Blog: Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas Is Coming

We understand it's really hard to choose a wine for Christmas. In fact, it takes us so long each year to decide what to drink for the holidays, we're left with very little time to actually think about anything else. Especially what to buy our loved ones.

So this year, we've rounded up a few ideas.


First up is the Skil iXO Vivo. Of every way to possibly open a bottle of wine, this power corkscrew is perhaps the most masculine I've ever seen. And it's the second most fun!

Skil Wine Opener

The most fun is, of course, a saber, but that's not very practical. And you never know when you'll accidentally cut someone's head off! So if you're looking for a fun way to open wines, or you just need a high quality electric screwdriver, buy this.

Now, if for some reason you're a luddite who's resistant to the idea of a powertool to open wines we recommend the Screwpull Pocket Corkscrew.

Screwpull Pocket Corkscrew

We've been using the Screwpull for the past few years. It works extremely well. Admittedly, it's a little fragile. We broke ours once, but Le Creuset was nice enough to replace it. And the knife for removing the foil is a bit awkward to use.

It opens wines better than any other non-electric corkscrew we've ever used, so it earns our highest recommendation.


My new obsession this year is honey! I was very excited when I got to eat at the wonderful King Estate restaurant and saw they made their own honey. Unfortunately they were out of honey for the year. But I was told they'd have it again in time for Christmas!

But alas, honey bees everywhere are having a hard time. Therefore King Estate has no honey this year.

But they do have jams! Both Raspberry and Blueberry Pinot Noir Jams. Yummy!


We have three books to recommend this year.

The Emperor of WineWines of the Southern HemisphereThe One Minute Wine Master

My favorite recent wine read is The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy.

It covers the rise and impact of the most influential critic, Robert Parker. What makes it so fascinating is that Parker is not just the most influential wine critic, he's the most influential critic in any industry ever. His palate and judgments have, for better or worse, changed everything about the wine industry.

The book first came out in 2005, but if anything it's more relevant now. It's impossible to understand the modern wine world without understanding Robert Parker. It's a fascinating read even if you don't like wine.

If you're looking for a book for the total wine geek (and nothing, at least in our opinion, is cooler than being a wine geek...except maybe a handlebar mustache), look no further than the encyclopedic Wines of the Southern Hemisphere. It's a great guide for finding out about the wines and wineries of South America, New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa.

Our last recommendation is a book to give to any beginner interested in learning about wine, The One Minute Wine Master. It's a cross between a Cosmopolitan quiz and a for-dummies style book. If the person you're giving this book to likes both of those things, it will be a perfect gift.

A special thanks to Skil Tools and Sterling Epicure for review samples.

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One comment

Dare2Wine wrote (eight years ago)

I like the new corkscrews, some are very ingenious, one type I use often is the rabbit!

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