Ravenna Cushions

It’s been quite a busy and hot week; we’re ready to welcome the weekend. Overdue for some quiet relaxation and anticipating long nights enjoying the cool off that comes with sunset? Make sure your patio is ready for some sitting time.

Last week we reviewed and ranked patio furniture materials, and brought up Ravenna Cushions as a solid option for taking any patio furniture material to the next level of comfort, with recommendations for cushion color by material.

Ravenna Cushions make use of the color palette you see on the Ravenna Covers, with the addition of several new, more diverse hues that coordinate with the existing neutral tones in the fabric and webbing of the collection (Dark Taupe, Mushroom, Espresso). Overall Ravenna has a rich, yet reserved color scheme of warm and inviting hues. It works well with colors naturally in your yard as well as the tones you typically find in patio furniture.

 

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Ravenna Cushions - Dark Taupe
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Hands down, we think the best feature is the waterfall construction. That, in combination with the fabric’s water resistance, makes sure that Ravenna cushions are ready for quick cleanups after some of life’s small spills. Check out our Product Manager’s quick clean demo:

Ravenna also has click-close straps for easy adjustment and to keep the cushion in place and uses the Classic Accessories foam for added cushion comfort. To see the cushions in action check out the full video below or shop the cushions now.

 

 

 

 

 

Ravenna Cushions

Summer Wine Pairings

There is an art to pairing food with wine. Nuanced undertones, blushes of flavor, hints of spices, and lingering tastes commingle with personal preferences and memories to create deep interactions that lead to strong opinions. Trying new combinations of wine and food is an endeavor that can be intimidating, but is rewarding upon success.

There are certain accepted pairings; you have red wine with red meat and white wine with most fish, chocolate goes well with red while other desserts trend with whites, etc. Finding the perfect balance of flavors between a dish and a wine is an accomplishment and feels like a victory of sorts. It improves a meal you likely already love, provides a point of conversation, sets up a full dinner lineup for future special events, and is an entertaining experience unto itself.

We wanted to share some of our favorite wine pairings as places to start an adventure (or at the very least a very good evening) this summer. We had several people take on the task of completing this image with some wine and food combinations:

Imagine the slow summer sunset settling over your home, the light catching the edge of your cushions and umbrella as the shadows from your house begin to eclipse the patio. Sitting in a comfortable seat, perhaps a frameless chair by a hammock, you swirl a glass of wine that perfectly finishes your meal, waiting for the stars to appear and the cool air to settle.

Some lovely pairings came to mind and we’ve got those below. We’ve also included a recommended brand or vintage to try if you’re unsure where to start with each varietal/blend. These are not perfect combinations or even liked universally amongst our pairing team, but each has found its way into each of our particular palates this summer.  Read through, find some that intrigue you, experiment, and share!

For an infographic about wine, including red wine vs white wine, click here.

To learn about wine tasting, click here.

Amanda’s Assortment

Sparkling Brut with Mac & Cheese

2007 Extended Tirage Brut

Cheese and wine go together ALL the time … every time. The next time you have a bottle of Brut, make a homemade béchamel sauce for your noodles and if you’re feeling fancy, lump some lobster or crab in there. The balance of salt with the fish and cream of the cheese compliment a more mineral-based Brut. If you’re looking for a nice bottle that won’t break the bank, try Schramsberg’s 2014 Blanc De Noirs ($23) which is a complex brut made of red Pinot Noir grapes. Its name White from Black is just as it suggests. If you have a bit more cash to spend, one of my personal favorites is a brut from Oregon’s Argyle winery – 2007 Extended Tirage Brut ($75). Their 11 yr old Fall barrel brut packs a punch that is nothing but soft and will leave wine lovers with goose bumps.

 Chardonnay and Bacon

Marimar Estate 2009 Acero Unoaked Chardonnay

Most people want to always go red with meats, but go big with a full bodied Chardonnay so it can hold up against bacon that packs a big punch of flavor. The best region to buy a buttery, oaky chardonnay is California. Benovia Russian River Valley Chardonnay ($32) is well balanced with citrus and oak with a long finish. Unoaked is growing MORE popular every day after the oak bomb of the 90’s and another option from the Russian River Valley is Marimar Estate 2009 Acero Unoaked Chardonnay ($29). There’s no oak on this beautiful Chardonnay, but it’s so rich, you won’t even notice and will enjoy the pure personality of chardonnay.

Fruity Riesling and Spicy Tacos

2016 Chateau Ste Michelle Dry Riesling

Switch out the beer for an easy drinking Riesling with tacos this summer, it’s less filling! The fruit balances out against the heat and a hint of citrus found in most Rieslings will pair well with any guacamole. The best most surprising Riesling I’ve had lately came from 2016 Chateau Ste Michelle Dry Riesling ($12) from the Columbia Valley. It’s a dry Riesling that isn’t the sugary/entry wine people start out with. This one is hints towards sweet but brings you back quickly with a crisp finish and goes amazing with any kind of protein.

Red Blends with Burgers

Molly Dooker’s 2016 Two Left Feet

At your next BBQ, break out the blend! You never really know what people will load their burgers with, so a red blend is the best bet so that you aren’t tipping too far into one varietal. Mark Ryan’s 2016 The Dissident ($38) over delivers on tasting notes that is mouth-filling in the various grapes used that balances each blend with each other.If you’re in the mood for a lighter side – give Molly Dooker’s 2016 Two Left Feet ($27) a try and make sure you do the proper Molly Dooker Shake before you pour out.

Tawny Port and S’mores

Fonseca 20 Year Tawny Port

If Summer had a dessert – it would be S’mores and wine’s would be Ports. If you’re looking to pair just the description alone can probably sell you “Ripe berry fruits with a delicate nuttiness and subtle mellow notes of chocolate, butterscotch and fine oak wood. Smooth and silky on the palate and full of ripe figgy, jammy flavors which persist on the long finish.” Enjoy the long and warm structure of the Fonseca 20 Year Tawny Port ($33). Hints of nut with orange peel and cocoa on the nose are a perfect after dinner sipper that packs a punch.

 

Brad’s Best

Barbera and Spinach Chicken A La Fresca

2015 Tempo Vero Barbera, Monferrato DOC

Served at room temperature – From the Monferrato region of Piedmont, Italy. “Tempo Vero” translates from Italian to English as “Real Time,” a name that celebrates winemakers who seek to preserve Italy’s history in liquid form. This 2015 Barbera is from the Monferrato DOC in Piedmont – one of the classic wine locales in Italy. Vibrant with notes of strawberry, cherry, wood, and bright acidity on the palate, it pairs wonderfully with foods like cheese, salami and pasta with cream sauce. Other pairings include – pizza, pork, lamb and veggies.

Touriga Nacional with Beef Tacos

2016 Field Theory Touriga Nacional

Served at room temperature or slightly chilled – From Paso Robles, California. Field Theory highlights curious varietals from unfamiliar places, like this Touriga Nacional from Pomar Junction Vineyard in Paso Robles, CA. The result is a light, early-drinking red with a fresh, fruit-forward flavor. Pro tip: On a warm day, drink slightly chilled. Pairs well with beef, cheeses and veggies.

Pinot Noir with Chicken Cordon Bleu

2014 Porter & Plot Pinot Noir

Served at room temperature – From Sta. Rita Hills, California. Porter & Plot showcases the unique, nuanced individuality of California’s most exceptional vineyards and appellations. In this case, we’re talking about Sta. Rita Hills – an AVA in California’s Central Coast that is highly regarded for luscious, round and premium wines made from Pinot Noir. Enjoy blue fruits, along with a silky texture, and nuances of earthy spice. Pairs well with poultry, pork, cheeses and veggies.

Tempranillo and Palomino Chicken

2016 Copycat Tempranillo

Served at room temperature – From Clarksburg, California. Tempranillo is a grape native to Spain, but this funky-fresh example is a modern one from Clarksburg, California. Thanks to whole berry fermentation (as opposed to the grapes being destemmed), this Tempranillo is more easy drinking than most. You’ll enjoy juicy blue and black fruits, and a little spice that is almost always present in Tempranillo. This red doesn’t require food, and is prime for drinking young. With that said, it pairs well with pasta in red sauces, pork, cured meats and veggies.

Gamay and Grilled Salmon 

2016 Les Bobos Gamay

Served at room temperature or slightly chilled – From Beaujolais (province) in France. Many people associate Burgundy with Pinot Noir, and rightfully so. But in the Southern part of Burgundy in the region of Beaujolais, Gamay is the star and it is not to be ignored. Gamay and Pinot Noir have many things in common, like being light-bodied, easy-drinking, food-friendly and often a great mix of both fruit flavors and complex herbs and spice. This particular example of French Gamay is just that. Gamay wines are often un-oaked and meant to be enjoyed while young and fresh. Pairs very well with poultry, fish, cheeses and cured meats.

 

Heather’s Hoard

Ice Wine with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

2016 Goose Ridge Riesling Ice Wine

Ice wines are some of the sweetest wines you come across and are often viewed as desserts onto themselves, which is why they are largely considered dessert wines. They pair well with fruits (that match the natural undertones of the wine) and can take the edge off of an extremely spicy meal. I think that an ice wine with a small serving of ice cream can add a level of depth and maturity to an all time favorite. With ice cream or on ice cream…is there truly a difference?

Gewurztraminer and Szechuan Chicken

B Lovely Gewurztraminer

Gewurztraminer has a surprisingly nuanced flavor (given the difficulty of reading or pronouncing the name). The main undercurrents in Gewurztraminer tend to be tropical fruits and spices. In the variety listed above, lychee, pear, and honeysuckle are strong. It is a sweet wine with a bright spirit. It pairs well with dishes that include fragrant spices–ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, bay leaf, coriander, curry, etc. As far as a full meal is concerned, I think it works well with a Szechuan Chicken or Chicken Asado; however, I do like this as a dessert all on its own.

Riesling with Chips & Guacamole

2016 Eroica Riesling

Riesling wines are well received as one of the most popular white wines, and are favored as being palatable by both wine lovers and beginners. Riesling is one of my go-to’s for an evening drink because of how well it pairs with other foods. I’m especially fond of pairing Riesling with latin and asian dishes, and it goes surprisingly well with salty or fried foods, like onion rings. Chips and guacamole, while not a meal, have the salt, spice, and variety that can be lost if you use an aggressive wine.

Syrah with Bacon-Wrapped Filet Mignon

2015 Chateau Ste Michelle Syrah

Syrah varietals are powerful red wines that can range from medium to full bodied, with low to high tannin levels depending on the region in which the grapes were grown. Syrah will often have notes of blackberry, blueberry, and violet, with rich, earthy undertones of leather and punchy spices like pepper, mint, and anise. Due to the acidity of a Syrah, they don’t always pair well with cheeses and tend to do well with beef, pork, and probably chocolate. Bacon-wrapped filet mignon checks two of those boxes so it’s my choice for a summer grilled dish to pair with Syrah.

Merlot with Pizza

2014 Reserve Merlot Pheasant Run Vineyard

Merlot wines are smooth Bordeaux reds that favor fruity undertones (plum, cherry, and currants especially) with notes of chocolate, herbs and occasionally hints of cedar or other woods. Merlots can be difficult to pair with foods because they’re not as acidic or have the tannins of bolder reds, and can be overwhelmed or overwhelm other foods. Merlot pairs well with red meats, red sauce dishes, fish, shellfish and as well as mushroom dishes. As Amanda, mentioned, cheese does pair well with most wines; in this case, it lends to a fulfilling experience of a red wine and pizza.

Have a favorite pairing of your own? Let us know.

Summer Wine Pairings

A Matter of Taste: Wine

 

We believe in taking time to truly enjoy experiences and are choosing to share some of our knowledge regarding a particular indulgence, wine, in infographic format.

 

Click here to read more about wine pairings

Click here to learn more about wine tasting

Want to make your own haven for an evening getaway or after dinner drink? Check out some of our offerings in the Montlake FadeSafe Collection.

Frameless Furniture
Make your home the ultimate location to relax and unwind with a glass of wine.

Umbrellas, Cushions, and more
Reinvigorate your patio so you’re ready for an evening of fun.

A Matter of Taste: Wine

Habitat for Humanity

This week, we had an amazing opportunity to help out a local Habitat for Humanity build project just to the south of us. We had 23 employees come in two shifts to work on various projects in and around the homes currently under construction. The work made for a long day, but was a welcome break from cubicle life for many, or at the very least served as a good change in pace.

Group photo: Morning Shift

When we arrived we were given hard hats, gloves, and site safety information. Alex, our main contact for this project  gave us a run down regarding the non-profit organization, Habitat for Humanity, and the community we would be working on. Habitat for Humanity is a global organization dedicated to providing affordable housing to lower income families. The organization focuses on shelter because providing a safe and affordable place for people to develop and grow within is key to encouraging sustainable lifestyle improvement for individuals and communities.

Image: Habitat for Humanity

The specific community we contributed to is called Megan’s Meadow. Megan’s Meadow is located in the city of Pacific (south of Auburn) next to the Sounder train tracks. The property is vacant land within an area of residential homes including a new development under construction across the street.  It will provide 9 low-income families with both an affordable home and an affordable mortgage in a new housing development in Pacific.

Image: Habitat for Humanity

This is being designed as a Veteran’s focused community with all units to be accessible, single-story homes. Environmental stewardship and long-term affordability will be ensured by constructing these single family homes to achieve or surpass NW Energy Star sustainable building standard. The property is part of a land grant that will ensure that this community remains affordable for 99 years.

Rollin, Monette, and Brad get the power washer going

It was a great experience. We had volunteers from most of our departments, making it a great opportunity to interact with people we don’t run into on a daily basis. We worked on moving lumber, helping align foundation support structures, cleaning, applying grout, and lots of digging.

Digging out a trench to realign the foundation

I participated as part of the digging team. One of our tasks was to uncover the area around the foundation, going around some piping, so that the wall foundation could be realigned. The ground was tough in spots and we ended up alternating between breaking it up and shoveling the dirt. It was really wonderful to get a chance to not only get out of the office, but to know that the time we spent working on this project was directly affecting the future home owners. It’s rewarding to see progress made on projects.

Dorik Downing, our Art Director, and expert ground breaker, commented that it was “Great to be able to get our hands dirty and be part of helping veterans get into affordable homes”. Noting that the onsite staff made the experience. “I enjoyed working with the people from H4H—they have great attitudes and are very knowledgeable.”

Rollin and Amanda start to remove the frame around the cement floor

Amanda, our Marketing Specialist, was lead on coordinating the opportunity with Habitat. She loves helping make these kinds of projects come to life and the spirit behind volunteering for the community. “I am humbled to work with such an amazing team who so willingly came together, rallied and helped with the foundations our community veterans will get to enjoy for years to come. It doesn’t get any better than getting your hands dirty with full hearts.”

Charisse, Kathryn, and Stacy sweep debris away from the floor

Our Executive Assistant, Charisse (now a Master at Grouting), is always supportive of our volunteering efforts because, “I love that our company supports its employees passion for volunteer work.” “…it was such an amazing experience to help at the site where veteran’s will have the opportunity to own a home. It was AWESOME to work alongside our CA team and make a difference in our community TOGETHER!” She did note, however that despite being somewhat sore after her double shift, Charisse would “do it all again in a heartbeat.”

Stacy, our Accounting Supervisor was part of the second shift of workers and enjoyed the camaraderie that comes with working on this kind of project in tandem. “What a great opportunity to work together and do something that will positively impact families in our community.  It was fun to work with people from other teams and get to know each other a little bit better.”

Always happy to help

Joining her on the second shift was Bridget Shew, a Technical Designer on the team, was enthusiastic about the experience. “I have learned that when I have had hard times, serving others makes me happy. I loved working with my Classic friends giving service to an organization that clearly is dedicated to provide homes for others in need.”  Her team members noted her attention to detail and willingness to pull out the level to confirm adjustments during the process.

Helping with grout

Liza, one of our Product Development Merchandisers, attended the afternoon session and got a chance to help lay out grout. Despite some lingering soreness, Liza had a good experience, “It was epic…I’m game for the next one.”

More frame removal

Working the an organization that is dedicated to providing sustainable shelter resonated with both our desire to inspire memorable experiences and to help people preserve the items that help make those experiences possible. We wanted to leave a bit of Classic with the homes and their future inhabitants. In addition to the time spent by our employees helping on site, the company donated (per new home) a set of chaise lounges adorned with our Montlake FadeSafe Cushions, an umbrella with an umbrella stand, and accompanying covers for all pieces.

Group Shot: Afternoon Shift

We will be back next Spring to help finalize the remaining 5 homes for the total of 9 homes that make up Megan’s Meadow. We’d like to extend a big thank you to all of our volunteers, our photographer, Angela, and the awesome leads we had onsite helping us out, Chris and Lucy.

More images are available on Facebook!

 

Habitat for Humanity

Experience the Montlake Collection

 

We’re continuing our launch of the Frameless Furniture with a celebration of the entire Montlake FadeSafe Outdoor Living Collection! The experience includes a Look Book where you can see the best of the Montlake Collection in action, and find out more about the covers, cushions, umbrellas, hammocks and frameless furniture.

 

 

Take 10% off the collection with coupon code: Montlake10, and take advantage of our shipping special, with free shipping 2-day shipping on most items and free ground shipping on all items.

 

Discover more time outdoors with Classic Accessories.

http://classicaccessories.com/montlakecollection

 

Experience the Montlake Collection

4 Fishing Picks for the Weekend

May is a month for flowers, sunshine and fishing. Most states have had their openers or are having one this weekend. We know that Sunday is a special day (if you’ve yet to pick out a gift for your mom, we do have a sale going on the website for Montlake) and we’re not suggesting that you avoid being with mom or your kids on Mother’s Day, but perhaps spending some time away from home is just what mom needs–especially since in Minnesota this weekend, mom’s can fish for free.

To give you some ideas of where to head out whenever you do decide to fish, we’ve made a list of 4 reccomendations, 2 selected out of responses to our followup question on Facebook to our March blog post regarding the opening of the fishing season and 2 from our employees.

#1 Whiteswan Lake, British Columbia


Whiteswan Lake is in a beautiful location with opportunities for the whole family to enjoy a day trip. It has a large fish population (including rainbow trout), and is located within a larger Provincial Park. The fishing crowd gets to cast into gorgeous scenery (with a second lake in the park) and there are opportunities for swimming and hiking for anyone who is less interested in fishing in the party.

Our first suggestion came from Tim Snow

#2 Snake and Salmon Rivers, Washington

The second pick is a favorite for our Marketing Specialist, Amanda Perry:

If you ask me about my favorite river, it would be a tie between the Snake River and the Salmon River.

Both of these rivers hold a special place in my heart. I have experienced days and nights through their canyons on the river and on the sandy shores of both.

Days were spent in white water and ended with calm afternoons fishing with our feet in water catching dinner. Although trips were about the float, the fishing was GREAT as well. And trout caught after a day of paddling just tastes better if you ask me. The South Fork of the Snake River below Palisades Dam features world-class blue-ribbon trout fishing in a gorgeous, road-less canyon.

The Snake River begins as a high mountain stream in Yellowstone National Park before it turns west and follows the ancient scar of the Yellowstone super volcano through southern Idaho.

Just before it reaches Oregon, the river makes an abrupt turn north, into Hells Canyon, the deepest river canyon in the nation. Six-hundred miles from its alpine headwaters, it meets the Salmon.

The Salmon River originates in Idaho’s Saw tooth Mountains and flows 425 miles through some of the most remote land in the lower 48. Unlike the dozens of dams and impoundments found on the Snake River, the Salmon flows free for its entire length until it is absorbed by the Snake in Hells Canyon.

It’s a bucket list of ours to take the kids on someday when they are old enough. Trips like these are where memories are made. Do a quick search on Idaho’s white water trips and you’ll be in for a trip of a lifetime!

#3 Bitterroot River, Montana

The Bitterroot river flows through beautiful scenery in the lush Bitterroot Valley with the Sapphire Mountains to the east and the Bitterroot Mountains to the west. Known as one of the premiere trout rivers in western Montana the river forks to offer a quality fly fishing setting. With pools, runs, gravel bars, riffles and channels the river provides outstanding diversity.

This suggestion came from Michael Campbell:

#4 McKenzi River, Oregon

Last but not least is the choice fishing on the McKenzie River, selected by our Art Director, Dorik Downing:

My pick is the McKenzie River in Oregon

The McKenzie River is an eighty-six mile long tributary of the Willamette in the state of Oregon.

Famous for its native redside rainbow trout that locals call “redsides”.

There is a very good population of wild rainbows, and a small population of bull trout.

This is one of Oregon’s best trout streams.

4 Fishing Picks for the Weekend

Welcome Spring with a Hammock

What better way is there to celebrate this warmer weather than to get out into your yard? We’ve been a bit worried this last month about whether or not we would get to enjoy a spring this year at all. We’re happy to report that this week has changed that. It looks like we’re getting a bit of the break across the country, and some warmer temperatures are starting to bring a feeling of spring around the neighborhood.

We hope that you find some time to relax and enjoy your patio and outdoor spaces this weekend. Personally, we recommend basking in the sunlight in one of our hammocks. We have a nice intro to getting into a hammock for you here. We’ll be working on posting some more serious Hammock How-To’s as we as start to get over our excitement at the lovely weather we’ve been having.

Welcome Spring with a Hammock

Collection Spotlight – Madrona

This week, we’re putting a spotlight on our Madrona Rainproof patio furniture collection. This is our newest patio furniture collection, released in 2017. Rainproof fabric combines style and durability with taped seam construction to keep rain out so that you’re always ready to entertain. When asked about her experience during the collection design process, our designer, Delina, had this to say:

“It was very fulfilling to bring the technical aspect of waterproofing into a beautiful design inspired by a rich, natural color palette.”


Collection Spotlight – Madrona

Get into the Holiday Spirit


Season’s Greetings from Classic Accessories!

We know you’ve been hearing a lot of Christmas music at this point, but feel that at less than 2 weeks out, festivities are in order. As we close in on Christmas and the end of the year, we’d like to share a playlist of the songs that we at Classic love to hear during the holidays. Check it out below or click on the image above.

Get into the Holiday Spirit