Online holiday and Christmas shopping: Five great wine and food gifts

Each year, it can be a struggle to find just the right gift… the right mixture between snarky and original yet useful. Frankly, if someone is into wine or food, gift selections are a bit less challenging and cheaper than an electronics nerd or car enthusiast but if you’re going on ten years with a foodie, the gadgets might have run out.

Or have they? I wrote about 25 pretty cool, unique items last Christmas that you might want to check out, but here are five food and wine items new to the market that might help:

Great cookbook: Make the Bread, Buy the Butter by Jennifer Reece of Funny, personal and practice all rolled into one. Jennifer has done the time-consuming work many foodies ask themselves: what is better/cheaper/faster made at home versus store bought? I thoroughly enjoyed every page of this well-written, extremely useful cookbook. $15 on

Random Yet Interesting Wine Gadget: Chill Balls. They’re not a new invention but I’ve just gotten around to trying them. Say your white wine is too warm and doesn’t taste quite right (this especially happens to cheap wine) and you’d love to put a couple of ice cubes in your glass. But you: a) don’t want to look trashy; b) don’t want to water down the wine; or c) both. Chills Balls to the rescue. Horrible name, yes. But they’re nifty if you keep them in your freezer and wash after use. $20 on

Barrel Stave Wine Rack: I found these while cruising for a gift on the internet. Reused barrel staves get reinvented as a wine rack. Very classy and sleek way to show off prized bottles while stroking your recycling green side as well. About $100 on

Scrabble Cooking Edition: Know a cook who is also a Words With Friends junkie? I do, so I almost squealed when I saw this. Completely random yet so hilarious, someone who cooks yet also loves Scrabble would spend way too much time on this game. Just like traditional Scrabble, yet you earn extra points for cooking related words and use recipe cards. Classic. $30 on

Vinturi Spirits Aerator: For the Whisky or rum lover in the house. Works similar to the traditional wine aerator (and looks pretty similar) but has a built-in jigger with push button flow control. For the spirits enthusiast who has everything. $40 on

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