Five awesome gift ideas for the wine lover in your life
Make the world a bit brighter this holiday season by giving the wine lover in your life something she or he will actually like. Here are five awesome ideas. (Santa, are you listening?)
Champagne Bears by Sugarfina, $10.95 for a small cube at sugarfina.com
A particularly clued-in friend of mine brought these grown-up gummies as a hostess gift not long ago, and, I must say I was impressed. Made with Dom Pérignon Vintage Champagne, these little bears come in a cute acrylic cube, have no added artificial flavours or colours, and taste delicious. The pale straw-coloured brut bears hint at cooked apple with a grapefruit zest undertow while the pale pink ones suggest rose, violet, grapefruit and raspberry. You’ll want to buy this for everyone you know.
For the Love of Cheese: Recipes and Wisdom from the Cheese Boutique, by Afrim Pristine (Penguin Random House, $29.95)
The Cheese Boutique is a Toronto institution loved for its huge selection of imported cheeses and passionate owner Afrim Pristine. So when Pristine released this book in October, it sent shock waves through the city’s too-foodie-to-call-themselves-foodie populace. The launch party was packed. The book lived up to the buzz. And now every gustatory pleasure seeker I know wants a copy. Part cookbook, part cheese guide, you really can’t go wrong tucking this handy little paperback under the tree.
Riedel bottle cleaner beads, $16.25 at Amazon.ca
These stainless steel beads are used in the wine industry to clean decanters and hand-held spittoons. Jropped them in, add water, and swish them around for a few minutes to remove wine residue in hard to reach places. Strain, rinse and dry the beads, and they’re ready to re-use. In a world awash with relatively useless wine widgets, this tiny tub of silver balls brings a touch of joy.
Hine Rare VSOP Cognac, France $100.25 at LCBO #356857 in stores and online
Cognac is wine that has been distilled into brandy and aged. And this VSOP (Very Superior Old Pale) Cognac is a very special bottle indeed. It shines a beautiful copper hue and arrests the senses with alluring aromas of mandarin orange peel, Brazil nut, poached pears and a touch of dark chocolate. The entry is silky smooth, swelling with delicate flavours of citrus zest, nougat, warm nuts, wood and ginger before lingering on the finish. Makes a very stylish gift for the wine lover on your list.
A stay at the Vineyard Cottage at 13th Street Winery, 2 bedroom option, $425/night at airbnb.ca
To pull out all the stops, give an overnight at this new property nestled beside the vineyards of 13th Street Winery in Niagara. It offers the perfect getaway for the discerning traveller used to excellence and decadence. With two posh-but-comfy bedrooms, two-and-a-half bathrooms, and a fully equipped kitchen (complete with wine), this contemporary “cottage” comfortably sleeps six. The floor to ceiling windows, walls adorned with original artwork, and fireplaces in the sitting room and bedrooms create a calm, luxurious ambiance. Book this on someone’s behalf for a sure-to-please pressie.