December 15, 2011
What the heck, we’re throwing our hat into the gift idea ring with everybody else. In no particular order, here are some nifty gifty ideas for the food and wine lovers in your life:
Yes, Please More Champagne: Simply, our fave here at the Clubhouse—when somebody else is buying, of course). The Brut Rose by the House of Billecart-Salmon is a classic blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir. The Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier are vinified as white wine with a small percentage of the Pinot Noir vinified as red wine; hence, the gorgeous pale pink color with glints of gold. It has delicate, slowly rising bubbles and a persistent “mousse” (the creamy goodness at the top). Swoon!
The production secrets and vinification method go back to the origins of Billecart-Salmon over the past seven generations. We think the pink color in not only romantic but super festive. Because rose (bubbly or still) combines the fresh acidity and light body of white wines with the fruity character of reds, it a terrific go-to when seving hors d’oeuvres, from crudites to cheese puffs. $100.00-ish.
Essential Wine Kit: For wine aficianados and amateurs alike, this kit is pefect for hosting a wine tasting party or as a hostess gift. The mad-libs-esque Vinodote Wine Tasting game includes 20 unique games to test your skills. Also included are a set of Vinocoast coasters and Vinostop bottle toppers which are dishwasher safe and klutz-proof. Made from recycled materials.
The kit includes Vinodote wine tasting game, Vinocoast coasters (set of 6) and Vinostop bottle toppers (set of 4). All items may be purchased separately. Recently featured in In Style Magazine. $49.95.
Teeny, tiny, winey glasses: These are a super-sweet take on the stemless, cafe-style wine glasses (which are cute but clunky). Each glass has a different raised detail so you can remember which one is yours–even if the power goes out!. Delicate, but dishwasher-safe. Packed in a hand-crafted wood crate and they’ll include the gift wrap and ribbon, too. Set of six $78.
Stuff a stocking with a stemware tether: More useful than new athletic socks, this handy dandy device protests your stems when you throw them in the dishwasher (and who doesn’t…unless its Bacarrat). This flexible, silicone device stabilizes your glassware as it goes through the cycle. No more tears when you unload the dishwasher the morning after.
Parfum de Royal Rot: Quick story. I was wearing this fragrance at a holiday party and one of the Mondavi family (namedrop) asks me what it was. When I said “Botrytis” she practically spit her wine out through her nose. Botrytis, the “royal rot” is a mold found on grapes which are left on the vine after the harvest. As they hang on the vine, the mold appears and the grapes become intensely sweeter and more concentrated. Sounds weird, but it’s what gives the the magnificent wines of Sauternes in Bordeaux, such as Chateau d’Yquem, their rich, honeyed character. This scent is a warm and velvety blend of honey, candied fruits, quince and pain d’epice that caresses the senses. Intoxicating! By Parfumerie Ginestet. $110.
Sea Salt Collection: Here’s a pro chef trick: sprinkle coarse-ground salt on a dish right before serving. Not only does it bring out the flavors in the dish, but salt (as well as lemon) is the classic bridge ingredient to a more seamless food and wine pairing. Salt smooths out the tannins and enhances the harmony between wine and food. This collection of artisanal salts is from Williams Sonoma, but you can find interesting options at just about any gourmet food shop or website. $39.95.
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What are some of your favorite food and wine gifts?