Two Chanukah Gift Ideas for the Wine-Lover | The Jewish Week | Food & Wine

Two Chanukah Gift Ideas for the Wine-Lover


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If you’re hunting for some wine-related Chanukah gifts, The World Atlas of Wine, 8th Edition (Mitchell Beazley, October 2019, $65), written by British wine writers Jancis Robinson, MW, and Hugh Johnson, OBE, is a good choice.

The World Atlas of Wine, ever since its first edition in 1971, has consistently been one of the very best authoritative reference books on wine; to date it has sold over 4.7 million copies in 14 languages too.

As Robinson related to the audience at the first of two book-launch events here in the United States last month, “wine is the one thing we buy to eat or drink where we can tell just from looking at the label exactly which spot on the globe produced it…And if we look at the vintage — when; and at the name of the producer — who. It’s geography in a bottle.” Indeed, and, after all, “geography needs an atlas,” noted American wine writer Dave McIntyre who led the on-stage conversation at the event.

While each edition has seen substantive changes enough to justify each volume, the latest edition is an almost complete and total re-write. Among its many new features, Israel has finally merited its own full page.

This edition is the perfect gift for anyone seeking greater real knowledge of wine. Buy the book, open some wines, and enjoy together.

The second wine-related Chanukah gift is a wine glass—the Jancis Robinson X Richard Brendon Wine Glass ($56). This is designed to be the only wine glass you’ll ever need—for red, white, sweet, dry, sparkling, fortified, and any other sort of wine you may come across. This dishwasher-safe, lead-free, hand-blown crystal glass is simply amazingly good.

I’ve been testing it for weeks against every other wine glass I own—from cheap to disgustingly expensive [sigh]. And while the Robinson glass is not exactly inexpensive, it delivers brilliantly and is well worth the price.

The crystal is so thin and seemingly delicate that it took me a good long while to get past the feeling that I’d likely inadvertently snap it to bits in my comparatively Neanderthal-like hands. Once I’d finally relaxed, however, it became abundantly clear that the size, shape, and unobtrusiveness of the glass truly maximizes the hedonistic impact of the liquid.

As famed wine importer and writer Terry Theise perfectly captures it: “In essence, the glass digitally remasters any wine you pour into it. Every single type of wine I drank from it was rendered clearer, more brilliant, pixilated, and vibrant.” Yep.

With these two Chanukah gifts in-hand, we can spin round the world of kosher wine production with a bit more enthusiasm.

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