Non-liquid options for the wine and spirits lover in your life.
By Kelly A. Magyarics
It’s the holiday season … and there aren’t many shopping days left. What to get the wine and spirits lover on your list? While vintage wine or the latest released artisanal liqueur is always a spirited addition to a friend or family member’s bar or wine cellar, think outside the bottle with one of these inspired gifts:
Best gift to go alongside a rich, buttery, bottle of white: Maine Lobster Feast for Two
GetMaineLobster’s Maine Lobster Feast for Two is a perfect gift for seafood lovers craving a low-effort, high flavor dinner in for two (on New Year’s Eve, perhaps?) For $115, you get two 1.5 pound just caught live Maine lobsters, two pounds of mussels, lobster cracking tools and two whoopee pies. I recently sampled the kit, and the lobsters were large, meaty and really fresh tasting. Ditto for the mussels, which we steamed in their own juices with garlic, onions and a touch of white wine. The feast comes packed in an insulated cooler with ice packs and seaweed—just be sure to let your friend know when they will be arriving (or purchase a gift certificate and let them decide when their seafood feast will arrive.) Oh, and since these babies arrive live, you might want to consider whether the recipient feels comfortable dunking them in boiling water (instructions are included.) For a memorable gift, wrap a bottle of a rich white wine (my vote is for Meursault or Puligny-Montrachet) in a gift bag, along with a note about the goodies they can expect in the mail. Go to GetMaineLobster.com to purchase, or call 207.370.2397.
Best gift for the beauty-minded wine lover: Bite Beauty Lip Collection
By now, we have all heard about the benefits of resveratrol, the antioxidant found in red wine. Though sipping a glass or two of Cab is a surefire way to deliver the anti-aging compounds to your body, now you can also get a healthy dose every time you touch u up your makeup. Bite Beauty’s line of lip products combines the powerful properties of resveratrol, with high pigmentation and lasting performance. The upscale lips-only line includes lipsticks, high pigment pencils, lip/cheek rouge, glosses and vitamin gels. All are derived from only food-grade ingredients. (So you won’t be ingesting any petroleum or chemicals if you lick your lips.) I’m especially a fan of their Luminous Lipstick in Musk and Zin—the charcoal-colored packaging is slick, the lipstick goes on smooth and is long-lasting, and the products have a pleasant smell. You can buy Bite Beauty at Sephora shops, or online at www.sephora.com/bitebeauty.
Best gift for the morning after over-imbibing: Coffee Stack
If someone in your life is obsessed with their Keurig coffee maker, he or she is also likely frustrated with where to
store all of the various K-Cup flavors. Spinning racks take up precious real estate on the counter, while drawers that set underneath the coffee maker often make the unit too high for overhead cabinets. And the last thing anyone needs after a night of one too many eggnogs at a holiday party is a hassle trying to get their morning cup o’ joe. Coffee Stack has solved the K-cup storage quandary. The black and silver container has four pull-out shelves that hold 40 K-Cups total. And its slim design (it measures just 9.25″ H x 5.25″ W x 10.88″ L) fits either on a counter top or in a cabinet. I got one a few months ago, as I really don’t have counter space to spare for some of the other Keurig storage options out there. It’s a lifesaver, and keeps all of my various K-Cup flavors at hand. I did read some reviews of users complaining that not all K-Cup flavors and brands will fit—some reviewers noted they had problems pulling out the drawers—but I haven’t yet had an issue and would definitely recommend this product. You can get the Coffee Stack at Bed, Bath and Beyond for $29.99. And while you are at it, grab a box of K-Cups to stick in the gift bag, which will make for one happy caffeine addict.
Best gift for the curious culinary-minded oenophile: The Food Lover’s Guide To Wine
Perhaps the best gift you can give a wine loving friend is the information they need to make informed, delicious decisions when selecting a bottle from the store rack or the restaurant wine list. From the authors of The Flavor Bible and What to Drink with What You Eat comes an encyclopedic, A to Z guide profiling hundreds of difference wines by their characteristics: body, intensity, aromas and flavors, ideal food pairings and recommend producers. Former Washington Post wine writers Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg provide insights from dozens of America’s best sommeliers, but including informative sidebars, charts and boxes, as well as color photography. You can get The Food Lover’s Guide to Wine at area bookstores, or on amazon.com.
Kelly Magyarics is a wine and spirits writer, and wine educator, in the Washington, DC area. She can be reached through her website, www.kellymagyarics.com, or on www.twitter.com/kmagyarics.