As we get set to celebrate Mother’s Day, the following gift ideas are especially nice for wine lovers— sure to bring a smile and may be enjoyed all year. All of us at Montesquieu Winery wish mothers everywhere a most Happy Mother’s Day!
Unique wine accessories make festive gifts. Some fun ideas include flower wine glass charms, wine bottle stoppers or bottle bags or totes, all which may be used throughout the year. Present with a bottle (or more!) of mom’s favorite wine for a lovely and delicious presentation. Candle holders (like the one pictured below) designed to fit the neck of a wine bottle are a fun way to remember a special bottle—just insert, add a candle and voila! For handmade bottle bags and totes see Etsy, and for more artsy wine charms see 47 Gems.
Cork craft kits are nice gifts for the mom who loves DIY projects. Those corks she has been saving will look great in a trivet, coasters, bulletin board or even a Lazy Susan. For an easy coaster kit with four different colors – honey, merlot, cordovan, ebony – check out the Wooden Bee. A heart shaped trivet, which can double as a small bulletin board, and a handy Lazy Susan are available through The Wine Enthusiast. For the elegant trivets pictured below, plus more upcycled designs visit A-Rae.
Gourmet goodies made with wine are a well-deserved treat. There are jams, jellies, syrup and chocolates—all made more tantalizing with various wines. Chocolate sauce made with Cabernet Sauvignon, Port or Amaretto; Champagne, Zinfandel, or pomegrante Merlot vinegar; Chardonnay orange marmalade, Cabernet or Merlot jelly; or chocolate truffles infused with Port or Cabernet to name a few! The vinegars add depth to dressings, glazes, reduction sauces and for deglazing, and the sauces can be used drizzled over fruit, cheesecake or ice cream.
For various brands on one website see Napa Valley Products and for wine truffles from Napa Valley visit Anette’s Chocolates by Brent (including the Chocolate Merlot Sauce pictured here and the Brandy chocolates below). Also try your local boutique stores that carry gourmet specialty items.
A great cookbook is a pleasure for wine lovers who love to create in the kitchen, and provides inspiration for wonderful pairings. The following have deep ties to the wine country, enjoy!
Mustards Grill Napa Valley Cookbook. This James Beard award winning cookbook has sumptuous images by Saveur photographer Laurie Smith and is by Chef-owner Cindy Pawlcyn, founding chef of San Francisco’s original Fog City Diner. She also has opened Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen and Go Fish/Brassica, both in St. Helena.
Plats du Jour the girl & the fig Journey Through Seasons in Wine Country by Sondra Bernstein, restaurateur behind the Bay Area’s popular “the girl & the fig” restaurants. Sophisticated yet straightforward recipes featuring fresh, seasonal ingredients and a French country flair. Her first cookbook the girl & the fig cookbook has more than one hundred recipes from her acclaimed Sonoma restaurant. You can find signed or ebook versions here.
Bouchon for tantalizing bistro cuisine and Ad Hoc, for traditional yet fabulous American comfort food, both by the one and only Thomas Keller of the French Laundry which is a Michelin 3 Star that some consider to be America’s finest restaurant. Bouchon and Ad Hoc are more casual and less intimidating than the French Laundry cook book and are a feast for all the senses!
Bottega: Bold Italian Flavors from the Heart of California’s Wine Country and The Tra Vigne Cookbook, are both full of flavorful, soulful Italian recipes by Michael Chiarello. Not only are the recipes approachable for any home cook, there are insights from behind the scenes in these restaurants as well as reflections on living in the Napa Valley and from Michael’s upbringing. You will find signed copies of both here.
Home Cooking with Jean-Georges: My Favorite Simple Recipes. What a treat, from one of the world’s greatest chefs, featuring Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s favorite casual recipes. These quick, seasonal, family favorites give readers a personal peek into life at his weekend country home in Waccabuc, New York.