Roll out the barrels
For the wine lovers out there, here’s a novel idea. The folks at Robert Mondavi Private Selection have partnered with Woodzee, a California eyewear designer, to recycle used wine barrels into a line of sunglasses. The wood’s “distinctive tint” comes from the oak barrels used to age Coastal Crush Red, a blend of syrah, merlot and malbec grapes described as having flavor notes of “ripe strawberry and red raspberry fruit with a hint of chocolate.” The sunglasses are described as costing $120. To learn more, visit www.woodzee.com.
Thielen gets renewed
When Minnesota’s own Amy Thielen had her TV show, “Heartland Table,” debut on the Food Network on Sept. 14, the first episode was “The Butter Show.” That likely foretold its success, for her show has been renewed for a second season. Congrats, Amy! The action takes place in her rustic cabin near Two Inlets, Minn. To learn more, visit www.foodnetwork.com and search “Heartland Table.”
Up your frosting game
Watching pastry chefs on TV can be inspiring, but also frustrating, since their time-lapse pace has little to do with real life. But if you want to hone your skills, Wilton Enterprises offers a series of online classes that you can pause and repeat until you’re a master. Beth Somers, a “Cupcake Wars” winner, teaches classes on baking basics, buttercream, frosting flowers and more. Prices are $15-$20 for more than two hours of instruction and downloadable materials, accessible on mobile devices or computers. You also can ask questions, upload photos of your work and take part in discussions. To learn more, visit www.wilton.com/craftsy.
Butterball goes vintage
Speaking of vino, experts on the Butterball turkey talk line are offering wine-pairing advice for the first time this season at 1-800-BUTTERBALL. The service comes via Robert Mondavi’s budget line, Woodbridge, which trained 50 advisers in pairing wines with holiday foods. Sure, they’ll likely recommend a Woodbridge offering among the chardonnays they advise drinking, but that’s only fair, right? The phone line is open through Dec. 24.