Great Gift Ideas for the Wino/Foodie on your Holiday List

Holiday gift guide 2011: For the oenophile

Vita.MN Article:  November 24, 2011

By Christy DeSmith, photo by Tom Sweeney

Forged in the crucibles of the West Coast wine industry, sommelier and event planner Leslee Miller recently returned to her native Midwest to launch Amusée, a wine consulting and events firm. Check out her plum wish list, filled with ideas for the foodies and winos on every shopping list.

1. GoVino Glassware 

Check it out — these good-looking glasses are shatterproof and reusable, plus they don’t mess with the taste of your wine (unlike the ubiquitous red Solo cup). Says Miller, “They’re great for on-the-go wine drinking!” (available at Byerly’s Wine Shops, www.lundsandbyerlys.com • $11.99)

2. “What to Drink With What You Eat” by Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page

The definitive guide to pairing food with wine, beer, spirits and even coffee and tea, this 2006 book is the staple of any bon vivant’s library. “I give it a zillion times a year as a gift — people go crazy for it!” says Miller. (available at Cooks of Crocus Hill, www.cooksofcrocushill.com • $35)

3. Cheese Deluxe Basket

Miller adores the selection of foodstuffs at France 44, which emphasizes small-batch farmers and food producers from around the world. “This basket comes with a whole slew of cheeses, chocolates, biscuits, crackers, even a cheese board and cheese knife,” says Miller. (available at France 44, 4351 France Av. S., Mpls. • www.france44.com • $114.99)

4. The “Swirl” Decanter by Riedel

“Who doesn’t want a brand-new decanter for the holidays?” asks Leslee. This vaguely psychedelic, vaguely laboratory-inspired style is definitely cool. Considering it’s from luxury producer Riedel, the price isn’t bad, either. (www.riedel.com • $44.99)

5. Vinturi Wine Aerator

Give the gift that helps sippers enjoy better reds. “This gadget is great for decanting wine one glass at a time,” says Miller. (available at Pairings Wine Market, 6001 Shady Oak Rd., Minnetonka • www.pairingsfoodandwine.com • $30)

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