Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Ten New Year's Toasts For 2015

New Year’s is one of the most popular times to give a toast. But, don't try too hard; a toast doesn’t have to be a long, rambling, or memorized performance; it can be as simple as raising your glass toward someone, or to an event, saying a few words and drinking.

Here are ten toasts to offer up as you ring in the New Year tonight!

1) In the New Year, may your right hand always be stretched out in friendship, and never in want
– Rudyard Kipling

2) May all your troubles last as long as your New Year’s resolutions.
– Joey Adams

3) Stir the eggnog, lift the toddy, Happy New Year, everybody.
– Phyllis McGinley

4) Then sing, young hearts that are full of cheer, With never a thought of sorrow; The old goes out, but the glad young year Comes merrily in tomorrow." – Emily Miller

5) Here's to the bright New Year and a fond farewell to the old; Here's to the things that are yet to come and to the memories that we hold. – Unknown

6) Here’s to your health this New Year’s night. Wishing your future is wealthy and bright. 
– Michael Varma

7) A New Year’s toast to love and laughter and happily ever after. –Unknown

8) Another fresh new year is here, another year to live! To banish worry, doubt and fear, to love and laugh and give! – William Arthur Ward

9) A New Year’s resolution is something that goes in one Year and out the other! – Anonymous

10) Here’s wishing you more happiness than all my words can tell, not just alone for New Year’s Eve but for all the year as well. – Unknown

And when all else fails, “Happy New Year” always conveys the thought! Here’s wishing you a happy, prosperous and beautiful 2015!

~ Joy

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

10 Tempting Holiday Toasts

Offering up a toast for the holidays is not as difficult as you might think. A toast is defined as being “a ritual in which a drink is taken as an expression of honor or goodwill.” We usually offer toasts at weddings, retirement parties, graduations, and dinners – Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s are always popular “toast” events.

But a toast doesn’t have to be a long, rambling, or memorized performance; it can be as simple as raising your glass toward someone, or to an event, saying a few words and drinking.

Rise to the occasion this holiday season and offer a variation of your own “peace on earth; goodwill to men toast. Here are ten Christmas toasts to get you started.

1) Here’s to holly and ivy hanging up, and something wet in every cup. 
– Ogden Nash

2) At Christmas play and make good cheer, for Christmas comes but once a year. – Thomas Tusser

3) God bless us, every one – Tiny Tim in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol

4) At Christmas time, may you never forget what is worth remembering or remember what is best forgotten. – Irish Toast

5) Christmas ... A day when cheer and gladness blend, When heart meets heart And friend meets friend. - J. H. Fairweather

6) Wishing you more happiness than all my words can tell, not just for the holidays, but for all the year as well. 
– Author Unknown

7) May you have the gladness of Christmas which is hope; The spirit of Christmas which is peace; The heart of Christmas which is love
– Ada V. Hendricks

8) Then let us be merry and taste the good cheer, And remember old Christmas comes but once a year. -Old Christmas carol 
9) One of the nice things about Christmas is that you can make people forget the past with a present. - Author Unknown

10) If you can’t be merry at Christmas, then you can drive the rest of us home when we are! – Mark Bromberg

Raise a glass and celebrate! Happy Hanukkah! Joyful Solstice! Merry Christmas! Warm Kwanzaa Wishes! and Season’s Greetings to one and all!

 ~ Joy

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

10 Food and Wine Pairings To Get You Through the Holidays

This seems to be the busiest time of year. You have a house to decorate, gifts to buy, parties to attend, meals to plan and not enough hours in the day to make it all work seamlessly. But you don’t have to sacrifice enjoying a decent meal paired with a complimentary wine during the rush. Here are ten suggestions to help make your holiday season a little less stressed and a bit jollier.

Beef Stew
1) Soups and stews are the staples of a winter meal and the heavier the better when it’s cold. For beef stew or chili consider pouring a substantial red like Cabernet or Syraz. For a creamy chicken or seafood chowder, a bottle of lightly oaked Chardonnay will do nicely. Serving more of a broth-based soup like Chicken Noodle or French Onion? Go with a glass of Pinot Noir.

Spaghetti & Meatballs
2) Busy nights call for simple meals and what’s simpler than spaghetti and meatballs. Mix up your favorite tomato sauce, pour over the pasta, sprinkle some Parmesan cheese on top, toast some Italian bread and pour a glass of Chianti. The acidity in the wine works with the tomatoes and the fruit-forward flavors will make the meal taste special.

Take Out
3) Sometimes it just has to be takeout! If you’re ordering a spicy Mexican meal, reach for a Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc. Opting for Italian? Grab a bottle of Sangiovese or a Zinfandel. For an Indian meal, uncork a dry Traminette or Vidal.

4) Party appetizers can run the gamut from savory to sweet and include everything from finger foods to tapas. Best to start the evening with a glass of Traminette or a sparkling wine: both have broad appeal and go with a multitude of flavors.

Fish Dinner
5) For a meaty Salmon or Tuna dinner serve a Chardonnay or Pinot Noir. If you are having a more flaky fish like Tilapia or Flounder, a nicely chilled Sauvignon Blanc will enhance the meal.

Chicken Dinner
6) Having a GNO (Girl’s Night Out) for the holidays? Opt for a roast or grilled chicken meal and savor a glass of Pinot Noir or a nicely oaked Chardonnay. If you’re more of a wing girl, pass on the beer and try an off-dry Riesling or even a Malbec to put out the fire.

Steak and Potatoes
7) Having dinner out with the in-laws or your kid’s latest flame? Time for some major yet classy comfort food; think steak and potatoes served with a big bold wine like a Cabernet or red Zinfandel. By the end of the meal you’ll feel mellow, regardless of the dinner conversation.

8) For those who serve wild game during the holidays, go for a wine with an earthy taste. Cabernet Sauvignon is excellent with venison and a Barbera or Zinfandel will enhance the flavors of wild boar, goose and duck.

Cheese tray
9) Ah, the holiday cheese tray. You never know what flavors you’ll encounter on one of these little forays so be prepared for anything with a glass of dry sparkling wine. If you are a die-hard red drinker, opt for Pinot Noir’s friendly approach to most cheeses.

Dessert Tray
10) Since it’s the holidays, you must have dessert. (Trust me.) Revel in those tiny bubbles with tarts, fruit crisps and trifles, be it a sparkling Moscato or demi-sec champagne. For a more caramel-chocolate based dessert enjoy a classic Port.

And if you’re suddenly craving a sweet/salty fix get out the potato chips and savor them with a dessert wine. Seriously! Sherry, Port or Madeira all work well with salty foods.

The holidays are here: Go out and enjoy the festivities!

~ Joy

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

7 Holiday Gifts for the Wine Lover on Your List

The holiday season has arrived and with it comes the baffling job of selecting the “perfect” gift for everyone on your list. Well, if you’re shopping for a wine lover, or two, here are a few suggestions. (And FYI: I am not affiliated with any of these companies.)

1) There are times when the wine is just not chilled enough and adding an ice-cube is a bit tacky. So what’s a girl to do? Just drop in these little pearls and soon you’ll be chillin’ with style. SPARQ Wine Pearls come in a set of 4 stainless steel balls that will chill or maintain the temperature of your wine in the glass for at least 30 minutes. Now that’s a cool wine gift!  Order at

2) Wine geeks and tech geeks will love the Wine Cork USB Drive. Created using real wine corks, these little flash drives come with 8 GB storage and are compatible with Mac OS 10+ and Windows 7, Windows XP, Windows Vista and Linux. Check out these little corkers at

3) And while we’re on the subject of computers, dress up your desk with a vino-inspired mouse pad. Several are designs are available, from the "Red Wines" mouse pad to those that celebrate the old art prints of the Roaring Twenties. With a non-slip rubber backing and hefty ¼” thickness, these pads work with an optical or ball-type mouse. Pounce on one at

4) So many wines, so little time. Besides selecting, cellaring, and enjoying the
wine – you also have to remember when you opened it, so that it can be drank before its time is past. Enter New York designer George Lee who has created “A Date With Wine” wine stopper, a twistable date ring that you can use to record the date the wine was opened, and also cork the bottle with. Crafted from stainless steel with a rubber seal this little corker fits in most wine bottles. Get it at

5) We all have that one person who’s just a bit off the wall and this could be THE gift that rocks their world because not everyone can tout a Wine Monkey Wine Bag with flair. Created from American red-heel socks this sock monkey vino bag will set you apart from the crowd, and your friends will go ape for it. Swing on in at

Just for Him:
6) What man could pass up a power tool? And now it gets even better: the Bosch IXO cordless screwdriver comes complete with a corkscrew attachment.

7) And for that die-hard beer drinker, let him have his mug and chug Chenin Blanc too. The WINESTEIN double-walled stemware mug keeps the wine cool while making a statement. The mug/glass holds 8 oz. of your favorite vino, so pour a tankard and toast the season with gusto.

And as always, a bottle of wine is always welcome by vino lovers, just try to make it more of a middle-of-the-road offering that everyone can enjoy regardless of their taste preference: Riesling, Beaujolais, or a nice Port.

Tis the season, so let’s celebrate it with verve and vino! Cheers!

~ Joy