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HOLIDAY GIFTS FOR WINOS

(Just in time for you to pass this to your significant other)

Usually, I create a holiday list.  This year is no exception.  However, since I believe I won’t see an increase in my taxes for the next four years, I’m inspired to go to the high end.  Thus, in this post-election euphoria, I’ll include a few items that were recommended in Forbes’ FYI magazine.

The Rare Wine Company (www.rarewineco.com) features rare wine (and we’re not talking Boone’s Farm).  However, this year, they are also offering antique crystal decanters beginning at $500 and going up.  If you’ve got the coin (and Wino John does), you can spring for one of these.  (Editor's note: Unfortunately, The Wife has access to my coin, rendering me somewhat light in the coin department.)

eRobertParker.com (www.erobertparker.com) is a great subscription gift for your wino buddy.  All of Parker’s reviews, great links (like to winostuff.com), and his tasting notes are available to the web subscriber.  Additionally, you can download his Parker in Your Palm ratings software so that those of you with Palm Pilots can use Parker’s ratings to impress that very important client (WB, take heed, it’s only $30 if you subscribe to eRobertParker.com).

The Bounty Hunter (www.bountyhunterwine.com) is a great site to visit for some decent wine buys and other items (just be prepared for the followup emails that show up every now and then).  Forbes recommends the Twelve Bottle Wine Kaddy that they sell.  It’s a little pricey ($350), but it’s lightweight at 15 pounds, comes with built-in wheels and a removable handle so it’s easy to transport that magic 12 bottle assortment that you carry around to impress the boss (hmmm, maybe I should write a career advisory book).

Riedel (www.riedel.com) makes excellent wine glasses.  They pioneered the shaping of the glass for the varietal that you’re tasting (I love those big ass Burgundy glasses).  Anyway, this year, they’re introducing the “O” series of glasses where they’ve taken the radical step of eliminating the stem from the glass.  This way, you can sip your wine while your boss is sipping his Manhattan or Dewars on the rocks (notice that career advisory piece slipping in here again).  Anyway, at $10 to $12.50 apiece, the “O” series is substantially cheaper than the stuff with stems.  You might even be able to fit these in your dishwasher.

Lastly, although it’s not a wine-oriented gift, I thought that it might be a nice gesture if my brother in law, Wino John, considered a techno gift for the Wino Wally household this year.  I strongly recommend the InFocus ScreenPlay 777.  This baby can project 15 feet wide and accommodates HDTV, DVD, Xbox, etc.  With a resolution of 1280 x 720 and 2,000 lumens, it’s the rage (and it’s only $30,000).  (Editor's note:  See previous comment regarding my current coin situation...)

When you’re working in a world where your place of business is “business casual” and folks you sometimes work with are “business suits”, you have to have two wardrobes.  With two wardrobes, you have to have casual shoes and dress shoes.  At the WW estate, the Lady of the Manor has the BIG closet in the MB.  So, I used to have my multiple shoes all over the place until, I bought the Cedar Shoe Stacker from Frontgate (www.frontgate.com).  For $34 each, or a set of 3 for $89, you can stack four pairs of men’s shoes to a level (supposedly, you can get five pairs of women’s shoes to a level, but since someone we know has the bigger closet, she doesn’t need these).

As long as we’re looking into closets, for the Wino or Winette who has everything, go to www.hangers.com.  Yes, that’s Hangers.com.  I thought a buddy of mine was joking when he said there was a website with that name.  I even thought it might be a strip joint site and I’d get censored by the blockers at work.  Nope.  Not the case.  It is what it says.  Hangers.com sells wooden hangers in multiple finishes, colors, etc., and offers monogrammed hangers (this would fit in nicely at the WJ estate where he recently moved his wine collection out of his MB closet).

If you’re a golfer as well as Wino or Winette, you probably know that Club Glove (www.clubglove.com)  makes the best travel bags for your clubs.  Now, they also make the Rolling Duffle II ($219) which is constructed from the same material as the club travel bag and is just as durable.  It will hold enough duds for a weeklong trip.

If you’re a sports nut and occasionally like to take pictures at those events, check out Bushnell’s Instant Replay (www.bushnell.com ).  The maker of high end binoculars claims that this tech tool is the first binocular, digital camera, and video-capturing device; all-in-one.  It comes with a 16MB compact flash card (you can buy upgrades at my favorite memory place, www.pny.com) and retails for $599 (Frontgate sells it for $429).

I could have used this other item on my recent golf trip to Ireland.  Marketed by Frontgate’s Gentlemen’s Domain (www.gentlemensdomain.com), it’s a Stormproof Lighter that produces a flame in rain and winds up to 200 mph (which means it might just work for that stogey on Lahinch in 50 mph wind with driving rain moving horizontal).  $55 is the asking price and it even includes an LED flashlight on the bottom.

 If you’re into espresso, you have to have the Magnifica by De’Longhi.  This is probably the finest non-professional model on the market.  It grinds your beans for the ultimate in freshness while allowing single button controls to simplify the process.  For the location of your nearest dealer, go to www.delonghi-espresso.com.

If you don’t have a wife whose hobby is buying baskets and handing them out like water to friends and family (Wino John’s wife is DQ’d since she’s a professional at this basket game and solicited my wife into the habit, something slightly worse than heroin), then you should check out Wine Country Gift Baskets at www.winecountrygiftbaskets.com.  If you live in a state that allows the shipment of wine, great.  If you don’t, no need to worry, they have baskets with gourmet items such as Godiva chocolates, Ghiradelli chocolates, Mauna Loa macadamia nuts, Tazo teas, etc.  If you’re looking to impress someone, send them the V.I.P.  At $150, it’s impressive and does NOT include wine.

Wino Wally
Baltimore, MD
November 4, 2004


 

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