TJ Brightman

We hope you have grown to love our annual holiday wine roundup as much as we have. In preparation for all your parties and dinners, we pulled together a few recommendations to help you decide the perfect wine for your holiday toasts.

Follow these three rules when it comes to wine — keep it simple, drink what you like and most importantly, share with friends! There’s no need to be intimidated or worried if your bottle will be a good fit. A few good standbys will be the perfect addition to any holiday event.

Sparkling Wine — If you want to impress your friends, remember that all Champagne is sparkling wine, but all sparkling wine is not Champagne. Either way, Champagne, prosecco, cava or any California sparkling wine is a hit. You can’t go wrong with a good sparkling. It’s festive, fun and bubbly!

Riesling — This often-overlooked wine is crisp, refreshing and aromatic. Riesling is produced mostly in Germany and France’s Alsace region, but you can find some great domestic ones too. The versatility of a dry or semi-dry Riesling makes it a perfect pairing for salad, turkey, fish, roasted butternut squash or dessert.

Pinot Noir — Pinot Noir is a typical pairing with turkey, but it’s delicate flavors and light aromas go well with any grilled meat or poultry. We tend to favor Pinot Noirs from Russian River Valley AVA such as those produced by Walt Wines, but you can also find wonderful Pinot Noirs from Oregon.

Cabernet Sauvignon — You can’t forget this classic Bordeaux wine this season! Bold and rich, a great cab is perfect to warm you up on cold winter nights. Pair a Silver Oak, Far Niente or Joseph Phelps cab with filet mignon, beef tenderloin or a roast.

Dessert Wine — The wine pairings don’t end after your main course. Dessert wine can be a stand-alone dessert or paired with your favorite tasty sweet. Our picks include Joseph Phelps Eisrebe and Dolce by Far Niente.

Happy Thanksgiving from your friends at A. Bright Idea! Cheers!



In the Thanksgiving spirit, this month’s top 10 list focuses on the items we, at A. Bright Idea, are most thankful for this year. We hope all of our clients, community members, family and friends have a wonderful Thanksgiving!


  1. Strong family

Not only the family at home, we’re also thankful for our work family. We laugh together, we cry together, we fight and we love each other like family!


  1. Good friends

We often say our clients are like friends and it really is true here at A. Bright Idea. This year, we’re thankful for all of our clients, you are our friends.


  1. Health and babies

In 2011 the next generation of A. Bright Idea creative talent was born with staff babies including Matthew Mauldin, Jr. and Silas Maxton Dietrich.


  1. Community relationships

After another year of supporting organizations such as the William E. Proudford Sickle Cell Fund, the Harford County Public Library Foundation and Sonoma Valley Teen Services, we truly cherish the organizations within our community that help others and we’re thankful for the opportunity to support their efforts.


  1. New clients

This year we’ve been grateful in welcoming our new clients, including Highview Memorial Gardens, Power Cleaning, Sonoma Valley Teen Services, RoarITech, Live Well Family Chiropractic, Delaware Restaurant Association, St. Francis Winery, Upper Chesapeake Health and Harford County Public Schools.


  1. Creative talent

Our growing team of talented professionals – the people that make A. Bright Idea – are something we’re very grateful for this year! Their out-of-the-box thinking continues to wow.


  1. Growing in new areas

With our office in Sonoma, California and expansion in Bel Air, we’re thankful for creative space and new neighbors!


  1. Technology

Where would we be without technology? We’re so thankful for our iPhones, computers and Internet, not to mention the people who know how to make them work!


  1. Inspiration

At A. Bright Idea, those “ah ha” moments are what we live for and we’re so thankful for each and every one!


  1. Coffee

This is an obvious one! We’re thankful for the coffee that gave us the extra jolt to write this blog.


Black Friday. We all know it as the day after Thanksgiving, filled with tons of shopping and way too much spending. But, do you where the name comes from – before it was known as the day when merchants made it to the “black?” The original phrase, “Black Friday,” was used to describe heavy and disruptive pedestrian and vehicle traffic on the streets of Philadelphia, signifying the start of the Christmas shopping season. In memory of this, we’ve put together the ABI Top 10 can’t miss Black Friday hot spots!

1. Kohl’s

  • Open – 3 a.m.
  • Big deals – Jewelry, home décor

2. Macy’s

  • Open – 4 a.m.
  • Big deals – Men’s wear

3. Toys R Us

  • Open – 10 p.m. Thanksgiving night
  • Big deals – Toys (obviously!)

4. Target

  • Open – 4 a.m.
  • Big deals – DVDs, outerwear, kids toys

5. Best Buy

  • Open – 5 a.m.
  • Big deals – Cameras, TVs, video games

6. Home Depot

  • Open – Not yet released! Keep an eye out
  • Big deals – Fixtures, power tools

7. Dick’s Sporting Goods

  • Open – We hear it’s opening at 5 a.m. but they are still trying to keep it top secret but they’ll have to let the cat out of the bag soon!
  • Big deals – Sports equipment, outerwear, hunting gear

8. Sears

  • Open – Open on Thanksgiving day (Really!)
  • Big deals – Appliances

9. Old Navy

  • Open – Midnight
  • Big deals – Clothes, clothes and more clothes

10. Staples

  • Open – 6 a.m.
  • Big deals – Computers, calendars/planning products

And don’t forget about Cyber Monday for great online shopping deals! Be sure to let us know the great buys you find this year. See you again for a new Top 10 in December!