Yuletide Gifting


From “Gourmet, The Magazine of Good Living”, Volume XXIX, December 1969.

It’s the time of year to find a special something for all your special someones.  If you ask me, it feels just as good to give a sweet gift as it does to receive one…so let’s enjoy the shopping.

As a jumping off point, here are a few ledes for your quest to find just the thing for the people you love who love wine.  Or even those who you would love to begin loving wine.  I mean, your 2012 gift could be the one that ignites the fire, opens their eyes to a whole new world (of wine).  It’s a nice world.  I’ll quote Mr. Steve Jobs when I say, “People don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”


In NYC (and Brooklyn, too!) we are spoiled by a market saturated with almost every incredible wine you could (and couldn’t) think of.  In this day and age, most of that wine can be shipped to most places in the U.S.

In my opinion, if you’re looking to give the gift of wine- something unusual and of high quality, that you want to be sure has been handled and stored properly- look to a great NYC wine shop.  They know what’s up.  Ideas…

Aglianico del Vulture 2007 by D’Angelo from Drink Up NY.  $22

100% Aglianico grapes grown at the base of the extinct volcano, Mount Vulture.  Crafted into a boomingly tannic, blueberry-ish, mineral-rich wine by Donato D’Angelo, the man who pretty much taught every producer in his region how to craft the “Barolo of the South”.

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Antonin Rodet from NiNi’s Wine Cellar . $31

100% Chardonnay from this historic estate in Burgundy’s Cote Chalonnaise.

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St. Emilion Grand Cru 1998 by Chateau Gracia from Gnarly Vines. $95

Classic Right Bank Bordeaux.  Ready to Drink.  Merlot and Cabernet Franc.  Give a grand gift of tradition.

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Barolo Cascina Francia 2008 by Giacomo Conterno from MCF Rare Wine. $159

100% Nebbiolo harvested from the venerable 5 hectare vineyard named Cascina Francia.  This wine is made by the talented Conterno family, currently headed by Roberto Conterno.  Aged for about four years in oak.  A gift for prosperity, as this wine should not be opened for at least another 10 years.

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Sassella Riserva DOCG Vigna Regina 2001 by A.R. PePe from Flatiron Wines & Spirits (Magnum Size). $235.

Show your love in a BIG way (the bigger the bottle, the better the home for the wine).  100% Chiavennasca  (nebbiolo) made from vineyards planted into the stony rich foothills of the Italian-Swiss Alps.  The region is Valtellina, the zone is Sassella, the cru is Vigna Regina.  Bright wine for bright friends.

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Books on Wine (& Food, & Stuff):

Wine Grapes: A Complete Guide to 1,368 Vine Varieties, Including their Origins and Flavours by Jancis Robinson, Julia Harding, and Jose Vouillamoz.  $111.92.

Recent release.  All the rage.  Every known grape out there.  Must-have.

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The Drops of God, Volume ’01 by Tadashi Agi and Shu Okimoto.  $10.17.

A comic book for wine geeks.  Part 1 of the series (snort, snort).

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Edible Selby by Todd Selby and Sally Singer. $23.10.

Beautiful photos of beautiful food, made in beautiful kitchens (by beautiful people), and served on beautiful tables.

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The Selby is in Your Place by Todd Selby with Intro by Lesley Arfin.  $23.10.

Ok, this has nothing to do with wine, or even food- but such a gorgeous book.  Inspiration for amazing spaces…spaces where wine can be drank?!

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My Berlin Kitchen: A Love Story (With Recipes) by Luisa Weiss.  $16.25.

The (cook)book from The Wednesday Chef.

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Further Thoughts:

Wine Skin from MoMa.  $4

For travels with that special bottle or 2.  Spill and break proof.  Ease the mind- a suitcase full of white sweaters will be safe.

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De Long Wine Discovery Tools. $ Varies.

Maps, maps, maps!

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Sign up for Cynthia Hurley’s (almost daily) newsletter with informative and interesting descriptions of her excellent selection of French wines.  She will ship orders directly to your doorstep.

Take a class at the Brooklyn Wine Exchange.

For a serious enthusiast- give the gift of the WSET (Wine and Spirits Education Trust).  Levels & $’s vary.

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“The Conosur” by the Anthony Picone. Check out his work at http://antpicone.com/

*Photo sources are links mentioned with products.