Its almost the week before Christmas 2017, Hanukkah starts in a couple of days, Secret Santa’s, stocking stuffers, it is the season for little gifts. Well, I went to a few of my favorite gift haunts and everyone had wine related gifts on the shelves. Below are a selection of what I found, in case you are in need of some last minute gift ideas. The stores I went to were: Mangel Florist at the Drake Hotel (feels like a Alsatian Christmas store and you can check out the toy train set filled with gingerbread houses in the lobby of the Drake), the MCA Chicago Store (Contemporary, sleek, everything a bit on the expensive side but you can stop in Marisol and get a cocktail at the same time) Eataly Chicago (nothing like shopping with a glass of bubbles in your hand) Blick Art Store on State Street (Blick has a zillion goofy, creative, whimsical items on the first floor right before the checkout line) Paper Source on Chicago Ave. (always has cute little items and great cards) and the new Perman Wine Store on Howe and Division (the headquarters for all things grower champagne in Chicago, has a shelf full of great gift ideas) Most everything was $20 or under that I found.
On the serious side:
The little, compact Jancis Robinson The 24-Hour Wine Expert is list $12.95 and for those who remember Cliffs Notes, this book is the executive summary of the WSET course basically. I could go on and on about this little book. For those that have the wine nerd bug, books can get very expensive, very long and very detailed, even the classic Wine Bible by Karen McNeil is still quite a tome to dig into. The T24HWE is good for anyone at any level, it is just a handy dandy book full of short lists and did I say it is $12.95. It was on Eatalys shelf along with other pricier good book ideas and even Mangel’s Florist had it in their wine section.
Staying on the book category
In the back of the beautiful new Perman Wine Store on Howe is a shelf of wine and spirit related books, like the recent massive Champagne book by Peter Liem, the Tiki Cocktail book Smuggler’s Cove, and local food books like The Adventure of Fat Rice by Abe Conlon, Adrienne Lo and Hugh Amano. So if you are short on delivery time from Amazon, or just like shopping local, Perman has some of those classic wine and food books at the new store.
Now onto silly and not so silly gifts:
Wine Charms, Glass Markers
Paper Source had chandelier glass markers and the MCA had a bit on the expensive side but understated on the glass, colored felt markers. Most everything at the MCA had a modernist, contemporary, angular look to it as you would expect from the MCA.
Paper Source had the always a crowd pleaser, “Drinking Buddies” drink markers and Blick Art store had the wine guard.
Mangel’s Florist had both the chirper and these cute Santa’s to go on top of a wine bottle. The MCA was featuring the chirper in their most recent newsletter to members. I had the gal at Mangel’s try it out for me, and the chirp was kind of meh. But perhaps, with the force of wine coming out of the bottle, the chirp will be louder.
Glasses and Goofy Glassware
Found a portable wine glass, at of all places, Blick Art Store. The hee hee “wine” coffee mug was on the shelf at Paper Source.
Paper Source had the best of glass and the MCA had this rainbow colored much bigger than it looks glass that fits a bottle of wine in the glass.
For me, these “corkers” were on the “weirder side of life” gift. Need an idea for old corks? The MCA store was selling corkers. Maybe I am missing the joke or a link or something.
Mangel’s Florist had some unique wine items on their shelves including this “Vinrella“. I bought one to give as a gift and when I went back for another they were already sold out but you can probably find it online. The umbrella was great quality. This wine bag at Paper Source has cities from the greater Champagne region in France.
Perman had some wine tee shirts on his back shelf as well like this “Roots Run Deep” and if you don’t find anything, his wine and spirit shelves are now fully stocked for holiday gift buying and drinking. If all else fails, whitty old school cocktail napkins always lift the holiday spirits and Mangels yet again had a slew of them and so did Paper Source. Good luck shopping, drink up and…..