On Wine: Gifts That Keep On Giving


’Tis the season to treat all the wine lovers on your list to something special. Here are some winey finds they’ll love to unwrap.

Chic Bottle Carrier
This hardworking leather wine tote is hand-sewn and has room for four bottles, $135. (gumps.com)

Wine-Infused Soaps
These fragrant bar soaps from Napa Soap Company include a healthy dollop of wine; choose from Cabernet Soapignon, Soapignon Blanc and other whimsical formulations, $8 each. (Taylor’s Art & Soul, 114 K St., Old Sacramento; 916-444-0055; taylorsartandsoul.com)

Windows on the World Complete Wine Course: 2008 Edition by Kevin Zraly
Matt Parker, wine buyer for 58 Degrees & Holding Co., loves this big, glossy hardcover because it “covers all the basics, and more,” $25. (58 Degrees & Holding Co., 1217 18th St., Sacramento; 916-442-5858; 58degrees.com)

Glacier Stainless Wine Goblet
These stainless steel goblets, from an online retailer of environmentally friendly boating supplies, are perfect for poolside parties, $7 each. (greenboatstuff.com)

Wine-Powered Cheeses
As my winemaker friends say, it takes a lot of beer to make wine. As local cheese expert Lori Friedli says, sometimes it takes a lot of wine to make cheese. These two were washed in wine as they aged: Cowgirl Creamery’s Pierce Point, bathed in Muscat and rolled in dried herbs, $31 a pound, and Ubriaco Briscole al Barbera, barrel-aged with the skins of the Barbera wine grape, $25 a pound. (Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op, 1900 Alhambra Blvd., Sacramento; 916-736-6800; sacfoodcoop.com)

Titanium-Powered Stemware
This is my favorite equal-opportunity glass for both reds and whites: Forte Tritan Crystal Red Wine Glass from Schott Zwiesel. Made with titanium, it’s deliciously thin-lipped yet dishwasher-safe, $59.50 for a set of six. (Sur La Table, Fountains at Roseville, 1198 Roseville Parkway, Roseville; 916-788-0603; surlatable.com)

Wine Poetry Magnet Set
When it comes to refrigerator haiku, this kit gives wine lovers just the right words to wax poetic, $10. (Taylor’s Art & Soul, 114 K St., Old Sacramento; 916-444-0055; taylorsartandsoul.com)

Millefiori Glass Wine Bottle Stoppers
These mesmerizing bottle stoppers provide a colorful incentive to put a cork in it. Like wine, and friends, each one is unique, $14. (Collected Works, 4524 Freeport Blvd., Sacramento; 916-737-8188; collectedworksgifts.com)

Wine Barrel Lazy Susan
This revolving tray, crafted from a retired wine cask, can serve as a cheese board or appetizer delivery system, $99. (stacksandstacks.com)

Elaine’s Pick of the Month

2007 Morgan Chardonnay Metallico Monterey County ($17.99, Beverages & More)—There’ll be plenty of crab at our house on Christmas Eve, and this unoaked Chardonnay is just the stuff for it. Harmonious and refreshing, from the melon/pear nose to the long finish.

Bell Ringers in the Gran Chai—How many bells does it take to ring in the holiday season? The more the merrier! Fourteen bell
ringers will perform in the peaceful wine-aging room of Lodi’s Lucas Winery, the Gran Chai, on Saturday, Dec. 6 and Saturday, Dec. 13 from 1 to 4 p.m. Lucas wines no doubt will make spirits bright. Admission is free. (18196 N. Davis Road, Lodi; 209-368-2006; lucaswinery.com)