Wine & Spirits Gift Guide: The Essentials - Wine & Spirits Magazine

Wine & Spirits Gift Guide: The Essentials

For the dreamer in the bunch:
Gold & Champagne Marshmallows

Mini marshmallows gilded in 24-karat-gold make even the most battle-hardened holiday guest smile. Use Wondermade’s box of 16 to melt over mom’s traditional batch of sweet potatoes or serve alongside after-dinner hot chocolates, whether spiked or not.



For a Greenmarket guru:
MZ Wallace + Food52 Farmers Market Tote Bag

Form meets function with this partnership between two NYC-based, women-run companies. With an easy-to-clean nylon interior, the navy bag holds up to 40 pounds of baby purple potatoes or peaches, with plenty of exterior pockets for bottles of wine and bouquets. To sweeten the deal, the collaborative team is donating $50 of each sale to the Edible Schoolyard Project.



For the sweet tooth in the family:
Moonstruck Chocolate Co.

Swap the postprandial dram of whiskey this winter for something sweeter. Portland-based Moonstruck Chocolate Co. teamed up with nine Oregon craft distillers to create a 12-piece collection of booze-infused truffles. The truffles are as beautiful as the combinations are compelling—from the spiced-apple notes in the Clear Creek Distillery Oregon Apple Brandy truffle to the peppery New Deal Distillery Ginger Liqueur truffle.
$25 at



For an aspiring barback (or barfly):
Jackson Cannon Bar Knife

R. Murphy Knives, based outside Boston since 1850, teamed up with Jackson Cannon, proprietor of Boston’s The Hawthorne, to offer a knife of excellent heft for garnish and citrus work behind the bar. The stainless steel tang runs the length of the knife; cocobolo wood feels luxurious in hands large and small. A functional addition for the serious barkeep or home hobbyist.

For the home entertainer:
Tovolo Highball Ice Molds

Keep your Singapore Slings cool and concentrated with slow-melting ice cubes. Popped out of easily stackable ice molds, the smooth cylinders are sized right for highball glasses. $13,




For your cousin recently returned from her honeymoon in Japan:
Ribbed Sake Set

Channel your inner calm with a minimalist sake-serving set: New Zealand–based Koromiko offers this clean design from Lisa Jones, an artist based in Portland, Oregon, and contributes one percent of proceeds to support arts in the community.



For the newly wedded:
Wearing Memories

Rather than tossing the caps from special Champagne bottles into a keepsake box, Kiron Barui works them into her jewelry designs. Pieces come ready-made to fit your own cap, or Barui will develop bespoke jewelry as well.
Prices start at AU$320 at, 562-756-2288


For your younger sister living in her first apartment:
Coastal Coasters

Rissa Sandman, who runs the Etsy shop theCoastal, produces these hand-painted ceramic coasters for Whitney Adams of Available in black and white “deco wave” or a gold palm pattern with recycled cork backing, they’re $30 for a set of four.






For the map-obsessed:
Rare Wine Co/Alessandro Masnaghetti

A nuclear engineer turned cartographer, Alessandro Masnaghetti produced his first vineyard map in 1994, when he took on the crus of Barbaresco. He has since focused mostly on Italian regions, from Barolo to Valtellina and Chianti Classico. More recently he turned his gaze toward Bordeaux, and the Rare Wine Co. now offers his precise and colorful map of Pauillac, St-Julien and St-Estèphe alongside the Italian versions. On the back of the regional map you’ll find individual maps of the 31 classified crus, broken down by varietal composition.
$13 folded, $16 unfolded at


For your interior designer best friend:
Vetro Vero

Designers Michael Schunke and Josie Gluck make these striking hand-blown decanters at a repurposed dairy farm in Chester County, Pennsylvania. The name of their studio, Vetro Vero, means “true glass” in Italian. $495 each at




For Secret Santa or the office Yankee Swap:
Flip and Tumble Wine Tote

Sustainability-minded designers Hetel Jariwala and Eva Bauer have created what may be the world’s handiest wine tote: It’s machine-washable, and it collapses into a palm-sized package for easy storage and transportation. Choose from six color combinations.
$12 at




For your brother who mans the grill:
Jojo’s Sriracha

Jolene Collins sources chile peppers from local farms and blends them in her Brooklyn kitchen to create Jojo’s Sriracha. For two of her recent sauces, she worked with Ravenswood Winery to add wine to the mix. What could be a mere gimmick turns out to be pretty delicious stuff, warming and flavorful but not painfully fiery. Her zinfandel version is the tangier of the pair, while the petite sirah sriracha leans toward deep, sweet berry tones underneath the heat. Try them with barbecue or bánh mì. $14 at

This story was featured in W&S Winter 2014.

Caitlin Griffith knew her future career would entail food and drink when, at the age of six, she munched an anchovy from her father’s Caesar salad thinking it as a small strip of bacon—and was more than pleasantly surprised. While enrolled in New York University’s Food Studies program, she learned the secrets of affinage in the caves of Murray’s Cheese.

This story appears in the print issue of Winter 2014.
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