Somm Wish List 2013

by By Jeff Harding
December 2013

It’s holiday time and everybody has a wine lover on their shopping list, so we asked some of our favorite sommeliers what they want Santa to bring. It seems everybody wants a Coravin, and if you don’t already know why it’s revolutionizing the wine world, read Alder Yarrow’s Vinography blog. Another list topper is Jancis Robinson’s latest book, Wine Grapes, and the latest edition of The World Atlas of Wine. But we like unusual and indispensable—gifts you never knew you wanted and only hope you’ll get

Subscription to TONG Magazine

Subscription to TONG Magazine

Price: About $180 for 4 Issues
Whose Wish List: Sommelier Lauren Collins of L'Espalier – Boston, MA
Sommelier Jonathan Ross of Eleven Madison Park – New York, NY
Why:
Lauren: For cutting-edge information and a variety of writers and perspectives, TONG is my go-to magazine.  I love the thematic issues, too, for when I really want to dive into a region. The ability to order past publications has sustained me so far, but I really should bite the bullet and ask for my quarterly fix!  
Jonathan: It’s a quarterly release of the world’s best wine industry journal with no ads. From the inside front cover to inside back cover, there are articles by the industry’s top minds. 

Madeira,The Island Vineyard

What: Madeira,The Island Vineyard, by Noel Cossart

Price: $32
Whose Wish List: Christy Canterbury, MW
Why: Originally printed on a short run in the 1980s when Madeira was truly seeing its dog days, this Second Edition comes out at a time when Madeira is experiencing a revival. In between times, copies of the original version were so prized the average price for a second-hand copy for $500. Full of maps, photos, and ad from times long since past, this is a true treasure.

Private Preserve Wine Preserver

What: Private Preserve Wine Preserver

Price: $11.95
Whose Wish List: Christy Canterbury, MW
Why: Because most somms can’t drink a whole bottle in the few hours they have when they get home.

Wine Storage space at Chelsea Wine Vault

What: Wine Storage space at Chelsea Wine Vault

Price: Starts at $2.80/case per month for one to 99 cases.
Whose Wish List: Christy Canterbury, MW
Why: Most somms in Manhattan either don’t have a wine fridge or don’t have the discipline to keep their hands off their bottles!

Blue Hill Decanters

What: Blue Hill Decanters by Deborah Ehrlich

Price: $285
Whose Wish List: Wine Director Charles Puglia of Blue Hill at Stone Barns – Pocantico Hills, NY
Why: I love these decanters not only for their aesthetic appeal, but because they are ideal for older bottles that may be delicate and nuanced. Their shape allows for a smoother pour, and, in turn, fewer stains on the tablecloth. They are truly the decanters of our dreams.
Neat Ice Kit

What: Neat Ice Kit

Price: Coming soon
Whose Wish List: Wine Director Carrie Lyn Strong of Aureole – New York, NY
Why: It makes clear ice for cocktails at home and would make a great gift. It was a KickStarter campaign but isn’t available yet.

Laura Lobdell Champers Ring

What: Laura Lobdell Champers Ring

Price: $4,200
Whose Wish List: Wine Director Carrie Lyn Strong of Aureole – New York, NY

Code 38 Stealth Professional Wine Key

What: Code 38 Stealth Professional Wine Key

Price: starts at $525
Whose Wish List: Sommelier Jacob Gragg of The Georgian Room – Sea Island, GA
Why: I know this is a commonly requested one, but it deserves to be. I have been working with the Pro model for two years now and find it invaluable. Having used it for two years, though, it would be nice to upgrade to the Stealth for Christmas.

The Durand

What: Socks

Price: $15 to $35
Whose Wish List: Sommelier Jacob Gragg of The Georgian Room – Sea Island, GA
Why: Every sommelier needs more high-quality, fancy socks.

Anti-Griddle

What: Anti-Griddle

Price: $1,235
Whose Wish List: Sommelier Jacob Gragg of The Georgian Room – Sea Island, GA
Why: Take your at-home bar garnishes to the next level with your own personal Anti-Griddle.

Yarai Seamless Mixing Glass

What: A two-night stay at one of the following getaways with a spa treatment:

  • Ocean House, Rhode Island
  • Mohonk Mountain House, Hudson Valley, NY
  • Topping Rose House, Bridgehampton, NY

Price: Varies
Whose Wish List: Wine Director Jill Roberts of The Marrow – New York, NY
Why: I would love to know that at the end of the holiday madness (and hundreds of pulled corks) that there was a weekend getaway waiting for me! And the generous gift of massage for my overworked arms, fingers, wrists, hands, and shoulders would be most appreciated.

Multi-city ticket to San Sebastian

What: Multi-city ticket to San Sebastian and out of Barcelona in spring/early summer 2014

Price: Approximately $1,000
Whose Wish List: Sommelier Scott Cameron of Atera – New York, NY
Why: This is the cheap part of a disgustingly expensive and very serious research trip through some of the best restaurants and wine regions of northern Spain. Starting with San Sebastian, I’d hit Mugaritz and Arzak, with a quick swim at La Concha beach, then head just west to Asador Etxebarri. Next, head east through Rioja (with a quick stop in Pamplona) and then Priorato. After this, over to El Cellar de Can Roca and then south to Barcelona for a drop in to Tickets, a little city life … and finally down to the beaches of Sitges, where I will forget the rest of the world for a few brief moments and think about how to get through Andalucia and La Levante in 2015 for tomato festival and harvest.

Barbi Vin Santo and Phantom Belgian Beers

What: Barbi Vin Santo and Phantom Belgian Beers

Price: varies
Whose Wish List: Sommelier Erin Scala of The Musket Room – New York, NY
Why: I can never get enough Vin Santo! 750s of Belgian beer are for those late nights when you get home and want something great but not insanely expensive. 

Riedel Black Tie Face to Face Decanter

What: Riedel Black Tie Face to Face Decanter

Price: $445.95
Whose Wish List: Sommelier Ludovic Anacleto of Cru, The Little Wine Bistro – San Pedro Garza Garcia, Nueva Leon, Mexico
Why: I love the concept of duality represented in a stunning decanter.

Duran Wine Key

What: Duran Wine Key

Price: $125
Whose Wish List: Sommelier Morgan Harris of Corkbuzz – New York, NY
Why: Normally, I’d say the only wine key you ever need is a Pulltap double-hinge, but this guy makes getting ancient corks out of bottles as simple as 1-2-3. No demolition derby or painstaking surgery-like extraction.  

Levenger Shirt Pocket Briefcase

What: Levenger Shirt Pocket Briefcase

Price: $49
Whose Wish List: Beverage Director Sean Kerby of Riverpark – New York, NY
Why: It's one of my favorite tools! It fits comfortably in a jacket pocket, has three sleeves for holding random notes and fresh paper. It's the best notepad out there. I've had mine for six years now.

A Scent of Champagne

What: A Scent of Champagne by Richard Juhlin

Price: $51
Whose Wish List: Sommelier Julie Dalton of Wit & Wisdom – Baltimore, MD
Why: In addition to The World Atlas of Wine (I can't believe I haven’t bought it yet!), Richard Juhlin’s new book of 8,000 Champagnes definitely needs a spot on my bookshelf.  

One Year Off

What: One Year Off

Price: Priceless!
Whose Wish List: Sommelier Julie Dalton of Wit & Wisdom – Baltimore, MD
Why: So I can work for a year in a vineyard/winery so I can see/do everything from start to finish from pruning to shipping. I don’t suppose Santa can wrap up time, can he?
Le Verre de Vin

What: Le Verre de Vin

Price: $2,595
Whose Wish List: La Caravelle Champagne Ambassador Rita Jammet
Why: We used this at La Caravelle restaurant. This is the Champagne version of Le Verre de Vin, and it can preserve Champagne up to 21 days. (Although, oh mon Dieu, I know there’s no way I will resist polishing off an unfinished bottle of Champagne for that long!) Seriously, this is the best method for preserving Champagne, and since there’s no Coravin for Champagne, here you go!