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Wine Uncorked

Holiday Gift Guide

Holiday Gift Guide

 

BALANCING ACT

 

This is awesome! I hate trying to carry multiple wine glasses on a regular tray – thatkind of balance isn’t one of my skills.  This wine tray elegantly and simply solves the problem, with a slot to slide four glasses and a circular opening for the bottle.  Seriously, who wouldn’t want one of these?  $98.

 

 

 

SUSTAINABLY BEAUTIFUL

 

 

When life hands you wine corks, make handbags!

 

When an industry-wide surplus gripped the Portuguese cork industry in 2002, Sandra Correia – whose family business is a cork factory – started to look at this material in a totally new way.

 

She created an umbrella crafted from cork that was so well received it spawned an

entire range of elegant lifestyle accessories made from cork skin.  The products range from clutches and bracelets to keyrings and sleeves for iPads and iPhones.  Prices range from approximately $21 to $362.

 

Even better, cork is a renewable resource, making these products very eco-friendly.

 

 

 

WOOF, WOOF

 

 

Whimsical dogs and cats play together in this 9-piece box of chocolate truffles from MarieBelle.  The New York chocolatier created these limited-edition delicacies with Frangelico Hazelnut Liqueur.

 

Even better, proceeds from these chocolates go to Bideawee, one of the country’s oldest and most respected animal welfare organizations.  Meow!  $29

 

 

 

WARM FUZZIES

 

 

Show your style by wrapping wine bottles in these faux fur gift bags.  Glamorous and chic, they are $22.45 for two from the Dennis Basso boutique at QVC.

 

 

 

 

SNACK TIME

For something a little different to pair with your wine and cheese, try these cheese crisps from Kitchen Table Bakers.  They are made entirely of aged parmesan cheese and are gluten, wheat, sugar and trans fat free.  (But don’t hold that against them!)

 

The crisps come on eight flavors, including aged parmesan, garlic, rosemary, Italian herb and jalapeño.  Crisps can be purchased online for $17.97 and from grocery and gourmet stores around the country.

 

 

 

SPACE SAVER

 

It’s a common lament: a living space too small to

accommodate a wine refrigerator.  There are few kitchens, though, that couldn’t find a space for this 6-bottle cooler from Haier.

 

Truth be told, it’s also great for those who don’t keep enough wine around to merit a larger fridge.

 

The unit features an electronic temperature control and a double-pane insulated glass door.  Plus, it’s vibration-free.  With a depth of 20 ¼ inches, it can fit almost anywhere.  $89

 

 

 

GET GORGEOUS

 

Sure, a glass of wine is a great way to unwind at the end of the day.  But a d’vine vinotherapy spa treatment?  Well, that’s, um, divine!

 

Located in New York’s Finger Lakes region, Mirbeau Inn & Spa in Skaneateles, N.Y. offers a range of wine-infused treatments, including a Pinot Noir Body Mask & Wrap, a Deluxe Pedicure with Mourvedre Oil massage, and a Luxury Hand Treatment with a Bordeaux hydrating treatment.

 

Mirbeau Inn & Spa also offers cooking classes, wine dinners and a tour package that includes visits to some of the area’s top wineries.  Prices vary.

 

 

 

BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND
We featured the Corkcicle last year, and it was so popular we had to bring it back!

 

Chill this awesome doo-dad in your freezer and use it to bring a room-temperature bottle of red to serving temperature in just 10 minutes. It will also keep your bottle of white chilled for an hour as you oh-so-elegantly sip your wine!

 

The Corkcicle now comes with colored caps and awesome toppers for some extra verve.  You can even have one custom made! Prices start at $24.95.

 

 

THE ART OF DECANTER

 

All decanters have a streamlined beauty, but the Cobra Verde truly stands out, even if it never sees a drop of wine.

 

This streamlined vessel was designed by Riedel CEO Maximillan Riedel and inspired by a trip to South Asia.  Hand-blown into the shape of a cobra snake in attack stance, the decanter is lime green and stands over two feet tall.  It double-decants the wine, and can accommodate both regular and magnum size bottles.

 

This is a limited-edition piece; only 555 were made.  Priced at $1,000, it is available through Riedel at 1-888-4 Riedel or at Bloomingdales online.

 

 

 

‘TIS THE SEASONING

 

 

The Spice Lab takes sea salt to a whole new level with its Merlot-infused salt.  Delicious and brightly colored, this seasoning is excellent as a cooking or finishing salt – perfect for the gourmet in your life.  $9.95 for a streamlined glass jar or priced by weight, from 2 ounces to 10 pounds.  That’s a lot of salt!

 

 

 

READ ALL ABOUT IT

 

The title Amarone: The Making of an Italian Wine Phenomenon might be a little of an exaggeration to American audiences.  While it’s an extremely popular wine in Italy (where the book was originally published), most Americans probably don’t know what it is.

 

Which is a shame, because the wine is delicious, warm and rich with unique flavors that come from the fact that the grapes are dried prior to fermentation.  The book itself is an evocative and sprawling look at the history of the wine, primarily through the lens of Sandro Boscaini, the owner of Italy’s renowned Masi Winery.

 

Boscaini put Amarone on the map, tirelessly and skillfully promoting the wine around the world and earning the nickname Mr. Amarone, the book’s original title.

It is available for $24.95 from Amazon and other booksellers.

 

 

 

 

WINE ART

 

 

 

I spent way too much time browsing through Redbubble, a marketplace forindependent artists.  A search for “wine” brought up 9,650 results ranging from the funny to the beautiful to the profane.  The art is done in a variety of media and products range from t-shirts to posters to greeting cards.  One of my favorites was this iPhone case, which sells for $37.20.  Obviously, prices vary.  Happy browsing!

 

 

 

TAKE NOTE

 

Forget boring wine journals – this one has a fun, spider-web looking flavor wheel to graph a wine’s balance, nose, flavor and other characteristics.  It also comes with a pen made with resin tinted with crushed grapes.  Heck, even the ruddy ink on the cover gets its color from a few drops of wine.  Available for $45 from Uncommon Goods; thanks to Don at ShopGala for pointing this one out to me!

 

 

 

WINE-ING ALLOWED

 

The Inns of Aurora in New York’s Finger Lakes offers an introduction to winemaking with a two-night stay.  Visitors can spend one day with Tom and Susan Higgins, owners of Heart and Hands Wine Company, learning the art of winemaking.

 

If something more relaxed is your style, the Inns also offer an array of wine dinners throughout the year.  Prices vary.

 

 

 

BLOWIN’ IN THE WIND

 

Ever wonder what to do with all those empty magnum-sized bottles you have sittingaround? Me neither.

 

Thankfully, someone else apparently did have a surplus of empties – and had the right inspiration for what do to with them.

 

These limited-edition Hurricane candle holders are crafted from used Italian wine bottles.  Each is hand-cut and the edges carefully polished for a trompe l’oeil look.  (There’s no bottom!)

 

Bottles range from 12 to 20 inches high; prices vary according to size.

 

 

 

BABY YOUR WINE

 

This contemporary wine cradle can be personalized for yourself or that deserving someone.  Crafted from jade crystal, this holder floats the bottle at an angle that keeps the cork moist and the wine ready to open at any time!  It’s currently on sale for $55.95 from Personalizationmall.com.

 

 

 

STICK ‘EM UP!

Invite these party people to your next festivity! These wine glass markers have suction cups attached, allowing them to stick on the side of a wine glass or any smooth surface.  These little guys are a fun, easy way to distinguish one glass from another.  $6.99

 

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