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06 Dec
2011

 

Wine Lovers Gift Guide {2011} Part One  Print

It’s that time of year again, when everyone scrambles to find the perfect gifts for friends and family. What if some of them are lovers of the grape and you still have nary a clue as to what to get them? Don’t bust a sugar plum about it! Go pour yourself a glass of wine, sit back and kick up your bunny slippers while Wine Imbiber reveals this year’s best finds. From every day winos to wine connoisseurs, we’ve got all the bases covered. And you won’t even need to leave the comfort of your computer cave to fight off pepper spray–wielding shoppers…all of these gifts are available online. From what we’ve experienced, you’re more than likely to get free shipping on top of equally enticing discounts (depending on the retailer), so what are you waiting for? Get shopping!

 
Category One: Tasting & Pairing

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Wine Glass HolderWe go to a lot of wine and food events and would be sunk without this handy little item hanging around our necks. (It’s hard enough juggling a wine glass and a plate of food much less the camera, pen and notepad we need to cover these events.) I can’t tell you how many times other attendees have asked us where we got our wine glass holders. We could have made a tidy sum at many an event if only we had carried extras! Michael McCarty even coveted mine at this year’s Food Event. Available various places, they’re sold in sets of two for $24.95 at Wine Enthusiast.

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CookiesThese cookies are right up Wine Imbiber’s alley! Making suggestions for what wine to pair with what type of food isn’t easy (especially when it comes to sweets!). The folks at CookieZen have taken all the guesswork out of this quandary with Cookies & Corks—all natural, sweet and savory cookies created to pair with your favorite varietals. They come in variety boxes (15 cookies for $7.95) of three decadent flavors to pair with either white, red or sparkling wines. You can also purchase single flavor boxes (five cookies for $3). Be sure to check out the wine–pairing guide on their site where you can also find lists of local retailers. If you are shopping online, Gourmet-Food.com carries the variety boxes.
 

 
Category Two: Read, Listen & Cook

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The Food Lover's Guide to WineI love books. Especially ones like this book that aims to educate and entertain at the same time. The Food Lover’s Guide to Wine does that and then some, making it a reference useful for both wine beginners and foodies alike. For those buying it for the wine aspect, it is for wine consumers (not those who fancy themselves collectors). It is practical and unpretentious, two qualities not often associated with oenophiles. As for food lovers, it tells how combining the right wine with a meal can transform it from ordinary to sublime. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg of the copious information in this book. Give it as a gift this year paired with the recipient’s favorite bottle of wine. Among other places, you can find it at Amazon, which offers it for $21.68.

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Menus & Music's Wine TastingWe just love the concept of the boxed sets of gourmet cookbooks or recipe cards and accompanying music CDs that this family owned and operated company produces. Wine Imbiber’s Gift Guide {2010} listed their cookbook/music combo, entitled Tasting the Wine Country, as a hostess gift recommendation. I listen to the CD frequently, especially when I’m typing up posts. And the recipes in the cookbook are just fantastic. We haven’t seen or heard this recipe card/music CD set, but based on our very favorable experience with last year’s set, I’m going to go out on a (very short) limb and recommend it. It includes recipes for wine tasting and casual dinners along with tips for hosting a wine tasting party and pairing wine with food. The music will “carry you off to the wine country with the perfect blend of bluegrass, classical, jazz and country.” Available at Menus & Music for $24, where you can also hear samples of the music and view recipes and photos.

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Stay tuned for Wine Lovers Gift Guide {2011} Part Two, coming Thursday.

Comments (4)



Bettie said:

I have seen the wine glass holders but wasn’t sold on them…does you wife like it as well as you? Unique gift!


Charlene said:

Ho Ho Ho! Happy Holidays to the elves working at Wine Imbiber. Keep up the good work. Looking forward to the rest of this year’s list!


Justin said:

I’ve always wondered why they don’t give out some kind of wine holder at wine and food festivals. I go to plenty of them myself and have trouble dealing with the plate, fork and wine glass all at the same time. I’m going to have to get a few sets of these to give out this year. Thanks for the info.


Rich said:

Yes, Bettie, we both use our wine glass holders. They really work well.