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A farewell to summer party (and a giveaway!)

Yes, it’s been a lovely summer, in England, France, Vancouver and Mexico. But all good things must come to an end and as I head to work today for the first day of classes with the boys, I must sadly bid goodbye to summer.  But not before one last backyard get-together…  I was recently given the opportunity by Trudeau to try some of their products and as I was trying to decide what to choose,  I thought what better way to say goodbye to summer than a wine and cheese (and other random bits and pieces) party with close friends on Labour Day weekend, using some of the Bar, Wine and Cheese line of products?

In a final burst, summer showed up hot and steamy and instead of wine, people opted for gins and tonics. A perfect farewell summer drink…  But uh oh, what happens when everyone’s drinking the same drink and they all put their glasses down when they are off getting food. How do you tell whose glass is whose?

Well normally I am not a huge fan of wine charms, but I was quite taken with these pretty floral charms...

Too pretty to let someone else make off with!  Made from silicone, so no breakable pieces and dishwasher safe!

Now, about that food.  We often have people bring cheese over for parties – all our friends are big cheese lovers – but many times we end up with so many that we lose track of what’s what.  So I was really happy to see Trudeau make lovely ceramic (i.e. re-usable, dishwasher-safe) cheese markers – a useful and elegant addition to any cheese plate!

Ok, so you’ve had your gins and tonics and now you feel like you should move on to something a little stronger to go with the cheese.  But what if your red wine needs breathing and it’s not even open yet? No problem, you can use you Trudeau’s Aroma Wine Aerating Pourer.  Said to ” improve bouquet and flavor instantly by injecting air into the wine as you pour,” this is a nifty little device that my resident sommelier was more than a little skeptical of.

We made Neil do a blind tasting with one glass poured in the regular manner and the second “aerated”.  He actually was able to tell the difference, even after only a few minutes.  Neil suggests that this is useful for impatient wine drinkers, as it opens up and will soften a lower-priced wine fairly rapidly.  He says that many of today’s wines are not made for aging and tend to be more fruit-forward (almost overly so) and this aerator can temper and soften the fruit, making the wine slightly less aggressive. So yeah, it works!

All right then, you’ve had your apéro, you’ve got your wine and now you want a plate of food to go with that. What’s more annoying than having to put your glass down while you are getting or eating your food? Well worry no more because Trudeau have cute little plate clips so your wine and food never have to part company!

Cleverly designed to fit most plates, the glass-holder is flexible, adapting to most glass stem sizes.  Invaluable for events where you are required to eat and drink at the same time – I will be tucking a few of these into my bag so I always have them on hand. Because you never know, right?

Now you’re done with the party and there’s wine left over (what’s wrong with you??? LOL!). What to do? Well, you can cork it and hope for the best, or you can use the Flair wine preserving pump.  Neil thinks that for anyone who drinks red wine and often doesn’t finish a bottle, it’s essential to use a device like this.  Basically wine starts dying as soon as it comes into contact with oxygen and if you’re not finishing a bottle, it’s essential to stop that process through one of three ways:

1. Keep an empty half-bottle around. Pour your half-finished bottle into the half bottle so that there is hardly any ozygen in contact in the wine.  There is an obvious downside to that method.

2. Use an inert gas wine preserver usually made up of argon or nitrogen – both heavier than oxygen so that they form a protective layer between the wine and the oxygen.  Though it works, many people find it finicky and environmentally speaking, it’s not the friendliest.  Most professional pouring systems use this method.

3. Use a tool such at the Trudeau Flair.

This device pumps oxygen out of the bottle.  Obvious advantages: It’s reusable, there’s no waste and you get a little bit of exercise in the process.  But does it work?  Neil opened two identical bottles of French red wine, poured out glasses to the exact same level in each bottle, then sealed one with a cork and the other with the Flair.  Two days later, in a blind tasting, Neil was definitely able to tell the difference. He proclaimed that one glass had retained more of the vibrant fruit flavours whereas the other was a bit dull and slightly oxidated. We’ll be using this again and again. Sorry Neil, no more “it won’t keep another day” excuses!

We had one more product to test – the Trudeau Champagne stopper. Imagine having leftover champagne!  Well we actually had some leftover Québec cider that we tested this on. Does it work? The proof is in the bubbles:

Not sure this will get THAT much use for Champagne chez nous but it will be useful for ciders and the like. Every home should have one of these!

Has all this wine and cheese talk made you hungry and thirsty? Well here’s the good news – Trudeau are offering to give away the start of a great wine and cheese party to one lucky reader (US/Canada only, sorry international friends) comprised of a set of plate clips, wine charms and the Aroma wine aerator.

To enter, simply leave a comment on this post telling me how you say farewell to summer.  For a bonus entry, you can tweet the following message:

Enter to win the start of a great #wine and #cheese party from @trudeauKitchen at @eatlivtravwrite http://bit.ly/nluFlf

then come back to leave me a comment telling me you did.  Contest closes Wednesday September 14th at 6pm EST. I will announce the winner on Thursday September 15th.  Bonne chance!

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64 Responses to A farewell to summer party (and a giveaway!)

  1. Mr. Neil September 8, 2011 at 07:03 #

    One other wine-storing tip…put your partly-finished bottle of red in the FRIDGE.

    Yes, I know that may freak out some of you: but wine deteriorates more slowly at cooler temps. Don’t worry; it will warm up soon enough once you pour in the glass. Unless you’re REALLY impatient. ;-)

  2. Brian @ A Thought For Food September 8, 2011 at 07:05 #

    I can’t… or maybe I just won’t… say farewell to summer. It makes me too sad. But I have been eating a lot of tomatoes this past week. Like, an insane amount.

    Also, drinking a gin and tonic or a bottle of rose always keeps it feeling like summer :-)

    I love all of these products. No doubt I’d use all of them for our winter BBQ that E and I hold each year.

  3. Brian @ A Thought For Food September 8, 2011 at 07:06 #

    Just tweeted about it!

  4. Jill@MadAboutMacarons September 8, 2011 at 07:19 #

    What an amazing summer and although working again, it’s still here (I think!) Too bad live in France so can’t enter since I NEED that wine aerating pourer. Like now. Love gadgets that are useful like this. Oh, you have made me hungry and thirsty, for sure. But then you always do ;-)

  5. Amy's Cooking Adventures September 8, 2011 at 07:43 #

    I’m still trying to deny that summer is coming to a close, but I do have a farewell BBQ coming up this weekend with a bunch of pizzas on the grill and a couple bottles of wine!

  6. Corey @ Learning Patience September 8, 2011 at 07:54 #

    I would LOVE this prize….so awesome! I don’t have to say goodbye to summer because I live in Trinidad – island life is great!

    xoxo from Trinidad

  7. Corey @ Learning Patience September 8, 2011 at 07:55 #

    I just tweeted too!
    xoxo from Trinidad

  8. Colleen September 8, 2011 at 08:02 #

    For us, the end of summer is in October when we close the trailer. It involves lots of cleaning and packing, but also a big feast with family and friends. Everyone adds to the table and we laugh and tell old stories and have a grand time!

  9. Martha T September 8, 2011 at 08:57 #

    We “celebrate” the end of summer in early August out in the mountains of West Texas at Bloys Cowboy Campmeeting. The 5th generation of my family goes now and makes lifelong friendships.

  10. Martha T September 8, 2011 at 08:58 #

    I just tweeted about the giveaway. @mbt4955

  11. Nelly Rodriguez September 8, 2011 at 09:19 #

    I never have to say goodbye to summer because it’s always summer on this island, but this year heading north, so saying goodbye with one last beach run!

  12. Nelly Rodriguez September 8, 2011 at 09:21 #

    I tweeted!

  13. Maureen September 8, 2011 at 09:23 #

    Well my birthday is just a few days away and we have a little party to celebrate that and we have a little get together of family and friends .

  14. Belinda @zomppa September 8, 2011 at 10:12 #

    Nice little gadget…so strange that summer is almost over!

  15. Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. September 8, 2011 at 10:27 #

    I say goodbye to summer by grilling out on the grill one last time and enjoying time by the pool!

  16. Samantha Klein September 8, 2011 at 10:38 #

    The end of summer is always celebrated with wine! (the perfect opener for fall)
    I tweeted this too!
    Thanks Mardi!

    XO
    Sam

  17. Rachel @ My Naturally Frugal Family September 8, 2011 at 11:10 #

    Well I hate to say good-bye to summer and in the south (North Carolina) we are lucky that the warm weather lasts so long…typically into October.
    However before the kids went back to school we hit the beach one last time and had a cook out. It was a great way to relax before the crunch of making sure all 3 kids have what they need everyday for school :)

  18. kateiscooking September 8, 2011 at 11:20 #

    I say goodbye to summer with a weekend of grilling – trying to use some of the last garden goodies.

  19. Helene September 8, 2011 at 12:42 #

    Love to have the family over for one last BBQ and drinking good wine :)

    Great contest. Just tweeted about the contest.

  20. Claire September 8, 2011 at 15:12 #

    Saying farewell to summer is a ritual for me. In addition to tydying up the garden and putting away the garden furniture, rolling up the hose and emptying the fountains, I put my summer wine cellar to bed. I go throught the bottles, moving the light, fruity rosés to the back, putting the tart lemony whites to the side, and bringing forward the big, bold reds, the aging grande dames of my cellar, the heavier ports and winter evening sherries.

  21. Claire September 8, 2011 at 15:13 #

    I too just tweeted the contest.

  22. suze September 8, 2011 at 15:41 #

    Love the contest! I just tweeted about it: http://twitter.com/#!/stillbaking/status/111886740729503745

  23. suze September 8, 2011 at 15:42 #

    We always say goodbye to summer with a last hurrah Labour Day long weekend at the cabin, swimming and BBQing with friends.

  24. Melissa@EyesBigger September 8, 2011 at 16:57 #

    Ummm… it’s 25 degrees and muggy as hell here. Our summer finally arrived so I’m sure not saying goodbye!

  25. Rachel @ My Naturally Frugal Family September 8, 2011 at 19:38 #

    I tweeted the giveaway (@rachelkyle0402)

  26. K A B L O O E Y September 8, 2011 at 21:20 #

    I have an aerator, and it works well for impatient me, but now I want that wine vacuum thingie. And thanks to Mr. Neil, I’ll try putting half bottles in the fridge. End of Summer for us is a late vacation, but now that that’s over, I guess it’s time to take out the sweaters.

  27. chris September 8, 2011 at 21:38 #

    I say goodbye to summer with tomato basil soup with tomatoes and basil from the garden.

  28. Lauren September 8, 2011 at 22:05 #

    I say farewell to summer with a nice cookout with the friends, ending the evening with a fire pit. :)

  29. TK September 8, 2011 at 23:00 #

    We have a farewell summer pool party with tons of friends, food, and drinks. Hello fall!

  30. Maria September 8, 2011 at 23:17 #

    I say goodbye to summer by wearing as much white as possible up to labor day :)

  31. Maria September 8, 2011 at 23:17 #

    I say goodbye to summer by wearing as much white as possible up until labor day :)

  32. janice September 8, 2011 at 23:49 #

    One last blowout BBQ on Labour day.

  33. Ann September 9, 2011 at 01:53 #

    First off, thanks for the giveaway! No matter who wins, the wine aerator is really cool!

    I say farewell to summer TEARFULLY! I miss the warm weather and extra sunshine. Then I head to the kitchen and start a fall/winter of delicious soups!

  34. beatriz September 9, 2011 at 02:00 #

    I am saying goodbye to summer by embracing fall in full force!

  35. Liz September 9, 2011 at 07:42 #

    What a fabulous party!! And very fun giveaway!!! I say goodbye to summer by baking apple pie and pumpkin bread :)

  36. Liz September 9, 2011 at 07:43 #

    I tweeted your giveaway~

  37. Carole September 9, 2011 at 08:02 #

    I wring every bit of Summer from the season–we have 13 more days to savor the season. I grill outdoors until snow stops me!

    Thank you for the fabulous giveaway.

  38. Carole September 9, 2011 at 08:04 #

    Tweeted: http://twitter.com/#!/cspod/statuses/112133975836852224

  39. patty tiesch September 9, 2011 at 12:06 #

    Throw a big party with friends and family. With lots of food and new recipes and games and wine of course.

  40. Juanita September 9, 2011 at 21:42 #

    I said “goodbye” to summer today by making wild blackberry jam. When the snow flies, I will remember picking the berries in the hot sun and feel warm again. Blackberry jam is the perfect antidote to midwinter blahs.

  41. Jordan September 10, 2011 at 09:16 #

    I usually spend the end of the summer at the beach with my family. The memory of campfire food, sitting by the water, and the amazing local ice cream, keeps summer alive just a little longer once it’s gone.

  42. Katja of Skimbaco September 10, 2011 at 12:19 #

    We were planning on a last beach trip.. but Irene messed up our plans. trying to reschedule for September, but if not, we will host an Oktober party at home.

  43. Redawna September 10, 2011 at 12:58 #

    I cook a turkey.

    Once the first of the cooler weather comes, the craving for turkey kicks in.

    I have been doing it for at least 5 years now.

    Summer was pretty much non exsitant this year and we are jujst now experiencing warm summer temps.
    My end of summer turkey may actually be on Thanksgiving this year.

  44. Carrie September 10, 2011 at 14:47 #

    I said good-bye to summer by making my last pitcher of Sangria for the season. I love wine on it’s own but there is nothing more refreshing than a cold glass of Sangria on a hot summer day.

  45. Alice September 10, 2011 at 17:06 #

    I try not to have to say goodbye to summer, keeping pie fillings canned and on hand, and my local grocer imports fruits and such that are usually only available in the summertime from warmer climates, so aside from the weather I dont have to say goodbye… really… :) but I do wish I could get the warm weather to stay!

  46. Sara Jean September 10, 2011 at 18:13 #

    Well I can’t say that I won’t miss my favorite season of the year, but to bid it adieu, my husband and I are going on one last camping trip to the nearest National Park and plan on hiking, swimming, making delicious meals over the campfire, drinking beer, and playing our guitars. I can’t wait to sleep under those beautiful starry skies!

  47. jenjenk September 11, 2011 at 16:06 #

    farewell?? why do i have to say farewell???!! ;) I went to hawaii for my final beach surf experience. :)

  48. Carolyn G September 11, 2011 at 18:24 #

    We say farewell to summer by officially digging up our garden and taking out all the left over plants.

  49. susitravl September 11, 2011 at 18:44 #

    Glad to say goodbye to this long hot summer! We had a little party last night then ended up at the casino. I think this is going to become an “end of summer” tradition.
    susitravl(at)gmail(dot)com

  50. Steph I September 11, 2011 at 18:50 #

    Summer is year round in beautiful Coronado, so I won’t be saying good bye this year. I really enjoyed this post Mardi. A friend just gave me those adorable wine charms as part of a house warming gift…too cute!

  51. Bora September 12, 2011 at 09:53 #

    One last baseball game to mark the passing of summer. Farewell to summer…and to the boys of summer.

  52. Carrie @ poet in the pantry September 12, 2011 at 16:26 #

    I didn’t get to have much of a summer this year with rehabbing from back surgery and all. But I bid farewell to it with some Tanqueray & tonics, buffalo chicken dip, and a night in with the ones I love. We make do.

  53. Debbie September 12, 2011 at 18:49 #

    I say farewell to summer, very sadly, by drinking beaucoup de rosé, preferably from Provence, but I can drink others if I must :)

    I hope that this fall will be as beautiful as summer was.

  54. Monty September 12, 2011 at 19:37 #

    Tweeted!! I have a severe dislike of winter, so fall holds no charm for me. Here’s to a looooong warm Fall.

  55. Tiff September 13, 2011 at 11:29 #

    I tweeted! (@tiffing)

    I said farewell to summer this weekend by riding a Bixi bike for the first time, having a sausage cooked outside at a street festival, going to my favorite rooftop bar for a drink and wearing my favorite sundresses as many times as possible before the beautiful weather ends!

    Love those plate clips!

  56. Diane M. September 13, 2011 at 20:59 #

    My husband and I have been eating dinner outside on our back balcony every night, enjoying the last few warm days of summer. And BBQing as much as possible in September before fall gets here. Beautiful pictures of your wine & food!

  57. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction September 13, 2011 at 22:05 #

    I love sparkling wine and champagne… I need to get one of those champagne stoppers because I rarely drink the whole bottle myself and Darron doesn’t go for the sparkly stuff much. :)

  58. Evelyne@CheapEthnicEatz September 14, 2011 at 16:58 #

    Wow, just making it before the cutoff time, life has been nuts. How do I say farewell to summer? I go into denial for one, then I wear jeans and just a small sweater and I hang on to my sandals for as long as I can! Love Trudeau stuff, I have a few.

  59. Evelyne@CheapEthnicEatz September 14, 2011 at 16:59 #

    Tweeted contest

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite September 19, 2011 at 18:15 #

      Thanks everyone for your entries. Contest now closed. I loved reading about your ways of saying farewell to summer (or holding onto a little bit of it!)

  60. mPaula November 14, 2011 at 18:25 #

    In my area (Windsor ON), it is difficult to know when summer ends. Early in November there were still some shirt sleeve days. Tomorrow might also be shirt sleeves.

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite November 14, 2011 at 18:31 #

      It’s true that the weather has been odd this year! But it’s DEFINITELY not summer when it’s dark at 4pm!

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