By Peg San Felippo
City & Shore Magazine
Wine for Normal People: A Guide for Real People Who Like Wine, But Not the Snobbery That Goes with It by Elizabeth Schneider. Hot off the presses from the creator and host of the award-winning podcast Wine for Normal People, Schneider blends knowledge and humor to take a lot of intimidating factors out of wine. The book covers everything from technical terms and how to make wine to some solid tips on wine shopping. The Q&A sections are especially helpful in explaining key elements in the world of wine. A solid reference for wine enthusiasts at all levels. Barnes & Noble. $23.13. Target $22.49.
Cocktail Codex: Fundamentals, Formulas, Evolutions. The second book from the authors of the best-selling cocktail book Death & Co., Cocktail Codex is a thorough guide for drink-makers at every level. Using a template that includes all cocktails, the philosophy is once you understand the whys and hows of each drink family you’ll know and have a better understanding why certain cocktails work and others won’t. This book is great for a novice to get solid advice on classic cocktails but offers creative ways to modify them. For someone looking to focus on being more creative and “crafty,” Cocktail Codex includes syrup making, cocktail smoking and carbonation. Barnes & Noble $34. Amazon. $23.
Menu Wine Breather Carafe by Norman. If you want to drink a wine you know might be a little young, decanting just got a lot easier. Just press this decanter on top of an open bottle and flip it over so the wine pours into the decanter. This carafe also gives you the option of serving it from the decanter or, once the wine is all poured into the carafe, flipping it back over so the aerated wine goes back into the original bottle so you can see the label. Amazon $49.95.
Woodford Reserve Bourbon. If someone on your gift list only drinks spirits, this palate-pleasing small batch Kentucky bourbon will impress and not break the bank. A Gold Medal winner at the San Francisco Spirits Competition, Woodford’s spicy, toffee and vanilla character bourbon comes from aging in charred-oak barrels. 1.75L, Total Wine, $59.99.
Ethan + Ashe Alkemista Infusion Vessel in copper. Enjoy infused cocktails but not their price? Now with the Alkemista infusion vessel you can transform ordinary alcohol into fabulous cocktails, spirits bitters and shrubs. The all-in-one container and simple directions make it easy for anyone to create a multitude of one-of-a-kind beverages. Amazon.com, $70.
Virginia Philip Holiday Wine Sampler Basket. The Virginia Philip Wine, Spirits & Academy in Palm Beach, has put together a package of four of their best-selling wines from 2019. The basket includes: Savary Chablis 2018, Castello di Radda Guss 2011, Justin Isosceles 2016 and Cantina Colosi Salina Rosso 2015. $225, virginiaphilipwineandspirits.com.
Wine Pairing Dinner for Charity at The Blue at the Boca Raton Resort & Club with winemakers from Bee Hunter Wines, Mendocino, Calif. This promises to be a very special evening that will also benefit a South Florida charity. Your hosts Roberto Columbi, Director of The Blue at the Boca Raton Resort & Club; Alisa Nemo and Andre DuVigneaud, winemakers and owners of Bee Hunter Wine, in Mendocino County; and Shari Gherman, president and co-founder of the American Fine Wine Competition (AFWC), will create a wine-paired dinner for up to 10 people.
The food courses will be created to go with a variety of AFWC award-winning wines, including the Best of Class Pinot Noir selected by owners Nemo and DuVigneaud who’ll talk about the wines and answer questions. Gherman will also donate a basket of acclaimed wines from the 2019 competition, judged last January at FIU in Miami, for guests to take home. A frequent traveler to wineries on both coasts, Gherman will talk about wines and wineries and give suggestions for guests’ next trip to wine country. The purchasers of this event can choose from three charities to support with the purchase price: Deliver The Dream, Extreme Rescue or Think Pink Rocks. The date of the event will be mutually agreed upon by all parties. The price is $3,500, not including gratuity. To purchase this experience, contact Shari Gherman at 561-504-0206.
The Ultimate Gift for Burgundy Lovers
If money is no object and you truly want to make the burgundy lover in your life happy, this will do it. Each year burgundian producer Olivier Bernstein releases 419 seven-pack, limited addition cases showcasing his Grand Cru burgundies. From some of the most sought-after Grand Cru vineyards in Burgundy, Bernstein works mainly with old vines between 60 and 80 years old in Grand Cru plots. This dream line up consists of Chambertin, Clos Vougeot, Charmes-Chambertin, Bonnes-Mares, Chambertin Clos de Beze, Clos de la Roche and Mazis-Chambertin. Each case has a specific number, from one to 419, embedded in its case.
Pack number 200 of the 2016 Olivier Bernstein vintage is available at Wine Wave in Delray Beach. The price is $5,999. They also have a 2017 seven pack arriving this month. The price has not yet been determined.
Peg San Felippo is a certified sommelier who has served as a judge on the annual American Fine Wine Competition, South Florida’s homegrown wine event; and THE Rosé Competition.
PHOTO: Ethan + Ashe Alkemista Infusion Vessel in copper (Courtesy).