By Peg San Felippo
City & Shore Magazine
Keep it covered
Nothing ruins a nice glass of wine outdoors quicker than finding an insect or debris floating in it. Enter Drink Tops ventilated silicone wine glass covers. The built-in screen keeps unwanted substances out while allowing the wine to breathe; and because it’s weighted, it stays in place even when it’s breezy. In a pinch, you can even use them as coasters. 4 pack $19.95, Amazon.com.
Sip and tell
If you have friends who like wine and want to learn as they drink, here’s a great way to do both. Sommify is a board game that takes you through the fundamentals of blind tasting wines using deductive reasoning. Each game consists of up to six different types of wines (sorry, not included) and questions on game cards help to decipher the varieties. $49.99, sommify.com.
Design you own gin
For any gin enthusiasts in your life, South Florida Distiller’s Inc. offers a couple of custom gift options. One is a two-hour class where participants use what they learn about botanicals to create their own gin flavor. The blend then goes through the distilling process before its bottled, labeled and ready to be taken home. (The Distillery is happy to keep your personal recipe on file for future bottlings.) Private labeling and blending also is available in small and large quantities. The class is from $150-$550, depending on the group size and number of bottles made. Private labeling quotes available upon request. South Florida Distiller’s Inc., 1110 NE Eighth Ave., Fort Lauderdale, southfloridadistillers.com.
Around the world with Cabernets
South Florida’s newest wine shop, 305 Wines, is offering a seated private tasting for Cabernet Sauvignon lovers. You and seven guests will have a chance to taste these six iconic wines from around the world: Don Melchor (Chile), Cape Mentelle (Australia), Cain Five (Napa Valley), Château Pichon Baron (Bordeaux), Col D’Orcia Cabernet Sauvignon (Tuscany, Italy) and De Toren Fusion V, Stellenbosch (South Africa). Alessandra Esteves, a Diplomate in Wines and Spirits, will guide the tasting at the store. The price for the tasting is $1,600 for all eight guests, and includes wines, education, service, water, cheese and charcuterie. 305 Wines, 15904 SW 92nd Ave., Palmetto Bay, 305-842-6769, 305wines.com.
What could be better than biking through Burgundy, stopping at epic wineries along the way? Having a Master Sommelier with you, to guide the way. Riders on Duvine’s “Burgundy Sommelier on Wheels Bike Tour” average 18-25 miles per day through the Burgundian countryside, stopping by Puligny-Montrachet, Chassagne-Montrachet, Aloxe-Corton and Gevrey-Chambertin. The four-day, three-night excursion includes meals, lodging, biking gear and bilingual guides. Prices from $4,195 per person, Duvine.com.
The no-stress holiday gift
If you’re out of ideas or time to shop, your go-to should be champagne or sparkling wine. You can find quality at every price point and it’s always a welcome gift that won’t go to waste. Here’s a selection that won’t disappoint: Voirin-Jumel Champagne NV Blanc De Blanc Brut, 1er Cru, $42.99; Chartogne-Taillet Champagne NV Sainte Anne Brut, $57.99; Annamaria Clementi Ca’ Del Bosco 2011 Franciacorta, $105; Drappier Champagne 2010 Grande Sendrée Brut, $139.99. Virginia Philip Wine Spirits & Academy, 340 Royal Poinciana Way Plaza, #320, Palm Beach, 561-557-4202, Virginiaphilipwineandspirits.com.
Peg San Felippo is a certified sommelier who has served as a judge in the annual American Fine Wine Competition, South Florida’s homegrown wine event, and THE Rosé Competition.
All photos courtesy