Gift Guide: Five Gift Ideas For The Epicure In Your Life
The holidays have always been synonymous with gourmet cuisine, so what better way to celebrate than with some gorgeous culinary delights and gadgets to improve your cooking game or offer to the epicurean members of your family?
Bulgari Bvlgari Aluminium
This year Bulgari revived a collection of its timepieces from the 1990s – the Bulgari Bvlgari Aluminium – during Geneva Watch Days. With its graphic black and white color scheme and unusual combination of rubber and aluminum, the timepiece looks strangely contemporary even though it should, technically, look vintage given its age!
There are four models to choose from – white or gray dial versions with three hands, a Limited Edition Tricolore, and a gray dial chronograph. Several improvements have been included in the renewed collection, like an in-house automatic movement (instead of the original’s mechatronic quartz movement), newly designed lugs, a new 40mm size, and better-quality materials such as reinforced rubber.
Bulgari has never been afraid of being different, and design is at the heart of everything it does. And in the same vein as the timepieces Bulgari produces, the objects included in this epicurean gift guide also focus on both form and function, pleasing both the eye and the palate.
The Modernist Cuisine Box Set
The Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking box set contains five volumes, covering 1•History and Fundamentals, 2• Techniques and Equipment, 3• Animals and Plants, 4• Ingredients and Preparations, and 5• Plated-Dish Recipes.
Written by polymath Nathan Myhrvold, the books explain both the art and science of cooking and feature everything from the chemical processes to mind-blowing photography and helpful diagrams. Nothing will inspire the epicure in the kitchen more than this thoughtful gift.
Alessi Truffle Slicer
This elegant stainless-steel truffle slicer is the perfect tool for serving and tasting the delicacy of truffles. These mysterious and magical tubers grow just a few inches below the ground and thrive close to hardwood trees. The white truffle from Alba in Italy is the most valued of all the truffle family thanks to its rarity and unforgettable flavor.
Truffles taste best when cut into paper-thin slices, so this is where the Alessi Truffle Slicer comes into its own. We recommend gifting the Alessi slicer with a truffle or two; otherwise, it would be like giving a small child a remote-controlled toy without the appropriate batteries!
Available from Alessi for $125.
Ooni Koda 16 Pizza Oven
If you like to make pizza at home – especially Neapolitan pizza, which is a favorite of Watchonista’s Co-Founder Marco Gabella – you know that even with a pizza stone, your kitchen oven could never compete with a traditional pizza oven. But with the Ooni Koda 16 Gas-Powered Pizza Oven, you can make truly fantastic pizza at home.
The Ooni Koda 16 is a compact super portable, beautifully designed, outdoor pizza oven. This sleekly designed oven can reach up to an intense temperature of 500 degrees Celsius in just 20 minutes, and with its stone floor and L-shaped burner, the Ooni Koda 16 can bake 16-inch pie in only 60 seconds.
Small enough to fit on a small apartment balcony and portable enough to take camping, the Ooni Koda 16 Gas-Powered Oven is available now for $499.
Eva Solo Cool Wine Decanter
Most people are aware that red wine tastes better after decanting, but did you know that white wine benefits from the process too? The Eva Solo Cool Wine Decanter gently decants your wine through an integrated funnel that is perforated with numerous small holes. By running the wine through the Cool Wine Decanter’s holes and down the inside of the carafe, your wine is gently and effectively aerated, unlocking all of its flavors.
This award-winning decanter comes with a removable cooling element that needs to be placed in the freezer before use. This cooler can keep the wine chilled for up to four hours. It also works beautifully with red wine, of course, and is drip-free and dishwasher-safe. No household should be without one!
Available from Eva Solo for €89.95.
Exceptional Wines From Around The World
As we all know, an extraordinary bottle of wine can cost a small fortune. But if big label names usually make for large prices, then some lesser well-known labels can often offer you much more than you expect and for a lower price.
A subjective selection, to be sure, the following wines were chosen by Watchonista’s resident wine aficionados, Editor-in-Chief Josh Shanks and Co-Founder Marco Gabella. Consume with moderation….
Château Léoville Barton - Bordeaux
Shanks selected the Château Léoville Barton, a powerhouse red Bordeaux which is classified as a 2nd Grand Cru Classé. While it’s not a first growth Grand Cru, its price point more than makes up for its vine’s age. While Léoville Barton doesn’t officially disclose the blend of this St. Julien Bordeaux, wine sleuths have found mapping of the 51-hectare property which shows it’s planted with 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, and 3% Cabernet Franc. Various vintages of Château Léoville Barton can be found at your nearest wine merchant priced from $125 – 175.
Emidio Pepe Montepulciano d’Abruzzo
In the small word of organic wine, this Montepulciano is an absolute stunner. In particular, the characteristic richness of Montepulcianos is replaced by a fine-boned acidity. Prices can widely vary depending on the market and vintages, ranging from no less than $70 to as much as a few thousand dollars.
Robert Mondavi Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
American winemaker Robert Mondavi is the undisputed king of Napa Valley. While he was by no means the first man to plant vines in the rich soils of this now renowned winemaking region, he was the first to popularize and market the bold Cabernets of the region. Nowadays, the Robert Mondavi Winery offers a variety of wines at nearly every price point. For our money, the Reserve Cabernet series is a wine worthy of discovery. Consistently rated in the top tiers of California Cabernets, it’s an easy addition to our guide.
An Outstanding Cuban Cigar
We know smoking is not at all good for your health, but figuring out which cigar to give as a gift to a connoisseur can be a nightmare due to the plethora of options in provenance, size, taste, and smoke.
Even if you narrow down your options to Cuban cigars only, which are considered by many to be the best in the world, there are still so many varieties that a non-connoisseur would become easily bewildered.
Among the different varieties of Cuban cigars, only brands that are considered the crème de la crème can officially be called Habanos. The title of Habanos is reserved for cigars that are handcrafted (using a two-centuries-old technique), contain tobacco grown only in particular areas in Cuba, and pass an incredibly stringent quality control process established by the Regulatory Council for the Protected Denomination of Origin.
To ensure any Habanos you purchase are the real deal, we suggest buying cigars through Habanos S.A., the only official distributor of premium Cuban cigars.
(Photography by Pierre Vogel)