Holiday / Restaurants

The Ultimate Foodie’s Gift Guide: Delicious Presents That Leave an Impression

BY // 12.20.17

Editor’s note: PaperCity’s counting down to the holidays with ultra-curated and distinctive gift guides.

Yes, it’s crunch time. I’m sure you’ve crossed off a good number of items on your gift list, but if you’re like most people, there are still some names left, and time’s running short. If those (lucky) individuals are lovers of food, cooking, and all things wine and spirits, I’ve got an excellent and discriminating foodie gift guide for you.

You can have everything included here under the tree by December 25th, either through online shopping or at local merchants, and each gift is of the very best caliber, so relax and read on.

First, we’ll turn to the tool that every great cook needs, and that’s an all-purpose knife, one that can carry out any number of tasks with efficiency and ease. Get them a classic chef’s knife from Shun. I’ve selected an 8-inch version that you can get from Amazon for $144.95. (I have several knives from Shun, and have never regretted buying them.) Whether your favorite cook is chopping onions and carrots, or dicing pancetta, this one will do it.

This knife belongs in every kitchen.

The company behind Shun is a storied and established one, and the quality here is serious. Like many people who cook, I have knives from Germany, France, and Japan, and I find myself reaching for the Shun tools most and more. (Tip: Buy this great book and give it as a companion present: Mastering Knife Skills: The Essential Guide to the Most Important Tools in Your Kitchen. They’ll thank you many times over when you taste their food.)

Whisky. Yes, of course, you are certain to have a name on your gift list who loves a great whisky. For them, there’s Nikka Single Malt Miyagikyo. It’s from Japan, made by one of the country’s best producers, and the person receiving this is going to love you for it. Miyagikyo is the name of Nikka’s second distillery — constructed in 1969 — and it has been putting out some worthy single malts since it came online.

Outdoor Dining with Bering's

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  • Bering's Gift's April 2024
  • Bering's Gift's April 2024
  • Bering's Gift's April 2024
  • Bering's Gift's April 2024
  • Bering's Gift's April 2024
  • Bering's Gift's April 2024
  • Bering's Gift's April 2024
  • Bering's Gift's April 2024

This one spends some time in Sherry casks, and possesses a wonderful aroma of burnt wood, fruit, and a touch of floral. A sip offers tobacco, spice, and evanescent smoke. Unpeated barley is the main component here; this whisky was released in the United States in September 2016. Find it at Total Wine or your favorite spirits purveyor for around $70.

Looking for a whisky that they might not have already? This one fits the bill.

Ah, wild boar. One of my favorite meats, and one that I wish was more available on menus in the United States. A bold flavor is what you get here, so make sure you give this to someone unafraid to eat with gusto. I’ve cooked roast and shoulders and tenderloin, and they are all excellent, and one of the best places to buy boar is D’Artagnan.

Your gift will be tenderloin, because, no matter the skill level of your recipient, he or she will be able to make the cut the centerpiece of a sumptuous feast. It’s $37.99 a pound, and worth every ounce.

Want a recipe to give them? Try this one for honey- and thyme-marinated wild boar tenderloin. (Order by Dec. 21, or check with Central Market, which carries a selection of D’Artagnan wares.)

Lean, bold, and natural: Whomever you give this to is going to be eating well.

You know that wine is on this list, and I’m recommending one from California. It’s perfect for a special friend, loved one, or family member, and I’m sure they’ll share with you. It’s the 2014 Ramey Annum Cabernet Sauvignon. David Ramey is a legend, and the raves about this vintage are effusive. (I tasted the 2014 last week, and I concur, though this wine is young and will definitely improve with a few more years in the bottle.) It’s 75 percent Cabernet Sauvignon and 25 percent Cabernet Franc, and was aged 24 months in French oak.

Here’s what Antonio Galloni said about it: “A powerful, dense wine – especially for the year – Ramey’s 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Annum holds considerable promise and potential. Blackberry jam, mocha, chocolate, spices and new French oak flesh out as the wine gains depth and richness through the mid palate. The wine’s inner sweetness adds a final layer of complexity.”

A bonus of giving this wine as a gift? Your lucky recipient will have something in their cellar that they can anticipate opening in, say, 2029, to mark an anniversary or birth. This present has legs. Check at Total Wine or Houston Wine Merchant, or your preferred merchant, and expect to pay $100.

That’s it, the perfect gift list for the cook/culinary enthusiast/gourmand in your life. Giving any of these items will place you permanently in the “special” category, nestled among a select group of individuals. Enjoy the holidays, and have fun giving.

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