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Archive for the ‘Gift Guide’ Category


Holiday Gift Guide #12: Nothing Says ‘Love’ Like a Gift You Make Yourself

December 16th, 2010 by Tom Johnson

Sure, you can take out a loan to buy the wine-lover on your list something really nice, like a fancy $14 wine- aerating gadget. It’ll come in a nice box, have a shiny chrome finish, and look like something you wouldn’t mind pouring good wine into. Go ahead: give yourself over to the mercantile golden [...]

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Holiday Gift Guide #11: Come On, Honey, It’ll Be Fun

December 14th, 2010 by Tom Johnson

I know because I, like you, am a wine lover. The beauty and symbolism of the vine…they’re powerful. So powerful, in fact, that we’ve incorporated them into almost every aspect of our lives. It started with the mirror down behind the basement bar. You know: the one with the hand-painted vines and grapes around the [...]

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Holiday Gift Guide #10: Not Disposable

December 13th, 2010 by Tom Johnson

We’ve all been to parties where the host thoughtlessly serves wine in the same plastic cups they’re using for beer, right? It just kind of cheapens the whole experience, doesn’t it? When you’re hosting show a little class by serving wine in wine glasses that look like plastic cups. It’s a fine distinction, I know, [...]

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Holiday Gift Guide #9: Passive Aggressive Wine Gifting

December 12th, 2010 by Tom Johnson

Life being complicated, we are occasionally required to give things to people for whom we harbor deep, bitter hostility. In those cases, what we really need is a gift that seems generous but, in the end, proves maddening. For those people, I recommend “Don’t Break That Bottle,” a wooden box puzzle specifically designed to hold [...]

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Holiday Gift Guide #8: How To Make Day-Old Wine Even Less Appetizing

December 11th, 2010 by Tom Johnson

The Happy Man wine bottle stopper. Quoting from the catalogue: This cheeky little fellow’s massive appendage is ideally suited to plugging the necks of wine and spirit bottles…Just pull him off when you want more! Yes, by all means: just pull him off. About $10 here. Is it just me, or does it look to [...]

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Holiday Gift Guide #7: The Best Gift Basket Ever

December 10th, 2010 by Tom Johnson

I have just one question for the Cadeau Collection: when you’re putting together your top-end gift basket, the one that includes bottles of Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Chateau d’Yquem, Opus One, and a half-dozen other collectible wines… When the basket contains letters of introduction that entitle the holder to private, 3 day tours of Champagne (hosted [...]

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Holiday Gift Guide #6: Going Both Ways

December 9th, 2010 by Tom Johnson

Can’t decide whether you want a snack or a drink? You’ll get the best of both worlds with wine-flavored popcorn! Comes in a varietal of flavors, from Pink Catawba (“medium bodied, light, crisp, fruity”) to Chardonnay (“Chardonnay-flavored”). Have your friends over for a blind tasting; see if they can tell the difference between Pinot Grigio [...]

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Holiday Gift Guide #5: Wine Barrel Tote

December 8th, 2010 by Tom Johnson

Try as I might, I can’t think of a single circumstance in which I would be willing to use the round barrel wine box pictured at right. It’s designed to contain a single bottle of wine so that you can take it…where in God’s name would you use something like this? Going to a party? [...]

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Holiday Gift Guide #4: Vine and Dandy Sandals

December 7th, 2010 by Tom Johnson

When your oenophilia reaches the state in which you just can’t let a moment pass without alerting the world to your devotion to the grape…well, here you are. Devoted, right down to your toes. In the shower, at the beach, or just lounging around a public park, these grape-decorated flip-flops will tell everyone that you’re [...]

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Holiday Gift Guide #3: Wacky Wine Labels

December 6th, 2010 by Tom Johnson

What could possibly be funnier than disguising a good bottle of wine with the false label of something totally horrendous? How about if that totally horrendous label featured lots of poo jokes? That’ll get a rise out of the hostess as you enter the party and hand over the customary gift bottle. “Oh look,” she’ll [...]

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