Monday, December 14, 2015
Gift Ideas for Food and Drink Lovers
There are 11 days until Christmas. In the age of Amazon Prime 2-day free delivery, there's still plenty of time to choose a present for that special someone who loves to eat and drink. Stumped as to what to get them? Here are some ideas.
Thanksgiving wine) and earthier. It's wonderful as a blending with with cabernet sauvignon--many of the best bottles I've had have 5 to 15 percent cab franc added to them. But it's also delicious on its own.
Dracaena Wines' cab franc is exactly how I like my cab franc to be: on the bigger side with subtly earthy flavors but not that "barnyard" quality of some cab francs. It's the kind of red you can sip by itself or enjoy with food (we had ours with pizza, which was a pretty perfect match). This wine is actually 85 percent cab franc and 15 percent petite sirah, another lesser known but really wonderful red wine. Dracaena Wines owners Lori and Mike Budd are active on Twitter (@dracaenawines) and MangiaTV's Monday night "vamps" (video chats), where I've gotten to know them. You can order Dracaena Wines 2013 Cabernet France directly from their website for $28 per bottle or by the case at a 15% discount.
here). Mangia's Bob Heffernan hosts a weekly online video chat (most every Monday night at 7:30 p.m. eastern), a wonderful place to chat with like-minded foodies and discuss Bob's perspectives on food, community and fun. Mangia rub is available from the company's website for $6 per bag or $9 per two-pack. Become friends with Bob online (Twitter: @mangiaTV) and you may discover ways to get occasional discounts too.
from the company's website. Also, check out my recipes from this year where I used Benton's bacon, including Cauliflower-Bacon Clam Chowder, Smoky Bacon Macaroni & Cheese, Punchier Potato-Leek Soup and Three-Peas Farro Risotto with Bacon.
wine aerator for $9 and the ice molds as a set of two for $12. [Note: Arctic Chill provided the products mentioned in this review.]
Angostura bitters kicking around their home bar, but that's just a start to the wonderful world of cocktail bitters, which come in so many amazing flavors. Last year, I did a series of posts about bitters, which many consider to be the "salt and pepper" of good cocktails. Bitters make a nice gift because they don't require refrigeration and they last indefinitely. Some of my favorites: Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel-Aged Bitters, which add wintery-cinnamon-and-spice notes to drinks like an Old-Fashioned or a Winter Manhattan ($18 at Amazon); Bittermens Xocolatl Mole Bitters, the spicy Mole-inspired bitters that launched the Bittermens line, which are wonderful in an Improved Tequila Cocktail or Oaxaca Old Fashioned ($21 at Amazon); and Regan's Orange Bitters No. 6, developed by cocktail legend Gary "Gaz" Regan, which are perfect for adding a hint of citrus to drinks like the Barrel-Aged Berlioni ($8 at Amazon, also generally available in most good liquor stores). Not ready to commit to a full bottle? Scrappy's sells two bitters samplers, which each contain four small bottles of bitters. Set 1 has lavender, chocolate, cardamom and grapefruit ($24 at Amazon); set 2 has orange, celery, Orleans and aromatic ($24 at Amazon, get both from Amazon for $40).
I have a lot of books to recommend this year, so head on over to my related post on food and drink book gift ideas.