As we approach the holidays and are yet again perplexed as to what to give friends and family for gifts, I’d like to share with you some of the glorious and delicious gifts I’ve given over the years. I find that any gift of food and wine is highly appreciated. And while we can’t necessarily come together for holiday cheer, the gifts I’m recommending can be thoroughly enjoyed in one’s own bubble.
1. Bubbles or Still Wine
Wine industry insiders are quick to tell you that wine sales have soared during the pandemic. Consumers are staying home hunkered down, cooking, and drinking sheltered in a safe place. And just as it’s now possible in many places to order groceries online for home delivery, don’t forget that some neighborhood wine shops and most USA wineries deliver to residences.
In addition to wine, many stores and wineries offer wine club memberships that might come with perks such as quantity discounts, free delivery, rare wines, and special invitations for on-line or live events. Wine and/or wine club subscriptions are fabulous gifting options for those who are at home playing it safe.
2. Local Foodie Favorites
Over the years, some of my nearest and dearest have received foodie gifts from some of my favorite local brands. Here are a couple of great ideas:
Rancho Gordo Beans! Yep, give the gift of beans – you’ll be everyone’s best friend! I kid you not. Rancho Gordo is a Napa-based bean company that sources the finest quality heirloom beans from farmers who are committed to sustainable farming and growing beans in the good old-fashioned way. Rancho Gordo founder and cookbook author Steve Sando searches the earth for great sources of beans that he sells from his company based just a few blocks from my office. I am an absolute fan of Rancho Gordo beans and love using them in soups, baked beans, or if I’m REALLY ambitious I’ll tackle Julia Child’s Cassoulet recipe.
I also love to give gifts from another favorite Bay Area culinary marvel: Recchiuti Chocolate. Since 1997 San Francisco-based Michael Recchiuti has been producing some of the most sublime chocolate I’ve ever tasted – and this statement is coming from a complete chocolate snob! I consider myself something of a student of chocolate — I had the pleasure of living in Belgium for 10 years and fell in love with that nation’s famed chocolatiers – it’s competitive there! Recchiuti’s exquisite truffles and single origin chocolate delights compare to the finest Belgian chocolate I know. Recchiuti takes the cake!
3. Wine Accessories: Glassware & Coravin
To please those wine aficionados who have cellars full of wine, consider Gabriel-Glas and Corarvin’s products wine preservation system! The Gold Edition or StandArt “One for All” universal wine glass or a stunning Alpha Decanter makes great gifts that compliment any home bar. Coravin’s wine preservation system, now sold through our shop, is an ideal gift for those who truly savor the wine they drink!