Monthly Archives: February 2016

8 Winning Wine Gifts

I got a special request this morning  from my college roomie …

wine gifts: text-message

wine gifts: roomie-photoNot that it took a lot of arm twisting for me to celebrate my favorite fruit – the fermented grape 😉 Still, National Drink Wine Day is the perfect excuse to highlight some great wine gifts, as well as one of my favorite people to share a glass of vino with!

My visits with Renee are far too rare, but last Fall we got precious roomie time on a trip to enjoy some Niagara wineries.

So in honor of my roomie and the many glasses of wine we’ve shared, I’ve put together a little list of wine gifts in celebration of National Drink Wine Day.

8 Winning Wine Gifts

1. Glass Decanter

wine gifts: wine decanterI’m smitten with these beautiful shapely wine decanters. They have a rustic appeal with their natural wood sphere toppers that can be personalized with monograms or witty comments like “sip” or “vino”.

Available from west elm: Glass Bottles with Wood Stoppers

2. Vintage Inspired Wine Opener

wine gifts: vintage-wine-opener

Not just functional, this will be a piece of artwork for the bar. Open bottles with ease and look professional doing it with the corkscrew of choice among the finest hotels and restaurants.

Available from Frontgate: Antique Bronze with Granite Base Wine Opener

3. Crystal Wine Glass

wine gifts: antoine-crystal-red-wine-glass

First let me admit something, I have a serious crush on the Barefoot Contessa. So this one is straight off of my personal giftbug registry.

These French hand blown crystal glasses, owned and loved by the Barefoot Contessa, are a timeless classic from the 19th century. Not to be saved for guests, these are made to be enjoyed every day – just like a great bottle of wine!

Available from Pomme & Poire: Antoine Crystal Red Wine Glass

4. Sangria Pitcher

wine gifts: sangria-pitcher

This isn’t the first time a Sangria Pitcher has made an appearance on one of my gift lists (check out Picnic Perfect Gifts), but I can’t have a wine gift list without including a Sangria Pitcher, especially because several years ago I gifted this exact Sangria Pitcher to my roomie! 🙂

Hand thrown and hand painted in Spain, each piece is signed by the artisan who made it. And I love the pinched spout, designed to help the wine flow freely and keep the slices of fruit where they belong – inside!

*Bonus – check out the link below for La Tienda’s traditional Sangria recipe!

Available from La Tienda: Ceramic Sangría Pitcher – Blue ‘Flor’ Design

5. Wine Picnic Tote

wine gifts: wine-tote

This lovely wine tote comes ready to use – complete with a cheese board, knife and bottle opener. Just add wine, triple cream brie and a great crusty bread. And the tote’s designers know what’s up – it’s created to carry two bottles of wine! 🙂

Available from One Kings Lane: Wine Country Tote

6. Wine Inspired Tea Towel

wine gifts: tea-towel

I’m a fan of the products from Girls Can Tell, and I have a weakness for tea towels in particular! This hand drawn and labeled corkscrew is hand screenprinted onto washable floursack cotton kitchen towels. Great for decorating a kitchen or drying dishes, they also make perfect cloth napkins for a picnic lunch in the park!

Available from Girls Can Tell: Wine Corkscrew Tea Towel

7. Wine Appetizer Plate

wine gifts: wine-glass-appetizer-platter

Renee and I found these gems on our Niagara winery road trip. Absolutely genius! Elegant mahogany wood plates designed to rest atop your wine glass, leaving one hand free to enjoy your nibbles.

Available from Twine Rustic Elegance: Rustic Farmhouse – Wine Glass Topper Appetizer Plates

8. Ice Wine

wine gifts: inniskillin_ice_wine

And speaking of that trip to Niagara Falls, and in honor of my Roomie, Renee’s favorite ice wine from Inniskillin winery. This was my first introduction to ice wine, who knew that frozen grapes could lead to such a tasty and sweet dessert wine?!

Available from Inniskillin Winery: 2014 Inniskillin Riesling Icewine

The Whole Schmear of Bagel Gifts

It’s National Bagel Day and I couldn’t get bagels off of my mind. It’s snowing outside and I don’t actually have any bagels in my house, so I did the next best thing and spent my day scouring the internet for the coolest gifts for bagel lovers. You might say this list is the whole schmear of bagel gifts (especially if you’re hungry and dreaming of bagels.)

The Whole Schmear of Bagel Gifts

Now gather ’round and check out these bagel lovin’ gifts.

7 Bagel Inspired Gifts

1. New York City Bagels

The Whole Schmear of Bagel Gifts: bagel-giftpack
Let’s start this list with arguably the home of the bagel, NYC, and that means some authentic NYC bagels shipped to your door (or the lucky gift recipient.) Shipped ready to toast and devour, or slice, freeze and toast whenever you’re craving a nosh.

Available from Zabar’s and Company: 18 Assorted Zabar’s NY Original Toasting Bagels

2. Peanut Butter

The Whole Schmear of Bagel Gifts: applesin-peanutbutter

Peanut butter on a bagel is one of the reason’s I run (in addition to beer and pancakes…but that’s another blog post.) Many people go right for the cream cheese, but I’m a bagel and peanut butter girl…and with peanut butter this good, you won’t stop at the bagels! Reginald’s uses just 4 little ingredients to handcraft some peanut apple perfection.

Available from Reginald’s Homemade: Apple Sin Peanut Butter

3. Vintage Jam Cutlery

The Whole Schmear of Bagel Gifts: jam-spreaders

This cream cheese spreader and jelly jam knife have hand stamped whimsical sayings on vintage sterling sliverplate silverware. << — That’s a mouthful, but so are the tasty treats you’ll be enjoying with these beautiful and playful service pieces.

Available from Etsy: Get Toasted ~ Get Jammin’ Hand Stamped Vintage Brunch Set from Sycamore Hill

4. B is for Bagel Babies

The Whole Schmear of Bagel Gifts: bagel-onesie

They are never too young for adorable onesies and to learn about the importance of really great food! This variety pack includes 3 great finger food onesies with ‘B is for Bagel’, ‘M is for Matzoh Ball’ and ‘R is for Rugelach’.

Available from Scoutmob: Foodie Baby Bodysuit Variety Pack

5. Everything Bagel Salt

The Whole Schmear of Bagel Gifts: bagel-salt

For the lover of everything bagel, Everything Bagel Salt. Perfect for soft pretzels, popcorn, grilled corn, burgers, hardboiled eggs….and I’m just guessing here, but probably…everything.

Available from Lusso: Everything Bagel Salt

6. Bagel Art

The Whole Schmear of Bagel Gifts: pug-bagel-print

I would seriously love this hanging in my kitchen! And if your friend or relative loves bagels AND pugs…’fugetaboutit’, you’re guaranteed to #win the gifting with this one!

Available from Etsy: Pug Art – Piggy Pug Bagels by Retro Pets

7. Smoked Salmon Vodka

The Whole Schmear of Bagel Gifts: SmokedSalmonVodka

So I was scouring the interweb for the very best lox for your bagel lover when I stumbled upon this little artisanal gem from Alaska, and I had to share. Distilled using water from glacier ice and infused with the flavor of Wild Alaskan Salmon this will make one hell of a Bloody Mary to pair with that NYC bagel from Zabar’s. My own personal version of East meets West 😉

Available from Alaska Distillery Retailers: Smoked Salmon Flavored Vodka

Gift the Memories this Valentine’s Day

Gift the Memories This Valentine’s Day

For me, Valentine’s Day is about celebrating connection with the loved ones in your life. Gift the memories this Valentine’s Day and shine a spotlight on the moments that make a life together.

Gift the Memories this Valentine's Day: dr-seuss-quote
Photography by: Cara Rufenacht Creative

7 Ways to Share Memories

1. Personalized Wine Boxes

Gift the Memories this Valentine's Day: winebox

Is there a wine that you shared on your first date? When you got engaged? At your wedding or on a trip to Napa? Whatever the occasion, gift your loved one that special wine inside one of these personalized laser engraved wooden wine boxes. You can have the top and all sides customized with messages, poems and even images.

And this gift isn’t limited to romantic loves, it would also be a wonderful Valentine’s Day gift for friends, parents, siblings or anyone special in your life with whom you want to share a great bottle of wine and a special message of love and memories.

Available from PersonalizedWineBoxes: Personalized Wine Gift Boxes

2. GPS Coordinates Bracelet

Gift the Memories this Valentine's Day: coordinates-bracelet

A dainty cuff personalized with the coordinates to a location important to you and your Valentine. Next, include a short special message about the location on the inside of the bracelet. Finally, watch her swoon!

Available from Etsy: Dainty Cuff Coordinates with Hidden Message by CentimeGift

3. A Shadow Box

Gift the Memories this Valentine's Day: shadow-box

A shadow box is an amazing way to literally show someone how much you’ve cherished your relationship by gifting them the mementos that you’ve saved over the years. Whether it’s ticket stubs, love notes, wine corks or bottle caps, an engraved shadow box is a stylish way to present a ‘box of memories’.

Available from Etsy: Personalized Shadow Box by CheapHumidors

4. Custom Map Coasters

Gift the Memories this Valentine's Day: custom-map-coasters

Immortalize a location special to your relationship. Where you met, went to school, got engaged, your wedding, your 1st house; the options are endless with these customized coasters.

Available from UncommonGoods: Custom Map Coaster Set

5. A Mixtape

Gift the Memories this Valentine's Day: usb-mixtape

As a child of the ’80s, love + a mixtape will forever be tied together for me. I wouldn’t blow your mind by suggesting that you pull out the boombox and work the play/record buttons simultaneously. Instead, combine the ease of a USB storage device with the nostalgia and personalization of a handwritten cassette case.

Available from Amazon: Mix Tape USB Memory Stick

Now, the actual storage of the music may be easier with a USB device, but the perfect mixtape is still a labor of love and skill. If you have missed out on the art form that is a mixtape, here’s a little help: The Art of the Mix: 15 Foolproof Rules for Creating the Perfect Mixtape

6. Hand Printed Recipe Tea Towel

Gift the Memories this Valentine's Day: teatowel

Not just for lovebirds, a wonderful idea for a daughter, a granddaughter or even your girlfriends. Share a special recipe in your own handwriting.

Available from Etsy: Tea Towel with Handwriting by AU Designs Studio

7. Kid’s Art Jewelry

Gift the Memories this Valentine's Day: kids-art-jewelry

A great gift for Moms and Dads, grandparents or anyone who loves your kids!

Available from Formia Design: Jewelry Design by Kids