ADVERTISING: Advertorial — GEORGE BALLING: Holiday gifts for your favorite wine lover

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Most of us have a wine lover among our list of gift recipients at the holidays. A lovely bottle of wine or a gift card will certainly please every enthusiast and we have those available here at the dinner party. When you really seek to impress those on your list, a little forethought will go a long way to accomplishing your goal. That is where we can really help.

One of our most popular gifts for those who consume wine and even those who prefer cocktails is our line of glassware embossed with pewter monograms- ice buckets, decanters, glasses and beer steins, stemless wine glasses, Champagne flutes and even double Old Fashioned glasses for those who enjoy whiskey are available. The simple sign that you took the time and showed the thoughtfulness to seek out something monogrammed for their first or last name will really impress.

Before we move on to more wine focused gifts, if you have recipients who prefer spirits then how about cocktail stones in the shape of Idaho? These slate, non-reactive stones are placed in the freezer and then used to chill your drink without watering it down the way ice does- a big trend in spirits consumption. Pair this up with the unique gift of a vintage decanter etched with the name of your recipient’s spirit of choice. If they drink mixed drinks, the same bottles are etched on the back with precise measurements to pre-mix the drink and store it in a beautifully etched bottle.

At the large gatherings during holidays it is easy to lose track of your glass. Nothing is worse than going back to the cupboard over and over to retrieve fresh glassware and waste the wine that ends up orphaned when folks get a new glass. A set of magnetic wine glass tags from Going Stemless that work on stemless or stemmed glasses are a great identifier, as are a pack of “Drink Buddies” that are latex and attach to the rim of your glass, a lighter and humorous take on the more traditional stem tags. For really large gatherings a set of “Wine Writer” pens allow you to simply write a name right on the glass that will later wash off. All will be appreciated by the wine enthusiast who is hosting the gathering, as it saves them the task of washing quite so many glasses.

Our Riedel stemware etched with Coeur d’Alene and other area lakes are popular year-round. They are the perfect gift for anyone with a love of our beautiful lakes or for those who have a home on the water. Another great way to keep glasses straight at a party is to have a set of glasses each etched with a different lake, a set of eight make for a beautiful and functional present.

When heading to a holiday party many of us will want to bring a host or hostess gift. These can range from the simple to the elaborate. One of my favorites is a lovely bar of Napa Soap. These wine themed soaps are all made with grape seed oil and other natural products and with names from Cabernet Soapignon to Sheardonnay, they are a fun gift for every wine enthusiast.

We have a great selection of wine too, but a way to make the gift more personal is to have the bottle etched with a personal message of holiday cheer. Add your firm or company logo for a great corporate gift too. Most times, if the etching is not overly elaborate, it will add only $10 to the retail cost of the bottle. One other pointer: with our point of sale system here at the dinner party, we are able to go back and look at what bottles were purchased by customers. If your recipient happens to be in our database, we are able to guide you to the perfect bottle even if you don’t know a lot about their buying patterns. We just base it on what they have purchased most frequently.

Another option: consider a year-long subscription to our wine club here at the dinner party. It is a way for your wine lover friends and family members to get a bit of fun wine enjoyment throughout the year.

Choices for the wine lover on your list abound! Come by the shop and we will work with you personally to find just the right one!

• • •

George Balling is co-owner with his wife, Mary Lancaster, of the dinner party, a wine and gift shop in Coeur d’Alene by Costco. The dinner party has won the award for best wine shop in North Idaho twice, including for 2018. George is also published in several other publications around the country. After working in wineries in California and judging many wine competitions, he moved to Coeur d’Alene with Mary more than 10 years ago to open the shop. You can also follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/#!/dinnerpartyshop.

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