Although the frosty cold breath of Christmas is breathing down our necks, there is still time to do some last-minute shopping. I humbly present my annual holiday gift guide for the wine lover on your list.
Beginning with wine, I offer a few suggestions. Cinzano offers a Prosecco and an Asti and the Cin Cin booklet gives you cocktail recipes. Bubbles are the perfect holiday gift and both bottles are under $15. If you’d like to gift bubbles from Greece, check out the non-vintage Tselepos Amalia Brut. This fruit-forward sparkler will tickle your palate for less than $25. The 2011 Brunello di Montalcino from Casisano is a beautiful example of Sangiovese from the Montalcino region of Tuscany. This elegant wine sells for around $58. SAVED red is a California blend of primarily four varieties. The lovely bottle is inspired by tattoo artist Scott Campbell. Expect to pay around $20.
You’re going to need something to open those bottles with. How about the elegant solid brass SAVED corkscrew designed by Scott Campbell? It’s truly a piece of art, and the sheer weight assures you this is a serious bottle opener. For the nice person on your gift list, it sells for $125.
For the readers on your list, there are five books I recommend. At this year’s Wine Bloggers Conference in Lodi, I met Chris Kassel who had just published Starstruck In Lodi Again. The wonderful book takes an inside look at the town named Wine Enthusiast’s 2015 wine region of the year. He hoped to get John Fogerty to write the foreword, but was told he charges $10,000 for a ten-minute interview! Vertical is the hilarious sequel to Sideways from Rex Pickett. This time, Miles and Jack visit the Oregon wine trail. If you thought what happened in Santa Ynez was funny, this will have you laughing until you cry. A Perfect Score is Craig and Kathryn Hall’s behind-the-scenes look at the creation of Hall and Walt Wineries. Starting with their purchase of an 1885 Napa winery 20 years ago, you’ll hear firsthand how they created a most successful brand. For your wine-loving friends who have adolescent children, gift them a copy of The Adventures of Jazzi G – Search For The Missing Peace. Written by Gayle Johnston, this is the delightful story of Jazzi G, a 12-year-old high school student who is livid about her teacher’s spring break assignment: to define peace. She forms an unlikely alliance with a nerd named Oxford and their adventures together are captivating. Finally, ABSENTE – Images and Tastes of the Green Fairy. A joint collaborative effort by a group of Absinthe fans and Chef Jean Stephane Poinard, owner of Bistro de Leon in St. Augustine, Florida, it’s a work of love with stunning images. SRP is $49.95.
I wish you a joyous holiday season.
Tom Plant launched WINEormous in 2009 and is a member of the International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association. Based in Temecula, California, he offers intimate winery tours for no more than seven people. Tour details and pricing are available at www.temecula-tours.com. Call now to book your Temecula Winery Tour at (951) 907-9701. Ask about special discounts.