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 Aviation GinBig brands amuse us with their splashy ad campaigns, but boutique spirits are where the taste excitement’s at.
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December 2008

Marketplace / Gift-Finder

Wine & Spirits Gifts 2008

Liquor Gifts From Boutique Distilleries

 

Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker, said poet Ogden Nash. We think they’re both pretty dandy, and part of the fun of our job is discovering the new kids on the block in both categories.

Prices and product availability are verified at publication but are subject to change. Shipping is additional. These items are offered by a third party and THE NIBBLE has no relationship with them.

   

Bendistillery:
Diamond 100 Vodka

 

The vodka business has gotten gimmicky, and we raised an eyebrow when we heard that Diamond 100 vodka is filtered 100 times through charcoal and crushed lava—most of the world’s superpremium vodka brag about five filtrations. Like conched chocolate, it was a mistake—someone left the machine on too long, with a happy result. Diamond 100 is also aged slightly in new American oak. Take a sip—you’ll notice the difference. It’s very mellow, with an elegant pepperiness that won it the double gold medal in last year’s San Francisco World Spirits Competition. Located in Bend, Oregon, the distillery uses pure Cascade Mountain water to create their spirits.

  • 750 ml Bottle
    $59.99

Buy online at SamsWines.com

Diamond 100 Vodka
The most filtered vodka in the world.

House Spirits:
Aviation Gin

 

We’ve only had the gin from this Portland, Oregon distillery (which also makes vodka, aquavit and whiskey), but it is Superb with a capital “S.” Blended to perfection with cardamom, coriander, lavender, anise seed, sarsaparilla and dried orange peel, the gin is distilled at high temperatures to bring out the aromatics (we were in juniper heaven). Artists are at work here; this medium dry gin is made in the full-bodied Dutch style of “days gone by” (did you know that gin was invented by the Dutch?). Thanks to the Aviation team for bringing the good old days back.

  • 750 ml Bottle
    $26.99

Buy online at HiTimeWine.net

Aviation Gin
Gin styled as the Dutch invented in. 
   

Piper Heidsieck:
Rare Champagne

 

Piper Heidsieck is a house that specializes in nonvintage Champagne. It produces a vintage Champagne, known as Cuvée Rare (pronounced rahr in French), only in years when the vintage is of exceptional quality. The wines are made in a strictly limited quantity, and are unusual experience for the Champagne connoisseur. Current years available include 1979 (very crisp), 1988 (powerful), 1998 (rich) and 1999 (crisp, young and a favorite). The bottles have a gold and red neck band and a gold filigree base that are so lovely, the empty bottle will be kept as an object d’art. Very few bottles are available in the U.S. Ask your wine store if they can order it for you. If you need help locating one, telephone 1.212.424.2204.

  • 750 ml Bottle
    1979, $1,300
    1988, $360
    1998 (magnum), $375
    1999, $250

PiperHeidsieck.com

Piper Heidseick Rare

With gold filigree, this Champagne is “Rare” indeed.

   

Robert Mondavi:
Solaire Chardonnay & Cabernet Sauvignon

 

We went crazy for the Chardonnay, even more so when we heard the price—around $12.00 a bottle, depending on the retailer. With grapes from Santa Lucia Highlands of California’s Central Coast, this is classic California, with a lush fruit aroma and palate: pineapple, mango, peach, pear and citrus are tantalizing, backed by spice and smoke from 100% French oak (the wine is aged for 8 months in a combination of new and year-old barrels). We ran out and bought two cases. The Cabernet Sauvignon is also an excellent value.

  • 750 ml Bottle
    Suggested Retail Price
    $11.99 To $13.99

Available at retailers nationwide. Find a store locator at SolaireWines.com

Mondavi Solaire
The mini sizes (1.76 ounces) are also available in eight-ounce bottles.
   

Saké One :
Momokawa Organic Junmai Ginjo Saké & Nigori

 

Just outside of Portland, Oregon, SakéOne is America’s only craft saké brewer, and the only American owned and operated saké brewery. The soft, sweet Oregon rainwater is chemically ideal for saké brewing. The company makes many fine products, but the Momokawa Organic Junmai Ginjo Saké (fuller body, richer style) and a Nigori (old-style, loosely-filtered saké). The only organic sakés in America, they are delicious—not just with Japanese food, but with many things, including raw bar items and grilled fish. Learn more about the different types of saké, and read our review of SakéOne’s G Ultrapremium Sake.

  • 750 ml Bottles
    $12.00

Buy online at SakeOne.com

Momokawa Organic Sake

Even the bottles are green for better recycling.

 

 

Winepod
Personal Winery At Home

Yes, it’s a luxury, but it’s also a dream come true. The WinePod is a revolutionary, all-in-one winemaking system that allows anyone to make great wine with no experience required. The self-contained unit ferments, presses and manages your wine. State-of-the-art features such as temperature control, an automatic press, and real-time brix (% sugar by weight) sensor increase yield, simplify steps and improve wine quality. The WinePod includes step-by-step WineCoach software and it communicates to your PC via wired USB or wireless USB. It’s not a toy: Professional winemakers use it to test small batches. Splurge on this for your favorite oenophile and you’re sure to receive a case of wine as thanks.

  • WinePod
    $4,499.00

Learn more at WinePod.net
Call 1.877.922.3122 to order

Winepod
Make wine at home, just as professionals do.

 

 


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