Year after year, network producers, our event goers and readers constantly ask TamTheTasteMkr's advice on the best gifts; We'll take a moment to answer a few questions in this Holiday Shopping Blog... while revealing more than a few tantalizing suggestions.
Geoff Asks: TamTheTasteMkr ~ Is bigger always better when it comes to pleasing a persnickety foodie boss this holiday?
Adelaida Asks: TamTheTasteMkr ~ And what do you give someone who loves chocolate and vodka or / has a rich taste for cognacs?
When it comes to the persnickety boss... the simple answer is, (and ask any gal, she'll tell you, "bigger is always better!") Especially when its a 7 qt., copper KitchenAid Mixer or a slab of rare Italian marble perfect for the island of your newly custom designed kitchen. My rule: Consider making your mark with a delicious dab of earnestness. And always a measure of considerable great taste. Besides, a true food aficionado (as we prefer) more than likely, has a plethora of neat gadgets in their cupboards and on their counter tops; and in their pantries.
Though you'd be surprised how many of us would shamelessly get all hot and buttered over a couple of bags of pear Teavana; chocolate covered pears; a case of truffled mushroom linquini, Votivo's blood orange candles; or an orange generously veined marble rolling pin to add to my collection. (Oh my, did I say my?)
We hope our motto at Tastes & Tours, inspires you profoundly: We still like to think the season is all about giving ~ While getting is well ~ a deliciously delightful, after-thought ~ A Gift. And a gracious receiver is generally appreciative of the mere thoughtful gesture; particularly when you've obviously given the gift some thought.
So, whether it's your picky boss, a friend, co-worker or a relative, do some research and decide on a budget. Great gifts don't always have to break the bank. Some people actually have preferences for the smaller - but that doesn't have to mean boring. And isn't it always nice when what's wrapped and shiny though tiny, still shows hints of generosity smothered in great taste.
I remember the time my friend Rhonda gifted me a bottle of expensive perfume, flavored of lush, ripe, tangy oranges ~ and I love me some oranges. It was the most thoughtful gesture poured into a beautiful orange, star- shaped bottle. It let me know she really got me. And that's important. Tap into the kind of gift-giving talent that flatters and evokes an enthusiastic response from the receiver. They'll remember your kindess for years to come.
For 'The host who enjoys entertaining at home' ~ Try a beautiful silver platter with a gorgeous assortment of fabulous damask printed napkins strewn atop. (Or decoupage a tray.) Receiving such a treasure can be especially mesmerizing when the gift giver bothers to have observed your decor or color scheme preferences.
For the guy or gal who fancies themselves 'The Mixologist' known for creating seasonal cocktails, a subscription to a wine magazine is a must. Perhaps, you'll be so kind as to couple it with few sexy sake cups or simple syrups paired with a set of unique martini glasses ~ depending on their pleasure.
When looking to stand out with your boss, remember, not all gifts are created equal. So, be creative and think outside of the norm. Consider setting up a Saturday visit with their nearest specialty grocery store's Sommelier. Splurge on a few of their favorite fantastic wines which they'll receive upon their arrival, along with a tasting tour.
And 'If Its 'Chocolate and Vodka They Love'... Try Van Gogh Rich Dark Chocolate Vodka ($27) Dark brown color; mocha, cocoa, and coffee nose; smooth and rich with dark cocoa flavors and a long complex finish of bittersweet chocolate with a kick of heat and alcohol on the finish. OR consider a wine of the month club.
When staying on budget's not your problem, find a vineyard music festival or a Tasting and buy tickets. OR... for the 'Oranges Cognac Lover'... Try a Grand Marnier called Quintessence ($800 France) Lovely orange peel nose, pure essence, rich, sweet exotic mandarin orange, and creamy vanilla, elegant and smooth with complex aged cognac and lovely fruit. (And throw in a bag of mandarins or clementines.) See how they like them apples?
Tip #2 ~ Most importantly, don't wait until the last minute to shop, ever. Unless you just enjoy the rush of anxiety and sifting through picked-over, cheap crappy leftovers.
Tip #3 ~ Vow to purchase gifts with philanthropic ties. And vow only shop in unique, charming, whimsical, stylish places ~ and with the same enchantment that you would when you're buying for yourself. Don't look upon the task as well, a task at all ~ certainly not a daunting exasperating chore. Otherwise, take the sons of bleeps off your list altogether. I mean really! What's the freakin' point.
Tip #4 ~ This holiday season, shop early, shop small ~ boutique stores...not just malls. And only shop in the spirit of deliciousness. Give with an authentic heart. We promise the fuzzy feeling will carry over and deliver a long mellow, quite lovely finish ~ ideal for charming, long after the holiday is gone. Ask TamTheTasteMkr
(*Don't be ashamed to share us with a taste-challenged friend or two.)