WHEELING - It's common knowledge that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. But whether you're shopping for a special man or woman in your life this holiday season, it's hard to go wrong with a gift that will please the palate.
Almost everyone has on his or her list that one, impossible-to-buy-for person who seems to have everything - and giving the gift of food or drink could just be just the thing to make your present stand out.
Greg Myers, owner of Casa di Vino in Wheeling's Centre Market District, said a bottle of wine always makes for a classy gift. And with more than 300 selections from vineyards around the globe at his shop alone, he said budget limitations need not be a concern.
Casa di Vino owner Greg Myers displays an aerator, a wine accessory designed to expose the beverage to oxygen and enhance its flavor and aroma.
Photos by Ian Hicks
"Wine is a simple, easy gift to purchase, no matter how much you want to spend," said Myers.
Home winemaking is an increasingly popular hobby, he noted, and kits are available containing just about everything a budding vintner needs to get started.
"People are just wanting to experience the art of winemaking and perfect it as much as they can. ... People like to showcase their own stuff," said Myers, adding the practice often can turn competitive among friends.
Wine-themed gift baskets, complete with monogrammed bottle toppers and complimentary delectables including cheese, chocolates, or breadsticks and savory dipping sauces also are available at the shop and can add a personal touch. And aerators, corkscrews, decorative corkholders and other accessories are perfect gifts for the frequent entertainer, said Myers.
If you have loved ones living out of the area who won't be making it home for the holidays, you also can send them a taste of the Ohio Valley by having DiCarlo's Pizza ship a tray of its famous squares over dry ice to locales far and wide.
A pricy but undoubtedly unique food gift can be found online at Vat19.com - a 26-pound, 32,000-calorie gummy bear available in several flavors including cherry, blue raspberry, orange and green apple.
For a gift that will keep on giving throughout the year, consider any one of a number of "food of the month" clubs. Through Gifts.com, you can provide monthly deliveries of everything from microbrew beers and bourbon to salsa, hot sauce and jerky.
And don't underestimate the impact of personalization. You can melt a loved ones heart by sending them a batch of M&Ms bearing a name, message or even a photo through the candymaker's website.