Last Minute Beverage Gifts

by Kevin Cahoon, Tastemaker in Residence

Keeping in mind that any holiday can be a little hectic, here are a couple of wine tips that might help ease your stress.

Enjoy a glass of Champagne. It’s fun, festive and a perfect foil with all sorts of food. Seeing bubbles in a glass always makes me smile. Prosecco and Cava are delightful, but splurge and treat yourself to the real thing. The Non Vintage Taittinger Brut La Francaise is wonderful and readily available.

Quality wine stems make an amazing difference in the way wine tastes. Both Schott Zweisel and Riedel make wonderful wine glasses that will showcase that special bottle. 

If your stems have been languishing in a kitchen cabinet, rinse them with hot water and let them air dry. It will get rid of all the off aromas that accumulate while the stems are stored. Your taste buds will thank you.

If you are enjoying a rib roast for your holiday dinner, enjoy it with a big, intense, juicy Cabernet form Napa Valley. I am partial the Crossbarn by Paul Hobbs. It sings with all the best qualities of Napa Cab at a reasonable price.


If you want to be a little more adventurous, a gusty, hedonistic Chateauneuf du Pape will sing with that rib roast. Look for wines from 2009 and 2010, as they are stellar vintages. The wines from Domaine de Beaurenard or Font de Michelle are wonderful options.

Old vine Grenache vines that are the soul of great Chateauneuf.

A terrific, last minute gift for the wine aficionado who has everything is the Durand corkscrew. It does an amazing job extracting even the most stubborn corks.