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The 2023 Eye-Roller’s Guide to the Wine Enthusiast Holiday Catalog

[Allistair, my loyal manservant, opens the iron gate just beyond the hedge maze and waves your car toward the circular driveway. Once you hand your keys over to the valet, he ushers you into my living room, where a roaring fire awaits. I greet you wearing a cozy Southwest-themed, open-front poncho draped over sleek black pants and a cashmere turtleneck.]

Greetings, friend, it's so marvelous to see you! I hope you haven’t found this year’s streamlined noël décor to be less than joyeux. You know I simply adore going all out for the holidays, but with all the wars and whatnot going on in the world, we felt it would be best to keep things simple. That’s why we included only two camels instead of the usual four in our annual live nativity scene and skipped the donkey altogether. We even swapped our holiday house Champagne—you know, the 1947 Louis Roederer Cristal—for one of the lesser vintages. Everyone is cutting back these days, and alas, we are no exception.

The bright spot in all of this austerity, of course, is that Wine Enthusiast’s annual holiday catalog just arrived in today’s mail, and it is just bursting with yuletide essentials! I am so enamoured with this year’s collection that I plan to select all of my holiday gifts from its pages. Why don’t we ask Allistair to saber another bottle and add an old-growth redwood log to the hearth while we thumb through it together?

“Time to Wine Down” Plush Robe and Socks Set

Price: “as low as” $29.99

Copy: This robe and socks set is a perfect pair for wine lovers who enjoy cozy styles as much perfectly chilled wines. The soft ribbed socks are a must-have for kicking back with a glass in hand, with “Wine Time” aptly printed on their soles. Made from a recycled polyester blend for a soft feel and fashionable finish, this set is sure to be a favorite gift for wine lovers—including yourself!

Tina’s take: Does wine-themed apparel get any sexier? First, we have the oh-so-sultry shortie robe. Go ahead: Run your hands along its recycled polyester finish. Feel the softness of its synthetic fibers as you marvel at the robe’s ability to barely cover your jingle bells. Just when you think this black bombshell couldn’t get any steamier, you turn around to display the “Time to Wine Down” slogan emblazoned across the back, letting your beloved know that you are ready for some grape-on-glass action. But wait, what do we have here? Matching tube socks with “Wine Time” printed on the soles? Someone’s gonna be doing some serious sleighing at Santa’s North Pole tonight.

Personalized Large Tabletop Four In A Row Game

Price: $299

Copy: This classic four in a row game is handcrafted from solid pine and tannin-touched oak staves … its warm rustic look makes a stylish centerpiece or accent in the game room, bar, office or living space. We designed the legs to be removable, so you can bring the game anywhere the party is, indoors or out.

Tina’s take: Do you mean to tell me that I can get a personalized fake version of Connect Four, made of actual “tannin-touched” barrel staves, for just 300 bucks? Don’t just stand there, man, hand me my credit card! I especially love that the brilliantly named Four in a Row has removeable legs, so it’s totally portable—at least when paired with the matching Wine Enthusiast Wooden Donkey Cart, sold separately. I can hardly wait to tote this 11-pound, 20-inch-high block of wood along to my next WSET game night. It’s going to be epic!

Vixen Wine Bottle Stopper

Price: $9.99 (reduced from $24.95)

Copy: Oh, deer! Looks like Vixen’s had too much cheer! This whimsical reindeer is the latest merrymaker in our beloved collection of hand-painted bottle stoppers. A holiday must-have and fun gift for the wine-lovers on your list.

Tina’s take: Look, I hate to nitpick, but this is the exact-same catalog description from last year’s drunken Blitzen stopper. Did all of the magazine's copywriters jump ship along with the wine reviewers? Anyhoo, I digress. Let’s get to slut-shaming this reindeer. Here we have Vixen at the holiday office party in a strapless dress and sparkly red pumps, hoisting a glass of red wine over her head as if to say, “Come and get me, boys!” Can you blame those guys from marketing for trying to corner her under the mistletoe and commenting on her “rack”? They were talking about antlers! When you hear from HR, you just tell them the truth: That hoofed whore was totally asking for it.

Wine Enthusiast Art Series Deluxe Wine Tower Decanting Set

Price: $99.99

Copy: Entertain your guests with a dazzling decanting show… This fascinating set not only decants your wine but also aerates it in a show-stopping fashion as it’s poured through a winding funnel for all to see.

Tina’s take: What in holy hell is this? If your dinner party needs a “dazzling decanting show” that aerates wine in a “show-stopping fashion,” you might want to consider working on your conversational skills—or perhaps buying a wine that’s drinkable without running it though some kind of Willy-Wonka-ass centrifuge contraption. One more suggestion: Maybe don’t wear that “Time to Wine Down” robe-and-socks ensemble when guests come over. No one wants to see that.

Beach Time Santa Nutcracker

Price: $50

Copy: After the Christmas rush is over, Santa heads south because there aren't any good beaches at the North Pole, and it's hard to get a tan when the sun never comes up! … Carefully crafted and painted by hand, this whimsical nutcracker is sure to bring joy to many holiday seasons.

Tina’s take: This may look like a charming, beach-themed Santa Claus nutcracker, but it’s actually the latest addition to the Elf on a Shelf collection: "St. Nick on a Stick." When perched on a fireplace mantel or bookcase, this North Pole narc keeps tabs on your problematic holiday drinking [looking at you, Blitzen!]. Hitting the eggnog a little too hard? Quietly easing the cork from a second bottle of Port and hoping no one will notice? St. Nick on a Stick sees all, and don’t think for a second that he’s not reporting that shit to your spouse, your boss and your doctor. (Oh, don’t act so surprised; you should never trust a grown man whose drink of choice is milk.) Better keep the holiday cheer in check, pal, or Dry January’s going to last all year long.

Wine Enthusiast Whimsy “I Like Bold Cabs” Graphic Tee

Price: $30

Copy: Express your love of wine with personality! Our Whimsy t-shirts are designed for fun and comfort, and are screen printed with whimsical sayings that will tickle any wine lover.

Tina’s take: I’ll never forget last year’s family holiday dinner, when I opened not one, but three bottles from my prized Wine Enthusiast Big-ass Cabs Collection. Were my cousins grateful for a sip from those coveted $200 bottles? No. They called the wines “flabby” and “over-oaked,” and the second my back was turned, they swapped those bottles for cheap foreign wines they bought at the commie natural wine shop down the street! But I’m not going to let the bastards get to me this year. This Christmas, I’ll be sporting my “I Like Bold Cabs and I Cannot Lie,” t-shirt—showing everyone that there’s no shame in getting jiggy with some prime Napa juice. Take that, you Cinsault-sucking sons-of-bitches!

Need more awesome gift ideas? See the 2022 "Eye Roller's Guide"


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