5 Creative Things To Do With Popped Corks

Let’s face it, we all drink a lot of wine, which means we throw out tens (possibly hundreds) of corks out each year. Instead of adding to our ever-growing landfills, here are five creative ways to repurpose those corks:

1. Make Cork Keychains
Cork Keychains
cleverlyinspired.com

Have you ever been out on a boat in Lake Tahoe and lost your keys to its cold, murky depths? Never again.

2. Step Up Your Spread Game
Cork Spreads
yarnigras.blogspot.com

Impress your guests at your next wine and cheese pairing with these unique cheese knives.

3. Plant Some Tiny Succulents
Cork Succulants
upcycle.com

Paste a magnet on them to add a unique look to your ‘fridge or other metal surfaces.

4. Light Up Your Dinner Table
Cork Candles
asubtlerevelry.com

Add the finishing touch to any homemade, romantic dinner with these candles.

5. Upgrade Your Bath Mat
Cork Bath Mat
craftynest.com

Enjoy a nice, relaxing bath with a glass of wine, then keep the mood going when you step out.

How to Make Wine Popsicles

As hard as it may be to believe, there are times when a bottle of wine is left unfinished. Nobody likes to waste wine, yet what is one to do with the leftovers? There answer lies with your inner child and summers past: wine popsicles. As a kid, popsicles were the perfect way to unwind after a long day in the sun. Now that you’re all grown up, you can still treat your inner child while satisfying your adult taste buds. Whether you prefer white or red wine, fruit pop or ice cream, there is a wine pop for you:

Sauvignon Blanc- Infused Yellow Peach and Vanilla Ice Pops

Makes: 10 pops

What You Need:
3 to 4 baseball-sized ripe to over-ripe yellow peaches
4 ounces of organic dark cane sugar
4 fluid ounces of water
1 inch piece of vanilla bean, cut lengthwise
7 ounces of 2013 Charles B. Mitchell Estate Reserve Sauvignon Blanc
Popsicle mold tray

How to Make Them:

  1. Combine sugar and water in a saucepan. Gently heat while stirring until sugar dissolves.
  2. Remove from heat. Add vanilla bean and steep for 15 minutes.
  3. Remove bean and allow syrup to completely cool.
  4. Rinse and pat dry peaches, then with a paring knife, remove pits and stems.
  5. Lightly puree peaches, leaving some texture (this should result in about 16 fluid ounces).
  6. Combine puree with cooled vanilla syrup and 7 ounces of the Estate Reserve Sauvignon Blanc, stirring well.
  7. Pour into popsicle molds, add sticks, and freeze until solid (about 6 hours).
  8. Remove from mold and serve, or put them in a ziplock bag for easy storage.

Cabernet Franc-Infused Blackberry Ice Pops

Makes: 10 pops

What You’ll Need:
~5 cups fresh, ripe blackberries (1.5 lbs)
4 ounces of organic dark cane sugar
4 fluid ounces of water
6-8 ounces of 2012 El Dorado Cabernet Franc
Popsicle mold tray

How to Make Them:

  1. Combine sugar and water in a saucepan. Gently heat while stirring until sugar dissolves. Cool completely.
  2. Rinse and dry blackberries. Lightly puree or mash blackberries producing ~16 fluid ounces.
  3. Add 6 ounces of cooled syrup and 6 ounces of Cabernet Franc to puree mixture and taste.
  4. Pour into popsicle molds, add sticks, and freeze until solid (about 6 hours).
  5. Remove from mold and serve, or put them in a ziplock bag for easy storage.

Red Wine Fudgesicles

Makes: 4-6 pops (depending on tray size)

What You’ll Need:
1 cup red wine
1 ½ cup dark chocolate chips
1 ½ cup milk
Popsicle mold tray

How to Make Them:

  1. In a small pot, simmer the wine over medium-low heat for 12-18 minutes, allowing it to reduce.
  2. Remove from heat and whisk in chocolate until completely melted.
  3. Stir in milk.
  4. Pour into popsicle tray and freeze overnight.

6 Ways to Keep Your Wine Chilled at the Lake

Enjoying a glass of wine from Charles B. Mitchell Vineyards doesn’t have to be confined to our tasting room or even your own home. Summer is the perfect time to take your wine to the beaches of Lake Tahoe. It’s just a short drive over the mountains from the vineyards to the lake, so the next time you want to escape the heat and relax lakeside, try these tricks to keep your wine perfectly chilled:

  1. Bring a frozen grape stash.
    Frozen grapes double as ice cubes. This trick gives you ice cold wine without the chance of it being watered down as they melt. The grapes even serve as a treat when you finish each glass.
  2. The old salt and ice trick.
    When you’re packing your cooler for your lake getaway, throw in a salt shaker along with some bags of ice. Once you get to your perfect relaxation destination crack open the cooler, mix the salt into the ice, securely fasten the bottles and let them chill. The salt speeds up the chilling process, and you will have cool wine in no time.
  3. The almighty wine cubes.
    These chilly creations are the perfect solution for chilling your wine on a hot summer day. Similar to frozen grapes, wine ice cubes prevent your wine from being watered down as they melt. Simply take a half empty bottle of wine, pour it in an ice tray and freeze overnight. This way, no wine goes wasted.
  4. Wrap it in a wet paper towel.
    The day before you leave for your lakeside adventure be sure to wrap your wine in some damp paper towels and freeze them.This prevents the shattering of glass while keeping your wine cool.
  5. Freeze some water balloons.
    Fill a bucket with your bottles and frozen water balloons for cool wine minus the cooler. These balloons do double duty when they melt, making them perfect for a water balloon fight or to wake up a friend who has nodded off under the sun.
  6. Find some newspaper.
    When you’re done with your morning read, take the newspaper into the lake with you to cool off. As odd as this sounds, wrap the bottle in the wet newspaper and as the water evaporates your wine will cool.

As for what wines you should bring to the lake in the first place? We recommend the following refreshing whites, which will keep you cool as you enjoy the summer sun:

How to Open Champagne With a Saber

Whether it’s New Year’s Eve, a loved one’s birthday or even just a small get-together with friends, sabering open a bottle of sparkling wine is an awesome way to celebrate a special occasion or impress your friends at your next outing. You may have even seen our winemaker, Charles, do it at one of our events and thought to yourself, “Man, I wish I knew how to do that!”

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