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In December, we drink Champagne at closing at K&L- and we prefer to drink it out of magnum when possible. The highlight this year was the Ariston Aspasie Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne (1.5L) magnum ($74.99) that we had on Christmas eve. This single vineyard beauty comes from the Gouttes d’Or, a very steep east facing parcel in the little village of Brouillet. It was creamy, delicate and perfectly refreshing! We all say to cheers to you, and hope your holiday is filled with fun and friends!

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Monday
Nov292010

Hanukkah Gifts for the Wine Lover

Holiday shopping is rarely easy, especially when you throw Hanukkah into the mix. Last year, it seemed the Festival of Lights came hot on the tail of Thanksgiving. But this year, it's so close to Turkey Day that you could have practically browned the bird over a Menorah flame. So without further ado (seriously, there are only two shopping days before the first candle gets lit), here are some of our Hanukkah gift picks for your favorite wine lover:

Glassware: Wine, of course, is the best gift for your favorite wine lover, but recommending buying wine is as obvious as suggesting an umbrella on a rainy day. That said, the right glassware can improve the everyday drinking experience. More than just a vessel, the size and shape of a glass can enhance or accentuate different characteristics in different wines. Riedel is, perhaps, the best known wine glass maker here in the US, and they have an incredibly diverse portfolio of glasses for every varietal and aesthetic. I'm also a big fan of the Schott Zwiesel lines, which are fortified with titanium instead of lead, making them a great bargain for style and durability. We also recently started carrying the lead-free, mouthblown glasses from Zalto of Austria. These glasses are elegant and lightweight, the angles based on the tilt angles of the earth and believed by the Romans to maintain freshness and improve taste.

Wine Clubs: Hannukah might be eight nights, but a subscription to a K&L Wine Club is a gift that can keep giving. Know someone just getting into wine? Try the Best Buy Club. An Italophile? Try the Italian Wine Club. Champagne? Red Wine? Premium wines? We've got you covered. And if your favorite wine lover has made their particular tastes abundantly clear ("I only drink Pinot." "I'm a Rhone slut." try the Personal Sommelier Service and set the price, number of bottles, regions and varietals.

Is your favorite wine lover a little impatient? The Vinturi "Aerator" ($35.99) is a time machine for wine, quicker than a decanter and definitely faster than stuffing wine into the cellar to age. Perfect for unwinding young, tannic wines that are hard to stay away from, and a quick way to smooth the edges on some of our favorite, affordable Bordeaux.

If the Vinturi is the perfect gift for the wine lover in search ofinstant gratification, the Durand Corkscrew ($124.99) is what you should buy for the person who's stocked their cellar and sat on wines like they were the goose with the golden egg. Even perfectly stored, old wine corks can be unbelievably stubborn. The Durand is a handmade wine opener that combines an Ah-So opener and a worm to gently remove a fragile cork from the bottle rather than sending it for a swim.

For more gift ideas, check out K&L's Holiday Gift Guide, which should be arriving in-home any day now, search our site or call toll free 877-KLWINES. Happy Hanukkah!

Leah Greenstein