The French Laundry Decanter
This lead-free, crystal wine decanter is the perfect gift for wine lovers. Unlike others that sit on a shelf collecting dust, The French Laundry decanter, engraved with the restaurant’s iconic clothespin, is practical and useful. It’s light as a feather, fits in most cabinets, and is dishwasher-safe. Your friends and family will love the simplicity of its design. ($49 at Finesse, The Store).
Season: A Year of Wine Country Food, Farming, Family, and Friends
Written by two Jackson Family Wines chefs, Justin Wangler and Tracey Shepos Cenami, Season is a beautiful cooking and wine pairing reference book that food and wine lovers will turn to all year long.
Justin and Tracey, along with pastry chef Robert Nieto and expert gardener Tucker Taylor, share more than a hundred of their favorite recipes. Complete menus and ideas for seasonal celebrations are also included — plus a year’s supply of starters, salads, soups, sides, mains, and desserts. Wine-pairing notes from master sommelier Michael Jordan are featured, each chosen to compliment the seasonal flavors of the dish. ($25 on Amazon.com).
LEARN ABOUT WINE BOOK
Wine For Dummies (7th Edition)
Written by Certified Wine Educator Ed McCarthy and the first American female Master of Wine, Mary Ewing-Mulligan, Wine For Dummies is a comprehensive guide for all levels of wine enthusiasts, from beginners to the more experienced. Since the first edition came out in 1995, the world of wine has changed a lot and the 7th edition includes many new additions. Previously unheard of wine regions are now included, along with the lowdown on the newest vintages and the latest pricing.
What I like about Wine For Dummies is its conversational, entertaining style. It has real-world definitions (as opposed to fancy wine language), lots of helpful tips, and interesting stories and tidbits throughout, found in easy-to-read sidebars. Available in paperback at Wiley.com for $24.99 or as an e-book for $16.99.
CANVAS WINE GIFT BAG (WITH WINE IN IT!)
Old Man Artist Wine Tote Gift Bag
Harry Traulsen is ‘Old Man Artist’ and he started the brand in 2012 with a line of unique, hand-drawn greeting cards. Soon after, he expanded his offerings to canvas totes, including a line of charming wine tote carriers. His themes are whimsical and witty caricatures of wine glasses, wine bottles, tea and coffee cups, and urban architecture. Harry says that he is “inspired by everyday life on our streets and in cafes, and is rarely without a pen to capture images of wine, coffee and the architectural style of urban housing.” Wine totes $9.99 on Old Man Artist.
To make your gift bag even more impressive (and tasty!), fill the tote with a bottle of Napa Valley’s Cain Five ($125), a beautifully balanced blend of five classic varieties —Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec, and Petit Verdot — organically grown on the crest of the Spring Mountain District. And while you’re at it, why not include airplane tickets and a hotel reservation? A stay at California’s award-winning, five-star resort Meadowood Napa Valley would make any wine lover happy this holiday season, or any season for that matter.
Give your wine drinkers a break from the grape and turn them on to some seriously delicious rice — in the form of Japanese sake. Sake Social customers can choose from more than 100 premium sake brews. The website includes a sake learning section, pairing collections, starter kits, and a Sake of the Month Club ($30 for a 3 month, $70 for a 6 month, $150 for a 12 month; thru Dec. 25).
The Wine Drinker kits have been cleverly put together to appeal to wine lovers.
Red Wine Drinker’s Sake Kit - For those who are partial to the big and bold characteristics that red wines typically offer.
White Wine Drinker’s Sake Kit - For those who prefer crisp and clean beverages, those with similar characteristics to white wine.
Clink & Company’s “in a prosecco” 100% combed cotton, machine-washable t-shirt is a great way to tell someone who’s hurrying you that you will get it done (and done better) in a prosecco. ($27).
Make your holiday gift sparkle by including a bottle of Nino Franco Rustico DOCG Prosecco Superiore ($16). This fresh and lively wine from Valdobbiadene, home of the best Prosecco, will brighten any holiday table.
Wine Cork Serving Tray Kit
Give your handy wine lovers a chance to have fun while putting their collection of corks to good use. This mahogany serving tray will be sure to garner many compliments. $39.95 at The Wine Enthusiast.