Thursday, December 19, 2013

Holiday Gift Guide Day 4: Charm Wine Guests the Grownup Way

The Illumination charms from Alex and Ani celebrate wine's role in nature and life. Photo from Alex and Ani Web site.

HEAD’S UP: Where did the year go? Already? Yes, the Yuletide Season is in swing. And, yes, once again you are bewitched, bothered and bewildered. What to get auntie, grandpa, madea, nana, papa … little Virginia? Don’t get yourself into a lather when the elves at VEVLYN’S PEN are on the case. Continuing every other day or so through 24 Dec., we will introduce one or a series of products, items and brands that we believe is worthy of consideration as a holiday gift(s).


the dilemma every good host faces: “Will we run out of wine glasses? Dare we break out the plastic SOLO cups in a pinch?”

To wash, or not to wash, that is the question. The answer depends on the formality of the party, the fussbudgetness of the host or the fine pedigree of the wine. Let’s assume that for this party, the host insists on the best.

But how many times in the past have we witnessed a mad-dash to the kitchen, hoping the dishwater won’t make too much noise, or the assembly line frenzy of washing, rinsing and trying to get the last bits of tea towel lint off the goblets? Then, a second dilemma: the freshly cleaned glasses are nice and warm, a death knell to good wines and Champagnes. What is the hostess-with-the-mostest to do?

Invest in wine charms. Better than those paper circlets with a little hole for the stem, the wine charm requires no extra table for folks to write their names, eliminates the ubiquitous problem of the disappearing pen – and being reusable – remains eco-friendly. What’s not to love?

Hundreds of wine charms have been sorted through to bring you the very best

At Williams-Sonoma, the Presidio wine charms are an extension of familiar flatware designs. Photo from Williams-Sonoma Web site.

Ask any guest: the silly designs. While the typical little charms help people snare their own stem each and every time, relieving the host of the wine glass terrors, the charms themselves are often … well … uh … stupid looking.

Know someone who treasures an elegant table? Give the Presidio Silver Wine Charms The set of six from Williams –Sonoma takes as its inspiration timeless silverware designs. (

Did the host really raid her tweeny-bopper daughter’s earring collection and clip them on the stems? Did that weekend warrior at the party truly wince at the last glass standing, the one with the ballet slipper dancing along the base?

Spiritual seekers who imbibe? Try the Illumination series from Alex and Ani. The set of four charms bears insignia that depict wine’s connection to nature, its role as a ceremonial drink and as a healing tonic. (

Enter: the grown-up wine charm. No need for wine glass jewelry. No crystals. No twirly-whirlies. No over-the-top beads.

Super Bowl party hosts may face a dilemma: who gets the football charm? Tennis, anyone? Photo from the Wine Rack Store Web site.

How about sports enthusiasts? Send All Balls from the Wine Rack Store. The set of six charms includes a basketball, football, tennis ball and soccer ball. (

Just one simple identifying tag. Why?

Because a good host wants people to chat about the wine in the glass, and not the silly do-dad at its base.

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