Wine of the Week
A Few Nice Host Gifts for 2011
The Pulltap Waiter's Corkscrew is $8 and is the single greatest piece of wine design in the last 20 years. It starts with a sharp, never-to-dull serrated knife. The worm (the part that penetrates the cork) is coated with slick Teflon to help get into those wine bottles with tight corks. The most important piece of the design is the two-part, hinged lever, which allows you to keep a straight angle as you pull, preventing broken corks. It even has indentations to keep your fingers comfy while you are pulling the cork. There are dozens of knockoffs, but not all are cheaper, and why not reward the inventor and buy the real thing? During the holidays, I hand these things out like candy to friends. How many times can you give something that is the best in the world for less than $10?
Schott Zwiesel Tritan Pure Stemware collection runs about $15 a stem and gives 95% of the quality of $100 glasses. I choose this glassware principally because its titanium glass is a little sturdier. These glasses are the perfect size to allow oxygen to get to the wine, plus they make swirling less messy. The Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet glasses from the Pure series have a 160-degree angle at the bottom quarter of the glass that both helps with portion control and allows a vigorous swirl. Both the Spiegelau Authentis and the Reidel Ouverture are nice wine glasses, as well.
A bottle of great Champagne. Wine as a gift should be special, so it's worth spending a little bit of hard-earned cash here. 'Tis the season for sparklers, so Champagne is the perfect choice. Here are three great choices in different price ranges. • If you're like Winston Churchill, you'll love drinking a bottle of Pol Roger ($35) before lunch every morning. For the rest of us, a bottle allows us to understand why Churchill called Pol Roger's place "the most delightful address in the world." • If I had Churchill's money and constitution, I'd make Bollinger Special Cuvée ($60) my breakfast of champions. Your hosts will appreciate its toasty, yeasty aromas. • For those of you who are still riding high-paying jobs (congratulations), it's almost impossible to beat a bottle of Taittinger Brut Rosé Comtes de Champagne ($200). Even Churchill would be impressed.
Sign up for the Chronicle Cooking newsletter
If you want to submit a recipe, send it to email@example.com