Are you finished shopping for the holidays yet? Do you still have a few last minute gifts that need purchasing? Groceries to buy? Errands to run? Or maybe you even need another recipe or two for the festivities. Such a busy time of year!
Normally, I’m scrambling this week with last minute shopping, but this year, thanks to a plan to keep things easy and my millions of lists, I’m actually ready (granted I still haven’t wrapped a thing, but that’s on tomorrow’s list). I’m even all set for our party this evening three hours early! That’s unheard of for me.
As for the kids, they’re definitely ready – popping out of their seats, bouncing off walls ready, sneaking off with cookies ready. Even the cats are in on the holiday antics. Can you spot Hobbs this year? Despite not being a kitten anymore (and weighing about eight pounds more than last year) he still manages to climb the tree!
But for those of you that aren’t quite ready (and believe me I’ve been there), how about a last minute holiday gift idea? If you have a wine lover in the family, I have a great present that can be easily found in a pinch, Karen MacNeil’s The Wine Bible – 2nd Edition.
I received a copy of the new book after attending the Wine Bloggers Conference in the Finger Lakes, where I also had the opportunity to hear Ms. MacNeil speak. She was easily the highlight of the program. I’ve now read the book nearly cover to cover and can honestly say it’s my favorite book about wine I’ve ever read (and I’ve read more than a few).
It’s an approachable book that’s easy to read, full of useful information and fun facts – like how many bubbles are in Champagne and how barrels are made (which I found to be an incredible science!). Whether you’re a serious wine enthusiast or you simply enjoy a good glass here and there, you’ll find something of interest in its storied pages. My favorite section was the “Mastering Wine” portion, which I read from start to finish. It covers topics like how wine is made, getting to know various grapes and how to taste wine like a pro. Did you know to assess the aroma of a wine, it’s best to take a series of quick sniffs rather than one or two long inhales?
The book also covers top wine regions around the world from France and Germany to Italy and California. You can also find thorough info on up and coming wine producing regions as well. Would you have guessed India, China, Japan, Mexico and the Republic of Georgia make that list? The book has been a great resource when I’m shopping for wine, but also when planning our travel routes through Europe in the coming months – just look at all the possibilities in Spain alone!
What it comes down to is this – The Wine Bible is a great last minute gift for any one with even the slightest interest in wine on your list (maybe even yourself!). It’s useful, entertaining, easy to read and full of more information than you thought possible on wine. Ms. MacNeil put a great deal of time and effort into her research and we all get to enjoy the benefits!
Happy last minute shopping and prep! We’ll be back tomorrow with a brief round-up of a few of our favorite holiday dishes, including this year’s Bartolini dish that will be gracing our Christmas Eve table! (Hey – there’s another great last minute gift idea – one day shipping on Amazon is still available today!) Cheers!