Giveaway: Small Kitchen Wine Rack! [closed]

If Phoebe owned a Wall-Mounted Wine Rack,
perhaps she wouldn’t have to keep her stash in the closet…

After our trickery on April 1st, we’re thrilled to be hosting another (real) giveaway! This time the real live prize is sponsored by CSN Stores, whose sister sites feature a ton of great small apartment (and kitchen) equipment, from corner tv stands to other space-saving necessities like this handy dandy Oenophilia Wall Mounted Wine Rack. To win the wine rack for yourself, read on and comment below!
Admittedly, we don’t talk a whole lot about wine on this blog. That’s because, as Quarter-Life Cooks, providing wine AND food just doesn’t fit into our budget. Instead, we rely on our friends to bring the booze and, when the (all too rare) invitation arises to bring wine to someone else’s home, we usually have a few leftovers lying around to re-gift. (Phoebe’s friend Nathalie recently got into trouble with this tactic: she grabbed a random bottle of wine from her rack as she was jetting to a fancy dinner party only to discover as she handed it to the host, that the bottle had come from someone else’s company gathering and bore the label of a well-known bank.)

We’re always curious how you deal with the wine conundrum whether you’re a cook or a guest, and we’d love to know more–especially since we’re writing lots of pointers about this very subject for the book. From experience, we already know that for twenty-somethings the strategy often involves going to the wine store, finding the cheapest shelf, and choosing the nicest looking label from it. But we want to hear more about how you choose your bottles. And for those of you who are beyond quarter-life, we’ll benefit from hearing your perspective on the art of BYOB.

SO…please answer one or all of the following, or feel free to just riff and have at it:

* Do you have a “go-to” bottle of wine that you always bring to dinner parties with friends? If not, how do you go about choosing a random wine? White or red, prosecco or champagne?

* What is the price range you try to stick to? Does this change depending on the event, depending on the friend? (Be honest! We promise, we’re cheap sometimes too.)

* As a host, do you feel like you have to tell friends to bring wine, or they just know to?

* Has a host ever specified only clear white liquids on the premises?

*Have you ever spilled red wine all over yourself, your friend, or your host’s carpet? Do tell…

We look forward to hearing your answers, and we’ll announce the Wine Rack Winner next week on the blog!

From our kitchen, where the carpets are covered in red wine from dinner parties past, to yours,

Phoebe and Cara, THE QUARTER-LIFE COOKS

Posted in: Giveaway
  • http://measuringspoonsandmixingbowls.blogspot.com/ Jen

    When buying wine for myself, I usually stick to the $5-$10 price range. I know, that’s cheap! But Trader Joe’s has some really great inexpensive wines. When bringing wine with me, I usually just grab one of my own. But it would definitely depend on the event! A fancy event could warrant a bottle of wine as much as….$20? I know, I’m a cheap grad student.
    When I am hosting a dinner or party, usually my friends ask what they should bring. Unless there is something that I specifically need, it would be great if they would bring a bottle of wine even when I say “oh you don’t need to bring anything besides yourself.”
    Ad thank goodness, I have not (yet) spilled any kind of wine all over anything! But of course I probably just jinxed myself.

  • http://otm-inthegalley.blogspot.com/ SeattleDee

    I wish I had a fine wine palate… but I don’t. So I limp along relying on 1) picking out a gorgeous label, 2) relying on the advice of “the wine guy” at a wine merchants, or 3) grabbing a bottle of prosecco that I have enjoyed before.

    My best solution? purchase the annual New Year’s special mixed case from the local wine merchant. It always comes with good affordable wine, a brief write-up about each bottle (making me sound knowledgeable) and I can drink it or gift it.

  • http://www.homecookedem.wordpress.com homecookedem

    I have really kind and considerate friends that always bring wine over to our house when we host dinner parties. I would love a wine rack!! :)

  • http://wordadayinspired.blogspot.com/ Samantha Fairfield Walsh

    I usually just get three buck chuck from Trader Joe’s Wine Store.

    But that’s because I’m an actor who just recently graduated from college.

    If it was a really special occasion I might splurge on a slightly more expensive bottle.

    I want that wine rack!

  • http://olivia-rae.com Olivia

    ahh what an amazing giveaway! I would love this cute little wine rack. I usually go for tart, tangy, crisp white wines… not because I don’t like red, but because I always either spill or have bright red teeth!

  • Allyson A.

    All I know about wine is that I like to drink it! I usually round up the girls about once a month for a free wine tasting at a local shop, and that’s usually how I discover new wines. I like to drink whites (chardonnay, pinot grigio), but if I’m asked to bring something for a party, my go-to wines are Chateau Ste. Michelle rieslings and LIOCO’s Indica. And AT parties, I stick to white wine. I’ve spilled on way too many shirts, skirts, and couches to be comfortable with red!

  • Caitlin McFarland

    oh my gosh, I could answer all of these. My “go to” bottle is Francis Ford Coppola’s Pinot Grigio or some sort of presecco (all under $15). Trader Joe’s is a fantastic place to stock up on affordable (aka CHEAP) wines that are beautiful.

    My old boss, a rom-com writer/director that shall go nameless, had an entirely white home that required only clear beverages…it was sorta hilarious. But I understand her fear, my friend poured an entire glass of red wine on our white couch once…we went into panic mode (the couch was my roommate’s)…FYI a mixture of laundry detergent, spot cleaner, and a bleach whitening pen seemed to do the trick beautifully.

    Great topic, ladies! Love the postings! xoxo

  • Anonymous

    to go to bottle – HOBNOB pinot noir or melot. i stick to pino grigio, red, or champagne to pick a new one out. a cool label may grab my attention. i know this is not how to pick out a wine. Price range – $8-12
    Spilled red wine all over my beige couch! – i blame the dog.
    Just bought a new home….quess what I need.. a wine rack!

  • Cara M.

    I don’t have a go-to bottle, though I tend to like viogners (white) and cote-de-rhone (red). Of course, sometimes I give up and just go with pretty/inventive labels. I try to buy within the $10-$20 range – none of our friends are winos so it doesn’t make sense to spend more. Our friends are always more than willing to contribute though sometimes this means dessert, cocktails or apps, rather than just wine. No host has ever specified only clear white liquids and thankfully no one has any crazy preferences.
    Thanks goodness, no crazy wine-spilling stories to tell. Though there was the time when I had a friend over, spilled wine in the kitchen and then promptly broke our swiffer, mop and paper towel dispenser trying to clean it up. not very graceful.

  • Anonymous

    What a great topic! Much like Caitlin, my go to bottle to pick up and take to someone is Francis Ford Coppola; I prefer the merlot but they are all great. The diamond label is in the $20 neighborhood, which I think is a perfect thankyou for an invitiation to dinner. I like to keep a variety of cheaper, $5-$10, red and white varieties in my liquor cabinet to pull out on any given night and some of my favorite varities are Yellowtail, Barefoot, and RedTruck. If someone asks me what they can bring to a dinner party I always say wine would be great. I don’t ever ask for it or demand it, but if someone does show up empty handed I do secretely wonder if their mother taught them any manners. Luckily, I have never ruined anyones carpet or furniture. The only time I had a bad red wine spill was at an outdoor BBQ, after a couple of glasses I missed my mouth and then only thing damaged was my brand new pale pink trench coat. Needless to say I learned the lesson that pastel clothes and red wine aren’t a great combo…

  • http://www.calvine.blogspot.com Calvine

    I love Riondo Prosecco – it runs for $10-12 and is really refreshing. Perfect to bring along as a gift or to serve at your apartment. Plus the bottle looks really nice!

    Generally I assume that people I’ve invited over will bring wine, and I’ll mention it if they ask. I do, however, always make sure to keep some on hand in case they don’t bring any! Eek that’s the worst…

    Great giveaway and information – I’m loving all these comments!

  • Kate

    * Do you have a “go-to” bottle of wine that you always bring to dinner parties with friends? If not, how do you go about choosing a random wine? White or red, prosecco or champagne?
    – Hilarious labels and names usually grab my eye when I’m in a pinch for wine. I’m lucky to be blessed with friends who appreciate my vino humor, even if the wine inside the funny bottle isn’t always top notch. (Example: I love Bitch, an Australian wine, but more for its edgy bottle than anything else.) Some humorous ones may be found here: http://www.myhumors99.com/2009/09/10-bizarre-wine-brand-names.html.

    * What is the price range you try to stick to? Does this change depending on the event, depending on the friend? (Be honest! We promise, we’re cheap sometimes too.)
    – $5 to $35 is my average range. Currently between undergrad and law school, my budget is pretty tight! I agree with other comments posted: You can find some shockingly decent wines for under $10! What I spend on wine definitely varies from party to party and host to host. When shipping over to my friends’ for Pasta and Sinatra night, I’ll shoot to remain under $10; when trekking over to my boyfriend’s mother’s for a special Sunday dinner, I’ll splurge and grab a beautiful $30 bottle. The less-than-$10 compliments my friends’ mid-week pasta, as the $30 compliments the four course event at my boyfriends’ mothers’.

    * As a host, do you feel like you have to tell friends to bring wine, or they just know to?
    – Depends on the crowd. Surprisingly enough, my still-under-age guy friend is the best about bringing a bottle of wine. He’s adorabely aware of eating other, poor college kids’ food, so even if he’s coming over at the end of dinner, he’ll bring a bottle. I also find my friends that I don’t see ever week don’t need to be told and “just know.” Sometimes, on the other hand, my “day-to-day” friends may need a direct request – but hey, sometimes I need to be reminded, too!

    * Has a host ever specified only clear white liquids on the premises?
    – No, unfortunately I’m yet to attend any chic and fancy events in a space that might require such a request. Nevertheless, this reminds me of that Sex & the City episode when Big takes Carrie to a fancy party at some woman’s fabulous penthouse, and when she asks for red wine the server informs her “Miss ____ only allows clear food and drink.” Carrie looks about as horrified as I did the first time I heard of this concept! I love white carpets and beige couches as much as the next chic-loving gal, but my love of red wine trumps my adoration of interior design any day!

    *Have you ever spilled red wine all over yourself, your friend, or your host’s carpet? Do tell…
    – While I did have the misfortune of destroying my favorite pairs of stilettos with Merlot (they now have an interesting purple hue to their stitching and interior), my favorite/most hated wine-spilling story is not my own – I’m merely an innocent victim in it:

    Katherine, my dear friend and notorious spiller, was having a low night and asked if she could come by my place to get away and indulge in some red wine. She came by, and I needed to run out for a bit. When I returned later that evening, she was asleep in my bed, empty bottle of wine situated next to my laptop which was, mysteriously, flipped upside down with a hair dryer next to it. Long story short, Spiller replaced the guts of my laptop with red wine. Thank goodness for waranties!

    I love this giveaway. Who knows, maybe a wine rack will help my, now ro0mmate, Katherine keep wine out of my electronics? Here’s hoping!

    • Anonymous

      Thank GOD someone else likes a “humour bottle” Bitch wine is always fun to bring — and I have to say it’s actually fairly tasty…? Or it could be I’ve had a few too many glasses of “good wine” before the Bitch is opened :-)

  • http://twitter.com/racheLofton Rachel Lofton

    I have definitely spilled red wine at one of my parent’s friend’s house and I felt HORRIBLE! Luckily the hostess had a product that I had never heard of called “Wine-Out” that she purchased at Bed Bath and Beyond that you can spray on any fabric (including the white couch I was sitting on! whoops!)
    It worked amazing! I now always have it on-hand if I’m drinking red wine and don’t have to be paranoid anymore!

  • Becca

    Everything I know about wine (which isn’t much), I learned while studying abroad in the Rioja region of Spain. My strategy is to periodically buy somewhere around 5 bottles of different Rioja wines or other Spanish reds when I’m in the neighborhood of a reasonably-priced liquor store. There’s usually a good variety in the $10-or-less range. I’ve found quite a few that I know I like (Red Guitar is one of my favorites, and the Monte Oton tempranillo/garnacha blend is good too), and usually I’ll give a couple new ones a shot based on the labels. Then I have them around in case of impromptu dinners, whether hosted by me or by friends.

    In the case of large parties where the wine is there more for the alcohol content than for food pairings, I have another favorite strategy that I also learned in Spain: buy the largest amount possible of the cheapest red wine available (we’re talking Carlo Rossi jugs here) and make calimocho (or kalimotxo if you want to be all Basque about it), which is a “cocktail” of one part red wine to one part Coke, best served in a pint glass over ice. I know, I know. Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it.

  • Anonymous

    My friends ALWAYS bring the wine, which is great since I’m the only one who cooks. It does leave me with several bottles of cheap wine though, and no storage solution!

  • Robin

    s a guest, you shouldn’t have to be told to bring a bottle of wine. Good manners should tell you that is just what you do. After all, someone else has gone to the trouble of making you some delicious food. How much trouble is it to stop off at the store and grab a $12 (my limit) bottle of wine.

  • MJ

    I usually stick to a ~$10 bottle of wine when I’m buying for myself. I have a few never-fail go-to wines (for a really bad day or dinner with my boyfriend), but I usually like to try new brands each time. My ultimate decision factor is usually which bottle has a unique or interesting label. (Of course since I still look like I might not be old enough, this usually results in the staff approaching me to ask, “Can I help you?” when I don’t immediately pick up what I want.) If I’m getting together with friends I’ll usually up the price range a bit or purchase a bottle from a local winery.

  • Frankie

    I bet I’m the only one that looks at alcohol content. I look for 12.5-13.5% because my friends don’t get drunk as fast and create neighborhood disturbances.

  • Samantha B.

    When I look for wine, I typically stay under $25. I try to stick to buying wine from wine stores, rather than liquor stores, because employees of the wine stores tend to have a greater knowledge and appreciation for wine. I also tend to go with the employees recommendations because I like to try new types of wine and am not always sure where to start!
    Generally speaking, I stick to sweeter white wine (usually a Riesling) and have spilled many a glass on tablecloths and cloths alike.

  • Sheridan

    My “go to” bottle of fancy wine is a bottle of 2006 Benziger Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s a more than my other “go to” wine (Charles Shaw, yes, 2 buck Chuck), but so worth the $20.

  • Jillian

    My strategy: whenever I am near Trader Joe’s I find $8 – 16 bottles that appeal to me (either b/c the description matches my palate, I like the varietal, or the label is pretty) and buy a few to have in the house. And when I try wine that I really like, I make sure to take a picture of the label with my phone and try to find it at my neighborhood liquor store.

  • Anonymous

    * Do you have a “go-to” bottle of wine that you always bring to dinner parties with friends? If not, how do you go about choosing a random wine? White or red, prosecco or champagne?

    For myself and all of my friends (who have just turned twenty one and therefore have not yet developed too fine a taste in wines) we love Gato Negro. It comes in all varieties, red or white, and is about 13 bucks for the BIG bottle! Another favorite is Ménage à trois, which has a cute and funny label, which wins any host over with a few laughs (also around 13$ a bottle). My friends never expect expensive wine! But if I might splurge for the right event.

    Since I am the only one who cooks, my friends usually know to bring the wine. I buy the food- they buy the wine type thing. (Were college students in Manhattan- they appreciate a home cooked meal once in a while!) In a casual setting this is a good system, and works out nicely for me I should say.

    Wine is continually spilt in my apartment (my friends prefer red), so I usually have Bissel Woolite Stain Carpet Cleaner on hand (PURE MAGIC IN A BOTTLE). After a rather raucous christmas party, it practically saved my life. More of a problem than spills is the all too often accidental wine glass breakage. My roommate and I keep our nice ones on a shelf for show and have a cheaper set for casual guests (close friends whom I don’t need to impress). This saves me quite a bit of anxiety- you can always get more at Crate and Barrel!

    I may have made us sound like a bunch of Chelsea Winos, but c’est la vie! Wine and food brings us all together.

  • http://www.hurraykimmay.blogspot.com Kimmay

    I have a super, super cheap bottle that I LOVE. It’s Gato Negro. Their Cabernet/Merlot mix is amazing. I love deep, rich reds, nothing too sweet. And white’s I only like if they have a little bite. I ask people to bring wine or beer or liquor of their choice so that they are guaranteed to have something there that they know they like, and then can feel free to try other people’s favs, too! I desperately need a wine rack. Right now, we just set the bottles on top of the fridge. LAME. Hope I win!

  • http://thegoudalilfe.tumblr.com Kelly

    Wine, wine, wine.
    My best advice is to ask someone knowledgable. I usually find out what we’ll be eating and ask for a cheap, mid-price, and fancy suggestion from a friend or the wine clerk. Often I stick to the mid-range priced wine. And I’ve been told never to judge a wine by it’s label.
    As a host, I don’t often ask for people to bring wine unless they ask if there is something in particular they can bring. I try to have enough on hand so it’s not a problem if no one does [though those bottles go fast once you start gabbing post-dessert]

    At a birthday party a few years back, I was in the midst of telling this big, ridiculous story that involved a lot of hand movements and gestures. Needless to say, and of course this would be the case, a bottle of red was within arms reach and it ended up all over my hosts cream, micro-suede couch. Thank god for my speedy google skills on how to clean red from suede. Jeepers.

  • Anonymous

    One of the best things (sometimes) about dinner parties is that you end up with at least 5-6 extra bottles of wine. Unless they all end up being Beaujolais Nouveau, it’s always a fun time to have the variety. I never have to tell people not to bring… and most people bring 1-2 (maybe I have pseudo-alcoholic friends?)

    I love to bring white wine (for the spill effect) and usually bring either a Riesling: Blue Nun ($10) or Relax ($8) (same exact region of Germany, VERY similar taste) or Sauvignon Blanc: Barefoot ($8 – for just drinking parties), Kono ($10 for pretty decent dinner parties), or Lobster Bay ($16 – if I want something good).

    What’s also fun to bring is a local wine. I really enjoy Warwick Vineyards in New York (http://wvwinery.com/wine)… the Riesling is delicious. It’s got apple overtones (Warwick also has really nice apple orchards) and is unusual and a fun conversation piece.

  • Sarah

    My friends are great! They always bring a couple of bottles of wine to dinner.

  • Anonymous

    I typically keep the wine budget at about $10-$15, regardless of whether it’s for me or a host. I find that with a little wine knowledge, you can navigate the shops easily and find great deals on what you’re looking for. When guests come over for dinner, I don’t tell them to bring anything unless they ask — then I tell them that a bottle of wine would be nice, and I serve it before dinner, as I generally have picked out a bottle already to pair with what I’m serving.

  • Emily

    For myself, my go to choice for a red and a white are Smoking Loon Cab ($7) or Meridian Chardonnay ($6). For a special occasion, I will go into the $25 range, but I am on a grad student budget. Friends usually bring wine when I’m cooking, if they don’t offer I suggest it. Worst red wine memory was a bad date that ended with my dog lunging at the guy and him spilling wine on my beige couch…so I had a permanent reminder of it. Finally got a slipcover for it to erase the memory, but I wouldn’t have dated a guy my dog doesn’t like anyway.

    P.S. Best sparkling wine to sneak into a movie in your purse – Sofia Coppola Blanc de Blancs that comes in a can with its own straw.

  • Amy L

    People always seem to ask “Can I bring anything?”, and I usually don’t need any food, so I tell them to bring a bottle of their favorite wine. This way, we have a great selection for the get-together, and we get to keep any unopened bottles. : )

  • Jessica

    We are always spilling wine! Luckily, I have one of those awesome tablecloths that is made of special material where liquid beads when spilled. Only downfall is that when wine does spill it sometimes torpedoes across the table and onto someone’s lap LOL

  • http://mollykakes.blogspot.com Molly

    i have learned from my dad, who is completely wine obsessed, that sometimes the best wines aren’t the most expensive. case in point – i have an undying love for trader joe’s “three buck chuck” (even though now it’s closer to four bucks – it’s still cheap). and, thanks to my dad’s years of training (taking advantage of the fact that i was of legal drinking age in france when we went on a family vacation) i have really strong opinions on wine. i was taught to like good wine. and i love charles shaw wines. i go to school in ohio, and am a 5 minute walk from one of two trader joe’s in the state. i bring it home to pennsylvania in bulk. it’s cheap, and it’s delicious, and i’m not even ashamed to state my preference for the white zin (just not to my dad). the shiraz is also delicious, but that’s not that point. the point is, i can get a few bottles of different types of wine for what i would normally pay for one. it makes dinner parties at my apartment all the more entertaining. also, as host, i’ve gained a pretty great wine collection (although we drank it all at easter).
    and a wine spilling story – my cousin had a bunch of us over for dinner and football one night, and she was holding her then 18 month old son. he was in his pajama’s, sound asleep. she knocked about half a glass of wine on him, staining his favorite pajamas. he didn’t wake up, even when we put salt on his pajamas to soak up some of the wine. i’m so glad i was there for that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gregg.hansson Gregg Hansson

    Those wine racks are definitely a space saver for the smaller home or apartment, and offers a great aesthetic finish too.

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