YGOM Holiday Wine Gift Guide

Christmas is just a couple weeks away, which means it’s time to get a move on your holiday shopping! We all know that wine is one of those signature (and easy) gifts to give during the holiday season.

Now, I will say that it’s okay to bring a bottle of wine over someone’s house as a token of appreciation for inviting you over for dinner (or some type of holiday party), but let’s face it….as a stand alone gift, a bottle of wine is becoming almost equivalent to a gift card, which can insinuate that not much thought was put into it. I know that may not be the truth, but as a wine lover myself, I can’t tell you how many bottles of wines I’ve received as gifts over the years. Now, I’m not one to ever (eva, eva) turn away wine, but come on now, there are plenty of other alternatives.

That’s why I’m here to help you think outside of the box bottle and consider some more…shall we say creative gift ideas. Check out the official YGOM Holiday Wine Gift Guide that will help you get some cool points with the wine lovers in your life!

Educational Wine Books

Knowledge is power! Books are a great idea for the wine geeks in your network who really enjoy learning about a wine and want to take their wine knowledge to the next level. Hillary Zio’s The Unfiltered Guide to Working in Wine is definitely on my personal list. You should also check out The Wine Bible and Wine Folly: The Essential Wine Guide for gift options as well.

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$19.99 at Barnes and Noble

Wine Scented Candles

Candles are the best accents for any home decor. For me, candles just create this atmosphere of peace in my apartment. I love a good scented candle! Forget the winter candy apple or pumpkin pie scents this holiday season. Did you know that there are actually wine scented candles out there? The ones below are from Rewined and come in a variety of scents, such as Syrah, Champagne, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, and Riesling! Your wine friends will go crazy over these!

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$29 at West Elm

Wine Journal

Every true wine enthusiast likes to keep track of their favorite wines. Well, why not get them a wine journal? One of my good friends got me one for my birthday a couple years ago. It was the best gift ever! I didn’t even know these existed. With the wine journal featured below, you can take jot down the tasting notes of your favorite, track wine events, and it comes with fun little stickers.

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$11.54 at Barnes and Noble

XL Wine Glass

Every wino needs an extra large wine glass! It’s a must-have to get through the good and bad times of life. Again, I received one of these for my birthday and it’s a staple piece in the wine area in my apartment. Despite popular belief, I have not drank out of it, but hey 2016 isn’t over yet ;)

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$18 at Francesca’s

Wine Glass Set

You can’t go wrong with a fancy set of wine glasses for the wine lover in your life. Crate and Barrel has the most elegant glasses for any occasion. You can get individuals glasses or really impress your significant other with a set that includes glasses for each type of wine. The Tour Wine Glasses below feature a flute for sparkling wines, a glass with a larger rim for reds, a glass with a smaller rim for whites, and a stemless glass.

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$9.95-$12.95 at Crate and Barrel

Wine Socks

Cheesy, yet so cute! These socks are the perfect stalking stuffer or white elephant gift. You can look for them anywhere online.

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$10-14 at Etsy

Wine Tasting Party Kit

This is a really cute gift idea for the wine lover who enjoys hosting parties. Wine tasting parties are on the verge, so a wine tasting kit is perfect to liven things up. The wine tasting kit comes with three bags, wine glass identifiers, 12 pencils, 12 invitations, and a quick fact sheet and rating pad. Your loved one will have lots of fun with this gift!

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$10.99 on Amazon

Wine Thermals

Wine thermals are a great gender neutral gift. These wine thermals are an upgrade from the typical ice bucket. Unlike ice buckets that can water down a tablecloth or ruin a wine label, the wine thermal will keep your white or red at perfect temperature for hours…no ice or water needed! Now, that’s a gift that keep on giving!

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$64.99 at Angle 33

Now, do you see what I’m talking about?! Instead of gifting a bottle of wine, why don’t you try one of these fun alternatives instead. Your loved ones will thank you (and me) tremendously! Happy shopping!!

Sip & Save: H-Town Happy Hour Wine Deals

For the past couple years, Forbes has listed Houston as one of the coolest cities in the U.S. to live. Soooo, what exactly is it that makes this city so amazing? Is it the growing food scene or the world-class museums? Maybe, it’s the great cost of living? Oh, what about all the job opportunities?

These are all true staples of the culture here in Houston, but one of the things that makes this city “cool” in my book is the cult-like happy hour (and brunch) scene. Happy hour is as integrated into the work week day as brushing your teeth is apart of your morning routine. What can I say? Houstonians love a good happy hour! We (Yes, you read that correctly…I’m calling honorary dibs) work hard, but play even harder. I learned very quickly that the best way to reward oneself after a long day is at a great happy hour spot.

Recently, I wrote about some really good wine bottle deals around town, but now I think it’s time you back that glass up and check out these five “by-the-glass” deals the next time you need to unwine after work. 

Ty’s Takeaways…

 Caracol
2200 Post Oak Blvd #160
HH: 3-7pm Monday – Friday & Sat till 5pm

DEAL: Half dozen raw gulf oysters + glass of weekly oyster wine for $13.50 & $6 HH wines

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Love doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel about Caracol. They have one of the best happy hours in town. Half dozen raw gulf oysters paired with a glass of wine for $13.50?? Are you kidding me!? While, I’m not a big fan of their raw oysters (I prefer their wood roasted oysters…so delicious!), it’ still an awesome deal. Their weekly oyster wine is actually one of their white or red HH wines. You get to choose. I tried both and they are AH-MAZ-ING!! If these wines are supposed to be “house wines” they definitely have me fooled.

Royal Oak Houston
1318 Westheimer Rd
HH: 4-8pm Monday – Friday

DEAL: $3 House Wine

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A good HH menu obviously must have a diverse drink and food offering, but even more so the price must be right. No one wants to pay $10 for a HH drink. So, when I saw Royal Oak Houston’s HH menu my eyes immediately lit up. Yes, you had me at $3 wines!! Again, are you kidding me?! Royal Oak Houston offers the normal house wines… cab sauvignon and chardonnay. But, hey I’m not picky! They were pretty solid in taste. I definitely recommend stopping by for a quick drink after work.

Sonoma Retail Wine Bar & Restaurant
2720 Richmond Avenue
HH: 3-7pm Monday – Saturday

DEAL: $10 Flights on Fridays

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Friday night flights at Sonoma!! Three glasses of wine for $10 is a pretty good deal, considering most flights at Sonoma can run as high as $25. I got to try their white wine trio, which included an Italian pinot grigio, New Zealand sauvignon blanc, and California chardonnay. The only downside is that there is no food on the HH menu. You have to pay full price.

TABLE on Post Oak
1800 Post Oak Blvd Ste 6110
HH: 4-7pm Monday – Friday

DEAL: Sommelier Selected Wines $6

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Located in the Galleria area, Table on Post Oak is one of Houston’s more jazzier HH spots. It’s very upscale, plus you don’t have to worry about being in a crowded bar trying to fight for the server’s attention. The sommelier’s picks include, a chardonnay, pinot grigio, an Italian red wine, along with a couple other wines. I believe there were six in total. All for $6. That’s pretty good considering this is a pretty swanky ($$$) restaurant. Oh, I cannot end without mentioning the tuna flatbeard ($9). I can’t even put into words how good it was. Run…don’t walk to Table on Post Oak.

The Tasting Room
Multiple Locations
HH: Open – 6pm, Monday-Friday

DEAL: $5 Wines By-The-Glass & 50% Off Select Wines By-The-Glass

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Great news…The Tasting Room has HH from open to 6pm during the summer. Longer days, mean longer HH hours…I love it! The Tasting Room offers house wines and some select premium wines at a discounted price. It’s like a smorgasbord of wine. There’s something for everyone. I tried the tempranillo, which was very smooth. Let’s face it, you can’t go wrong at The Tasting Room.

 

These five wine deals are just the beginning. Every month, I plan to share the best places around town to have a glass of wine after work. Let me know where I should go next. Until next time…

Bottles Up: Corked and Loaded Deals

Sunday evenings always make me a little bit sad. Forty-eight hours just isn’t enough time to recuperate from the week before. Sadly, I find myself starting to think about all the work I need to take care of come Monday morning. As the sun begins to set, I try to soak in every last hour of freedom before I have to get back on the weekly grind. Can anyone relate? Can I get an Amen?

Thank goodness for wine! It makes everything better, especially the workweek. Wine is the perfect pick me up after a long day…

…or the best high five after a great accomplish. #dontmindifido

But, you know what?! Sometimes a glass just isn’t enough!

Luckily, I came corked and load with some really great bottle deals around Houston to help you start and get through the week.

Ty’s Takeaways…

13 Celsius
3000 Caroline St.

13 Celsius

Need a pick me up before Monday? All open bottles of wine are half off every Sunday.

CRU Food & Wine Bar
2800 Kirby Dr.

Cru
Cru Bottles
Cru Pizza
On Mondays buy a bottle of wine and get a free pizza!

Cyclone Anaya’s Mexican Kitchen
Locations all around Houston

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Cyclone’s is known for their awesome margaritas, but stop by Mondays and Tuesdays for half off bottles of wine.

Revelry on Richmond
1613 Richmond Ave.

  Revelry Monday Specials

$10 off all wine bottles every Monday.

Sonoma Retail Wine Bar & Restaurant
2720 Richmond Ave.

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Don’t feel like sitting at a bar? Sonoma offers 20 percent off retail bottles to go!

It’s going to be an AH-MAZING week Houston!! The Rockets are headed to the Western Conference Finals. #wonthedoit

That win alone should be enough to get you out to enjoy a bottle. If you don’t live in Houston, you can still unwine with a nice bottle of wine at home or at your favorite wine bar. Let me know your favorite place to enjoy a bottle. #bottlesup

 Images from Cru, Cyclone, Revelry and Sonoma’s Facebook pages.