Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Winey Gift Giving Guide, 2011

     It's that time of year again when all our thoughts turn to: gifts. (You thought I was going to say wine, didn't you?) Well, you wouldn't have been that far off, since my Winey Gift Giving Ideas have to do with wine (mostly...please read all the way to the end of this posting). I don't know if the rest of you are like me, but one of my great delights of the season is to pour through all the catalogs that come in the mail. A great way to escape from sweeping up the pine needles that are STILL hiding in my floors from the great "let's bring in the Christmas tree" project that occurs here the day after Thanksgiving. Anyway, these are some of my favorite finds from those catalogs this year - some are a bit out there, some are funny...and some are very, very dear to my heart (see above comment about the end of this posting)......


A BIT OF LUXURY:

Caudalie Crushed Cabernet Scrub ($29.00) - seriously, who wouldn't want Cabernet all over their being? And if that wasn't enough, the Caudalie website claims that the scrub "also contains the 6 draining and cellulite-fighting organic essential oils of the Contouring Concentrate." Bring it on, baby!




Swanson Vineyards Modern House Wine - send a message in on a bottle. (With apologies to Sting and The Police.) No seriously, haven't you ever gotten a little sick of those sappy greeting cards? How about sending a bottle that says "Thrilled for you" or "Merci" on it? Swanson Vineyards has 9 different message bottles filled with their 100% house Merlot that will say it all for you. Winey Mom favorites include "Swell Swill" and "Lucky Night"!! I never said I was subtle. ($25.00/bottle, 6 bottle minimum.)




 IF YOU WANT TO GO GREEN:


Space Saving Countertop 4 bottle Wood Wine Rack Recycled
Cedar - Not only will this wine rack clear up some room on your counter, but you can put your opened bottle on top and it is angled so that it won't drip. Now if we could just get this for certain members of my family, many of my cleaning issues would be resolved. The rack is made by 8point8 in San Diego (I found them on Twitter - yay tweets!) and not only solves your wine-space issues, all their products are made from recycled cedar or redwood...so you can feel good about being green as well!


FOR GIGGLES:

Truer words have never been spoken (unless wine really makes you think you know how to dance like a pro. Then you have other, entirely different issues to deal with.)  $17.95 at Catalog Favorites.

I'm no wine snob. I like to include everyone in my winey gift giving. So for all my redneck friends out there, here it is: The Rednek Wine Glass. (Not to be confused with juice glasses - this one has a stem on it!). Plus, it has the screw top lid for when you need to go mobile in the middle of your sipping... and it holds 16 ounces. Remember: drinking two glasses of wine a day is good for your heart. I have seen this for as low as $8.99...just google "Rednek Wine Glass and you can find a whole slew of them there places what sell this nifty little sipper.
Keeping on my including all theme, how about a little throw pillow that embraces both wine and beer drinkers?
(apologies again, this time to Sir Clement Moore)
($19.95 Catalog Favorites).
I am never one to discount the wisdom of our greatest writers and statesmen and forefathers. Which is why I love these quotable wine towels. Yes, Mark Twain really believed that "Sometimes too much to drink is barely enough" (I just know he had teenagers) and Ben Franklin preached that "There cannot be good living when there is not good drinking" (don't even try and tell me he was talking about Diet Coke, I KNOW he wasn't, okay?).  What better way to get your guests to smile in the powder room? (set of 4, $45.00, Uncommon Goods)



I know I put this in the giggles section...but the more I look at it..the more I think it should go in the "absolutely essential" section...but since I don't have one....
Here is the answer when your doctor asks you how much wine you drink a day:
"Just one glass, Doctor."
Yes, this glass actually holds an entire bottle of wine!!
Is that a dream come true, or what? There are lots of these on the market, I found this one for $9.99 at Vat 19.

THE PRACTICAL:

 Anyone else out there wine cooling challenged? I am actually on a crusade to get this listed as a medical condition (kind of like the "wrist unable to load dishwasher" condition that my family suffers from). Sure, I have the wine keepers that I fill with ice. They're fun at a party cause you can entertain your guests with the drips as you pour the wine. Or you can go with these nifty little coolers: The Cool Sack. They fold flat to store in your freezer and the cute little gel packs look very festive on your table. Notice the carry handles...transporting is very user friendly. ($9.98, Solutions)
Seriously, it DOES happen: sometime you don't finish a bottle of wine in one evening. Go ahead: wussies, lightweights, wastrels....but whatever you call them, there are times when people need to seal up the bottle for the next day. And although a little oxygen is a good thing for your vino, too much of it can give you a very fancy vinegar to go with your salad. The solution? A vacuum pump. There are tons of them out on the market...prices range from $9 on up depending on how fancy you want to go. My mother in law gave me mine: your basic, get the job done and the air out model.
  

When I was younger, I thought one of the saddest sounds ever was the pinging of M&M's as they fell all over the movie theater floor. Now that I am a Winey Mom, one of the saddest sounds I hear is "Oh sorry, I spilled the wine." I regret the wasting of the vino....someone else may regret that it just spilled all over their heirloom table cloth or family room couch. There is a product called "Wine Away" (perhaps a poor choice of naming...no one wants to send wine away, right?) that claims to banish the stain - on almost any fabric, without bleach. What I find amusing is that it comes in a gallon sized refill, a purse size and an emergency kit as well as the normal 12 oz. size. Kind of makes you think, doesn't it??
FORGET ABOUT WINE FOR A MINUTE:

Because these are gifts that have absolutely nothing at all to do with wine. They have to do with honoring the men and women of our Armed Forces. You may have gathered from other posts on my blog that I am the very proud mother of a West Point Cadet. (Go Army!) And since my child has entered West Point, I have had the honor of hearing about and seeing the amazing work that is being done to help our veterans and their families. A donation to either of these outstanding organizations would be one of the best Christmas presents you could give (to honor someone specific or to just help out in general). Because sometimes, it's just not about the wine and the fun...it's about something way more important.

Their purpose:

  • To raise awareness and enlist the public's aid for the needs of injured service members.
  • To help injured service members aid and assist each other.
  • To provide unique, direct programs and services to meet the needs of injured service members.


  • "Providing a "home away from home" for military families to be close to a loved one during hospitalization for an illness, disease or injury."

    I encourage you all to head to their websites and read some of the truly inspiring stories you'll find there. Personally, I've had my eyes and my heart opened by these organizations - they deserve our gratitude and our support.

    Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah...Happy New Year! Cheers!


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