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wine glasses

Let’s Create A Home Wine Bar

 wine bar at home ideas

Wine Bar at Home Ideas

June is a busy month.  Weddings, graduations, Father’s Day, anniversaries are just some of the celebrations in June.  Celebrations are fun often marking new beginnings or monumental occasions.  For the people attending the celebrations, it can be an investment. An investment in Hallmark™ cards and gift cards. Instead of investing in gift cards, invest in making more memories.  Let’s create a home wine bar to mark these milestone events.  A home wine bar can be as small or large as you make it.  Here are wine bar at home ideas.

Wine Glasses

I could and should write a separate blog on wine glasses.  You can get lost and confused trying to select the “right” type of wine glass.  Let’s keep it simple.  At the least, you should have three types of glasses: red, white and sparkling.  Purchase six of each type.  If you want to keep it funky and fresh, select a stemless glass.   Make the red wine glass the stemless glass.  It can double as a cocktail glass.

What is the difference among white, red and sparkling glasses?  It is all about the bowl (where you pour the wine). Red wine requires a larger bowl for the wine to breathe. It has more surface to air contact.   A smaller bowl is sufficient for white and sparkling wines. You can read Nisbets types of wine glasses blog for further information about what you should consider when purchasing wine glasses.

If you want to get fancy, coupe glasses make the wine bar look sophisticated. Coupe glasses are the timeless Champagne glasses. These glasses also super versatile. Not only are coupes an acceptable alternative to flutes for champagne, they can add drama to your cocktails or desserts. If you still have trouble deciding on selecting sparkling wine glasses, read Glass Matters: The Best Glass to Sip Sparkling Wine

Wine Pearls

Wine Pearls are the answer to the quick chill.  They keep wine chilled like whiskey stones. They can be used in red or white wine. The more pearls you use, the frostier your beverage gets. These stainless-steel ice-cubes chill without altering or diluting delicate flavors and without scratching wine glasses.


Wine Decanter

Decanters are gorgeous accents to any bar.  They can range in price from $30 to $300.  No matter what the price, the purposes are simple. Carefully decanting wines ensure the sediment remains in the wine bottle.  It separates the wine from the sediment. Secondly, decanting aerates the wine.  When wine is slowly poured from the wine bottle to a decanter the wine’s aromas and flavors become more apparent.

Bottle Stoppers

Wine bottle stoppers can be decorative, ornate gifts.  Some stoppers can be monogram or personalized.  However, if you looking to preserve the wine you should select a practical solution like Silicone Wine Stopper or the vacuum seal stoppers.  These create a tight seal around the wine bottle lip preventing air from seeping in. These stoppers create a leak-proof, air-tight seal in virtually any size wine bottle.


Wine Opener

A good wine opener is as essential as breathing.  Nothing is worse than struggling to open a bottle of wine.  A good wine opener is a wino best friend.  I cannot begin to tell you which is the best is to use. It is about personal preference.  A wine key is my favorite. It is small, easy for me to use and I have one in every handbag I own (literary). You never know when you have to open a bottle.  A girl has to be prepared.

Here are a few tips you should consider when purchasing a wine opener.  Make sure you have a foil cutter apparatus with the wine opener.  You do not want shards of foil in your wine.  The wine opener should have a good grip when you are handling the wine bottle.  If you are selecting an electric opener, make sure it has a good battery life.  I hate when you have the opener sitting on the charger all day and a few minutes off the charger the opener is died.



If your gift recipient has more than 20 to 30 bottles in their house or apartment at any one time, then it is time to start considering wine storage.  Check out our holiday gift giving guide about purchasing a wine cooler.

However, most people just starting out will only have a few bottles at a time.  A single bottle wine chiller keeps the wine bottle chilled longer.  You can place the chiller in the freezer or fridge before the wine is ready to serve.  Make sure the chiller is well insulated.  These chillers come in multiple styles, such as  brushed stainless steel, marble, and electronic.

Happy gift giving.  Let us know if you are building your own wine bar. We would love to hear what you are doing.  Better yet, share your pictures with us on Instagram @vino301 or Facebook.

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You Booked a Wine Tour, What’s Next?

What Happens on A Vino 301 Wine Tour

So you booked a wine tour, what is next?  After the initial excitement subsides, you may have questions about what to expect on the tour.   We put together some tips and information about going on a wine tour for you.  Regardless if this is  first time taking a wine tour or visiting Maryland vineyards, hopefully these tips are helpful to assist you to prepare for your wine tour.


Expect to have fun

You are with family, friends, and possibly new friends, who expect to have a good time on your tour.  Our tour guides, also known as Tour Ambassadors, expect you to have a good time too.   We believe in meeting or exceeding your expectations, so expect to have a good time.


Tasting fees are included

The tasting fees are what the vineyards and wineries charges to try the wines.  At least six types of wines are included in the tasting flights.  The tasting room staff will pour between one and two ounce of wine for each wine. Your Vino 301 registration will always include your tasting fees.  You do not have to pay for this during your tour. The only costs you will have on the tour is when you purchase a glass of wine or a bottle of wine.


Wine Tours

WUSA9 Great Day Washington hosts Chris and Markette chat with Leslie about Maryland Wine Tours. View Video


Receive a souvenir wine glass

You will receive a souvenir wine glass from us as a small gesture of gratitude.  You can use the glass during your trip if you bring beverages for the drive.   The vineyards and wineries provide tasting glasses, so you do not have to bring your Vino 301 glass in the tasting room.

In addition to your Vino 301 glass, you may receive a souvenir glass with your wine tasting. Your Tour Ambassador will inform you if the wine glass is included with the tasting.   You can purchase the winery’s glass if it is not a part of the tasting.


Water, water, and more water…stay hydrated

Dehydration is the number one reason why you get a hangover.   To help to avoid this, we provide bottle water during the tour.  Our Tour Ambassadors will encourage you to drink water during the tour. You should try to drink water for every glass of wine you have.



Snacks for the ride

Chips, popcorn, pretzels, and all sorts of snacks are available to you to munch on during your trip.  We invite you to enjoy them.  However, it does not make a meal.   The tours are between five and six hours long.  It is a long day of great wine tasting.  It is an even  longer day of great wine tasting on an empty stomach.  You are welcomed to bring your own picnic lunch or purchase lunch from us.  We offer lunch options or cheese plates.

A few vineyards  prohibit outside food. In many cases,  those vineyards have food to purchase. We can inform you which vineyards have food restrictions.


Keep it causal, dress for the setting

Vineyards are beautiful and romantic.  They are also working farms. Expect unpaved roads, fields, rocks, gravel and dirt.  Your wine tasting will take place indoors or in a covered pavilion.  However, the vineyard tour will occur outside.  Wear clothing you do not mind a little dirt or mud getting on it.


Touring the vineyard

Not all vineyards and wineries offer a vineyard tour.   Vino 301 wine tours are organized to include at least one vineyard tour among the 2 or 3 venues you will visit.  We try to make sure you are able to take a tour if it is available.  Depending upon how many vineyards you are scheduled to visit, there may not be time in the schedule to conduct the vineyard tour.   Your Tour Ambassador will advise you if a vineyard tour is not included.


Details, details… Your confirmation states the pick up time, location and vineyards

You will receive a second email confirmation the day before your tour.  Your confirmation states your Tour Ambassador’s name, pick up location and the places you are visiting.


Taxes and gratuity

It is not mandatory but welcomed to tip the tasting room servers.  They do accept tips. Your tour does not include taxes.  Your tour does include a gratuity for the Tour Ambassador and driver.  You pay the gratuity when you register for your tour.

Now you are ready to take a Vino 301 wine tour!  For more tips, view this video.  Leslie discusses taking a wine tour on WUSA9 Great Day Washington.

Vino 301 Wine Lovers Gift Giving Guide

2016 Vino 301 Gift Giving Guide


The holiday season is filled with so much joy and awe.  Vino 301 Team love bringing smiles to our guests faces.  Here are a few gifts that will bring smiles to your love ones faces. Enjoy Vino 301 gift giving guide!


Maryland Box

The Maryland Box is one of my very favorite gifts. It is all things local and as you know Vino 301 eats.drinks.lives local.  Maryland Box is a collection of all things Maryland.  How cool is that!?!  Maryland Box company creates collectible boxes of iconic Maryland items, like Old Bay and Fisher Popcorn. You should place orders today to receive by Christmas.


Traveler’s Gift

This is a must have for the wine lovers who purchase wine while traveling.  Shipping costs are outrage, especially if you are shipping wine internationally. It’s better to check your wine with your luggage. The Wine Check and Vin Garde Valise Grande sell luggage for wine bottles.  This luggage is also great for wine festivals. You can get the luggage in all sizes. Most of the pieces are versatile and can be used for other travel purposes.  The luggage can be purchased on Amazon.


Wine Glasses

I know, I know serious wine tasters insist wine should be poured in clear crystal wine glasses. If you are not hosting an official wine tasting why not have fun with your wine glasses.  Macy’s has fun, festive wine glasses.


Classic Wine Bottle Opener

This is how you make a statement.  A Vintners Standing Wine Opener is the classic bottle opener. It is very stately. It’s the type of old fashion bottle openers at viewed at vineyards and tasting rooms. The Vintners Standing Wine Opener can be purchased at  Pottery Barn


Wine Barrel Doggie Bowl

This gift is for a wine and dog lover.  I have seen a lot of furniture made from wine barrels, but never this. This is a first.  The wine barrel is a holder for your dog’s water and food bowls. The good folks at Bourbon and Boots hand craft these items.


Soy Candles

Unwined Candles is another great Maryland business.  The Unwined Candle company makes soy candles from re-purposed wine bottles.  You can purchase scented and/or unscented candles. Their store is located Sykesville, MD, but you can also purchase the candles from online retailers.


Wine Decanter

Cooper’s Hawk Winery recently opened a restaurant in Annapolis, MD.  You can purchase Cooper’s Hawk wine and wine accessories online.  The Rojaus Grapevine Decanter is an elegant wine tool.  The unique shape and structure aerates the wine and releases the bouquet.


Maryland Wine Tours

Vino 301 Wine Concierge tours are awesome gifts. A novice wine drinker to the ultimate wine enthusiasts will appreciate this gift.  The all-inclusive wine tours include transportation, tasting fees, Tour Ambassador, winery tour, wine glass, four bottle tote bag, and snacks.  Tours are available year round.


Wine Club Subscription

There are over 72 vineyards and wineries in Maryland.  There is almost one in every county.  You can purchase Maryland wine online or at the vineyards. All the wineries have a wine club membership in increments of quarterly, bi-annual or annual memberships.  You can contact Maryland Wine Association to find a winery near you.

Looking for more inspiration, view Vino 301’s Pinterest Gift Giving Guide page.  Happy shopping and happy Holidays.

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