8 Last Minute Gift Items for Food and Wine Lovers!
8 Last Minute Gift Items for Food and Wine Lovers! by: Laura Ness
Rather than make it totally seasonal – like light-up reindeer or holiday towels – how about a gift that will brighten someone’s day long after the buzz of the season shows up in your credit card statements?
Here are a few items that were gifted to me that I just love and think you will too!
Who wouldn’t want something bubbly to celebrate the day after the Super Bowl, Groundhog Day or whatever?
Here are some bubbles to chase away troubles.
Mionetto 130th Anniversary Prosecco, Luxury Collection
When is Prosecco not just Prosecco? When it comes from Mionetto. From the heart of the Prosecco region in Italy, come this elegantly packaged 130th anniversary edition, commemorating the founding of this brand in 1887. Made from the Glera grape, it sizzles with apple and pear flavors, and carries a hint of sweetness. At under $30, it creates a big buzz for paltry dinero.
Want more bubbles? Go for the Cartizze DOCG Dry, also part of the Luxury Collection that emphasizes even more sophistication on the palate, with superfine, racy bubbles and a fascinating bouquet that offers citrus peel and marzipan. At many BevMo outlets and wineexpress.com.
The watchword here is family. Whether you go with racy raspberry-embued Prestige rose, the Brut La Française (40% Chardonnay, 35% Pinot Noir and 25% Pinot Meunier) or the 2012 Brut Millésimé, equal parts of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, made only in exceptional years, you’ve made a good choice.
Taittinger is one of the few remaining family owned and operated Champagne houses in France today: a remarkable feat. Chardonnay dominates most of their blends and extended aging adds richness. These are top drawer and worthy of your finest flutes. At fine retailers everywhere.
Master Chefs of France: The Cookbook
This first cookbook by 60 French Master Chefs features recipes from ten Bay Area Chefs, including Xavier Salomon from the Ritz Half Moon Bay. Maîtres Cuisiniers de France is the most envied title among chefs.
This beautifully presented cookbook will inspire any gourmand who seeks a deeper understanding of classic French cuisine with a modern spin.
The Winemakers of Paso Robles
You’ll almost need to buy a proper coffee table to go with this 328-page, large format book featuring 53 of the most influential winemakers of Paso Robles.
A year spent embedded with winemakers from pre-dawn picks to midnight punch downs and everything in between yields a photographic essay that does the region and its power players proud. And you’ll sure learn more about the charming insanity of the industry. Available on Amazon.
Know an athlete or someone who travels a lot? A free spirit with wanderlust? Perfect.
Wander Wet Bags
Designed for Life Adventurers, a unique breed of risk takers who prefer to be pretty and practical, these fun bags are designed for the resort goer who wants a stylish way to carry her bikini and other personal items when traveling.
Stash your bathing suit in this and keep it in your “go bag.” Sneak in that last-minute dip in the hotel pool or yoga workout before catching a flight home and your wet bikini or post-workout gear will be safe and secure. Comes in an adorable assortment of perky patterns. #EnjoyToday!
Groove Ring is the world’s first breathable silicone ring designed by an Alaskan wilderness guide and lodge owner. He wanted a ring that would stand up in harsh environments, without getting clammy or damaging his fingers. Groove rings make the ultimate gift for the adventurer, athlete and fitness enthusiast and are available in thin and original in a variety of really groovy colors.
They’re customizable with a message or date, so they’re perfect for a reunion, bridal gift or team bonding event. Starting at under $30, get someone a gift certificate and they can choose their own, or buy one for you and one for your BFF. www.groovelife.com
Sauce up your routine with these mouthwatering goodies that foodies are sure to enjoy.
MINA Classic Sauces
For the foodies who love spicy, MINA brings Morocco to your kitchen with classic Moroccan Harissa, Shakshuka and Tagines. All add flavor to your food, add nutrients to your health and make it easy to create exotic dishes with a distinctive Mediterranean flair. Each can be used as a sauce, dip or spread. Up your culinary game and give them a try. www.casablancafoods.com
Rufus Teague BBQ Sauces
From a small artisan producer in Kansas comes this line of Barbecue sauces and rubs, for every thing you want to grill, smoke or slow-cook. Smother meat, chicken, rabbit, fish or even eggplant with one – or more – of these flavorful mixable sauces.
The Apple Mash is divine with pork chops, the Touch o’ Heat makes chicken finger lickin’ good and Whiskey Maple does ribs sweet justice.
Available in sets or singly, from Amazon or the company website, buy a few because you’ll want to explore them all.
Happy Holidays to all!
BY: LAURA NESS, WINE JUDGE & WINE WRITER
Laura Ness, aka “Her VineNess,” is an accomplished wine journalist and wine critic whose passion for wine was ignited by a visit to France, where she had the unmatched pleasure of tasting Sancerre in the medieval town of Sancerre – splendid!— and then a Saumur, after visiting the Chateau de Saumur in Chinon. The concept of terroir came alive in those incandescent moments. She regularly judges wine competitions and serves on the tasting panels of the Pinot, Cabernet and Chardonnay Shootouts. She was instrumental in helping define the unique sub-regions of the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA in concert with Appellation America. You can usually find her sipping and smiling in Mendocino, Livermore, the Santa Lucia Highlands, Santa Cruz Mountains and Paso Robles. Laura writes extensively for many industry and consumer publications, and has weekly wine columns in several Bay Area newspapers. She blogs, irreverently and sporadically, at myvinespace.com.