The Best Cookbooks, Drinking Games and More for 2021

Animation by Tom Arena / Styling by Monica Simon
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Whether you’re shopping for a gamer, casual cook or dedicated home mixologist, there’s an array of gift options for everyone on your list. Choose from a cookbook that benefits Napa Valley hospitality workers, a memoir guaranteed to elicit wanderlust or a game of drink-tac-toe.

The Best Gifts for Wine Lovers (2021)

1. For the Armchair Traveler: Gastro Obscura: A Food Adventurer's Guide by Cecily Wong and Dylan Thuras

An incredible celebration of diversity in food, Gastro Obscura offers a free-wheeling guide to exciting recipes, ingredients, adventures  and delicious food from around the globe.


2. For the Natty Wine Fan: You Had Me at Pet-Nat: A Natural Wine-Soaked Memoir

Ever think a bottle of wine would start a journey of self-discovery? Well, neither did author Rachel Signer. That was until Signer tasted a pétillant naturel, or pét-nat.

Tired of not making ends meet, the freelance journalist and overworked waitress left New York City for Paris to learn more about the natural fizzy wine and the people who produce it. Along the way, she discovered that if she let go of who she thought she should be, the opportunities were endless.


3. For the Home Cook: The Essential Napa Valley Cookbook

The desire to help those in Napa’s hospitality industry during the pandemic inspired Jess Lander to write The Essential Napa Valley Cookbook. The cookbook features over 35 recipes from Napa’s top chefs and restaurants, including Cindy Pawlcyn’s Mustards, Charlie Palmer Steak and Christopher Kostow’s The Charter Oak.

Each recipe is paired with a Napa Valley wine selected by Master Sommelier Desmond Echavarrie. Additionally, 75% of the book’s proceeds go directly to the participating restaurant workers and 25% goes to Feed Napa Now.

$40 The Essential Napa Valley Cookbook

4. For the Budding Mixologist: The Flower-Infused Cocktail: Flowers with a Twist by Alyson Brown

Flower and cocktail enthusiasts can rejoice. Author Alyson Brown’s latest book transforms your favorite drinks into vibrant unique cocktails. In addition to over 60 recipes, the book features history and folklore on a variety of edible flowers.

$30 Amazon

5. For the Epicurean: Wine Style: Discover the Wines You Will Love Through 50 Simple Recipes by Kate Leahy

Approachable and modern, Wine Style explores wine and food  pairings that will elevate your dining experience. Alongside 50 delicious recipes, readers will learn how to pair wines with dessert and delve into the wonderful world of orange wines.


6. For the Gamer: Drink-Tac-Toe

Drinking games are fun. Drinking games that don’t have many rules are more fun, which is where this grown-up take on tic-tac-toe comes in. With a wooden-crafted board and pieces shaped like wine and beer glasses, players can pick their favorite drink and duel it out—making it perfect for a fun night in with friends.

$17 Chronicle Books

7. For the Problem Solver: Cheese + Wine 500 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle

Good wine, cheese and a puzzle are a recipe for the perfect night. This 500-piece set features 20 illustrations of popular wine and cheese pairings like Sauvignon Blanc and goat cheese, rosé with feta and more.

Another benefit? The pieces all fit inside a small cylindrical box, so it won’t take up too much room on your shelf.

$18 Chronicle Books

Published on October 22, 2021
Topics: Handpicked