Our First Contest, Complete w/ Prize!

Posted by | Posted in Accessories | Posted on 12-08-2010

If Life is a Cabernet, then Sex is a Zin. And if you're reading this post, you could win this shirt!

As the holiday season approaches, you’ll undoubtedly find yourself scouring the ends of the internet searching for the perfect gift for the wine-o(s) in your life. I encourage you to check out Shirley Copperman’s latest endeavor. Shirley has generously offered a free item to a Terroirist reader.

Here’s the deal: Post a comment telling us about your favorite wine gift (gifted or received!) OR the wine gift you’re hoping for this year. On Friday night, we’ll select a winner at random. The only catch is that you must live in the United States. Read on for more of Shirley’s story….

Shirley and her husband Steen’s story starts in Manhattan in the 1970s. After losing her job as an English Comp professor at Brooklyn College, Shirley indulged Steen’s desire to work for himself, and the couple opened Oenophilia, a precursor to the bring-your-own-wine restaurants that are so popular in cities like Philadelphia and Chicago. Shirley is equally proud of coining the term “oenophilia” to represent the condition of loving wine, as well as the success Oenophilia enjoyed in mid-late 1970’s Manhattan.

After selling Oenophilia, Shirley and Steen’s next move was to New City, NY, where they rented and maintained actor/producer John Houseman’s (of Citizen Kane fame) mountain estate. Shirley and Steen discovered a plethora of wine-making materials in Mr. Houseman’s kitchen, and their interest in making their own wine was piqued. Using fruit picked from the same mountain harvested by High Tor Vineyards (at one time, one of the most famous wineries of the Hudson Valley and East Coast), the Copperman’s soon found themselves bottling their own wine.

Shirley and Steen left their home-brewing behind and moved to Florida in the 1980s. A chance encounter with a home vintner in Florida harkened them back to their days in New City, and Shirley and Steen soon began purchasing fruit from California and producing their own juice once again. As ingredients and equipment kept getting more sophisticated and costly, they came up with the idea to design and silk screen wine-themed t-shirts, aprons, and tote bags, and sell them online as a fun way of raising some extra cash to pay for their hobby. They channeled inspiration from their Oenophilia Restaurant scrapbook to jumpstart ideas, and began their design collection with their original logo, the robust figure of Bacchus brandishing his wine goblet.

To reiterate the rules of our contest, post a comment about your favorite wine gift or what wine gift you’re hoping for this year — and one winner will be chosen at random to receive a free gift from WayCoolTshirts! This contest EXPIRES at 11:59pm on Friday, 12/10. Finally, don’t forget to support Shirley and Steen by checking out their work!

Comments (21)

  1. I’m hoping to receive some Zalto wine glasses which I am assured by numerous people make a massive difference to the wine within them! Let’s hope Santa is generous and is careful coming down the chimney!!

    Richard Saxton
    AKA The Graped Crusader

  2. I’m hoping for a wine fridge. It’s not going to happen, but it would be nice.


  3. If someone says “wine,” I immediately think of my favorite winery, Ballentine Winery in St. Helena, CA. Their zins are enormous, but beware, all their wines need to breathe for an hour. Others, in the evening, may say “it’s wine-thirty!” In our house we say, “it’s BallenTIME!”

  4. I am hoping to recieve a WayCoolTshirt from you!

  5. [...] a comment on Terroirist.com telling them about your favorite wine gift (gifted or received!) OR the wine gift you’re hoping [...]

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  7. I am hoping to get a pair of wine glasses made from upcycled windshields! They are the coolest looking glasses, I saw them on Uncommon Goods!

  8. Drinking good wine with friends and family is the best gift to receive.

  9. I’ve always wanted a nice wine bar in the house.

  10. I just love my Houdini Vertical Wine Opener; Pourer/Aerator and the delicious bottle of Pinot Noir, given to me by my daughter, for my birthday!

  11. How can I resist a shot at such a collectable T-shirt and the honor of the first give-away from my favorite blog?
    I have received the ultimate wine gift: a home wine making kit. A fascinating mixture of new skill development, science, art and passion. Mixing and measuring, awaiting and nuturing, bottling and praying. It has not only allowed me to enjoy the ‘fruits’ of my own labors but has given me a new respect for the professionals who craft outstanding wine consistently over time. Truely, a gift that keeps on giving. Happy Holidays to ALL at the Terroirist!

  12. I got my aunt a bottle of Toglia Fonda from Guido Gaulandi wines in Tuscany. He still makes wine the old fashioned way. No mechanization….crushes grapes with his feet, uses a 100-yr old basket press, and very little sulfites.

  13. The best wine gift I ever received was when my husband made a batch of pinot in my honor, label and everything with me on it. Very sweet!

  14. I’m hoping for a bottle of Steen’s grapefruit wine. And if makes a zinfadel…well, wouldn’t that be special!

  15. I’m really hoping to go on a wine tour! There are vineyards nearby in Virginia. That said, if the tour doesn’t happen, I’d be happy for a nice wine and fruit picnic with my husband and our rescued dogs. We could have it in a park or if the weather is too cold we could have it on the living room floor. The dogs don’t get any wine, but they like apples and bread! Shirley and her husband make awesome shirts and aprons and I wish them lots of luck and continued bottling success!

  16. Several years ago a few friends of mine booked a bus for a vineyard tour of Northern Virginia. The crowd may have been raucous, but the wine was nothing short of sublime. My favorite vineyard of the day was Notaviva Vineyards
    (http://www.notavivavineyards.com/). I particularly enjoyed their 2009 “Cantabile” Cabernet Franc. As a token of friendship (or as a hush payment- I was never sure)- a friend bought me a bottle. When I opened it on a special occasion several months later it was just as delicious as I’d remembered during our tasting and it brought back all the shared laughter of that day. If only I could remember what the hush payment was for…

  17. My favorite wine gift was the bottle of Dom Perignon that I bought for my parents for their 30th anniversary over 25 years ago. They still talk about it and start laughing when they tell the story about dancing in the parking lot of the fancy hotel they were staying in after they’d finished the bottle. Sure, there may be other champagnes that are better, but to them it was an amazing treat that they have never forgotten. Good wine. Great memories.

  18. Dear Wine Santa,

    I would love a dual-zone wine fridge, the space to put it in, and while I’m at it, a lovely bar/sideboard thingie for all my nice glassware.

    Thanks in advance!


  19. Contest is over…. winner has been selected!

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