Friday, December 5, 2008

Wine Gifts?

We have been asked repeatedly by friends or family members about suggesting wine related gift items. So here you go:

There are a few excellent books we recommend. WineWise is a new book written by Steven Kolpan, Brian H. Smith, and Michael A. Weiss, all CIA Professors in Wine Studies at The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) that we reviewed here. It is a great overview of grapes, wine styles, and wine regions. Next is an in depth look at the fatal dynamics that led to the collapse of the Mondavi empire in The House of Mondavi: The Rise and Fall of an American Wine Dynasty. Finally, we've been in a rum craze lately and enjoyed reading And a Bottle of Rum: A History of the New World in Ten Cocktails by Wayne Curtis.

For accessories, we have found a few products to recommend. Want an opened bottle of wine to remain fresh longer. Take a look at VineyardFresh. Its works because "This special blend of a 100% pure and natural protective barrier is heavier than air and lighter than wine. It settles directly on the wine without penetration creating a natural protective barrier between the air and wine thereby preventing oxidation."

Worried about taking wine home from a trip relying on air travel. For the serious wine consumer you can try Wine Cruzer, but for our budget we use BottleWise. The bag fits easily into a suitcase with no worries for clothing if for some reason the bottle breaks. The wine is contained in an airtight container. We also use the bag if we are touring wineries and run out of space in our cooler. Its a much better alternative then letting the wine sit in the hot sun.

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