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Gift Guide 2021

November 22, 2021 – It’s time to make the gift list again so here are a few ideas to help in the process.  The world of wine and spirits is a great place to shop as there are options at all price points and a huge variety of choices.  There is any number of familiar brands in every spirit and wine category that make great gifts but we have searched for interesting products that are new or different that will intrigue the recipient.

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We recently came across G’VINE FLORAISON FRENCH GIN that certainly fits the “different” category.  This is a grape based gin, from the Cognac region of France, that includes the addition of grape vine flowers.  The blossoms bloom for just a few days before developing into grapes.  This period is known as Floraison, a French term for flowering used widely by grape growers.  The delicate blooms are harvested immediately, distilled separately then added to the grape spirit along with nine botanicals, also distilled separately, for a final combined distillation.

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G’Vine Gin is fragrant, soft and subtle.  The traditional juniper flavor is muted so that the other botanicals all have a chance to star in a lovely, balanced chorus of flavors.  It is delightful to sip neat or with an ice cube, savoring the sweetness on the middle palate and the long, spicy finish.  Look for the eye-catching bottle with the bright green capsule in independent retailers and some chains.  Cocktail recipes available at G’vine.com SRP $37.00.

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A good bottle of whisky is always appreciated and there’s a wonderful selection of styles, price points and even countries of origin to choose from.

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GLENFIDDICH GRANDE COURONNE is a new release in their Glenfiddich Grande Series.  This 26-year-old single malt is the epitome of opulence.  After maturation at the Glenfiddich Distillery, Grande Couronne has an extended finish in rare French Cognac casks.  The beautiful bottle is presented in an elegant box.  Truly a statement of discernment, Glenfiddich Grande Couronne is available at select liquor stores priced at $600 per bottle. 

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Here’s an unusual pairing that’s the perfect gift for the entertaining season: THE GLENDRONACH DISTILLERY, the historic Highland producer of Single Malt Scotch Whisky, and POINT REYES FARMSTEAD CHEESE CO. the California-based award-winning artisanal creamery, have formed a partnership to bring consumers a unique Scotch and cheese pairing experience available through December 2021.

GlenDronach & Pt. Reye Cheese

Aged in fine sherry casks from Andalucía in Spain, this richly sherried Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky presents smooth vanilla, soft fruits, and a long, nutty finish, for which it is renowned. 

From Point Reyes, the White Cheddar was chosen as the perfect pairing for The GlenDronach 12. Aged for one year, it is complex, creamy-yet-sharp, and has a delicious sweetness that flawlessly complements the rich, sherry sweetness of the whisky.

“Our White Cheddar partners just beautifully with The GlenDronach 12 –it’s an unforgettable pairing and an absolute stunner for any holiday gathering, even if you’re celebrating as a party of two,” said Lynn Giacomini Stray, Co-Owner of Point Reyes Farmstead.

The pairing selection includes The GlenDronach 12 and six ounces of White Cheddar. It is now available at ReserveBar for an SRP of $105 plus shipping*.

*The shipment will arrive as two separate deliveries.  

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Moving from Scotland to the USA but still in the single malt category, ASM WHISKEY is a new American single malt whiskey that is 100% pot distilled, aged for a minimum of three years, and finished in a sherry cask.

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ASM maintains meticulous control over the conditions within the oak of the sherry cask carefully selecting and monitoring the toast and char of the wood to ensure that the flavors are developing perfectly. This results in complexity with nuanced, yet distinctive notes. Suggested retail is $61.99.

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In Melbourne, Australia, STARWARD is producing whiskies that are winning international awards, including here in the United States.  A recent coup is their teaming up with the globally renowned Michelin Guide

in a yearlong partnership in the U.S.  The brand’s ethos is to produce whisky that can be deliciously paired with food.  Starward has three selections:  Two Fold Double Grain SRP $35.00; Nova Single Malt SRP $55.00 and Solera Single Malt SRP $73.00.  Starward products can be found in fine liquor stores.  Check their web site to find a retailer near you.

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There’s Tequila, then there’s DULCE VIDA PINEAPPLE JALAPENO TEQUILA.

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Certified organic and handcrafted from 100% blue agave, this 70-proof tequila is infused and uniquely blended with real pineapple and jalapeño juice to deliver a refreshing and all-natural taste. Trying to watch your weight while you celebrate? With only 66 calories and 2.4 carbohydrates per serving Dulce Vida Pineapple Jalapeño Tequila can be enjoyed as a shot, on the rocks, or a Skinny Pineapple Margarita.  Plus for the environmentally conscious, Dulce Vida recaptures all production waste, yielding a nutrient-rich soil supplement that is circulated throughout the local farming community of San Ignacio Cerro Gordo.  SRP $25.00.

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For a thoughtful, inexpensive gift one of our favorites is the NICKELDIME  COCKTAIL SYRUPS Sample Pack.

NickelDime Sample Pack

Using syrups created by award-winning mixologist Jared Hirsch of Sidebar Restaurant in Oakland, California, anyone can create professional cocktails that will delight the connoisseur and novice alike. Nickel Dime Syrups are made in small batches from all-natural ingredients. They are alcohol free, gluten free and contain about 100 calories per 2 ounce serving, making them a bold, delicious base for cocktails or mocktails.  Sample packs can be ordered from Absinthia.  Delivery is very efficient.  Priced at $29.99 plus shipping.

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Need something affordable for the denizens of neighboring cubicles who will drop homemade candies and cookies on your desk?  A can or two of KONA SPIKED ISLAND SELTZERS will have them all ready to hula. Capturing the essence of Hawaiian flavors in every bubbly sip, Kona Spiked Island Seltzers come in four delicious flavors of Tropical Punch, Starfruit Lime, Strawberry Guava and Passionfruit Orange Guava.

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Made with just three simple ingredients: carbonated filtered water, alcohol from organic cane sugar, and natural flavors. Each can is 5% ABV and only has 100 calories, with zero added sugar. It has two carbs and is gluten-free.  Available nationwide.  Currently, a 12-pack of 12 oz. cans is priced at $16.99 at Target.The Gift Guide is attached.  I’ve been arranging this thing in my head for quite a while but as often happens, when I start to put it on paper, it takes on a life of its own.  It’s weird.

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