March Madness Necessities

Getting March Madness ready;
wine, beer, snacks

 

Every college basketball fans favorite time of year is fast approaching. Are you ready for some college hoops…and all that goes along with hosting your friends at your house for the big games? As you plan your perfect get together, you will want to be sure you have all you need on hand before your guests arrive. For those craft beer lovers, one of our unique beer bottle openers will be appreciated, and maybe even bring envy to a few friends. Choose from a variety of fun designs, made with quality and functionality.  Mustache Bottle Opener

With several shapes and figures to choose from, you can forget that boring bottle opener in the bottom of your kitchen junk drawer. The magnets included on the back of many of our cool bottle openers mean you can stick them on your beer fridge, where they’ll be hanging out, waiting for you take out a cold one. Made of stainless steel and silicone or shatter proof plastic, when you buy one from Bella Vita, you will have a bottle opener that lasts through all of the excitement.

Of course if you are the one traveling to the party, you’ll want a freezable bag to keep your brewsky ice cold until you get to there. These handy bags just need to be placed in the freezer a few hours before you head out then loaded up with your favorite bottled drinks. With easy to carry handles, you will be the life of the party and will never have to suffer through a warm beer again.  Freezable Beer Bag

When you need to open a bottle of wine for the more classy guests, you need a corkscrew you can rely on. We have waiter and wing corkscrews, both single and double-levered designs, a variety of cool colors, and price-points that will make everyone happy. Once your wine is open, you need to let it breathe. Check out our aerators and pourers – essential wine accessories for any wine lover – and let your wine breathe in style.

Snacks are a big part of watching any sporting event, and we have just the right accessories to show off your snacks in style. From our selection of festive napkins to our serving trays and utensils, cheese board sets and stylish dipping bowls, we have everything you need to pull off the perfect presentation. Cheese Board

So start prepping and stock up now for the big day! With our help, your March Madness parties will be the place to be on game day.

The top champagne choices for any budget

Believe it or not, another new year is just around the corner once again. If you feel intimidated or even daunted by the task of choosing the perfect bottle of bubbly this New Year’s Eve, we have some top champagne choices for your celebration, no matter the budget.

Technically, the term “champagne” refers only to sparkling wine produced in the Champagne region of France. However, sparkling wine made using the traditional Champagne method is quite often labeled as champagne. Either way, you don’t have to wait until New Year’s Eve to try one of our suggestions, so let’s get started.

P1_Confetti

Whether you’re on a tight budget – let’s say under $20 a bottle – or you have money to splurge, here are a few respectable choices:

 

 

  1. Solletico Prosecco, Veneto, Italy, 2012, $12: This drier style of Prosecco has notes of honeydew and flowers. A fine example of the increase in quality sparklers from Italy. Unlike most Proseccos, this wine is vintage-dated.
  2. Piper-Sonoma Brut NV, Sonoma County, $13-$16. Bursting with lots of summer fruit flavors and a creamy, rich texture, this is a great wine to serve large crowds without breaking the bank.
  3. Spain’s sparkling wine, Cava is also made in the style of classic Champagne. Marques de Gelida Cava, Catalunya, Spain, MV, $17: If you’re into the crispness and fruitiness of Prosecco, try Spanish Cava.
  4. Cremant is French sparkling wine made outside Champagne, the most widely available being Cremant d’Alsace at $22; full-flavored, rich, balanced, and not too sweet.
  5. For a good domestic sparkling wine, try Domaine Chandon Rosé NV from California, also $22. Pure and clean with a flavor reminiscent of strawberries and cream, this could be your perfect party wine.
  6. Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Reserve, Champagne, France, MV, $36. When you want to splurge, this blue label bubbly is a great choice. Medium-toned, beautifully balanced, and amazingly versatile, this popular wine is right for any menu.

If you want to dress up your wineglasses or champagne flutes after they’re filled with bubbles, check out these cool wine charms. You’ll find everything from boas to bling, foodies to flowers, and stilettos to snowflakes. These adorable accents not only dress up your glass, they help keep you from picking up the wrong one…because that could be embarrassing!

To keep your bubbly fresh, try using one of these inexpensive but very effective airtight champagne bottle stoppers. These chrome beauties are definitely up to the task of keeping the bubbles in your bubbly long after the last partygoer has left the building.

The History of Hot Wine

The history of hot wine and why you should have it this holiday season

 

As the days grow ever colder, we tend to look for hot drinks to warm us up from the inside out. If you’re not in the mood for hot chocolate, if warm tea doesn’t excite your taste buds, and if you just can’t handle another latte, perhaps it’s time to turn to a time-tested, ancient favorite; mulled wine.

Some say hot or “mulled” wine originated in the second century with the Romans, who used it to defend against their cold winters. As Roman armies conquered most of the known world over the next century, other European regions discovered – and adopted – mulled wine for themselves. Others say this enduring winter wine concoction originated with the ancient Greeks, who added spices to the least palatable of their wines and heated it up rather than toss it. Whomever is responsible, we would like to thank them!mulled wine

The consumption of mulled wine grew during the Middle Ages, when pure drinking water was hard to find in most cities. The first use of the word “mull” as a verb (meaning to heat, sweeten and flavor wine or cider with spices), according to Merriam-Webster, was in 1618, although several recipes date back much further.

Most of us have heard of hot or mulled wine, even if we’ve never tried it. Although it is a beverage of European origins, people all over the world enjoy this heart-warming drink, most often partaken of during the fall and winter holiday seasons, starting with Halloween.

Mulled wine (also known as “glogg”) became associated with Christmas in the 1890’s. It is usually made with red wine and various mulling spices (hence the name “mulled wine”). Sometimes raisins are included in the mix. Countries all over the world have modified the recipe for mulled wine, with variations including different red and white wines, sangria, port, even vermouth. It is served hot or warm and may be alcoholic or non-alcoholic. If you choose the alcoholic version, the alcoholic content is normally between 8 and 13 percent.

If you’re looking for something warm to sip as you curl up on the couch in front of a roaring fire, mulled wine just may be the perfect solution. Try this simple recipe the next time you are in the mood for a tasty, belly-warming holiday drink. There are many variations on this recipe, but the main ingredients are consistent; cinnamon, cloves, and some form of citrus (usually oranges). The key is to use what makes you happy!

Mulled Wine

2 bottles inexpensive red table wine (not too sweet)

2 oranges (or 1 orange and ¼ cup orange juice)

½ cup sugar (white or brown)

¼ cup water

8 whole cloves

2 cinnamon sticks (or 1 teaspoon of cinnamon)

½ teaspoon grated nutmeg

½ teaspoon grated ginger

Cut orange into 5-6 segments and stud them with the cloves. Juice the other orange. Place all the ingredients in a medium to large saucepan and heat over low/gentle heat for 20-30 minutes. Stir occasionally to allow spices to infuse the wine. Do NOT allow the wine to boil. Remove the orange and cinnamon sticks, and add the orange juice, mixing well. Strain if desired, serve, and enjoy by the fire. (Makes approx. 6 glasses).

Variations: Use honey instead of syrup. Vary the spices to include cardamom, lemon zest, or allspice to taste. Add a couple of shots of cognac or brandy at the end for more of a kick.

As always the gift of wine is always appreciated! Dress of the bottle with a luxury wine bag or festive bottle topper.

CFSitting-Santa_0dt8-1w

 

8 Fall Foods You Never Know Existed

With Halloween, less than 10 days away, it’s safe to say that the season of Fall is upon us. For weeks now, you may have seen your favorite stores and restaurants stocking up on all your Fall themed flavors. Due to this annual demand, flavored food and drink mimicking the flavors of pumpkin spice, apple cinnamon, etc., has grown exponentially in recent years. We have seen a drastic increase in the number of companies developing products around this phenomenon. Here are the top 8 seasonal items that we’ve seen on the shelves:

  1. Pumpkin Spice Pudding
    1. Your favorite pudding product from Jell-O, with just a dab of Fall mixed in. It can be used as a standalone dish or as a filling for that pie you’re bringing to Grandma’s house.
  2. Pumpkin Spice Olive Oil
    1. The Pumpkin Spice olive oil from The Olive Press is a whole new twist on delicious and healthy. Pair this with their Champagne Balsamic Vinegar and you will wish it was Fall year round.
  3. Caramel Apple Flavored Vodka
    1. Pinnacle is famous for being the creator of over 40 flavors of vodka. Just when we thought they were done creating novelty tastes like cookie dough, cotton candy, and red liquorice, they’ve come out with a new caramel apple flavor to tame your Fall cravings.
  4. Pumpkin Spice Coffee
    1. Is your caramel macchiato not doing it for you anymore? Is the line at Starbucks too long? Dunkin’s Donuts has you covered with a more seasonally appropriate beverage. Their new pumpkin spice flavored coffee combines a classic and rich Dunkin’ blend with your favorite seasonal spices. Try it with your after-dinner piece of pumpkin pie.
  5. Pumpkin Goat Cheese
    1. For those who wish to enjoy the finer things in life, don’t worry. Even your cheese plate can’t escape the delight of pumpkin spice. Montchevre has created pumpkin flavored goat cheese to get you in the mood for those orange and red leaves.
  6. Pumpkin Spice Wine
    1. The California Fruit Wine Company makes a fruit based wine heavily influenced by all your favorite fall flavors like cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg. This just might become your new favorite dessert, or preferred way to start off your night with friends and family.
  7. Pumpkin Ale
    1. With over 1000 beer brands concocting a pumpkin flavored brew, you won’t be at a loss for finding one just right to satiate your thirst and putting you in the fall spirit. Our favorite is our local Four Peaks Pumpkin Porter.
  8. Pumpkin Spice Mallows
    1. You thought that those s’mores you made last summer were the best you’d ever had. Think again. These classic marshmallows from Kraft have been transformed into spicy pumpkin goodness and you’ll never be the same.

Now if you are looking for a one stop shop of all things fall flavored, take a trip to your local Trader Joe’s and venture down their ‘all things pumpkin spice’ aisle. You are bound to find a number of wonderful treats to last you all season.

10 Amazing Beer Facts That Will Leave You Thirsty // Bella Vita Bags

Beer is the most widely consumed alcoholic beverage and the third-most popular drink right after water and tea. It’s safe to say that beer is adored from sea to shining sea. The American love affair with beer has the average beer drinker consuming 23 gallons of it a year. If that fact is not enough to make you tipsy, then perhaps one of these other 10 mind blowing facts about beer will.

  1. The Guinness Book of World Record holding for chugging beer is Steven Petrosino who took down 1 liter of beer in 1.3 seconds. Steven, we salute you!
  1. Beer has been around longer than you can imagine. It has been bringing joy to mankind since possibly as far back as the early Neolithic or 9500 BC. No wonder we have made it this far.
  1. The Ancient Egyptians built the pyramids under the influence. According to Patrick McGovern, an archaeologist from the University of Pennsylvania, workers at Giza received about four liters of beer a day. Now remind us again why it’s frowned upon to drink at work?
  1. Viking lore tells of their heaven called Valhalla where there is a giant goat whose udders provide an unlimited supply of beer. We want to go to Viking heaven!
  1. The fear of having an empty glass of beer is real. It’s called Cenosillicaphobia. We wonder if the doctor could prescribe bottomless beer as a prescription?
  1. Beer does a body good! It actually has been suggested to strengthen bones. It is rich in silicon that increases calcium deposits and minerals for bone tissue. A beer a day keeps the doctor away.
  1. A questionable brewing method that deserves to make this list …A brewmaster in Oregon has actually discovered a way to make beer from the yeast collected in his own beard.  It’s not that farfetched as most fermenting yeast is harvested from rotten bits of nature, so it’s actually a stretched extension of the natural process. We might not be first in line to try beard beer, but we admire this use of science.
  1. The White House brews its own beer. Yep, you read right. President Obama is the first president to ever brew his own beer on the white house grounds. You can even Google the recipe he uses! Oh America the beautiful.
  1. The first professional brewers were women in ancient Egypt. Girl Power!
  1. Love beer so much you want to major in it? Well, you can, like actually. The study of beer and beer-making is called Zythology and you can incorporate your love for beer into your degree at Colorado State University.

Here a beer, there a beer, everywhere a beer beer.

Beer is our go to drink, and our love for it is tried and true. Bella Vita understands that love more than most. We celebrate beer and have all the beer accessories necessary to make your beer drinking experience one worthy of a salute. We have funky beer bottle openers, Beer Chill it Bags, Craft Beer gift bags, Bomber bags and even coasters to keep the sweat from your beer off your fine furniture. Here is a beer fact worth knowing, for all your beer accessories and needs Bella Vita is your one stop beer shop.

Cheers,

Bella Vita

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Throw a Spring Fling Wine and Cheese Party | Bella Vita Bags

Spring is just about here, regardless of what the groundhog says. It’s never too early to start planning a Spring Fling, and in the spirit of blooming flowers, sunshine, and nice weather we believe a wine and cheese party is in order. You survived another winter and that is a feat worthy of wine! This may be another ruse to drink and eat delicious appetizers, but we fully support the whims of spring flinging and celebrating life! Bella Vita is here to help you plan your next get together.

Wine that tastes like its right off the Spring Vine.

Spring brings about a whole new array of delicious wines to choose from and pair with. When planning your spring fling, you will want to make sure you have your wine check list all sorted. We know how tempting a trip to the wine store can be, so make sure you go with some direction. A few of Bella Vita’s favorite affordable Spring White Wines are Abbeyville Fume Blanc, Brenreiter Gemister Satz, Red Tail Ridge Finger Lakes Pinot Noir. If you prefer red wine a Franciscan Estate Napa Cabernet Sauvignon is a divine option. A hostess with the mostest will certainly want to accommodate tastes and perhaps even gift bag some wine for a take home treat. Also, make sure you have your bottle toppers ready. With so many open bottles you’ll want your wine to maintain its delicious flavor.

Cheese that’s sure to please.

Cheese paring with spring wine is fun because you really can’t go wrong. The light and sweet flavors of spring make for delicious cheese options that also pair well with olives, fruits, and nuts. Bella Vita’s go to spring cheese list is simple and flavorful. It includes a pecorino pepato, tomme de Savoie, Hoja Santa, and last but not least Trader Joe’s Spring Premier Cheddar. We are always sure to serve up the snacks on one of our slate cheese board sets, that way we can label exactly which cheese is which for an optimal tasting experience. We also use our serving picks, dipping bowls, and cruets for the other little tasty tidbits.

Set the stage for your Spring Fling.

Create an environment for your guests that’s both inviting and relaxing. Move your shindig outside and enjoy the fresh air. String some lights around your patio or in a few trees and light some citronella candles to keep the bugs at bay. As homage to spring we also like to fill a few vases with some handpicked wild flowers to really capture the essence of the season. We also recommend making a spring play list so you can sip in style and sway.

Spring Fling Party Check List:

Wine Bottle Openers

Bottle Toppers

Cheese Board Serving Trays

Cocktail Napkins

Serving Picks

Fresh Flowers

Citronella Candles

Party Tunes

This season enjoy the gifts that nature provides.  From wine to fresh picked flowers, enjoy the bounties of the season. There is no better time for celebration, and with a few friends and loved ones to cheers with the good life seems all the more sweet.

Cheers,                                                                                                                             Bella Vita

Get all the accessories you need to plan your spring fling | Shop NOW

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5 Unique Valentine’s Day Gifts for Beer, Wine, and Food Enthusiasts

Valentines Day Gift Ideas

For most couples Valentine’s Day means flowers and chocolate, but we don’t believe that you should be stuck to those standards! Valentine’s Day is all about love and love comes in many shapes and sizes. Like a round pizza, a square box of wine, or an oblong bottle of beer. The point being love means something different to everyone. If you are anything like us food loving, beer drinking, winos at Bella Vita then you know chocolates and flowers are on the boring side of gift giving and expressions of love.

On February the 14th gift exchanging is certainly an unspoken necessity between you and the one you love. The stresses of this demand can be impossible to overcome, especially when the stores are stocked with easily accessible heart shaped boxes, and bouquets of flowers. Fight the urge! We don’t want that for you or your sweetheart! So, we took it upon ourselves to find the most unique and fun gifts possible for the wine loving, Beer drinking, foodie in your life.

We have scouted out 5 gifts fit for such an awesome person, and congrats to you for finding such a gem! Let’s not waste any more time, between shipping and decision making you’re already behind. Good thing we came to the rescue just in the nick of time

  1. ABO EyeLips Magnetic Bottle Opener from Bella Vita // http://bit.ly/1nUhoGt

This seriously cute and extremely useful bottle opener sticks right to your fridge. It’s like a big kiss every time you pop the top off a bottle of ice cold beer. Also, the eyes can be used to stick up sweet memories of you and your beloved, or hang a useful grocery list that will probably consist of: wine, beer, pizza and perhaps some Kale to balance it all.

Please Note: There is also an ABO EyeStache opener equally as handsome and fit for the man of the house // http://bit.ly/1KC393n

  1. Bicycle Wine Rack Leather Bottle Holder from OopsMark // http://etsy.me/1zpCRfE

Okay, HELLO where have you been all our lives? This wine carrier is the perfect combination of unnecessary and yet oh so necessary. For those of you who live in the city and a bike is far more practical,  this wine carrier is a life saver. Balancing bags while biking is not only unsafe but it’s also a bit like performing  in the circus. If you’re not a biker, no worries!  Bella Vita has an assortment of reusable bottle nets that are perfect for toting wine easily. They even double as a market bag. Yes,  we’ve thought of it all!

  1. Mini Beer Pong Table // http://bit.ly/1rYS7a5

Perfect for those cozy nights in together, you know the nights where you have work the next day, but still want to be a tiny bit irresponsible. We’ve all been there, and if this won’t create bonding time between you and your partner we honestly don’t know what will. It travels easily and can be turned into a fun game of strip shooters… just saying.

  1. EVOO Gift Set from Montello Fine Food // http://bit.ly/1PAxpsj 

Talk about foodie heaven! You can’t go wrong with anything from Montello Fine Foods. Their EVOO is some of the finest around and they even have recipes on their website to point you in the right direction if you choose to cook a Valentine’s Day dinner at home. Nothing sets the tone for an amazing night like a tasty treat and a bottle of wine. Bella Vita even has Olive Oil gift bags to make for the ultimate gift giving experience. It’s an out of the box gift that will satisfy on every level!

  1. Custom M&M’s // http://bit.ly/1KC47gf

Okay we know we said chocolate was overrated, but this chocolate can have your face on it! You can say “Eat Me” and literally mean it. Besides, who are we kidding? Any foodie has chocolate as a staple in their diet, so you might as well dress it up in a fun shell. It’s a really cool way to share your love for each other and for candy. It’s by no means a traditional box of chocolates, and you can gift it with wine or beer. Not to mention reaping in the benefits of being so thoughtful and your partner having to share the goodies. It’s the very definition of a win/win situation! You see, not so lame.

There you have it! 5 unique gift ideas that are without question going to make this Valentine’s Day memorable for so many reasons… Unless of course you hit the Mini Beer Pong Table right away or put the Beer Bottle Openers to serious use all night. We don’t judge.

If you don’t have time to fuss too much or are shopping for something small with big impact, Bella Vita has a large selection of Wine Bags and Bottle totes that are perfect for gifting wine, beer and spirits. Some of the Wine Bags even carry more than one bottle, hint hint. We also have a great selection of gourmet accessories, bar trinkets, and wine necessities that make a great addition to an already planned night in.

No matter which way you go, your partner is one lucky person! You’re doing research and reading a blog on the perfect gift, we wish you could gift that alone. We know you must care an awful lot and that right there is what Valentine’s Day is all about. It’s about celebrating the good life, with big love!

You can thank us later! There is no time to waste as the count down to the big day presses ever forward.

Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day and please feel free to let us know below if you love these ideas just as much as we do.

Cheers,

Bella Vita

Your one stop Valentine’s Day shop | www.BellaVitaBags.com

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Bella Vita’s Top 5 Gifts for Wine Lovers | This is a List Worthy of Holiday Cheers & Jeers

Holiday Wine Gift Ideas

Around the holidays we all tend to go little nuts.

Christmas shopping is stressful work, and when it comes to unique and inspired gift ideas, it’s much easier said than done.

If there is one thing Bella Vita knows all about its wine! We know wine, and we know our kind, the wine lovers who live to wine. So, while we can’t help you with your Aunt Sally who likes to knit, or Uncle Bob who likes old westerns, we can help you chose some awesome gifts for the winos in your life.

We have picked our top 5 wine themed Christmas gifts, and aside from gifting wine itself, we think these wine accessories are the best gifts money can buy.

1. Musical Wine Glasses
http://bit.ly/18BfFNT

… Yep you read it right! We said musical wine glasses.
It’s all the sophistication of wine with all the fun of a karaoke. The wine glasses indicate the necessary wine needed to hit the correct notes in sandblasted etching. All you have to do is simply fill with wine and run the rim of the glass with a moistened finger… viola! Its musical wine glasses! Its wine gift giving pitch perfect perfection.

2. Wine Stopper
http://bit.ly/1ZbhEi1

Listen as much as any wine drinker will hate to admit it, sometimes it’s impossible to polish off the whole bottle. It’s also a sad reality that wine doesn’t keep very well once it’s exposed to air. Well this wine gift suggestion is not only holiday festive, but it’s practical as well. You guessed it (so clever) it’s a wine stopper. Styled like a Christmas ornament, this wine stopper beckons “Let’s Get Jolly” and nothing makes a party more jolly quite like wine. Be a hero, save some wine from the kitchen sink and gift a wine stopper that will extend the shelf life of a half opened bottle. This stopper makes a great hostess gift for a holiday party!

3. A Wine Hook
http://etsy.me/1lOxAbW

Genius. Just pure human ingenuity at its finest.
Our next wine gift suggestion proves that where there is a wine drinking will, there is a way.
The Wine Hook is an outdoor chair stemmed glass holder that easily slides on the arm of most outdoor chairs (patio chairs, Adirondack chairs camp/bag chairs and others, arms up to 1″ thick) and securely holds your stemmed wine glass. It is made out of ABS plastic and is insanely useful. It’s also just $9.99 so you can wrap up some wine in a bottle bag and gift wine alongside it. Wow. You’re good.

4. Wine Soap
http://bit.ly/1j9yf5m

All natural and gluten free, these soaps are no ordinary soaps.
These soap bars are wine scented and full-bodied. It might not be acceptable to drink before noon, but showering is encouraged and these wine scented soaps will curb cravings until noon. They make for a great novelty gift and are handmade in Monroe, Georgia. What wine lover wouldn’t like to take their obsession to the next level? Hit the showers will have a whole new novice meaning if you gift this to the wine obsessed in your life.

5. Aerator
http://bit.ly/1NoTyei

The gift of a glass of crisp, smooth, and tasty wine is second to none.
A wine aerator system delivers just that with every bottle. With Bella Vitas acrylic aerator it can be done easily and fast. This aerator features a stainless steel aerating ring with 5 aerating holes for quick aeration and a rubber base to ensure a snug fit in any wine bottle. There isn’t a wine connoisseur alive who doesn’t value the taste an aerator provides. This fantastic accessory is truly the gift that keeps on giving, glass, after glass, after glass!

These 5 wine gift ideas come with our Bella Vita assurance of a satisfied recipient. Heck, maybe you are even shopping for yourself (good for you)! The holidays can be stressful, but the truth is …
Wine makes everyone feel better! You thought we were going to say it’s the thought that counts didn’t you.

When all else fails just shop www.BellaVitaBags.com for all your gift giving needs for both foodies and wine lovers alike. We have wine gift bags, wine accessories, gourmet gift bags, gourmet accessories, and so many fun and unique beer and bar gifts that you really can find something for everyone. This isn’t even a sales pitch, it’s simply an easy holiday fix your Christmas gift giving dilemmas.

We wish you a very merry Christmas & a happy New Year!
No matter what you do, be safe, drink responsibly, and have a whole lot of fun.

Cheers,
Bella Vita

The Gracious Guest | How to be a Gracious Guest This Holiday Season

Wine Gift Bags for the Holidays

With Thanksgiving only a week away, it’s time to start thinking about the big day!

For most of us the planning involves the many ways in which we can stuff ourselves into a food-coma, and questioning if unbuttoning our pants is uncouth or completely acceptable on Thanksgiving. It more than likely means showing up and patiently/impatiently waiting while watching the game or mingling with friends and family. If you’re lucky enough to be attending a dinner that you don’t have to prepare, congratulations you have hit the jackpot!

You are the Gracious Guest, which truthfully has a little bit of responsibility. Showing up and chowing down is your main obligation, but it’s nice to contribute in a little way that also shows your gratefulness. If you feel like we feel, then you know being a Gracious Guest means never showing up empty handed. We at Bella Vita have a few ideas and tips that are sure to get you invited to dinner again next year…

That is the ultimate goal, right?

Give Everyone At The Gathering A Reason to Be Thankful For Your Gift 

Show up with Wine, Liquor, or Sparking Spirits for everyone to enjoy while they socialize, and wait for dinner to be served. Wine and spirits deliver the party, and when presented in a wine bottle bag it is officially a gift and offering of thankfulness. Bella Vita even offers double bottle wine bags, and wine totes that can carry up to 4 bottles of wine! We suggest taking the gift one step further and gifting your wine/spirits with an opening apparatus like a cork screw, or bottle opener. Always be prepared! This is not only for the benefit of your host, but also for your own sense of security. If you are really feeling gracious you can gift wine with an aerator, and compliment liquor with a set of ice rocks. This sounds like a festive feast we would like to attend! The most important point here is to show up bearing a gift that everyone can enjoy, even if its nonalcoholic related. Extend the gesture and multiply the cheer!

Gift Edible Items For All The Guests To Enjoy

Patience may be a virtue, but that means nothing when you are hungry! Chances are you have starved yourself all day in the hopes of being able to stuff yourself like a turkey come dinner time. Providing little things to nibble on not only helps out your host, but it also ensures that no one gets “hangry”. We recommend showing up bearing a cheese board of gourmet goodies, chips and a dip assortment all ready to go in dipping bowls, or even cookies in one of Bella Vitas jute or handmade paper gourmet bags made to accommodate such scrumptious foods. It’s the holy trifecta of food: Cheese, Chips, and Cookies. Who could argue with that logic? Showing up bearing food is a gracious way to help your host ease the burden of making sure everyone is attended to, and taken care of. Try to remember the little things with your gift like cocktail napkins for messes, or gourmet serving utensils for ease of self-serving convenience. You can never go wrong with food!

Show Up With Items That Can Be Used At The Soirée

It’s instant gratification that gives the hostess with the mostest reason to utilize your gift right on the spot. It’s an instant feel good gratification of giving and receiving, that also can be quite fun and enjoyable for everyone.  We recommend gifting drink markers which will be necessary if you show up with wine or spirits, you can also gift coasters to protect your host’s furniture, a bottle stopper to keep your wine fresh, or serving accessories that can aid in your edible assortments you so kindly prepared. We also think it’s fun to show up with games, or some holiday movies for the kids to enjoy while the adults get a little extra toasty. It’s the little things that often make a big difference and when you have a 30 lbs. turkey to deal with and starving people to serve often times the little things will slip your mind. Showing up with gifts that serve to be used on the spot can often times help your host more than doing the dishes… but we still recommend you ask, manners matter.

The holiday season is here, and Thanksgiving is just the official start to the most magical and festive time of the year. There will undoubtedly be lots of holiday parties and reasons to pull out all the stops of gift giving. Our main suggestion is to remind you that it is ultimately the thought that counts, and even a heartfelt thank you goes a long way. Hosting a party or dinner is a lot of work and as a gracious guest you get the joy of being an essential part of the fun. Offer help, clean up after yourself, and don’t forget to bring that dazzling personality that got you invited in the first place!

Bella Vita offers a range of unique and festive wine bags and gourmet serving accessories that are not only affordable, but are also extremely useful both during the holiday season and after. We have an entire section dedicated to the holiday season that includes decorative wine toppers, bottle stoppers, bottle bags, serving accessories, and gifting ideas for wine lovers and foodies alike.

Shop Bella Vita and be the Gracious Guest we know that you are www.BellaVitaBags.com

Cheers,

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A Brief History of the Flask

Hip Flask

Of all the things you could ever hope to learn about, we are sure flasks never made the list. However, today we aim to change your mind. The history of flasks is actually quite more interesting than you might have imagined. The presence of the flask has been known since the middle ages, and even has ties in the mystical masonic rituals.  Also, if you have every tried to drink economically while going out then you know its uses are both practical and pleasurable.

Have we garnered your interests yet? Awesome.

Bella Vita presents A Brief History of the Flask!

( … Ohhhh … Ahhhhh … )

Prior to the flasks appearance as we know and love it today, people in the middle ages and 18th century had to get creative. Their need was much greater to hide their alcohol from the knowledge of the greater public. Alcohol was stored in gutted out fruit, and often snuck onto ships in pigs bladders. There soon after in the later part of the century the birth of the flask was born. Much like in the later years of the 1920s when prohibition started, a flask type apparatus was needed in order to maintain secrecy. Thus the Hip Flask began to appear much in the form we recognize it today. It was easier to slip into your pocket or hid under a skirt than, let’s say, a pigs bladder or carved out fruit.

The flask also plays a role in the masonic mysteries of ritual.  In the 1800s during meetings members we responsible for bringing their own liquor (the beginning of the BYOB we suppose) and as many members were masons of trade working in glass houses it was an easy fix. Many of the antique glass flasks bear the symbols and icons of masonic tradition are highly sought after by collectors.

A few other fun flask facts that we thought noteworthy to share with you. Flasks have also been used to store gun powder. The flask was often stuck down ones boot during prohibition hence the term “bootlegging”. In the 18th century many poor drunkards drank from a pewter flask which would leach lead and literally turn them insane due to lead poisoning. Many people today believe that the cleansing properties of silver make a drink from a silver flask taste better. In the 1920’s during the era of the speakeasy, it was women who actually turned the flask into a fashionable accessory for both men and women.

Today the use for a flask is mostly ornamental, unless you are sipping from a flask in a bar bathroom or sneaking drinks into a no alcohol zone… which we will never understand I mean it’s the 20th century! No alcohol? In other countries you can get wine and beer at McDonalds. Needless to say we may not need to hide our liking for liquor like we used to, but there is something fun and old world about drinking out of a hip flask. Its classy cool, makes a great drinking accessory, and is a must have for your at home bar.

Bella Vita offers a range of stylish and unique flasks. We have the classic stainless steel, and leather wrapped hip flasks. We also carry flasks with flair! We keep stocked in glitter flasks, printed flasks, and we even have a hip flask made of a soft-touch material that can be written on and erased with a dry erase marker. At Bella Vita we are always looking to help you celebrate life & a flask just might be the thing you need to be mobile and wet your whistle!

Happy Drinking!

Cheers,

Bella Vita

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Bella Vita Hip Flasks