We’ve noticed that the wait staff have started using the H word more frequently these days. That would be Holidays, that time of year when the wait staff consume large amounts of food and wine and exchange gifts with other humans.
Though we’re not fond of the flow of humans in and out of our home during this time, there are elements that have our approval. A the top of that list would be the food. Turkeys, hams, meats of every imaginable sort, and pieces of these delicious creations always make it to our own dishes. A bit of crispy turkey skin with a splash of sauvignon blanc on the side makes a visit from even the loudest individual just about tolerable. (Children require more wine…and copious amounts of turkey to reach tolerable.)
Gifts are also another great tradition. There’s always a few catnip-spiced toys or a new batch of feathers for the felines, but there’s also wrapping paper, gift bags and large cardboard boxes to enjoy. Sometimes there’s even a box big enough for Big Fat to fit in without any bits hanging over the edges.
The wait staff were recently discussing possible gifts for a fellow oenophile who is planning to move into a new apartment in the coming weeks. There was, of course, much discussion about a favorite bottle of wine or two, which could be used to toast the new residence; but after listening to the wait staff, we decided there were other acceptable gifts for the wine lovers of the world.
Not that we want to discourage anyone from providing us with more wine. We just recognize that selecting the perfect wine for someone is not always an easy task. There are people who are actually fussier than us when it comes to wine….
Our short list of great wine gifts:
RBT Decanter – from the minds who brought us the Rabbit wine opener, this ingenious design sends the wine along the edge of the decanter to provide better aeration than a traditional decanter. It also has a filter to remove any stray bits of cork that might be floating in the wine. Though it holds a large amount of wine (a magnum’s worth), it’s easy to handle for even the smallest of paws.
BRIX Chocolate – started by a pulmonologist in Ohio, this is the perfect way to finish your meal. Chocolate rarely pairs well with wine, given its own complexities. However, Dr. Proia was determined to find that perfect balance between the flavor possibilities of chocolate and wine. The result is Brix chocolate, which even provides a handy descriptor of the various chocolate flavors and what wines to pair with each brick.
Zerrutti Turn Decanter – some claim that the design was inspired by a ship’s captain, looking for a wine decanter that would not slide off the table in rolling seas. Though we’re skeptical of that suggestion, we do like the design. The ability to spin the decanter provides for plenty of aeration. And, yes, it’s just flat out fun to play with.
The 24-Hour Wine Expert by Jancis Robinson – Robinson is famous for her massive odes to wine and wine-making, and her books are often filled with layers of details. Even the most knowledgeable fans of the greatest beverage will often find some new point of interest in one of her books. For those who don’t have any interest in the finer points of viniculture, however, her books can be an intimidating experience. Enter Robinson’s newest entry – a compact 112 pages that provides everything you need to know about selecting and serving wine.
RABLABS fluorite wine gems – we’ve all had that moment when someone asks for a white wine and you realize that the only bottles you have are still sitting on the counter, nice and toasty. A quick cool down is required, which for many people means ice cubes. The problem is that people (rarely) drink their wine quickly enough to avoid having the ice melt (especially during the summer). Water and wine are not a good combination…There are a lot of other options out there, but we’re partial to Anna wine gems by RabLabs. The fluorite stays cool and doesn’t contaminate the flavors of the wine (which not all other substitutes can say). Keep them in your freezer and you’ll never have a problem with warm wine again.
Any one of these would be a great gift…Though, as we mentioned before, a yummy battle of wine is always appreciated as well.