if you just really like some vino) our Sparkling Wine Gift set is the ultimate sparkling wine gift set. In this Bubbly Wine set, you get a bottle of Pounce, Frisky and Puma, which basically sums up our idea of a good night! Pounce has a ripe autumn peach aroma with hints of white pear, a refreshing Champagne that is perfect for kicking off the holidays; our Frisky is made in a prosecco style with a delectable blend of white peaches and green apple and the third body in the set, Puma, is a semi-sparkling white wine with delicious notes of strawberry and orange creamsicle, which is the perfect way to end the night.
Online Wine Gifts for An Overflow of Christmas Memories
Recommendation: Join Club Naked
We all have that one person on our holiday buying list (ahem, ourselves) who can never have too many wine gift sets. It can be quite tricky to purchase wine gift ideas for our vino-loving friends because you just never know what red wine basket they already have hidden in the cellar or what Pinot Noir gift set someone else is planning on giving them. For these friends on your Naughty or Nice list, a wine club gift is a must.
Our Club Naked is one of the best wine gift ideas around, as it keeps the vino flowing – and all the memories that follow. You have the choice of red wine gifts, whites only, a mix of both or some sweet wines and as a bonus, we do the presentation and delivery for you! If you aren’t sure what your vino-loving friends prefer, Gift a Package and let them get Naked on their own terms.
Naked Winery Team
Throwing an adult(ish) Halloween party means embracing all the things you loved about Halloween as a kid, but celebrating that you choose wine over apple cider now. (Nothing against apple cider, here.) You’re youthful at heart, but your idea of a party can also be embodied in a sip of knock-your-socks-off, palette-awing Nebbiolo. Luckily, throwing an adult(ish) Halloween party is all about mixing the light-hearted and the elegant. The cheap pizza rolls and the rich blue cheese. The neon-orange Halloween Oreos and your favorite bottle of NAKED wine. All you need to pull together any of your favorite elements in the form of a great party is a bit of magic, a bit of mischief, and a bit of hocus pocus.
A BIT OF MAGIC (décor)
- First of all, faux cobwebs are a must. They’re cheap, create a dramatic effect, and have the perfect adult(ish) vibe. (You can even text your mother saying there was a reason you weren’t dusting all these months.) Add confetti, glitter, large balloon spiders, small spiders, bats...whatever you can imagine would get stuck in a cobweb. Not that you’d know.
- Next, get a pile of pumpkins. Large, small, painted purple or green—any assortment of pumpkins can start off the night strewn around the party for decoration and turn into a competitive pumpkin carving contest. Have some pumpkin carving tools, tealight candles, and a cheap plastic tablecloth on hand so your guests can spread out on the floor without making a mess.
- To amp up your atmosphere, throw on a party playlist. You can customize your own or choose a playlist like Naked's on Spotify “Ultimate Halloween Party Playlist.” (Warning: good alcohol + good tunes may lead to an impromptu dance party.)
- Remember, décor is where you can layout the vibe, whether it’s classy or sassy. Use orange glitter, skull confetti, black streamers, or any of your typical Halloween décor to make your party shine in the details! Don’t forget to plan a surprise in the bathroom, where most of your guests will visit, whether it’s a skeleton in the shower, plastic spiders in the soap jar, or eyeballs on the inside of the toilet lid. Spooky.
A BIT OF MISCHIEF (drinks and food)
- Wine: Let guests pick their poison, so to speak. Naked has a lot of options that easily translate to an adult(ish) Halloween party theme...Vixen Syrah, Diva Sangiovese, Dominatrix Pinot Noir... just saying, folks are already in costume. Have fun with it!
- Cocktails: It’s nice to stock a few hard alcohol choices, like whiskey or gin, and some beer for your party guests who aren’t into wine. (It’s okay...we all have those friends.) You can also make some Halloween-themed red wine cocktails. (We like Apothic’s list of red wine cocktail recipes.)
- Blind Tasting: Cover up a wine bottle with your own label, proclaiming it “vampire blood,” “love potion,” or whatever fits your party flair. Make a blind wine tasting event, however formal or informal you’d like. Guests can simply vote on their favorite wine or try to guess the correct varietal for a prize.
- Water: To avoid any spooky hangovers, label a pitcher of cold water “mermaid tears” and encourage your guests to hydrate. It’s for the mermaids!
- Spooky Snacks: Hallo-peño Poppers, Hallo-weiners, Baked Zom-beans—we’re going to go ahead and give you license to create as many punny Halloween appetizers as possible. When else will you be able to seriously ask someone, “How did you like the spaghetti and eyeballs?” You can also keep it simple and embrace the flavors of fall with cinnamon rolls, butternut squash soup, or anything pumpkin flavored. (Apparently, pumpkin spice puppy chow is a thing...you should probably check that out, as it sounds like it goes smashingly with wine.)
A BIT OF HOCUS POCUS (activities)
- Play some classic Halloween movies in the background of your party. The movie isn’t the focus (because you and your friends are entertaining enough when you have alcohol, am-I-right?), but playing a film that fits your theme will add to the party vibe. That may involve playing Hocus Pocus over and over again until it seems like you’re the parents in the movie’s dance party caught in an infinite loop of high-spirited bliss, dancing till they die. We can think of worse parties.
- Paint pumpkins or wine bottles—the best decorator wins a prize! This can be a chill ice breaker to get your party rolling while watching the aforementioned Halloween movie.
- Make your own witch’s brew with guests by making root beer from scratch. The dry ice in this recipe doubles as a special effect! Guests can take turns stirring the cauldron. For larger parties, make the root beer in a cooler. Root beer floats for dessert!
- Play Minute to Win it Games. This takes a bit more forward planning, but it will be rewarding to watch your friends compete in costume at minute-to-win-it style Halloween games, like Pumpkin Bowling, Face the Cookie, or Fear Factor (take on adult-type foods like tofu! Octopus! Stinky cheese!) We won’t explicitly say these games are more fun when you’re drinking a glass of Naked Winery wine, but nonscientific studies have shown a correlation.
With this bit of magic, mischief, hocus pocus, and your favorite Naked wines, your Adult-ISH Halloween party will be one to remember. If you're not into throwing your own party let us do it for you. Stop by our Hood River, Bend and Seaside Tasting Rooms on Oct-31 for some Hallowine Trick-or-Treating! More info here.
Naked Winery Team | Lisa Laughlin
For some people, Thanksgiving is all about the food. And, what’s not to love about dreamy, creamy mashed potatoes, that savory turkey, and swoon-worthy marshmallow-covered yams? We get it. The food is pretty great. But, if you’re reading this blog, we bet you also care about the WINE on your Thanksgiving table. If you're on the hunt for a good wine for Thanksgiving, look no further: Barbera is the answer.
At the first hint of fall, Barbera is the wine we dream about. When that cool crispness returns to the air and the leaves start to flush red and orange, Barbera just feels right, like pulling your favorite cozy flannel out of the closet again. It’s warm, rich, medium-bodied and full of all the fall spices we love.
Much like the mix of aromas at a Thanksgiving dinner table, different layers of Barbera will emerge the more you evaluate it. Our Oh! Orgasmic Barbera has a touch of tannin to complement the bright red fruit notes you’ll find as soon as you pour a glass. Swirl your glass to uncover a warm mix of spice and floral notes. Sip to discover a blast of blood orange on the palate, followed by candied apple flavors. We’re not saying you have to skip Thanksgiving dessert, but with this wine, it’s definitely possible. Now, why this wine will be perfect for all you food-lovers out there: Barbera is a light Italian wine, known as the “wine of the people,” which makes it a great crowd pleaser and wine to pair with food. It’s generally higher in acidity, which means it will go with some of the fats typically found around a holiday table, like dark-meat turkey with a bit of skin, salami, and lamb. Any wine with high acidity will work to cut through the richness in your food and balance the flavors in your mouth. That’s why Barbera is an easy-going holiday drinking companion; it’s amiable while still bringing its own flavor to the table, never clashing with your traditional favorites. As an added bonus, Barbera’s high acidity will act as a palate cleanser and keep your taste buds sharp.
Barbera will do double-work and perform with your dessert just as well as it did with dinner, as acidity also makes for complementary pairing with sweet foods. If you’re a holiday planner who puts wine before food (we knew we liked you!), here are a few recommended dishes to go with the centerpiece of your holiday table, your Barbera:
• Rich, dark meats like turkey or lamb
• Blue cheese
• Root vegetables
• Braised greens
For dessert, try a congruent pairing, matching the flavors of your Barbera wine with the flavors in your sweet dishes to make the pairing pop. Sage, anise, cinnamon, citrus, and nutmeg should all play well with a dessert-course serving of Barbera wine. Your dinner guests will soon be saying, You had me at Barbera!
Naked Winery Team | Lisa Laughlin
First established in 1970, Earth Day is a movement that sparks passion and motivates action for environmental preservation. In honor of Earth Day (Apr-22), we wanted to help spread awareness of the importance of building a healthy, sustainable environment. In 2009 we started Outdoor Vino with a simple mission: to make wine more accessible to the places you love to be, from picnic tables to mountain tops and everywhere in between. We encourage you to "Take it Outside" and explore our amazing Earth! We also wanted to create a product that is a better choice for the wellbeing of our planet.
Outdoor Vino is bottled in BPA-free plastic with an easy access screw cap so these wines are ready when you are. This packaging represents a sustainable choice because it is lightweight, it requires less energy to produce and recycle than glass. It is more energy-efficient to transport, thus leaving a smaller carbon footprint. At the other end of the life cycle, plastic bottles can be recyclable and reusable. Ninety-four percent of Americans have access to a PET recycling program, meaning that whether consumers are enjoying their wine in the wild outdoors or closer to home, they are able to recycle their bottles once they’ve finished.
Naked Winery Team