Wine In A Can And Other Randomness

Mocadeaux wine news


Happy Friday, everyone. Please enjoy a roundup of random wine related ditties.

Wine in a can: I tried it so you don’t have to.

On a recent flight, I sat next to a couple of adorable twenty-somethings who were traveling to Salt Lake City  for a ski adventure.

When the drink cart arrived at our row, Young Couple (who had quite thoroughly studied the drink menu) asked for 2 bottles of hard cider. Sadly, that taste treat had not been loaded onto our plane.

“What about the wine in a can?”, Young Couple asked.


Wine in a can

Wine in a can?!?! I had to try it.

Garçon, please bring us 3 cans of wine.

The first clue regarding the quality of this gem came from the flight attendant who promised to bring us a different beverage if we did not care for what the label described as “ridiculously good wine in a can”.

I took one obligatory sip, for research purposes and all, then handed the rest of my can to Young Couple who proclaimed that the wine was “not terrible”.

Young Couple was mistaken. The wine in a can was EXTREMELY TERRIBLE.

Still, Young Couple gulped it down and were happy campers until we experienced a long stretch of serious turbulence.

Young Guy turned several shades of green. He spent the rest of the flight with his head down, probably praying for a quick landing. I spent the rest of the flight praying that I was not going to be punished for pawning off my terrible wine on him.

Fortunately, we landed without incident – lesson learned.

If ever you are offered wine in a can, in the words of the late Nancy Reagan, “Just Say No.”

Words to live by.

From my friend, Woody:

Have more wine

Next up…

Making your grocery shopping more enjoyable…

Heinen's Sip and Swirl

Our local grocery store, Heinen’s, has a lovely wine section including this “Sip, Swirl, Savor” wine dispensing marvel.

Customers purchase a gift card, insert the card in the machine and select a wine. Customers can opt for a taste or a full glass and are charged according to the size of the pour they choose.

The Sip, Swirl and Savor dispenser offers wine in a wide range of types and prices. The selections change quite regularly. What a great way to take a taste of a new wine before committing to purchase a bottle!

Heinen’s also has a fabulous prepared food section and tables for dining. Add a glass of wine from the dispenser and you have Date Night.

And of course, customers can grab a glass of wine to enjoy as they are doing their shopping.

How very civilized.

Two things that my pictures of wine bottles prove.

Messy wine bottles

Thanks to my Shotbox, my pictures of wine bottles are looking a bit more professional.

However, the messy looking bottles shown above prove two things:

  • I am terrible at pouring wine – can not seem to do it without dripping.
  • I really, truly do drink the wines that I review. You can count on that.

(Speaking of Shotbox, the company is offering a March discount of $20 off your purchase. See the ad in my sidebar or at the end of this page or click on my affiliate link and use code SOCIAL20 to get the discount.)

And finally,

You are going to need A LOT of corks.

Looking for a use for all the wine corks you’ve collected?

This HAS to be one of the coolest cellars we’ve seen, if we do say so ourselves!

Posted by Wine Enthusiast on Wednesday, March 2, 2016



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Shotbox – My New Favorite Tool

Hi folks! Today I am excited to tell you about my new favorite tool: The Shotbox.

My Shotbox

Shotbox is an easy to use, portable, fully collapsable, powerful lightbox that gives a professional look to every photo I take. It is designed to take pictures with your phone but works equally well with a fancy camera and tripod.

I want you to know that I have an affiliation with Shotbox. This means that if someone purchases a Shotbox via links on my site I get a tiny commission.

That’s great and all, but you know what’s even more fabulous?

My Shotbox.

I was introduced to Shotbox last summer at a conference. At that time, the product was still in the prototype phase. I spent most of the conference trying out the Shotbox and peppering the inventor, Aaron Johnson, with questions.

The fact that Aaron was co-creator of the Cricut machine (an amazing product familiar to crafters and anyone who has ever stepped foot inside a Michael’s store), gave him serious credibility in my eyes.

By the end of the weekend, I had gone from being intrigued by the idea to being so sold on Shotbox that I joined their Kickstarter campaign.

Shotbox 120×600

Perfect for bloggers, scrapbookers, artists, crafters or anyone who wants to take crisp, clean pictures, the only limit to the Shotbox is the imagination of the user.

Even in the hands of an accountant like me, the Shotbox creates great shots.

The base unit sells for $129. There are several accessories, including the must-have SideShot ($40).

(You can see the SideShot hanging on the front of my Shotbox in the picture above.)

This nifty little number provides an extra light source to help diffuse shadows and a platform on which a phone can be positioned and adjusted to take pictures from an almost infinite number of angles. Beyond amazing!

Of course, you could just do what I did and purchase the deluxe Shotbox bundle for $199. The bundle includes the lightbox, the indespensible SideShot, a fancy carrying bag and four backdrops (white, black, blue and green).

The heavy vinyl backdrops hang from the top of the back wall and extend all the way to the front of the box floor creating a great, clean stage for photos like this from my post about planning a wine tasting party.

wine tasting party tips wine charm

Once you start playing around with your Shotbox, you will come up with all sorts of creative ideas.

I picked up a bunch of colored and patterned scrapbook pages from Michael’s to use as a background.

I hung the scrapbook page on the back wall of the Shotbox using painter’s tape for easy repositioning and removal, then took some random things from around my house to create these:

A collection of corks –

Collection of corks

We always have plenty of corks on hand. The box is the holder for a stack of coasters.

Or how about this?

Shotbox wine bottle photo

Looks like a wine bottle sitting on a table against the exposed brick wall of a café, right?

Imagine if you were an artist or crafter with an Etsy shop.

Shotbox art display

Or if you were a blogger writing a post about your favorite things.

It could be a Nest candle “resting on the grass”.

Shotbox Nest candle on grass

Maybe a more zen-like, spa type feel.

Shotbox Nest candle

With a little editing on PicMonkey, I created this fun graphic for my post about choosing your own house wine.

I prefer French Chardonnay

These photos were all created by using items around my house and a couple of dollar’s worth of scrapbook pages from Michael’s.

Shotbox supplies

And, they were taken using my iPhone 5s. Easy peasy!

Are you starting to see all of the possibilities?

Among the many great qualities of the Shotbox is that it takes seconds to set up and take down and folds up compactly for easy storage.

Shotbox collapsed

My entire Shotbox bundle…

Shotbox bundle equipment

fits neatly into the carrying bag for easy transport and storage – though in truth, I use it almost every day so it rarely sees the inside of a closet.

Shotbox bag full of equipment

Friends, I’m not a salesperson – I’m terrible at it. I’m just a fan who LOVES her Shotbox and wants to share this fun tool with you.

This video from Shotbox does a great job showing how the product works.

Check this out:

If you have any questions, let me know. And if you are interested in learning more, check out the Shotbox website.

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Shotbox Kickstarter Campaign

I’m fascinated by clever new products and businesses. Shark Tank is one of my favorite TV shows.

So it’s kind of surprising that I hadn’t yet jumped on the Kickstarter train. I guess I just hadn’t been drawn in by the right idea.

Until now.

At the blogging conference I attended recently, one of the presenting sponsors was a company called Shotbox.

Shotbox Kickstarter Campaign

Being a diligent conference goer, I did my homework ahead of time. I wanted to know what Shotbox was all about.

This nifty invention looks simple but after watching the Shotbox Kickstarter video, I was intrigued. After meeting the inventor, Aaron, and seeing his presentation at the conference, I was sold.

Check out the video for yourself. You will see what I mean.

(By the way, Aaron was also the co-inventor of a fabulous machine that revolutionized DIY crafts, the Cricut Cutting Machine. He’s the kind of proven inventor I can get behind. Kickstarter – count me in!)

I am so enthusiastic about Shotbox that I signed up to be a Founding Affiliate. This means that if you join the Shotbox Kickstarter campaign using links in this post, I will be compensated for the referral. Read my complete affiliate disclosure here.

So much more that a simple light box that folds up for easy storage, the Shotbox is a brilliant design that allows even terrible photographers like me to capture beautiful photos using just a camera phone.

The original idea for Shotbox came about out of frustration with trying to figure out a way to scan a 12 inch by 12 inch scrapbook page.

We all know that scanners are a pain in the neck no matter what you are trying to scan. Prior to Shotbox, it was virtually impossible for regular folks to scan oversized documents.

With Shotbox it is not only possible, it’s easy!

Certificate "scanned" with Shotbox

Family history document “scanned” using Shotbox

But scanning is just the beginning.

Think about the applications for online shop owners, crafters, food writers and bloggers like myself.

Shotbox Education and DIY

Education and DIY

Shotbox jewelry

Perfect for shop owners.

Shotbox using a different background

You can even use different backgrounds for different effects.

The possibilities are endless! I can’t wait to get my hands on my Shotbox.

But Aaron and his team need your help.

The Kickstarter campaign for Shotbox lasts only a few more weeks. This is a product which needs to make it to market. Will you please consider joining me in supporting Shotbox?

Head over to the Kickstarter page for more information.

Then you, too, can start imagining all the ways in which Shotbox will improve your creativity and your productivity!

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