Every year I put out a sort of “Eve Picks” for your holiday shopping – well, every year that I remember to do it – as in my own quest for the unique, year after year, I come across a few winners. This is what made my 2016 list:
CapaBunga Service and Storage for Wine and Cheese: Winemaker Michel Ayer, of Workman Ayer (one of my fave wineries in the Central Coast) said to try anything made by husband and wife Maire Murphy and Walt Averill. I looked into their site based on his recommendation and saw these neat protective and pretty “cheese vaults” for your artisan delicacies, the full line-up of their CapaBunga wine bottle sealers and a new way to identify wine glasses.
Lee’s Wine Bistro: Has the largest local selection of cellared vintage wine for sale.
Ma Maison: Home furnishings for your bar and table take a unique turn at Ma Maison with items I haven’t seen over and over again elsewhere. I’ve bought bar towels, trinkets and the absolutely grandest portable vintage inspired bar: The Madison Table Top Bar that my husband loves showing off. Even better: You can get shopping done here for those dreaded people on your list that don’t imbibe. I also contacted store owner Denise Meyers to find out what was new and she said they have a “great new line called Trixie and Milo. Very cool vintage art look flasks, beer sleeves, wooden trays, cocktail shakers and portable shot glasses. This is a great gift item for Hipsters and the Well seasoned.”
Kym’s Kreations: I’m all in for my friend Kym Cappi’s “Uncorked Kreations”. I’ve got the cork necklace with earrings to match, a framed “Press for wine” wooden plaque and my eye on her personalized barrel staves.
12 Bottle Bar Book: So many reasons to buy this book, for me it was that I knew the local authors, David and Lesley Solmonson, the recipes were pretty easy but extremely unique, and after trying out The Buck Bar for guests its become an oft-requested party pleaser. Here is my review.
Wine 661: Shop owner Tanya Green has always offered a whopping 25% discount for all bottles purchased to take home. She also has plenty of wine themed items to go along with said bottles. I end up getting at least one thing for me and one for a pal.
Valencia Wine Company: Besides ready-to-go chilled still and sparkling wines, and vintage wines, this time of year you can also find the perfect decorative cases to hold them. Check it out.
Cocktail Kingdom: Turned onto this website by Bar Toscana mixologist William Perbellini during a cocktail class, I have purchased my share of killer bar tools from this site. Currently getting my attention are their 3 ounce to 6 ounce coupe glasses for my favorite Manhattan, as well as other vintage-inspired glassware and the “detailed craftsmanship” in their reserve collection.
Wine of the Month Club: Baskets galore in every possible theme, my favorite is for the chocolate lovers as well as some very cool accessories, wines, and, of course, wine club memberships you can buy as a gift.
And my biggest new find this year is a website called Chris’s Stuff that wine friend Kathie Weitzman turned me on to. She had this cute little black purse that had a rhinestone covered wine glass closure. I ordered mine (it’s now sold out!) then couldn’t resist dangling white wine earrings, cocktail napkins and a wine-themed blank card set. Lots more items like nostalgic aprons, coasters, towels, clothing, wine bags, kitchen gadgets all more reasonably priced than I’ve seen before.
Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust, a “certification in first globally-recognized course” as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video, authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits. You can also seek her marketing advice via Eve@EveBushmanConsulting.com