12 Days of Delicious

This year, we encourage you to think outside the box for your holiday giving. Consider some of these unique food and wine gift ideas and hum along …

On the 1st day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:

My very own organic pear tree 


Why give a box of fruit—or worse yet, a fruitcake—when you can give the gift that keeps on giving? Consider a fruit tree from the lovely folks over at Deep Roots in Manhattan Beach who specialize in varieties designed to thrive in our mild SoCal climate. Your gift will bear fruit and carry thoughts of you for years to come. 

310-376-0567, deep-roots.net


On the 2nd day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:

2 fermentations


Making sparkling wine in the méthode champenoise means capturing both the primary and the secondary fermentations within the bottle itself—practical and delicious magic! A holiday gift box from Champagne Billecart-Salmon offers incredible value at about $60 per bottle for the Brut Reserve bottling. 

Available at Manhattan Fine Wines in Manhattan Beach. 310-374-3454, manhattanfinewines.com


On the 3rd day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:

3 fancy cheeses

Upgrade the classic holiday chesse box with the experts at Venissimo Cheese—for just $55, you can gift your favorite foodie with a monthly trio of carefully curated cheeses. With themes like “Glorious Gouda,” “American Beauties” and “Italy’s Fabulous Formaggio,” it’s an international tour of dairy wonder.

866-729-2433. venissimo.com


On the 4th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:

4 sharp knives

Beloved by chefs and coveted by others, the knives from Hammer Stahl marry high-quality German craftsmanship with sexy Pakkawood for an ergonomic feel that is friendly but lethally sharp. Buy this set for the carnivore on your gift list and check out their entire line of amazing cutlery.

866-394-3136, hammerstahl.com


On the 5th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:

5 hours of bliss!

The whole “farm-to-table” movement takes on entirely new meaning when the table is in the spa! Organic food and plant-based products are supplanting harsher chemical processes at many top-notch locations. Check out the Trilogy Spa at Metlox Plaza in Manhattan Beach for yummy macadamia nut scrubs, ginger body butter or their signature “thermal cocoon” with kukui oil and coconut milk. Delish.  

310-760-0044, trilogyspa.com 


On the 6th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:

6 mini bottles

Move over tiny Wild Turkeys—from Silicon Valley entrepreneur Tim Bucher comes one of the most innovative ideas to hit the wine industry in recent years, bringing the winery tasting room to you in the form of six mini wine bottles for sampling. This sleek and gorgeous site allows you to build your own sampler or try the curated collections from guest palates like Mario Batali or Michael Chiarello.



On the 7th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:

7 puzzle platters

Forget those silly wine glass charms—this ingenious Totally Bamboo puzzle platter allows you to gracefully balance your wine glass while piling up the spanokopita triangles and pigs-in-blankets. When not being used individually, these bamboo platters interlock to create a gorgeous rectangular centerpiece for serving. I love these. 

760-471-6600, totallybamboo.com 


On the 8th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:

8 gorgeous glasses

Proper stemware has a stem, by the way, and is a surprisingly affordable and welcome gift at the holidays. Legendary glassware purveyor Riedel has partnered with Williams-Sonoma to design the Ouverture Gift Set, a pretty box of crystal flutes, white and red wine glasses designed for entertaining. Pay for eight, get a box of 12 stems for just $79. It’s a steal.  

Available online and at Williams-Sonoma stores in Sherman Oaks, Glendale and Topanga. williams-sonoma.com


On the 9th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:

9 bars of chocolate

A pretty and inexpensive gift idea is to stack up a pile of gourmet bars, tied with a pretty ribbon, for your own chocoholic. I discovered Theo chocolate five years ago, and its commitment to organic, free-trade products is matched only by pure deliciousness. From spicy chile to salted almond to coconut curry, Theo chocolate bars are super easy to get and give. Yum.

Available online at theochocolate.com and at Whole Foods locations in El Segundo, Torrance and Redondo Beach. wholefoodsmarket.com


On the 10th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:

10 pods of coffee

Someone recently asked me to test-drive the new Kaldi single-serve system recently launched by Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. At just $150 and available in a range of cheerful colors, this little guy makes incredible espresso in addition to brewed coffee and teas. The pods come in packs of 10 and are affordably priced, too. 

Available online at cbtl.com and at all Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf locations.

On the 11th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:

11 dipping oils


Home connoisseurs in Southern California are in for a treat when they discover Leonardo e Roberto’s Gourmet Blends line of vinegars and oils. Co-founder Leonardo “Lenny” Levy is an evangelist for authentic aceto balsamico di Modena and for olive oils infused with herbs, fruits and spices. Look for these at your local farmers market and put together a sampler for your favorite home chef.  

Available online at gourmetblends.us and at El Segundo (Wednesday a.m.), Torrance (Saturday a.m.) and Redondo Beach (Friday p.m.) farmers markets.


On the 12th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: 

12-year old Macallan

This year, the Macallan has dressed up its signature Sherry Oak 12 Years Old in limited edition bottles designed by photographer Nic Veasey—each features an X-ray image of one the Macallan’s six pillar icons. Enthusiasts for Scotch or art alike can hunt down all six to complete this truly unique collection.  

Available December 1 at fine wine and liquor stores throughout Southern California.