Summer Accoutrements - Wine & Spirits Magazine

Summer Accoutrements

Flowery Wine App

You don’t have to be drinking Fleurie, Flowers or Cédric Bouchard’s Inflorescence—the new Quini wine app lets you represent any wine in floral form. Each wine you taste is recorded as a colorful flower-shaped graphic, with each of the five petals standing in for a different element of the wine. (Aroma, for example, is represented by a dusky lilac petal, the size of the petal dependent on your estimation of the wine’s aromatic intensity.) The app boasts a clean, engaging user interface, and can also generate personal wine recommendations, compile wish lists and find nearby spots to purchase wine. Free on the App Store; PC version at

Coastal Coasters
Rissa Sandman, who runs the Etsy shop theCoastal, produces these hand-painted ceramic coasters for Whitney Adams of Available in black and white “deco wave” or a gold palm pattern with recycled cork backing, they’re $30 for a set of four.

MouthA Brooklyn shop specializing in artisan products made in New York State, Mouth has expanded its focus to the US in general for its online portal. The site provides one-stop shopping for the latest US-made spirits from tiny distilleries such as 35 Maple Street, Black Rock, Industry City and Catoctin Creek, plus small-batch bitters, cocktail-hour snacks and boozy confections from Brooklyn’s Butter & Scotch and Sweeteeth in Charleston, South Carolina. If you’d rather not choose, sign up for a subscription at, with themes ranging from gin to jerky and cocktail treats.

Petite Chile
Jolene Collins sources chile peppers from local farms and blends them in her Brooklyn kitchen to create Jojo’s Sriracha. For two of her recent sauces, she worked with Ravenswood Winery to add wine to the mix. What could be a mere gimmick turns out to be pretty delicious stuff, warming and flavorful but not painfully fiery. Her zinfandel version is the tangier of the pair, while the petite sirah sriracha leans toward deep, sweet berry tones underneath the heat. Try them with barbecue or bánh mì. $14 at

Techniques of the Cocktail Trade

The Bar Book: Elements of Cocktail Technique may not be ideal for the novice, but it’s an essential addition to any mixologist’s library. Written by bartender Jeffrey Morgenthaler, the book follows in the vein of the blog he’s written for the last ten years, focusing on technique instead of drinks recipes. Most chapters are devoted to the bartending that happens before service: juicing, infusing and creating syrups, sodas, ice and even dairy products to mix into drinks; other sections delve into basics like shaking, measuring and garnishing. The book stands out for the precision and detail of its instructions, including practical advice on which lemons to use for juicing and which for zesting; the importance of blanching herbs before making syrups (so they don’t turn brown), implementing the Japanese stirring technique and creating a MacGyver Centrifuge out of a salad spinner and a food processor. There are also seven pages devoted to playing with fire for anyone who wants tips on how to make a Blue Blazer without burning yourself, your house and your loved ones to the ground. The Bar Book: Elements of Cocktail Technique by Jeffrey Morgenthaler with Martha Homberg (Chronicle Books, San Francisco; $30)

True Glass

Designers Michael Schunke and Josie Gluck make these striking hand-blown decanters at a repurposed dairy farm in Chester County, Pennsylvania. The name of their studio, Vetro Vero, means “true glass” in Italian. $495 each at

Cool It

Angle 33’s attractive wine thermals use the insulating properties of concrete, rather than ice, to keep a bottle of wine cool. The Montana-based company claims that the thermals will maintain an even serving temperature for up to 90 minutes. The thermals come in 12 earth-tone colors and three sizes. $65 to $70 at

This story was featured in W&S August 2014.

This story appears in the print issue of August 2014.
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