Tag Archives: Christmas

Last Minute Gift Ideas for the Wine Inclined

I have a confession to make.  I do not have my Christmas shopping finished yet and here it is, only 4 days left until the big day and I’m running out of time.  Unfortunately, the people I still have to buy for are not wine inclined so this list will not help me but maybe it will help you with those who are on your list.  If you haven’t read last year’s Dos and Do nots of gift giving for wine lovers, that is a great place to start.

Luxurious Tea and Coffee

Whenever you have winelovers, generally you have foodies; people who love tastes and flavors.  Let’s face it, most of us drink something besides wine during the day.  Splurging on very high end tea or coffee is a great way to show the winelover in your life that you care about their tasting experiences.  Some of my favorites (and my husband’s favorites since I don’t drink coffee) are below.

The Splurge-   Bi Tan Piao Xue Tea –  I fell in love with this blend of green tea and Jasmine flowers in China.  It is so amazing and delicate with a heady Jasmine nose. 

The Lovely – Lord Bergamot  – Bergamot is one of my favorite flavors and this avant garde take on Earl Grey Tea is a must try.

The Budget-  Stash Christmas Teas -These are relatively new to me but I have fallen in love with both the Christmas in Paris blend and the White Christmas blend.  Perfect for stocking stuffers!

The Splurge – JBC Coffee Roasters –  If you are going to splurge on coffee, this Wisconsin roaster took the title of making the best coffee of 2015 from CoffeeReview.com.  While the current champion is out of stock it will be back in January according to the website.

The Lovely – Finger Lakes Coffee Roasters – This local (to us) coffee roaster has become one of our house favorites since moving back. With a wide selection, they have something for everyone (who drinks coffee of course!).

The Budget – Starbuck’s Christmas Blend –  This is an all time favorite and one which I tend to give as a gift around Christmas time.

Wine Related Jewelry and Accessories

I’m not talking the crazy wine glass earrings or the purse made out of wine corks but very nice, reasonably priced accessories which have a “colored” past.

Olive and Poppy – This is a great online boutique run by a friend of mine which was DSC00336.JPGrecently listed on Martha Stewart’s hostess gift list with their cuff links made from barrels.  From the recycled wine barrel bracelets to the fun “Terroir” themed necklaces, they have everything a wine lover could wish for.

Dessin Creations – Here is another fun jewelry artist making really nice necklaces and bracelets out of wine bottles.

Cigar Aficionado

There is a very close relation among wine loving men to cigar loving men and often they overlap.  Here are two of my favorite gift suggestions* for the cigar lover.

The Splurge – The Emperador by Imperiali Geneve – This caught my attention immediately with their stunning movie (which if you are trying to market any luxury good you should watch because epic doesn’t even begin to cover it). This is the result of Swiss watch designers deciding to make the most amazing cigar box the world has ever seen.  I’ll have to leave it up to the cigar lovers to determine if it lives up to the video.

The Budget – Lotus Jaws Cigar Cutter –  This highly reviewed cigar cutter boasts large sized finger holes as well as a serrated blade to cut cleanly and smoothly.

The Hostess

After all, we cannot forget the men and women who make the holidays possible right?  We will be hosting 9 people total at my house with all our family plus ourselves.  Some simple host/ess gifts make the holidays a little bit brighter and easier.

The Splurge – Classic Silver Plated Serving tray from G&G Mercantile.  Because everyone eventually needs to serve more than three drinks at a time and it is so much more elegant to serve it from a tray.  Looking for a little less of a splurge but still a splurge? Check out their Copper Julep Cup.  

The Lovely – This simple olive dish makes a great addition to any host/ess kitchen and solves the problem of where to put the pits and can double as a small chip and dip bowl.  Another alternative is this attractive olive wood salt box.

The Budget – Cheese knives are something that the host/ess cannot live with out.  This simple set makes a nice gift if they do not already have one.  Another great cheese accessory is the cheese marker. These from Crate and Barrel are simple and elegant.

There you have it! Hopefully you have some good ideas and can go forth over the next 4 days confident that you can find something for every wine lover on your list!

*To be clear, I don’t smoke nor do I condone smoking.






12 Days of Christmas Broken Down

This blog post is brought to you by 3:30pm Bay Area traffic trying to get over the Bay Bridge. My husband and I were listening to Christmas music and the 12 Days of Christmas came on. We started discussing the ramifications of actually receiving the entire list of gifts and decided it was not only impractical but down right rude of one’s true love to give such gifts. The complete list of what you would end up with is below with our comments and suggestions for a suitable alternative.

12 Partridges in 12 Pear Trees
Ok. Not such a bad start. Partridges are cute and small and fun to watch run around. The pear trees are a bit more challenging but assuming one has some land on which to plant them not insurmountable. Especially if one’s true love has had the foresight to send different varieties each day. If you like pear flavors though a far more suitable gift would be 12 bottles of Prosecco.

22 Turtle Doves
Your true love apparently is operating under the assumption that you will enjoy birds. It is a recurring theme. Turtle doves are very romantic, soft, gentle and cute but 22 is a bit excessive. I suggest a Pinot Noir, soft, gentle, and far less guano.

30 French Hens
This begs the question what differentiates a French Hen from any other hen. At least the hens, unlike the turtle doves, could lay eggs and bring some sort of usefulness. This gift also assumes you have a coop and hen house to keep the hens in but if you’ve already planted the 12 pear trees you probably have enough room for the coop. If you want to keep with the French countryside theme of the hens I would recommend going for a wine from Provence or the southern Rhone. 30 Chateauneuf du Pape bottles would be ok by me. *According to Google, French hens originate from Northern Central France so maybe 30 bottles of Sancerre or Chinon would be more appropriate.

36 Calling Birds
I can’t think of anything more annoying than 36 calling birds. At this point I would be re-questioning one’s true love’s motives. Maybe these would be best released into the wild unless you have quite a few acres that you could install a bird house after you’ve planted pears and built a hen house ( which hopefully your true love helped you build). When I picture calling birds, I picture exotic parrots, so an appropriate alternative might be 36 bottles of Torrontes from Argentina.

40 Gold Rings
Finally, a practical gift! Given the price of gold is at $1,217 per oz. I’d keep this one. Alternatively 40 bottles of Sauternes or Tokaji might be a little easier on the wallet.

42 Geese a Laying
Again with the birds and these are coming already laying! Make room next to the hen house! Of course you’ll probably need a lake for the geese. At minimum, a small pond. Good thing you’ve got a TON of land. What’s a good wine alternative to renting a backhoe and digging a large hole in your back yard? 42 bottles of Barrossa Valley Shiraz.

42 Swans a Swimming
They come swimming??? What do they come in? A large pool? Maybe we should rent the backhoe after all? On the upside, swans are elegant and graceful. Maybe 42 bottles of Russian River Chardonnay would be more appropriate.

40 Maids a Milking
If they come milking, what are they milking? Cows, goats, or sheep? Maybe a mix? Apparently you now need a barn and are going into the cheese business but at least you have help with the milking. If you would like a milky wine alternative I would go with something with a lot of lees stirring. 40 bottles Muscadet or Chablis would be preferable to the livestock in my opinion.

36 Ladies Dancing
Seriously? Isn’t your house crazy enough with all the animals? You don’t need 36 random women chasseing their way through the hallways. If you want a dancing wine I’d go with something from the bubbly category. 36 bottles of Champagne sound good to me! You are going to need it after tending your flocks.

30 Lords a Leaping
Perhaps they can keep the ladies and the maids company? Hopefully they have strong backs to help dig the pond. A better solution? 30 bottles of a full, rich Cabernet Sauvignon from Bordeaux or Napa fit for a Lord.

22 Pipers Piping and 12 Drummers Drumming
So a Highland Pipe Band just marched in. I’m sure the birds went crazy at that! On a good note, the music is great to drown out the calling birds, clucking hens, and quacking geese. If you need briskness and high toned flavor I’d go with 22 bottles of Riesling and for the beating drum after dinner nothing beats a few nice bottles of fortified wines! A mixed case of Port, Sherry, Madiera and the like would do nicely and round out the end of a very nice and diverse wine cellar for which you could gratefully thank your true love!