The Ultimate Gift Guide

The Ultimate Gift Guide

Here’s our annual list of must-haves for the wine lover, the cocktail connoisseur and the beer devotee—and anyone who really loves great cheese and chocolate. Happy shopping. 

Vino velo: Whether cruising crosstown or down to the beach, this leather wine bike caddie from OopsMark will make sure your bottle arrives safely in style; $40.


From left to right: 

Pour More: This limited-edition magnum decanter marks Robert Mondavi’s 100th birthday; $450.

By George: America is once again making terrific rum. This silky-but-strong St. George Agricole is one of them; $50.

Mix Mastered: Pre-mixed cocktails are having a moment. The best, like this Mule, can be found here; $20.

Lemon Aid: Made from organic lemons, this Sonoma take on the Italian digestif will help close out any meal; $25. 

Clockwise from right: 

A Little Italy: Award-winning photographer Robyn Lea captures the night life, fashion and families of Milan. One flip through and you’ll feel like like a local;, $95.

Bottle Docket: Design fans will love this collection of photos of the most iconic labels (like the Boneshaker Zin, above) designed by the branding firm CF Napa; $50.

Whiff a Ball: Will you become an expert by smelling varieties on the printed page? Probably not, but who cares, it’s a funny idea and a great conversation piece; $20.

The Biggest Wine Book You’ll Buy (This Year): While always exhaustively thorough, past editions of this must-have bible were anything but digestible. This seventh edition, however, is flat-out beautiful and hard to put down; $35.    

Clockwise from right: 

Vin Prick: The proverbial better mousetrap of the wine world, the Coravin uses a needle to pierce the cork then pumps argon gas (safe, tasteless) into the bottle so no oxygen enters as the wine exits. Cork reseals itself, so you can remove the needle and place the bottle back on the rack. Already revolutionizing by-the-glass service in restaurants, it’s perfect for testing bottles in your cellar; $300.

Cider House You: Make your own hard apple cider with this kit from Elizabeth Ryan from Breezy Hill Orchard in the Hudson Valley. Just add apples; $50.

Booze-a-Gram: Want the next generation of artisanal whiskeys sent to your door every few weeks? Thought so; $225. 

Big Cheeses: These fresh, palate-expanding cheeses are delivered every month from the caves of Murray’s Cheese. Great gift for you, er, your spouse; $275 for four months. 

Clockwise from right: 

Beer No-Bust:  You didn’t even know you needed a non-breakable insulated growler that holds 64 ounces of cold beer until right now. You’re welcome; $50.

Tech Bubbles: The tapered shape of this Black Tie Champagne Cooler will actually chill out your fizz faster;, $690.

A Better Bitter: The bitters market is getting busy. Make it easy: go with Bittered Sling with fun flavor mashups like plum and rootbeer, and grapefruit and hops.   

Double Snifted:  Whether a black and tan fan or a budding beer blender, this dual chamber cup from Pretentious Beer Glass is your new toy. It blends only at the sip point, so you can still quaff the separate suds simultaneously;, $125, for 4.

From left: 

Wrap Stars: Stand out from the gift-bag pack with this playful wine wrapping paper set. Shaped to fit a bottle, it comes with suede ties; $10 for set of 3.

Steeped In Wine: For the wine lover who enjoys a cuppa, Vintage Tea Work’s teas are inspired by vino varieties (yes, they’re alcohol free). Must try: The White Tea Riesling; $17.

Straw Merry: Hosting is in the details and these paper cocktail straws made to look like birch bark are a subtle and stylish touch. $8 for 144 straws.  

Give to Recieve: For a pretty (tax-deductible) penny, charities will set you up with a private experience with a wine celeb or chef. One past package: a vertical tasting of Screaming Eagle wine with Winemaker Nick Gislason.

Sugar Buzzed: Oregon’s Moonstruck Chocolates has a line of truffles that burst with booze from some its state’s best craft distillers like Bull Run and Clear Creek; $20. 

Published on November 26, 2013