Wine 101

5 Ways to Stay Connected with Friends When You Feel Faraway

Life can get busy and sometimes it is hard to connect with friends that feel a lifetime away. Use these 5 tips to stay connected with friends!

How to Avoid (and Prevent) Wine Teeth

Getting wine teeth is the ultimate party pooper! Here are 7 ways to help avoid the short-term and long-term effects of wine teeth.

9 Summer Wine Tools All Beginners Need

Wine can be intimidating when you first start out. Use these 9 wine tools for beginners and you’ll easily become a wine pro!

What the Heck are Wine Legs

Wine legs is a scientific phenomenon that has stumped wine experts for years. What are wine legs telling you about your wine?

How to Drink Wine Like a Spaniard

The drinking culture in Spain is very different that American drinking culture. So, how do you drink wine like a Spaniard? Use this guide to get started!

9 Wines to Drink Based on Your Starbucks Order

Coffee is what keeps us going until it’s time to drink wine! Here are 9 wines for coffee drinkers based on your Starbucks order.

3 Ways to Use Red Wine in Your Skincare Routine

We have teamed up with Hero Cosmetics to answer this question: Is wine good for skin? We know red wine has many health benefits, but what about skin?

Frosé, All Day With These 5 Frosé Recipes

Frosé all day with these 5 frosé recipes! They are perfect summer drink for relaxing in the backyard or hitting the beach.

The Best Wines for Father’s Day Based on Dad’s Personality

Looking for the perfect Father’s Day wine for you dad? Find the best match based on his personality: Is he overly proud? Adventurous? We know the best fit!

The 5 Best Red Wines for Summer

Red wine can be enjoyed any time of the year! These 5 summer red wines are great for sipping at backyard BBQs, picnics, or while relaxing on the patio.

How to Make Your Own Wine Popsicles

Wine popsicles are a perfect summer refreshment! Part childhood throwback, part boozy treat. Find your favorite fruit + wine combination with these recipes!

How to Drink Wine Like an Italian

Take a relaxing trip to Italy without leaving your home! Learn how to drink wine like an Italian and master the art of savoring the simple things.

9 Wine-focused Ways to Make Your Summer More Glamorous

Social distancing summer, here we come! Try out these 9 wine-focused ways to help make your summer more glamorous after months of quarantine.

How to Remove Pesky Red Wine Stains

Do you have a difficult red wine stain? Here are some easy at-home ways to remove red wine stains from your carpet, clothes, furniture, and more.

The Judgement of Paris: The Blind Wine Tasting that Changed the World

The Judgement of Paris wine tasting in 1976 was revolutionary. It dethroned France as the de-facto wine capital and democratized the wine world.

Red Wine May Be Healthier Than You Thought

Red wine can be healthy in moderation! A recent study found that red wine may help protect your heart from disease. You should pour a glass to celebrate.

How to Recreate a Parisian Wine Vacation at Home

Bored at home? Escape on a Parisian wine vacation without leaving your house using these tips! Taste the best food, wine, and culture Paris has to offer!

27 Wine Trivia Questions to Get You Through Quarantine

Put your wine wisdom to the test and see if you have what it takes to correctly answer these 27 wine trivia questions! Perfect for virtual happy hours.

Why Do Some Wines Give You A Headache?

Frustrated by a wine headache after enjoying just one glass? Don’t worry! Learn the top three culprits of your wine headaches and how to avoid them.

Top 10 Wine Tools All Beginners Need

You don’t need a bunch of fancy gizmos to truly enjoy wine. But if you’re looking to up your game, these top 10 wine tools all beginners need are worth the investment – they’ll make your life easier and your wine taste better.

How to Choose the Right Wine Glass

Choosing the right glass for the wine you’re drinking is surprisingly simple and will actually make your wine taste better. Just use these tips!

How to Host an At-home Wine Tasting During Quarantine

Want to host your own at-home wine tasting during quarantine, either virtually with friends or at home with your partner? It’s super easy, use these tips!

How Much Is a “Buttload” of Wine?

People use “buttload” to mean a large amount, but how much is a “buttload” of wine? Get this: a “buttload of wine” is an actual measurement! Mind. Blown.

How to Host Your Own Virtual Happy Hour With Friends

MIssing your friends? Use these tips to connect with them via a virtual happy hour. Remember: social distancing DOES NOT mean social isolation.

The 6 Most Common Wine Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Are you guilty of making these mistakes? No judgement. Learn about the six most common wine mistakes and how to avoid them.

Is There Actual Forest Floor In My Glass?! A Guide to Wine Flavor Notes

If a wine says it tastes like raspberries or forest floor does it actually contain soil or berries? Learn about the most common wine flavor notes and whether your wine actually contains the ingredients it’s supposed to taste like.

If You Love THESE Popular Wines (like Apothic Red), Here’s What to Try Next

Tired of drinking the same popular supermarket wine, like Apothic Red, Barefoot Pink Moscato, or Yellow Tail Pinot Grigio? Here’s what to try next based on your favorite go-to wine.

Is Expensive Wine Really Worth It?

Tired of springing for an expensive bottle only to hate it? Let’s examine the age-old question: Is expensive wine worth it? The answer may surprise you.

How to Pair Your Food and Wine Like a Pro

Pairing food and wine can be intimidating, but don’t worry! It’s actually quite easy. Just use these simple tips to pair your food and wine like a pro.

8 Amazing Wine and Cheese Pairings

Pairing wine and cheese, while delicious, doesn’t have to be hard! Use these 8 amazing wine and cheese pairings and you’ll be an expert in no time!

How to Care for Your Wine Glasses

Everything you need to know to care for your wine glasses and ensure they won’t detract from your wine’s flavors – whether your glasses are fancy or not.

Top 12 Tips for Wine Newbies – Become a Wine Expert In No Time!

You don’t need a PhD to enjoy a glass of wine. Just use these top 12 tips for wine newbies, and you’ll become a wine expert in no time!

No corkscrew? No problem! How to open wine with household items

How to open a bottle of wine with household items when you’ve lost your corkscrew. And your head.

The Best Low-calorie Wines for Achieving Your New Year’s Weight Loss Resolutions

Got a New Year’s Resolution to lose weight in 2020? Successfully diet without cutting out alcohol by drinking these weight loss-friendly, low-calorie wines!

The life of a wine grape

Today we’re learning about the life of our tiny friend – the wine grape. These little guys might not have a super long lifespan, but their time here on earth is so valuable for us wine lovers.

The Comprehensive Guide to Opening a Bottle of Wine

I swear, every time I go to someone’s house for drinks there’s always a different type of corkscrew being used. How many types of corkscrew are there in the world? How do you use each one? Are some better than others? Help!

If You Love Moscato, You Should Try These 7 Alternatives Instead

If you’ve ever visited Italy (or, more likely, have been a college-aged female at some point in your life) you’ve tried Moscato. It’s that sugary sweet, sometimes fizzy, easy sipping wine we all love to hate, hate to love, or openly and proudly adore. With demand rapidly increasing, Moscato is going nowhere and we are…

Terroir: Taste the Place

Terr-what? Our thoughts exactly! Simply put, terroir (pronounced ‘ter-wahr’), is the reason why Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France tastes different than Pinot Noir from Oregon. Like many wine terms, terroir has French origins. Although there is no literal English translation, it generally means “a sense of place.” Poetic, right? This refers to all of the…

How to Store Your Wine

You know the feeling, right? When you come home with a new bottle of wine and feel like a kid leaving the candy store with a golden ticket. But if you’re saving that bottle of wine for a special night, make sure you’re storing it correctly so you don’t spoil the evening with a rotten…

6 Tips for Celebrating National Wine Day

It’s almost our favorite day of the year! May 25th is National Wine Day (not to be confused with February 18th – National Drink Wine Day. Apparently we weren’t the only ones who thought wine deserved multiple holidays). Follow our tips for properly celebrating, and make it your best National Wine Day yet:   Get…

#Winesday: Wine Connoisseur Translator

If you’ve ever found yourself at a dinner party, wine bar, or fancy restaurant and thought: “Terr-what? Who’s Stelvin? And since when did wine have so many body parts??” You’re not alone. Check out our A-Z wine terminology list, and get on your way to becoming a Sommelier! (hint hint, see: Sommelier below)   Acidity…

#Winesday: Get to know Aglianico

Ciao, winos! There’s so much more to Italian vino than your go-to Pinot Grigio and Chianti in wicker baskets. Let’s talk about an ancient grape with an up-and-coming popularity on American wine lists: Aglianico.   Region     Aglianico (“alli-yawn-nico”) hails from the Campania, Basilicata and Puglia regions of Italy, the southern part of the…

Do we care too much about labels?

We don’t know about you, but there are some days when we wander down the wine aisle at our local grocery store in hopes of stumbling upon our next new favorite wine. After we spend a good 5 minutes staring at the wine, waiting for one to sound extra appetizing, we give up, look at…

#Winesday: Zinfandel

Odds are you’ve heard of Zinfandel, often affectionately called Zin. Zinfandel sounds like a cool wine, right? It sounds like the kind of drink you should have in your glass at a high-end party hosted by your rich boss. The name itself sounds classy. Wait, aren’t there two kinds of Zin? You’re one smart wino.…

How to Repurpose Your Wine Bottles

Now we know you don’t need an excuse to drink more wine, but there are plenty of cute and crafty ways for you to repurpose your old bottles once you’ve finished them. So gather up your fellow wine lovers, have a wine night and then reuse those empty bottles to vamp up your home decor.…

Your Best Wines According to Your Zodiac Sign

We’re just as guilty as the next person for checking up on our horoscope sign every now and then. Who doesn’t want to hear that the stars have finally aligned and their dream vacay is right around the corner? Horoscopes say a lot about who you are (not to mention some of them can be…

#Winesday: Riesling

With a wine like Riesling, its reputation precedes it. You’ve heard all the rumors: it’s way too sweet, super dry, or smells like gasoline (seriously, look it up). But we’re here to put all those rumors to rest. If you’re not up to drinking this vino, we’ll give you a few good Rieslings. (We know,…

#Winesday: Cabernet Sauvignon, aka miss popular

When two wines really love each other, they come together to make a wine the world loves. And that little vino? It grew up successful, rich, and goes by the name Cabernet Sauvignon. But it’s close friends call it Cab Sauv. In 1996, a research group at UC Davis discovered that Cab Sauv is actually…

Proper Wine Tasting Order: The Breakdown

Ever wanted to host a wine tasting but didn’t know where to start? We feel you. Sometimes we like to call sipping from a bottle on our couch in sweatpants a ‘wine tasting’ (we technically are tasting wine) but we know we’re kidding ourselves. It’s time to get fancy, pop some corks and lay out…

Label Language: Sparkling Wine

Reading a sparkling wine label is like trying to learn a foreign language (or more specifically, French). All the fancy terms and elegant phrases tend to go way over our heads, so we’re here to dumb down the lingo so that we’re all able to knowledgeably enjoy our bubbly together. While you’ve read that fermentation…

#Winesday: Chardonnay

Grab your glasses, it’s #Winesday! Today we’re celebrating the most planted white wine grape in the world: Chardonnay. Even if you’re not an avid wine drinker, you’ve definitely heard of Chardonnay. But you might not know much about this varietal other than its iconic taste and color. That’s ok, neither did we! While Chardonnay can…

Tanning and Tannins

You are what you eat, right? Or in our case, we are what we drink. Believe it or not, we’re a lot more similar to wine grapes than we thought, and not just because we can be both sweet, and bitter, at times.  We’re talking about how a grape’s skin reacts to the sun almost…

#Winesday: Petite Sirah

Happy #Winesday winos! Today, we’re sipping on a little Petite Sirah. But don’t be fooled by its name, this varietal is anything but small. In fact, “petite” actually refers to the size of the grape, not the body or flavor of this red wine (which, in our humble opinion, is out of this world). While…

The History of Sake

Sake and Sushi. They go together like red wine and dark chocolate. Like Romeo and Juliet. Like socks and sandals. Ok maybe not that last one, but you get the gist. But where did this iconic duo originate? While sake and sushi are traditional Japanese cuisine, sake surprisingly originated in China. Also known as nihonshu,…

From vine to wine

It’s simple really. A grape grows on a vine, and a few months later it has transformed into your favorite red. But what kind of sorcery is happening that turns that beautifully sober grape into a full-bodied Malbec? Here are the deets. Also, just an FYI, I’m skipping over the nitty-gritty of how grapes are…

#Winesday: Pinot Grigio

This #Winesday, we’re raising our glasses to a popular pour: Pinot Grigio! This dry, acidic white is one of the most popular wines out there, and for good reasons. But with popularity comes rumors, and this varietal is no exception to bad press. But we’re here to prove the stigmas wrong. You can’t always believe…

How to create a cheeseboard

Like any good wino, we’re a huge fan of cheese. Not just because cheese is the founding father of our favorite foods (hello chips and queso, cheddar Sun Chips and cheese curds – fresh or fried). We love cheese for all those reasons, obviously, but also because it pairs SO well with wine. There are…

#Winesday: Get to know Rosé

You either love it or you hate it (or hate that you love it). Whichever it is, a glass of Rosé is inevitable during these hot summer days, and we’re here to teach you a thing or two about the pink drink (and convince you that it’s okay to drink Rosé. Yes, even the men…

The 5 S’s of wine

To my dismay, and yours, the five S’s of wine aren’t sip, sip, sip… Impress your friends at your next wine night by educating them correctly with the five S’s of wine: sight, swirl, sniff, sip and savor. These five wine tasting steps force you to slow down, learn a thing or two about the…

What the Colors in Your Wine are Telling You

Red, white, and Rosé. The only colors you really need to know when picking out wine. But what makes some bottles of Rosé a few shades lighter than others? Why are some reds on the verge of pink when others look more maroon? Fear not winos, here’s the breakdown of what the color of your…

#Winesday: All About Malbec

Happy Wednesday Winos! You made it through half the work week, and that calls for some celebration. We’re kicking off this #Winesday with a personal favorite: Malbec. I feel like Malbec is one of those wines that most people have definitely heard of, but few really know anything specific about it. It all started with…

5 Ways to Repurpose Your Used Wine Corks

Now I understand there’s a fine line between hoarding and collecting, but every time I get to the end of a wine bottle I feel so guilty throwing it away. The labels are just so pretty and the corks are all so unique. When I drop a good amount of cash on a bottle of…

What Does Aerating Wine Even Do?

Aerating? Decanting? English, please!! All these wine terms can be hard to keep straight, and even harder to understand. So what does it mean when you aerate your wine? This is basically just a fancy word that wine connoisseurs use to explain letting your wine breathe, which can seem like a weird concept since wine…

Here’s the Right Way to Hold Your Wine Glass

We’ve all been there. It’s Friday and you’re out to eat with some of your friend’s friends who you’re trying to impress. They’re talking about how culturally aware they are after their lavish trip to Spain as they sniff out the “delicate elderflower” scents in their white wine. Meanwhile, you’re just trying to figure out…

Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good Vino?

Sonoma, we have a problem. It’s a tale worse than that of the Bogeyman. It’s been a long day at work; you were late, you fell down the stairs in front of your new boss (something that has definitely never happened to me), and upon arriving home, you realize the cat tore up your curtains.…

#Winesday: Novice Knowledge

The wine world is an incredibly vast, intriguing, sometimes terrifying place. Even the pro's openly admit that they'll never know everything there is to know about wine. It's impossible! No need to stress over being a master, let's start with the basics. Now that you know the fundamentals, it's time to put it to use!…

Top 5 Grape Varietals

Being that we’re a wine company, we’re constantly talking about interesting grape varietals from across the world. Sometimes we have to remind ourselves to take a step back from the atypical and pay homage to wine’s roots - the OG Top 5. These guys are the big hitters, stars of wine country, and some of…

Battle of the Bubbly

Let’s set the record straight: all Champagne is sparkling wine, but not all sparkling wine is Champagne. There are many different types of sparklers that vary in production style, flavor and price! Read up on these various bubbly alternatives if you’re not exactly balling on a Champagne budget. And of course, the only thing more…

#Winesday: Hibernating and Hosting

The holidays are here and we're looking forward to two of our favorite things: hosting get-togethers and cozying up indoors! Whether you're entertaining the masses or having a wine and cheese party for one, follow these simple guidelines for a delicious and eye-catching pairing experience.

#Winesday: The Merlot Low-Down

November 7th was National Merlot Day! Join in on our week-long celebration and get the low-down on this popular red wine varietal. Overview Today, Merlot is the second most widely-planted wine grape in the entire world after Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s known for being well-balanced, smooth and perfect for pairing. Don’t let preconceived notions or shade…

4 Creepy Crawlers Haunting Vineyards

Picture this: you’re twelve again, running through your parents’ vineyard (a girl can dream, right?) as the moon is rising, just hoping you won’t be the first found in your game of hide & seek with your friends. As you’re creeping behind a bare, post-harvest vine, your hand slides into some sort of web and…

Don’t be Afraid of the Dark: Bold Red Wines We Dare you to Try

You’ve heard the horror stories. Tales of bitter, tannic reds with enough acidity to burn your face off and leave you shuddering for days. Perhaps you’ve fallen victim to a dark red wine gone wrong. Or maybe fellow wine drinkers have scared you into avoiding these varietals all together. Fear not, friends. Grab a glass…

Garnacha: A New Experience

Like a lot of wine drinkers, we know what we like. When we want a glass of wine (which is pretty often), we don’t want to guess wrong. We just want something we know we’ll love and won’t be wasting our money on. But forcing yourself to finish a glass so you get your money’s…

The Carignan Club: John Hughes’s Grape Story

You know the story well. A nice girl, gone unnoticed due to her unconventional beauty and seemingly bad luck. If only the poor girl would sweep her hair off her face! Surely then the popular boy would fall in love with her! You’ve seen it in The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Say Anything and almost…

Fight Night, Wine Edition: France V. Italy

Step right up to witness the fight of your life. Year after year we watch two countries battle it out on the vineyard. Forget Rousey and Holm; this is the Fight Night all winos have been waiting for. France v. Italy. For centuries there has been an ongoing competition between France and Italy in regards…

Anatomy of a Wine Bottle

We can talk about what is inside a bottle of wine all day. The color, smell, flavors, origin and how much we needed it after that long day at work. What we don’t talk about a whole lot, however, is the physical bottle itself. That beautifully shaped bottle serves a very important purpose, aside from…

No Rhyme or Riesling

Some people see the word “Riesling” on a wine list or label and scoff. “Too sweet for my taste,” they say to themselves, as they skim over it in hopes to find something more suitable. Little do they know, the Riesling they ignored had the potential to be one of their very favorites. Some people…

#Winesday: Oaktober

Slow clap for the oak tree, ya'll. Oak is what gives wines that extra oomph that wine drinkers either love or hate or absolutely must have. So, why oak? What's this tree's purpose when it comes to the wine world? Pour yourself some vino and discover why everyone should embrace the mighty, mighty oak. Why…

Diary of an Over-Eager Austrian Harvest Newbie

In January of 2016 I packed my bags, kissed my diploma goodbye, and set out on a year-long winemaking adventure in Austria. That’s right. This fresh-out-of-college Wisconsin native, up and moved to Austria to speak German and pick grapes for a year. (Ok, that wasn’t all I did, you can learn more about my experiences…

The Ultimate Wine-Filled Staycation

Plane tickets are pricey, hotel beds are uncomfortable, cat sitters are expensive…The best way to beat that “I need a vacation from my vacation” feel is simple: stay home! Staycations are quickly becoming the new vacations. There is something to be said for relaxing and recharging in the comfort of your own humble abode. Of…

I used red wine as fabric dye, and here’s what happened:

We’ve all been in a situation where we took a leap of faith in the morning and threw on a crisp white article of clothing. After a couple of turns checking your fine self out in the mirror, you nod your head in approval and head out into the world, ready to slay in your…

There is no black or white, Only shades of Gamay.

The story of Gamay goes to show that, when it comes to wines, you can’t let someone else judge which grapes are “good” or “bad.” In the wine world, there is no black or white. Only shades of Gamay. Think of it this way. Your friend is describing someone to you, but the image they’ve…

TBH, p. excited about these v. important Italian abbrevs.

(Translation: To be honest, pretty excited about these very important Italian abbreviations) If you can interpret this headline, you must be a millennial. We live and breathe for abbreviations, amirite? Luckily, there are four GR8 abbreviated categories we can refer to when it comes to Italian wines. Brb enjoy.  GOAT The French are pretty much…

Autumn Aromas Found in Your Vino

It's fall, y’all! Yes, summer is wonderful and we’ll miss it dearly, but most of us at Bright Cellars HQ have been craving the changing of the seasons like a warm apple pie. We just can’t help it. Fall is the best. Maybe we love it so much because of the picturesque trees and crisp…

The Latest Wine Endeavor: Orange Wines. Are They Here to Stay?

Orange. It’s the international color of sunsets and warmth. It’s the color of all the best things, really. Think: crunchy fall leaves, macaroni and cheese, cute calico cats...But it’s probably not the first thing you think of when considering wines. Turns out, however, that maybe it should be. (Just trust us on this one, we…

How it’s made: Sparkling Wines Edition

Horrible wordplay aside, ever find yourself on the NASCAR victory podium after a grueling 300 lap race celebrating your hard-fought victory, only to think to yourself, “Hey, how did they get the bubbles in this bottle?” If you’re like me, probably*, but if you’re not, perhaps you’ve been weaving through rush hour traffic when Notorious…

Wines to Fall for: What to Drink this Autumn

FALL IS OFFICIALLY HERE! Can you tell I’m excited? Let’s face it, fall is the best. You can try and debate me on this one, but you will lose. It’s the season for butternut squash soup, pumpkin spice lattes, beautiful color-changing trees, sweater weather, NFL (for those sporty types), no shave November (I mean, who…

Oaktoberfest: An Ode to Oak

Oaktoberfest: An Ode to Oak   Sorry Oktoberfest, move over light beer we decided to celebrate something new this year   Oaktoberfest is our dedication to the mighty oak tree We know you’re literally screaming with glee   Oak trees grow in forests ‘round the earth It’s time we appreciate what they’re really worth  …

Grigio vs. Gris: Do you (pi)know the difference?

Similar but not the same, two wines from one grape with a changing name. Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio come from the same grape. The grape has a skin that is white, sometimes with a grayish, brownish, or pink hue. This grape is named for its color, gris and grigio, which both translate to “gray”…

Livin’ La Vino Loca: My Austrian Wine Experience

My year in Austria started out with me asking for mustard instead of soap when I wanted to wash my hands. Fresh off a plane, this was the first impression made on my host family, at that point they probably had second thoughts because they were under the impression that I spoke German (which I…

Interview with a Concierge

Welcome to the wonderful world of wine concierges. It’s a magical world, where everything revolves around helping people find the wines they love. So magical, in fact, that one of our writers once affectionately referred to it as a “unicorn job.” A job so unique, so fascinating, so entertaining, that it couldn’t actually be real…

The Birds and the Bees

While reading through The Wine Bible (aka what all winos swear by), a wonderful book by Karen MacNeil, we found ourselves fascinated by her excerpt titled “The Sex Life of Wine Grapes.” A title that would not only make any grade schooler giggle, but apparently also several twenty-something-year-olds too. So sit down and listen in…

Let’s Meet Lillet

Lillet (pronounced li'le) is a wine-based apertif from France. Consider it the French pre-game to a nice meal. Lillet was first created in 1887 by two brothers, Paul and Raymond Lillet, in Podensac, France, where it is still produced today. Podensac lies just south of the world-renowned wine region of Bordeaux, which is important to…

4 Laborless drinks for your Labor Day weekend

With Labor Day right around the corner, we’re daydreaming about friends, family, food and (of course) wine. Whether you’re spending your three-day-weekend on a boat, at a backyard BBQ, or just saying so-long to summer (and wearing white pants), make sure you’re prepared with some of our favorite end-of-the-season sippers:

The Battle of the Wine Stoppers

It’s like they always say: “it’s what’s on the inside that counts.” While the debate has gone on for ages, one thing still reigns true for wine lovers: the seal should not reflect the wine inside of it. Think about it. If all you’re after is a great glass of vino, does it actually matter…

Dom Pérignon: The Monk, The Myth, The Legend

We all know that Drake and Future be sippin’ on Dom Pérignon for no reason (see: Diamonds Dancing). Well, do we have some news for you, homies. There are countless reasons to celebrate and sip on Dom Pérignon. Developing winemaking techniques and making Champagne famous are only a few of Drake’s accomplishments. Newsflash, Drake: none…

#Winesday: Wine-ter is Here. What wine is your favorite GOT character?

If you’ve ever spent an evening (or a weekend, no judgement) binge watching Game of Thrones then you’ve definitely seen a sizable amount of wine consumed by the show’s characters. As avid fans of both Thrones and wine, we often pair our episodes with a nice chalice of vino. We watch the characters throw back…

A Toast to Toasting: Cheersing Around the World

A Toast to Toasting: Cheersing Around the World While the exact origin of toasting is highly debated (some say it involved people trying to poison one another, others say it was a way to create trust…), our favorite origination stems from the idea of filling a void of camaraderie. Hundreds of years ago, it was…

I’ve Got Your (Mal)bec

True story: On my first day of work, we had a team blind tasting competition. (Don't worry, I work for a wine company, so it’s cool.) Not only had I never done a blind tasting before, our CEO was joining us. Talk about pressure. Each team received the same wine and was expected to swirl,…

Spotlight Wine Region: Vernaccia di San Gimignano

Remember wine writers Joseph Bastianich and David Lynch and their “we’re unimpressed” review of Est! Est!! Est!!! wine? Basically, they said that the Est! Est!! Est!!! wine is actually nothing to write home about, contrary to its discovery legend. The authors compared it to Vernaccia di San Gimignano, saying that both had a more compelling…

Intro to Italian Wines

Ahhh, Italy. Does anything get better than the sweet aromas of fresh bread, the rolling hills of Tuscany and the bustling cobblestone streets of Rome?  Actually, it does, because that list excludes the copious amount of wine originating from the country. So get ready class, because today’s oenology lesson is all about those fickle –…

Bellini: The New Brain Food.

It seems like the world’s most refreshing cocktails include just a bit of sparkling wine and some sweet fruit juices. Your current go-to may be a mid-morning mimosa, with some simple OJ and Champagne. But prepare to awaken your taste buds to a bubbly, brunch-time Bellini. Sit down Snoop, we no longer stand by Peaches…

The Wine & Camping Campaign

Have you heard the news?! August 10th is National S’mores Day! Beer may be the old standby, but we’re determined to make wine the campers’ bevvy of choice this year. Grab your marshmallow roasting stick and a bottle of vino, and learn why wine is your new camping essential:   Wine + Camping – The…

How a Winged-Aphid Changed Wine Forever

Last weekend I went over to a friend’s house for a bonfire. A very Wisconsin thing to do, I know, but we only get summer for maybe two months every year. It’s my mission to be outside for every ounce of it. As I sat enjoying the cool night air and crackling of the fire,…

Why Does Rosé Taste So Damn Good?

As I slid into the booth at my favorite Milwaukee restaurant, I snatched up the wine menu. Scanning the list for the wine I wanted only took a few seconds. “Are we all good with a bottle of the rosé?” I asked the booth. Unsurprisingly, the answer was unanimous – yes, obvi. The waitress soon…

Est! Est!! Est!!! di Montefiascone

Dinner  is served: you’re dining al fresco on the terrazza of a centuries-old villa. Panoramic views of the gentle rolling hills, golden from the setting sun give way to a brilliant blue inland ake. You’re enjoying  traditional Roman cuisine, cacio e pepe made with the freshest bucatini and local Pecorino Romano cheese. You grab the bottle of…

#Winesday: Drink Pink

Gone are the days of boxed White Zinfandel. Rosé is trending, and it’s here to stay! This vibrant vino is a true example of a trash to treasure tale, quickly becoming the fastest growing wine category and everyone’s summer favorite. Discover rosé’s story and why you should drink pink: Rosé Revolution – The Maceration Method…

How to Chill Your 4 favorite Types of Wine

Now that we’ve sipped our way through the Fourth of July, it’s safe to say that summer is officially here. And boy, do we love it. Summer gives us a chance to show off our favorite bikini, try out that chic new sunhat we bought back in October and work on getting the perfect golden…

Dear Sangiovese, Don’t Ever Change.

Picture this: you’re sitting on the veranda of an Italian villa. A cool breeze is blowing off the Mediterranean Sea. The sun is setting in the distance. You have a plate of authentic lasagne waiting to be devoured. Your wine glass is empty and you’re ready to drink as the Romans do, but what vino…

Collecting Wine is a Paradox

I don’t understand wine collectors. For that matter, I don’t understand collecting anything consumable (I’m looking at you, guy paying $2,500+ for a bottle of bourbon). Last summer, a wine collection with 4,600 bottles went to auction and was valued at roughly $7.6 million. If I had 4,600 bottles of incredible wine, do you know…

#Winesday: 9 Ways to Recycle Your Bright Cellars Wine Inserts

Curious about what to do with your Bright Cellars wine inserts after you’ve finished reading them? We polled our team to find out their favorite ways to recycle their inserts once they’ve soaked up all of that educational content. Here are a few of our favorite creative uses:   1. Wino wallpaper This is a…

Ancient Gods Who Liked to Party

Surprising to none, wine is not a new fad. Sure, Cleopatra and Abraham Lincoln probably weren’t sipping rosé with their baes or arguing with their squads about which Red Blend is the Napa Valley Red Blend, but wine has been around for thousands of years. We know that the average wino isn’t necessarily a history…

Wine Labels: A Designer’s Process

We’ve all been there. You’re walking down the wine aisle, intimidated and not sure what to get. You may know whether you prefer reds or whites, but beyond that, you’re pretty open to trying anything. So, how do you decide which one of the many wines on the shelf is the best choice? It’s a…

Your Best Staycation Ever

Plane tickets are pricey, hotel beds are uncomfortable, cat sitters are expensive…The best way to beat that “I need a vacation from my vacation” feel is simple: stay home! Staycations are quickly becoming the new vacations. There is something to be said for relaxing and recharging in the comfort of your own humble abode. Of…

10 Tips for Drinking Mindfully

Summer is in full-swing and our calendars are booked with patio parties, festivals and grill-outs. With so many exciting events and so little time, this got us thinking: How can we enjoy our Chardonnay and Rosé all season long without overindulging? Check out our top tips for treating yourself to a glass while still maintaining…

4 Tips for Creating the Most Instagram-worthy Summer Wine & Cheese Party

#Summer is by far the most Instagram-able season, with its hashtag hitting over 251 million posts. This exceeds what the other three seasons have to their names combined. So when you have a get-together that consists of that Chardonnay bottle with the prettiest label in the store, a cheese board masterpiece and your closest friends,…

Red Blends: The Goldendoodles of Wine

We’ve all heard the expression “two heads are better than one.” Perfect pairings bring out the best in one another. Think, goat cheese and honey, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, Golden Retrievers and Poodles…yeah, I’m going there. Why shouldn’t this logic also apply to wine? Historically, the industry standard suggested that single varietal bottles are…

#Winesday: Keep it Cool

There’s nothing more refreshing than a cold glass of vino on a hot afternoon. If you find yourself reaching for a bottle that’s lukewarm on the counter…chillax! Check out our tips for quick-chilling your wine all summer long: Get Salty Place your wine in a bucket of ice, cold water and salt. Salt reduces the…

#Winesday: Wine’s Best Friend

June 23rd is Take Your Dog to Work Day! As if wine and work wasn’t already the greatest combination imaginable, at Bright Cellars HQ, every day is Take Your Dog to Work Day. This got us thinking…If our dogs were bottles of wine, what would they be? Well, a few glasses of vino and several…

Summertime Red Wines

You’re on a patio, the temperature is somewhere north of 80, you have a grill, some meat, and a bunch of empty glasses. What do you reach for? Frozen margaritas wouldn’t be wrong (frozen margs are never wrong), but we’re pouring juicy, chillable reds! Whites and rosés are often considered the go-to summer sippers, but…

Wine & Sunshine: A Guide to Summer Sipping

‘Tis the season for summer entertaining! Stumped on how much wine you’ll need for your warm weather get-togethers? No sweat! Follow these simple guidelines for keeping everyone’s glasses half-full. Calculation for Your Celebration Beverages for Your Bash If you have leftover vino: problem (is that ever a problem?) solved! Mix up one of our favorite refreshing…

Interview with a Somm

It’s no secret, the world of wine is equally confusing as it is captivating. We sat down with our Wine Director and Certified Sommelier, Gretel, to get her take on interesting wine recs, underrated regions, pairing suggestions, and more!   What’s your go-to bottle or varietal of wine? G: Bubbly and Rosé are so food-friendly,…

Tastebud Tango: Blind Tasting Like a Pro

Its no surprise: one of the best (and most enjoyable) ways to learn about wine is to actually taste it. Understanding and comparing wines is ideally done through blind tasting – knowing nothing about your bottle before your glass is poured, and discovering its secrets as you sip! Collect your wines, find a vino amigo, and…

Stop and Smell the Rosé: Wine Tasting by Smell

Baking spices, black currant, and barnyards, oh my! There are hundreds of aroma compounds found in wine. Swirl your glass, take a whiff, and follow these tips for identifying wines by smell: Each wine has its own unique set of characteristics, but the following aromas are commonly identified in these varietals:

#Winesday: The Wine Down Under

Australia: home to the Great Barrier Reef, the Sydney Opera House, and some of the most delicious wines in our cellar. It’s National Hug an Australian Day!  Wrap your arms around one of the country’s top wine varietals, and see what all the yabber is about: Shiraz – Oz’s most well-known grape Let’s set things…

Seeing is Believing: Wine Tasting by Sight

A lot of clues about a wine are hidden in its appearance. Before you polish off your glass, follow these visual tips for getting to know your vino! Compare your glass to our color guide below, and discover what your wine’s shade reveals about its make-up:

#Winesday: Basic Wine Etiquette for the Not-so-Basic Wine Lover

We’ve all been there. It doesn’t matter if you’re meeting the parents for the first time or having your close friends over for a Friday wine night, hosting can be intimidating. Before polishing off all of the wine in an attempt to calm your pre-party nerves, follow these simple wine etiquette steps to seriously impress…

How to Pick Out a Sweet Wine

You’re either one of two people: craving something for your sweet tooth or looking to avoid making your numerous cavities worse. Whichever it is, we’ve got the low-down so you know whether or not you’re picking a sweet vino off the shelf. Here are some clues: fermentation, alcohol content, varietals, and region. Essentially, fermentation is…

5 Ways to Have the Best Night In Ever

The only thing better than going out is staying in. We teamed up with some of our favorite brands to give you 6 ways to have the best night in ever!   1. Get Comfortable One of the best parts of not going out? Not getting dressed to go out. The greatest weekend wear is…

How Winter Weather Affects Your Wine

The weather outside is frightful…but the wine is so delightful. It’s winter in the Midwest, and along with the obvious disadvantages (i.e. the icicle that formed underneath my nose this morning), wine shipments are hurting a bit too! So how does winter weather affect your wine? Winter weather can have a few negative effects on…

How to Pick the Right Wine Glass

Choose the perfect glass to impress friends, family… or your cat.  Red wine glasses are often larger with a wider bowl and rim. This wide design allows more contact with oxygen, which aids in properly releasing the aromas and flavors in the wine. These glasses are usually rounder and fatter, because #realwineglasseshavecurves     White wine glasses…

Can White Wine Come from Red Grapes?

Is it really possible to get white wine from red grapes? Surprisingly, yes. It may sound crazy, but the process actually makes a lot of sense. I’ve always assumed that white wine was made with white or green grapes and red wine is made with red or purple grapes. But virtually all grapes have clear juice,…

Macaroni + Cheese and Grenache

Pairing of the Week Macaroni and Cheese and Grenache Flavors and Aromas Macaroni and Cheese: Provolone, Gorgonzola, Parmesan Grenache: Blackberry, Black Cherry, Tobacco, Anise Why It Works Grenache has a full-on flavor of blackberries and is medium-bodied. The acidity of the Grenache balances out the fattiness of the cheese, making for the perfect pairing.   …

Tacos and Pinot Noir

Pairing of the Week Tacos and Pinot Noir Flavors and Aromas Tacos: Beef, Cumin, Cayenne, Cheddar Pinot Noir: Black Cherry, Plum, Leather, Tealeaf Why It Works The mixed red and dark fruit flavors combine with the cumin and cayenne of the taco seasoning, creating a balance on the palate between sweet and spicy.   More from Bright Cellars:…

Apple Pie and Riesling

Pairing of the Week Apple Pie and Riesling Flavors and Aromas Apple Pie: Apple, Cinnamon, Vanilla, Nutmeg Riesling: Green Apple, Apricot, Ginger, Honeysuckle Why It Works The acidity in Riesling brings out the delicious baked flavors in apple pie. Riesling can even have notes of petroleum, complimenting the flavor of the flaky crust.  

10 Historic Wine Facts

1. In ancient Greece, it was customary for the host of a gathering to drink the first cup of wine…to ensure his guests he did not poison them… 2. Today, bumping glasses with a “cheers” is meant to express good wishes before drinking. In ancient Rome, however, a “cheers” was meant to bump glasses to…

10 Key Characteristics of Wine

10 Key Characteristics of Wine & What They Mean    

The BEST Way to Chill Wine

Summer may be coming to an end, but that doesn’t mean we don’t want our wine chilled to perfection in upcoming seasons. I did a little *research (*sipped a glass of Riesling while scouring Pinterest) and found a pretty awesome solution to cooling your wine without watering down your precious vino. The results? The BEST way to chill wine. Ever. …

What is Decanting?

Decanting is a highly debated technique in the world of wine. Some believe that decanting can significantly improve a wine, while others feel it purposeless. Before we join the great debate, let’s get the facts. I started with researching what decanting actually means. (Apparently it doesn’t mean “when a group of 15th century witches congregate…

Strawberry Watermelon Rosé Punch

Strawberry Watermelon Rosé Punch. Yep, that just became a thing. Make it happen, winos. What You’ll Need: 1 bottle of red of rosé Strawberry lemonade  Frozen strawberries (to double as ice cubes) Watermelon           Step 1 Fill the pitcher with the frozen strawberries (to use as ice cubes) and watermelon pieces …

Old World vs. New World Wine

The terms “Old World” and “New World” are often used to describe wine. But what makes one wine “Old World” and what makes another “New World?” (Note: the difference is NOT that Aladdin’s “A Whole New World” is played throughout production of New World wine. I’m just as disappointed as you are.) Region is the real way to…

Wine Math

Wine math: the only math you really need to know.    

What happens to leftover grape skins?

We know that grapes are made into wine, but what happens to the skins? It turns out they have a lot more use than being tossed out or being fed to this guy. Let’s be real, in a perfect world all of the grape skins would be going to feed this adorable dude. Can you…

4 Tips to Avoid a Purple Mouth After Drinking Reds

You know that feeling when you’re enjoying your night with a glass of red at dinner, only to go to the restroom and look in the mirror and see your mouth and teeth stained by the red wine? Not the best feeling ever, especially if you’re on a date. Or a work event. Or just…

Why Isn’t Wine Made with Regular Grapes?

There are some pretty key differences between wine grapes and the kind of grapes we eat. So what makes the two grape species so distinct? Let’s break it down. Table (aka Regular) Grapes: Fairly large and tough Crunchier Travel much better than wine grapes Thin-skinned No seeds Crisp/sour taste   Wine Grapes: Small and delicate…

The BEST White Sangria

For those about to craft…we salute you.   Y’all… You can quit the Internet now because I am currently typing the most important thing you ever have or will read in your lifetime. First of all, white sangria is a thing. Second of all, I have the recipe of all recipes that will change your casual…

Can White Wine Really Come From Red Grapes?

“Can white wine come from red grapes? If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? What is the meaning of life? Did Kate Middleton really look THAT good right after she had Prince George and Princess Charlotte?” These are some of the questions that…

10 Popular Wines And How to Pronounce Them

I’ll Have What She’s Having   We’ve all been there. The classic “point at the menu” game. You’re at a restaurant, and because you’re a Bright Cellars member (obviously), you are looking for a new wine to try (proud of you)! But as soon as the server asks you for your drink order, you freeze…

The Beginner’s Guide to Drinking Red Wine

As shocking as it may seem, not too long ago we didn’t have a taste for red wine. We tried it after we started drinking wine regularly, thinking it’d be as delightful as our favorite white. But we didn’t account for the higher tannin levels of reds leaving a distinctly acidic taste in our mouths.…

Which White Wine Is Best For You?

This post goes out to all you white wine lovers. The people who have been there with white wines since day one. The brave savants who identify with our anthem, “started from Moscato now we here.” This is our swan song. We’ll admit, we weren’t always so well versed on the variety of white wines.…

Are You Well ‘Red’?

How well do you know your red wines? Here’s some info to keep you in the tread with that knowledge of red. Cabernet Sauvignon Regions: France, California, Washington State, Australia Flavors: Bell pepper, Green Olives, Black Cherry Aromas: Blackberry, Cedar, Chocolate, Tobacco, Herb Fun Fact: There is such a thing as Cabernet Day! It’s every August…

6 Wine Terms and What They Really Mean

The wine world is mysterious and vast. There are the experts, the casual wine connoisseurs, the sangria sippers and the “I don’t know, I just drink it” people who make up the wonderful world of wine lovers. Regardless of what type of wine lover you are you have come across wine terms that you might…

The Nonexperts Guide to Tasting Wine Like a Pro

When you think of wine tasting you might think of sommeliers sitting around a vineyard with 10 different glasses of wine all discussing the smell of their wine as the “oak trees of California, mixed with a hint of cherry from the South of Spain.” Is wine that complicated? Aren’t you just supposed to drink…

Have You Ever Had Orange Wine?

It’s Not Made Of Oranges You may have heard of or seen people drinking orange colored wines. Maybe you’ve tried them. Even though they are orange colored, this wine is made with the same grapes that make white wine. The reason this wine is orange has to do with how it’s made. How Orange Wines Are…

Rotting grapes make great sweet wines!

What is Noble Rot? Yes, rotting grapes can be a good thing! Noble rot is caused by the fungus called “botrytis”. Botrytis affects ripe grapes that are exposed to too much moisture. This is actually the same gray fungus that you often find on strawberries. (Maybe good for making strawberry wine, but don’t eat.) After fermenting the grapes into wine,…

Why Is Wine Sealed With Cork?

Corks, and screw tops, and plastic corks, oh my! There are so many ways to seal a wine bottle, but what’s the reason behind corking it? You’ve probably heard of cork taint—when a wine goes bad because a cork is contaminated with TCA. Modern production has made cork taint much rarer. Even so, why do…

Three Easy Tips to Keep Your Open Wine Fresh

There have been many hyped products created to help you preserve that open bottle of wine. All of these products aim to do the same thing: to keep the oxygen in the air from spoiling your wine. To get you started, here are 3 easy, but more importantly, free, tips that require no fancy gadgets to help keep…

3 amazing grape varietals to try if you love Riesling

We’re all about discovering wines off the beaten path, so we love recommending a wine that expands your wine horizons. Everyone from wine beginners to connoisseurs loves a great Riesling. Great Riesling has amazing aromatics with strong fruit and floral flavors. Riesling is an enticing balance between sweetness and tart acidity. If you love Riesling, here are…