December 10, 2015

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10 Reasons to celebrate December 10th....the Dead, Huck Finn and more!

We are in full festive fluctuation here on December 10 with the Holidays just an eggnog carton away from our recycling bins, but perhaps still a little too far out to go into complete holiday discomposure and disregard.  

However it is Thursday...and some of us might be getting Thursty...and I stumbled upon some legitimate historical moments that can help you with any justification you deem necessary for your evening activities.  

10 Reasons to celebrate tonight, December 10th

1.   1884 Dec. 10: Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is published. 

2.   1927 Dec. 10: The phrase "Grand Ole Opry" is used for the first time on-air.  
      My parents just went to the 90th Anniversary Special and told me all about it. Pure Americana! 

3.   1901 Dec. 10:  The first Nobel Prizes are awarded.

4.   1965 Dec. 10:  The Grateful Dead's first live concert performance under this name.  (KUTX out of Austin just played a song/set from 1977 live at Barton Hall at Cornell University "Scarlet Begonias" into "Fire on  the Mountain" (Scarlet-Fire) probably their best performance ever?)  Pretty tight. 

5.   1830 Dec. 10:  Emily Dickinson, American poet is born. 

6.   1906 Dec. 10:  U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt wins the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in mediating  the Russo-Japanese War...becoming the 1st American to win the award. 

7.   1898 Dec. 10:  The Spanish-American War was is finito.  The signing of the Treaty of Paris ends the  conflict. 

8.   1817 Dec.  10:  Mississippi becomes the 20th U.S. State. 

9.   1955 Dec. 10:  Mighty Mouse Playhouse first aired on American television. 

10. 1948 Dec. 10:  The United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and today is Human Rights Day, celebrated across the world.  Given the current socio-political climates the world-over, this day is important.  Act like it. 

Now go celebrate December 10th and start a fun and pertinent conversation....I just gave you 10 reasons to do so...

                            HANS® WALL ART--FREE SHIPPING!  
November 05, 2015

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Drink like a world leader! Churchill's favorite wine revealed....

by Greg Gottsacker

Drink like a Leader

A great leader begins his day in bed with a Johnny Walker Red and soda water.  

For good measure, he usually indulges in two more while catching up on emails before lunch break.  Getting caught up is the worst…

Lunch with the HR director and a few honored clients wouldn’t be productive business without a bottle of bubbles, several glasses of red wine, and a brandy snifter to cap off the noon hour.

Back to the office for the afternoon sales meeting coupled with another Walker and water….and a quick catnap? Our courageous leaders need to be well rested for their evening of drinking and networking.

8 PM.  Off to dinner for a couple more scotches, more champagne, buckets of Bordeaux, and several brandies. Our visionary leader finally retreats post meal to his study for a nightcap and reflection, where he will be engrossed in a novel before deflating into his berth.

Of course this is not an average day of our modern day business leader….oh no. Such a modest day could only be achieved by an extraordinary leader and man---Winston Churchill.

There is much speculation about the daily drinking habits of Mr. Churchill, and much of those inventions of excess serve us no real benefit other than awe and marvel.

Any critique of Churchill’s superabundance in alcoholic intake is based upon a covetous nature of spiteful thirst.

Undoubtedly, alcohol consumption at that level from a public figure has long since become taboo....but even he knew that!

Mr. Churchill, staying true to his roots and respecting his aristocratic background, made sure to never appear drunk.   Now that’s a politician!

The extent of Winnie’s drinking and its effects on his health have become part of his legacy.

Yet this is not a commentary of his legacy.  Nope. Sorry.

There are thousands of books at your disposal debating the ethics of his politics as a Bolshevik strangler and defender of the principles of liberty and freedom.

This was supposed to be about the booze that Churchill drank and a little secret I discovered this summer while on holiday.

Churchill’s favorite scotches, champagne, spirits and wine are pretty well documented, but there is a favorite wine of his that gets little attention that you absolutely must try.

It is a red wine called Melnik from Melnik, Bulgaria, an area that has been making wine since the 14th century!

Melnik is also the name of the grape varietal, or Широка мелнишка лоза, if you want to try out your Cyrillic.

Melnik is in the far southwest corner of Bulgaria in the Struma Valley near the Greek and Macedonian borders, and it is consistently a demon furnace down there in the summer.

Expect a strong and high alcohol by volume wine, dark and fruity but exotic and one that ages well in an oak barrel.

Churchill is said to have ordered 2 barrels of Melnik a year. That’s over 500 litres of wine for private consumption!

Logodaj Winery was apparently the preferred etiquette of Mr. Churchill according to the wine shop I visited in Varna, Bulgaria.

So if you are feeling ambitious you can try out a liter or two of Melnik and emulate our thirsty leader Mr. Churchill.

However we may view the absorbent tendencies of Churchill, we can learn something from the leader-drinker in this hidden little gem called Melnik from the small wine producing country of Bulgaria.

So be courageous and go drink like a leader. Give Melnik a try today.

Want to try it in an aerating wine glass? Try Melnik in Helicium® Glass. Enter "Melnik" at checkout and receive 15% off all Helicium® aerating glassware through November 17th!


Logodaj Nobile Melnik!  

October 30, 2015

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Don't stock wine---stock up!


by Greg Gottsacker

Many positive comments were received regarding last week’s post about the 2015 harvest!  

I don’t blame you for not being excited about some stellar wines coming soon to a table near you...but please do me a big solid….and go enjoy that wine now!  

So many people wrote back with comments like this:  

“Cool! I’m gonna really stock up on 2015!” or “Perfect-I have a wine cave and plenty of room to start stocking up on 2015’s!”  

Don’t stock wine---just stock up!  

Let’s be clear about something.  About 99% of all wines are not meant to be cellared. Sure it’s fun to play wine cave and coolest man in the world by hoarding and showcasing labels from exotic wine groves the world over...but I am no Monte Cristo and this barron needs a little sauce for dinner.  

I try to apply a simple stock technique in my wine collection--FIFO.  First-In-First-Out. That means I am always drinking my oldest vintages...which means right now we are going through 2009’s-2012’s.   (See photo below of my current line-up that needs to be emptied)

Pinterest Sold Me A Wine Cave

There is a whole industry out there that has told us that real wine enthusiasts must own some wooden, extrinsic cellar to stock the goods.  Eureka! it has worked--every time I perouse a Wine & Food magazine, Pinterest, or Instagram I see some pretty cool set-ups that have me drooling over the wine cave instead of the wine!

Wine caves are cool indeed.  But don't worry too much about the cellar....does it serve your needs? Who is it or your neighbors? Are you really a wine speculator hoping to yield a return on a vintage that might increase in value? There are so many variables and unless you are really, really, really into it...I suggest to start sucking some of that inventory.

Remember most wine from any given harvest won’t see the ball drop this year.

“Between 90 to 93 percent of all the wine on the globe produced from a given harvest becomes pee-pee and hangovers before the next harvest.”   Bill St. John, Chicago Tribune

Perhaps I’ll come back and revisit the topic of wine caves later...but for now I just want to remind you not to hesitate to open those bottles and ENJOY--NOW!   

Also don’t forget you have until tomorrow Oct. 31st for 15% off with “Harvest” as coupon code on all Helicium Glass at  

Have a look here to see what you are drinking and when you should drink it.  

October 23, 2015

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Your tannins are burning! Armageddon Wine Harvest 2015

by Greg Gottsacker

The results are in on the 2015 wine harvest...and it was a scorcher of a season!  

Virtually every wine circulation is absolutely gushing about the 2015 vintage.

And you were “wining” about the heat in mid July!

Yes it’s that time of year when we start hearing about “tannin management”, “hydric stress levels” and a wine drinker’s most feared incubus-the term “low yield”.  

Science told me so

I am not a global warming scientist, so I’ll have to give you some sources and statistics for you to believe me….but 2015 will be the hottest year ever, ever.

It’s only October and the year isn’t over yet but the first 9 months were off the charts and this extreme heat directly impacts our grape growing friends.  

It was me

While golfing with a vintner in July’s 38 C scorcher in Burgundy, he personified his Gamay grapes from Beaujolais.

“You can’t imagine what these plants go through in this heat.  We can’t imagine as humans what it’s like.  On a hot day like this we might suffer for 2-3 hours and then we just go in the shade and get a cold drink.  These vines are struggling every day and at any moment could just collapse and die.”

That’s why it is so important for these vintners to keep an eye on their grapes in late July and August.  

Not picking at the right time would be the equivalent of walking away from your steak on a hot grill and forgetting about it.  Burnt and nobody will want to eat that piece of crap. Toss it.  

Such are the daily fears of a wine grower’s reputation and livelihood.  Except you can’t control the grill’s heat or use your water spray bottle.   These guys check on their steak all the time.

Early Harvest

There are a lot of misconceptions about an early harvest and the heat wave.  A lot people think that harvest must come early because of such intense heat...well that’s not exactly how it works.

Wine growers usually know well in advance as to how the season will unfold.  Spring can start a little early, and with early bud break on the vines, we can already foresee an early harvest date.  

Low Yield. Don't worry-less is good. 

Although yields might be low in some appellations, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. 

Despite record high temperatures and wine makers on vigilant “wilt” duty during August, the pH and sugar levels look good.  

A lower volume production yield this year means that the grapes are smaller, but the fruit is intense and concentrated, and boozy too.

In Germany, some growers are calling it a “bulldozer of a vintage”.  What an appropriate metaphor for a German grape harvest.

Can you imagine a French winegrower allowing his vintage to be compared to a heavy piece of machinery? The bulldozer metaphor seems appropriately Teutonic in its application.  

Of course what they are referring to is the high alcohol content in the Riesling grapes due to the summer heat, with some weighing in over 16%!  

Stock up on 2015

Whether it is Barossa Valley, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Napa, Rioja, or the Swartland...2015 is unfolding as a high quality harvest year, and the European vintages are being compared to the 2003 and 2005 vintages.  

So while you were kvetching in July about your lower back sweat and busted AC, think about that Gamay in Beaujolais that stuck it through all the way to August...for you...for your pleasure.  

Here are some really great articles that summarize this year's harvest in specific regions.

 Enter “Harvest” for 15% off on all Helicium® Glass through the end of October!  Go on.  

Just go to and enter “Harvest” at check-out to get your 15% discount through October 31st!  

Go on.  Do it for the Gamay.


Greg Gottsacker

Globex Shop


June 15, 2015

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A tribute to Dad from South Africa

by Greg Gottsacker

I heard Jim Gaffigan compare Dad to the Vice-President of the family.  That can be interpreted in many ways...but he ultimately plays second fiddle to the Mama.  

And despite what he thinks, he was probably chosen (indirectly elected) by Mom’s campaign team of clucking birds and sisters. (Electoral College).  

We all have special relationships with Dad..and as Father’s Day is behind us and I wasn't able to spend it with him, it is time for me to thank pops for everything he does for me.  

I have memories of fights and arguments with my dad--like struggling with math homework in middle school as he showed me his way to do it, curfew violations and explaining suspicious empty cans in high school, and the kicker---religion and politics later in life.  

Those tensious moments will never be forgotten, and they shouldn’t be.  Those moments shaped me as a man, and they defined the role of father in another….as did another thousand joyous moments.   

….like sitting in the bottom of a duck boat when I was 5-years old, sleeping, as my dad and friends sprayed lead into the marsh and dropped mallards…..

...and my dad teaching me to hunt in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, sitting patiently in the cold and seeing me get a deer year-in, year-out, despite him never getting one... 

...and traveling in Europe on a midnight train perched on a bunk bed above a lady of the night named Kyra Ice all the way to Budapest, Hungary after attending the Oktoberfest…..

….and like brewing beer with my dad and brother in Northern Michigan and singing just ridiculous songs….

Many of the experiences I had were outdoors, exploring and learning about our surroundings. Whatever the memory was, an argument or a weekend at deer camp, I have always learned something from him--whether he knows it or not.
So in the spirit of the outdoors, learning, and my recent trip to South Africa, I want to share a couple fun outdoor and African experiences with Dad (and you) via this newsletter.

  1. Giraffes don’t have 2 hearts--but just 1 really big one.  A giraffe heart is about 2 feet long, weighs 25 lbs and goes 150 beats per minute pumping blood through its long body.
  2.  Hyenas are fratricidal: baby hyena cubs bully each other until they are dead to prove dominance.  Mom does nothing.  Happy Father’s Day.  
  3. The Hippo is the most dangerous African animal.  This unpredictable herbivore kills 3,000 humans a year.
  4. Dave Matthews, Steve Nash (NBA) and Roger Federer are all originally from South Africa.
  5. TAB soda is still proudly displayed in convenient store coolers. 
  6. Pinotage is South Africa’s signature varietal.   Kanonkop Wine Pinotage 2013 was my favorite while on vacation.  
  7. A friend of mine recently won Young Winemaker of the Year in the Swartland Region. The domain is Allesverloren, especially known for its port wine and can be found in St. Paul, Minnesota!  

 Wine and Whiskey: A South African Combo

Helicium Glasses are the perfect tool for summer braai and man time--extra tough when it matters and versatile for wine or whiskey. 

Helicium comes in two different models, stems and stemless, and are the premium aerating wine glass on the market.  

Enjoy all the benefits of Helicium by ordering today!

    -immediate aeration in the glass thanks to integrated blades

    -100% lead free all mineral glass, robust and sturdy

    -holds a brilliant shine up to thousands of industrial washes

    -elegant and classic look

 Order Now before the end of June!

By entering "AFRICA" at, you will receive 25% off all orders until June 30th!

Hope you all had a great Father's Day, and please enjoy a moment with your Dad this summer on the braai with a glass in your hand!



Greg Gottsacker 

Globex Shop



June 08, 2015

Posted in

I made a horrible mistake...can you help me fix it?

Starting June out on the right foot 

by Greg Gottsacker

School is officially out and summer is on its way! But are not a student and don't care if school is out. You have to go to work everyday and your kids have terrorized the entire house since they have come home from school.

You have to sweat through this heat on a swivel chair, prep the meals for the beasts we call children, cut the lawn (tis' the season), check on Mom and Dad, and start planning the family vacation...

Look, I don't have a lot of time to cheer you up, because frankly the weather is too nice and I need to enjoy it before another storm comes here are a couple activities for you to kick off June and start enjoying summer now!

1. Roland Garros French Tennis Open
This is a benchmark summer  event marked by red clay playing surface called "terre" in French.   Reminds me of another word like..hmm "terroir".    Turn it on today and catch the semifinals with Serena Williams, Djokovic and Andy Murray.

2. Rosé Wine Season

Do you want to be really "Frenchy" this season and show off a new drink to friends?  
Step 1: Get a bottle of rosé
Step 2: Fill up a Helicium wine glass with ice cubes
Step 3: Fill Helicium glass with rosé  

This is called a "Piscine de Rosé" and is the hot ticket in France this summer.   What does it mean?  "Rosé Swimming Pool".   Go for a swim and try a Rosé from Tavel region, France's best known rosé region.

3.  I’m your Venus!  I’m your Fire!

With the full moon shining bright on June 2nd and the days approaching their longest, there’s plenty of natural light around to chill out on the deck until the wee hours.

Plus you can even see Venus! 

On June 6th, Venus reaches its greatest eastern elongation of 45 degrees from the sun.    
What the heck does that mean?  

Look for a bright planet in the western sky just after sunset--that's Venus.  

You have worked hard and deserve a break, and if you are from a cold climate like I am, summer can come and go before you say "Piscine de Rose".  Enjoy those weddings, BBQs, graduation parties, and picnics folks!  

Don't forget because I did!  I forgot to set my pricing back after the Mother's Day special!  

Order now and get 4 x Helicium Grand for just $70 and 4 x Helicium Stemless for just $50--I promise you won't regret it!  



Greg Gottsacker 

Globex Shop


May 05, 2015

Posted in

An Imported French Souvenir for Mother’s Day!

by Greg Gottsacker

I see my Mother about once a year.  Once a year!  And every time we see each other it is a celebration--just like a Birthday, an Anniversary, Easter...Christmas, or any other one-time a year event.  Christmas only comes once a year!  Well for does seeing my Mom.  

Visiting with Mom is an opportunity to share experiences of the past year, complain about the other siblings, and play favorite for a while.   It’s part of the many advantages of seeing Mom only once a year.  

We usually do “Mom” stuff, which I really enjoy.  We cook together-- like a new recipe of Shish Taouk chicken I learned from some of my friends from Lebanon.  We go grocery shopping together and compare the store to a European market.   Heck, I even went to Zumba once with my Mom.  (Note this should not be replicated and I haven’t been since.)

The visit always involves drinking wine and learning about the bottle we just discovered. I usually smuggle in some wine from France and of course deliver the always requested replenishing stock of Maille Dijon mustard.  If the visit coincides with holidays, I might even be off-loading a French perfume for a Christmas gift. (Reminder….check on perfume stock--I think she is running low on the Coco Mademoiselle?)  

Part of the fun of the trip (but also the stress) is finding what unique gift I can bring back for Mom-- but I always seem to find something.

As the visit progresses on, we start counting the days until I have to leave again.  This leads to anxiety, which can lead to more wine, which leads to more storytelling, which can lead to a hangover on a plane the next day.  But it isn’t the wine hangover that hurts.

No matter how many times we do this, it is never easy to say goodbye not knowing the next time I will see my Mom.   Perhaps this is not a unique experience.  Every mother-child relationship demonstrates these feelings when they say goodbye.   Call it broody, call it overly protective, call it Oedipal, call it mama's boy, call it what you want….but it only happens once a year for me.

Stop Thinking and Celebrate

You see, I don’t want you to think about anything else this year but celebrating with your Mom.  You will not have to think all week about the gift idea, because I am giving it to you right here--a set of Helicium Glass! Instead of stressing about a gift, you can spend an extra couple  minutes this week thinking about a fun story to tell Mom on Sunday.   You know one of those stories from high-school that hasn’t been told yet??
Ex: “Remember that one time that the car..."


It will be a beautiful, early spring Sunday in May, and you will be out on the deck with a glass of wine with the family.   Your Mother will be glowing because you can give her your full attention and thank her for all she has done for you.  You can give her that extra attention because you have it to give--you had a stress free week of no shopping!

You’ll even find the perfect bottle of wine to go with Sunday’s celebration because you had the extra time to research it and learn something.  Think about how knowledgeable you will be on Sunday telling everybody about that wine, and how proud and impressed Mom will be of her child...just because you didn’t have to fret and run around this week looking for some run-of-the-mill gift.

Wine Glasses for Mom

Helicium Glasses are the perfect unique gift for Mother’s Day, especially for Mom’s that like wine! Helicium is also imported from France, another fun fact you can tell Mom!

Helicium comes in two different models, stems and stemless, and are the premium aerating  wine glass on the market.  If you and Mom just can’t wait another hour for that wine to “open up” on Sunday, than Helicium is the perfect aroma accelerator and wine aerator for you...but in the glass.


Enjoy all the benefits of Helicium by ordering for Mom today!


  •     immediate aeration in the glass thanks to integrated blades
  •     100% lead free all mineral glass, robust and sturdy
  •      holds a brilliant shine up to thousands of industrial washes
  •      elegant and classic look designed in France


Order Now before the Weekend!

So please, focus on a funny story and a nice glass to share with Mom rather than thinking of gift’s right here with Helicium Glass.


By ordering Helicium this week on-line at, Helicium offers you free shipping and wrapping!   Plus, Helicium is offering you special Mother's Day pricing this week only!


Order today and receive Helicium Glass for just:


4 Stems for $75 (instead of $84!)

4 Stemless for $50 (instead of $60!)


All you have to do is enter “MOTHER” as the coupon code at  and Helicium will give you free shipping to your door within 48 hours.....with the glasses wrapped and ready to go for Sunday!
Offer is valid through this Friday May 8th so hurry and get ready for a celebration with Mom!



Greg Gottsacker 

Globex Shop