Handpicked: 16 Expert-Approved Food and Wine Gifts You Won’t Find Just Anywhere
Gourmands are some of the easiest people to find gifts for, especially during the indulgent holiday season, when a variety of gourmet gifts appear everywhere from department stores to grocery stores. But what do you gift your discerning foodie friends and family who have everything from the latest and greatest serveware to the buzziest new ingredients?
We’ve asked epicurean experts to weigh in and curated 16 unique gourmet gifts that will excite their appetites and convey that they’re more special to you than just a bottle of good olive oil or a dime-a-dozen cheese board.
Best Foodie Gifts
Pappy Bourbon Balls
Scoring a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle during the holiday season—a unicorn among whiskeys—may prove difficult, or at least cost-prohibitive, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a little Pappy into the stocking of your favorite whiskey lover this season. Enter Pappy Bourbon Balls, boozy chocolate confections that are spiked with Old Rip Van Winkle 10 Year Bourbon. “The sweet corn, vanilla, oak, and caramel complexity of the bourbon pairs beautifully with the earthy and bittersweet notes that come through in the chocolate,” says William Dissen, Executive Chef and Owner of The Market Place in Asheville, NC, and Author of “Thoughtful Cooking: Recipes Rooted in the New South.” Take it from a Southern chef, these Pappy Bourbon Balls are destined to become a favorite for this and subsequent holidays
Wine Enthusiast x iGourmet Grand Charcuterie and Cheese Collection
What to get your fromage fanatic or charcuterie champion who already has a variety of beautiful boards for serving? An all-in-one assortment that makes it easy to fill up those boards, of course. This exclusive Wine Enthusiast x iGourmet kit includes expertly curated meats, cheeses, and a variety of accoutrements to inspire the highest level charcuterie board design, while hitting all the right notes of flavor and texture. “This is truly an exceptional representation of a great charcuterie and cheese board,” says Dominick DiBartolomeo, Owner of The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills. “I love having contrasting and complementing flavors and textures, as what happens here with a variety of crackers and accompaniments. That’s what the experience is all about.”
Savannah Bee Gourmet Honey Gift Sets
True culinary enthusiasts know that not all honey is created equal, and, like wine, honey can express a sense `of place through the hive’s source “Just like different types of vinegar offer various flavor profiles and enhance dishes in special ways, a variety of honey types can perform the same culinary magic,” says Adesuwa Elaiho, CEO and Executive Chef at San Antonio’s Asukar. Savannah Bee honey gifts offer a variety of unique flavors your favorite foodies will love to indulge in.
Savannnah Bee Book for Honey for a Good and Sweet Year Gift Set
Set the tone for a sweet 2024 with an assortment of Savannah Bee honeys, packaged in a charming bound, storybook style box. The set includes Acacia, Lavender, and extra-special Tupelo honey to support a variety of recipes—or just to enjoy as a topping. “Match a honey’s flavor profile to the recipe you’re working on , and you’ve just added the perfect touch of sweetness,” says Asukar.
Savannah Bee Hot Box Gift Set
A great gourmet gift for the spiciest gourmands in your life, this fiery set includes not only Savanah Bee’s hot honey, but honey hot sauce, as well as hot honey fire sticks for snacking. “I always recommend having hot honey on hand if you’re a home mixologist, or anyone who likes to impress their guests when serving cocktails or unique dishes,” says Jim Kearns, Director of Beverage at Arizona Biltmore—a Waldorf Astoria Resort.
Best Serveware Gifts
Personalized Reclaimed Barrel Pizza Board with Pizza Wheel and Spatula
We all have that one friend or family member whose whole being is best summarized by the word “pizza. “Attractive and practical, reclaimed oak barrels provide the source material for a personalized pizza board that makes for the easiest and cleanest cuts. Slicing guidelines and an accompanying pizza slicer make it even easier. Plus, personalization turns a good gift into something heirloom-worthy. “Receiving a personalized gift always brings a big smile to anyone’s face,” says Erica Key, Atlanta-based Editor-in-Chief of Eating with Erica and author of “Confidently Cooking.” “These thoughtful gifts prompt more kitchen time and offer a unique touch that can’t be easily replicated.”
Personalized Reclaimed Whiskey Barrel and Cast Iron Sizzling Platter Set
From fajitas and steak to pizza and brownies, this restaurant-quality set is cooking-enthusiast pleaser with unlimited practical applications and a number of great ingredients. The heavy-duty cast iron skillet comes pre-seasoned, a real gift unto itself. It comes with a reclaimed barrel wood table platter and hot handle mitt makes it easy to move their sizzling cast iron dish between the oven and stove top and to the table for a seamless presentation. And, same as the other reclaimed barrel items on our list, the sustainability angle is also a meaningful approach to gifting. “In this day and age, it’s increasingly important to be aware of our footprint and the materials we’re using on a daily basis,” says Damon Campbell, Executive Chef of Fairmont Pacific Rim in Vancouver, Canada. “By gifting repurposed materials, it’s showing you care for the world around you, with the goal of leaving the planet better than you found it.”
All-In-One Acacia Wood Cheese Board and Wine Decanter Serving Set
Trying to decide between a creative decanter and an elegant cheese board for someone who always hosts epic wine and cheese nights at home? You don’t have to with this all-in-one combo that includes an acacia wood board with a marble slab for presenting cheese and charcuterie, ceramic condiment bowls, serving tools, and a science-inspired, built-in decanter. Both fun and functional, “Decanters are awesome gifts because when used it makes guests feel as though they are drinking something special, that you care about your friends experiencing the wine in its best possible moment,” says David Weitzenhoffer, owner of NYC’s Community Wine and Spirits. “They really work for enhancing aromatics and flavor profile on the palate.” Better still, the decanter is also customizable for the recipient, making for serious heirloom gift potential.
Barrel-Inspired Acacia Wood and Chalkboard Swivel Cheeseboard Set
For the turophile in your life who always dazzles with the latest, unique cheese finds, give them the gift of showing off their exceptional “curdplay” with a chalkboard accented cheese board that makes labeling a breeze. “Having a chalkboard element makes for great conversation and really adds to the experience,” says DiBartolomeo. “It allows your guests to know what they are having, especially if they want to remember what they liked.” Since your cheese lover always serves the good stuff, naturally everyone will want to remember what they liked. With three condiment bowls and swivel functionality, it’s also perfect for casual, cheese board date nights at home.
Personalized Reclaimed Bourbon Barrel and Cold Marble Stone Ice Cream Mixing Station
A cold stone marble slab for creative ice cream concoctions is a stone cold great gourmet gift idea. As with the taco holders above, “an ice cream board encourages experimentation with various mix-ins,” says Key, justification enough for a niche foodie gift like this, especially for gourmet friends with ice-cream loving kids: an activity and a money-saver all in one. Consider that a personalized ice cream board such as this one, that becomes beloved by your family for impromptu ice cream parties, “makes for something to be passed down to your children or grandchildren,” says Key, a unique gift, also made with historied reclaimed wood, that transcends generations.
Acacia Wood and Marble Cheese Board With Built-In Cheese Slicer
For the burgeoning cheese lover who doesn’t yet have the perfect cheese board, you can help them go beyond aficionado to downright pro with the simple but elegant functionality of a built-in wire slicer. “In my opinion, there is no better way to portion cheese than with a slicer,” says DiBartolomeo. “You can use skeleton knives for softer and semi-soft cheeses, but we all know the cheese still sticks to the knife or crumbles. With a wire, you get a clean cut every time and the cheeses always keep their shape”—of high importance in creating the most Insta-worthy cheese board creations. Customizable, and including a built-in drawer for serving tools, it’s the perfect upgrade for loved ones looking to take their cheese relationship to the next level.
Personalized Reclaimed Whiskey Barrel Sushi Boards with Sauce Dishes
For culinary enthusiasts, the right tool for every job knows no bounds and that includes pieces for presentation. If your favorite foodie owns a rice paddle and sushi rollers, then they’ll adore this serving set. Complete with two personalized sushi boards with dishes for soy sauce, they’re perfect for their bespoke maki creations – and even take out. “These are really fun additions to any kitchen,” says Campbell. “If they help enhance the experience, then why not?”
$149 (Set of 2)
Reclaimed Bourbon Barrel Taco Holders with Condiment Cup
File taco holders under gifts that may cause the recipient to exclaim, “how did I ever survive without these?” Here, beautiful reclaimed barrel wood is transformed into a 3-slot taco holder to easily build and present enticing tacos. Having a taco holder “can truly inspire creativity,” says Key, the value of which as a gourmet gift for home cooks is immeasurable. “[They] might be motivated to try new recipes, techniques, or fillings,” she says, especially when your taco lover also has just the right piece to hold them in place during assembly.
$99 (Set of 2)
Personalized 14.5” Wine Bottle Ebony Pepper Mill and Natural Salt Mill Set
Wine pros and enthusiasts alike can often be on the receiving end of a variety of novelty, wine-shaped or themed gifts, but these salt and pepper shakers have simple day-to-day functionality that’s bound to spark joy. “These are a creative way to impart function in our world,” says Leo Braddock, Winemaker for Walla Walla’s Quarky Wines, “while also being fun, unique, and a thoughtful gift.” In order words, just a dash of the right kind of vino novelty. The professional quality wood shakers are built with top-quality mechanisms for precise grinding and laser engraved with an exclusive vineyard label with your wine’ lover’s name.
Best Gifts for Wine On-the-Go
Vino-Voyage TSA-Approved 6-Bottle Wine Suitcase
“Great wine suitcases are a travel gift many don’t realize they need, or that even exist,” says Braddock “For the person that has it all, or even someone just getting started in wine, a great wine case is a must. This TSA-approved rolling suitcase comes with removable, customizable foam inserts that safely “cocoon” bottles while in transit. It’s ideal for intrepid wine travelers who enjoy destination food and wine tastings, or for those that love to bring bottles home from their latest journey. Its utility isn’t limited to transporting wine. The inserts can be removed so they can pack belongings for all their travel plans.
Buffalo Leather Wine Bags
No more toting their best bottles around in ordinary disposable or utilitarian canvas bags to BYOB restaurants, tastings and parties. The wine lover on your list deserves a style and substance upgrade. “Fine leather and fine wine have something in common,” says Weitzenhoffer. “Leather says I care about what I put into this bag, and like wine, it becomes more beautiful with age. Plus, it’s durable and won’t rip under the weight.”
Buffalo Leather 3-Bottle Patchwork Wine Bag
Made from top-quality full-grain Buffalo hide that ages beautifully over time, this patchwork wine bag carries bottles with a luxurious Boho style. It comes complete with a leather pouch, waiter’s corkscrew and a padded bottle insert to keep bottles from clinking when traveling. The best part? The insert can be removed to use the bag as a standard fashion tote for a two-in-one gift!
Buffalo Leather Messenger Style 6-Bottle Weekender Wine Bag
Part wine bag, part messenger bag, part weekender – this handsome bag is ideal for the multi-tasking wine lover. Also made from strong, supple full grain Buffalo leather and equipped with removable padded bottle inserts, it can easily tote everything from their favorite libations to laptops and personal belongings. The padded shoulder strap makes for comfortable carrying when commuting or traveling and it comes with a waiter’s corkscrew and aerator for enjoying wine on-the-go. A leather tag can also be personalized for a bespoke wine gift.
Published: October 28, 2023
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