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Gift ideas for the hostess (or host) with the mostess

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Speyburn, Skinny Girl Cocktails, Pine Ridge Vineyards, 1-800-FLOWERS


Holiday parties and host/hostess gifts are something many adults are tasked with purchasing this holiday season. Here is a few recommendations that will be sure to ensure your invite to next year’s party.

Pine Ridge Vineyards Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 ($54) is made by winemaker Michael Beaulac who according to the company, “carefully selects prime fruit from distinct lots within Pine Ridge’s five estate vineyards, located across Napa Valley’s five top AVA’s – Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Oakville, Howell Mountain, and Carneros – to create a complex and balanced wine.”

The company sent my tester its 2010 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. The fruit for this bottling is entirely estate-grown, sourced from several premier sites throughout the Napa Valley. According to the company, “This wine is characterized by bright, ripe fruit and a complex mouthfeel, a result of the meticulous care and attention to detail paid to the vines.” And comes with recommended pairings of many holiday meals from meats and vegetables, to seared ahi, to hard aged Gouda. My tester isn’t a wine connoisseur, per say, but he was impressed with the wine’s robust taste; and when asking a good friend, was told that the Pine Ridge Vineyards Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 received a 92 point rating from Wine Spectator and is definitely considered a premium bottle of wine; and a great host or hostess gift. STARS: *****

In the need of another option? Speyburn 10 Year Old Single Malt Whiskey is great on the rocks or mixed into a cocktail that will warm your belly. According to the company, “Speyburn is the only distillery to use water from the Granty Burn, a tributary of the River Spey famed for its purity and its world-class salmon fishing.” Born in the Highlands of Scotland more than a century ago, Speyburn’s pale gold amber and unique flavor makes a good gift for the man of the house. My two male testers enjoyed it both neat and on the rocks. STARS: ***1/2

1-800-FLOWERS has a wide selection of great host or hostess gifts. They also have some great options for your own home this holiday season. Check out 1-800-FLOWERS’ One Dog Open Sleigh ($59.99). This festive floral arrangement is made of carnations and winter evergreens. The cute white carnation puppy sports an adorable Santa’s hat and a pair of spectacles. When arriving, the One Dog Open Sleigh arrangement conjured a slew of ooohs and aahhhs from the little ones. “So cute,” and “I want to pet him,” were some of the comments heard around the house. If you’re looking for a cute and festive holiday arrangement, check out 1-800-FLOWERS One Dog Sleigh or any other of its many holiday arrangements. STARS: ****1/2

Skinnygirl Cocktails is known for its low-calorie cocktail options. And what host or hostess wouldn’t want a bottle of Skinnygirl this holiday season? Skinnygirl™ Prosecco ($19.99) is a limited-time, seasonal offering from Skinnygirl® Cocktails, available through the New Year or while supplies last. The first sparkling option launched by the brand, Skinnygirl Prosecco contains a delicate, fruity flavor with a hint of honey and a pleasant acidity. At 100 calories per serving, Skinnygirl™ Prosecco offers a guilt-free way to enjoy sparkling wine without the extra calories. Skinnygirl™ Prosecco is served in a 750 ml bottle. My tester enjoyed the bubbly and her girlfriends did too. STARS: ****

Skinnygirl™ Chardonnay ($11.99) is one of two new white wine offerings. Featuring complex aromas of white peach, a hint of French oak vanilla, and a whisper of orange blossoms, my tester enjoyed this crisp light wine, Skinnygirl™ Chardonnay contains 100 calories per serving and is served in a 750 ml bottle. STARS: ***1/2

Skinnygirl™ Pinot Grigio ($11.99) is the second, new low-calorie white wine option from Skinnygirl® Cocktails. This wine’s rich aromas of tropical fruit balanced with a hint of natural grape sweetness made it a favorite with my tester. Skinnygirl™ Pinot Grigio contains 100 calories per serving and is served in a 750 ml bottle. STARS: ****

Skinnygirl™ Cabernet Sauvignon ($13.99) is the newest red wine offering from Skinnygirl® Cocktails. Skinnygirl™ Cabernet Sauvignon presents bright aromas of dark berries with a touch of warm chocolate. My tester’s husband liked this wine the best of all four options. With only 100 calories per serving, you can indulge in at least two glasses. STARS: ****

Disclaimer: I and/or my testers were provided with product samples or loaner products but all opinions are solely mine and/or my testers.



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