Inspired by Drew Magary’s hilarious series, “The Hater’s Guide to the Williams-Sonoma Catalog”
[My assistant, Allistair, opens the heavy oak doors and bids you enter. A moment later, I sweep into the foyer to greet you wearing a chunky ivory cable-knit sweater over Lululemon leggings, swirling a deep burgundy wine in a 30-ounce Riedel stem]
Oh, hello friend! Welcome to mon petit chateau! I hope you found the snow machine outside to be a charming addition to our annual nöel tableaux. It cost nearly as much as the matching Lexus sedans in the drive—minus the big red bows, of course. Those ribbons cost an absolute fortune, you know, but what good would Christmas Lexi be without them?
Speaking of the Yuletide season, I’ve just received Wine Enthusiast’s annual holiday catalog and it is simply filled with seasonal vinous delights. I honestly don’t know how I’ll refrain from ordering the entire collection! Why don’t we perch here on the settee—just toss those cashmere pillows anywhere—and page through it together while Allister fetches us a little something from the cellar?
Is 1959 Margaux good for you? Perfect. Let’s get to it.
Item # 351 70 04 001 – RECLAIMED WINE BARREL AXE THROWING TARGET SET
Price: $379.00 - $399.00
Copy: Share a fun, engaging activity with friends and family with this rustic axe throwing target set. Simply set up the board and easel in the desired area and you’re ready to throw!
Tina's take: Nothing says, “Merry Christmas!” like wine-sodden guests hurling a bladed wood-cutting implement across the yard or garland-festooned living room. As the axe whooshes past Grandma’s noggin—just clipping the tip of her left ear or perhaps puncturing a major artery—you’ll smile with the satisfaction of knowing the target is crafted from a RECLAIMED wine barrel, so it’s totally sustainable! We wish we could say the same for Granny, who appears to be bleeding out into a snowbank. You’ll definitely want to spend the extra $20 for personalization, so everyone will know who’s in charge when the EMTs arrive.
Item # 482 07 34 – BLITZEN WINE BOTTLE STOPPER
Copy: Oh, deer! Looks like Blitzen’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: Jesus, Blitzen! You promised this would never happen again. Remember last year? Oh, that’s right—you probably don’t. Guzzling eight quarts of eggnog and then chasing it with two bottles of The Prisoner does tend to make one’s memory conveniently fuzzy. No, you probably don’t recall taking off your tuxedo pants, then leaving an extra-special “Yule log” under the Christmas tree. Or passing out in a drunken stupor with your hooves in the air—holiday chestnuts on display for all to see—after spilling Merlot all over our $6,000 antique Turkish rug. Fuck you, Blitzen. Just fuck you.
Item # 105 03 01 - RECLAIMED WINE BARREL WOODEN BOW TIE
Copy: Handcrafted reclaimed wooden bow ties are a conversation piece for the man who doesn't mind a little extra attention.
Tina's take: Oh, this is a “conversation piece” all right. I can see it now: You show up at the office holiday shindig sporting not only a bowtie, but one made of wood which requires you to explain to co-workers that this unique fashion accessory was, in fact, crafted from used wine barrels. Because you’re really into wine! If this is the kind of “extra attention” you’re craving, might I suggest adding the matching “Life is a Cabernet” suspenders to your cry-for-help ensemble? Looks like you’ll be spending another New Year’s Eve alone, pal.
Item # 764 14 - ART SERIES COBRA DECANTER
Copy: Like a real snake charmer, our Cobra Decanter will mesmerize your guests as it aerates your wine. The decanter circulates the [wine] through a two-chambered coiled body as you pour it into its mouth and maneuver it to release it into your glass.
Tina's take: Did they say cobra, or colon? Really, a colon-shaped decanter would make a lot more sense. “Just pour the wine into this mouth-blown crystal replica of your large intestine and guests will marvel as the liquid winds its way through your bowels to its inevitable destination—their glasses.” Be sure to have a broom and dustpan at the ready the first time you attempt to wash this thing; you’re definitely going to break it.
Item # 165 26 - 18” WINE STEWARD SANTA
Copy: Every day can't be merry and fun like Christmas Day, you say? Well, don't tell that to Santa Claus. He's got a certain little helper that makes every day feel like Christmas morning...his trusty bottle of wine!
Tina's take: I can’t believe I took this fucking job. Isn’t it enough that I work my ass off 364 days a year building toys and managing a workshop full of elves? I’d been slogging away for 400 years—400!—when Mrs. Claus suddenly got the idea that I needed a side hustle. “You need to get out of the house more,” she said, “meet people who don’t expect you to bring them presents!” Oh, but they DO expect presents—even worse than presents. They expect me to bring them wine, in a poncy little wire basket. Is this over-oaked Chardonnay to your liking, sir? Can I fetch you another $18 glass of Apothic Red? That’s not even the worst of it. They make me wear this stupid “Wine tastes best when shared with friends” apron. This is just the kind of thing that would get you the death penalty in one of those Progressive commercials about becoming your parents. Live-laugh-love, my ass. I’d rather drive an Uber.
Item # 475 01 - THE WINE WINCH PROFESSIONAL UNCORKING MACHINE
Copy: This high-performance wine opener really makes a splash! The bottle rests in the sailboat cockpit and the winch uncorks bottles in just a few seconds with an entertaining combination of lights and sounds… an exceptional gift for the seafaring wine drinker.
Tina's take: Ahoy, assholes! The name of this shipwreck reminds me of the time I volunteered with my friend Susie at the Napa Valley Wine Auction, schlepping wine bottles in 100-degree heat from the staging area to the auction tent. Heat stroke wasn’t the bad part; that was when we approached a table to set down a few bottles and an attendee called out to his buddy, “Hey, look! Wine wenches!” Much appreciated, Chad. You’re the reason this otherwise-lovely wine region has such a douchey reputation—and you probably don’t even live there. Sorry, I digress. Look, who am I to tell you it’s stupid to spend over $1,000 on a goofy nautical wine opener with flashing lights that makes you actually pick up the bottle and hold it under the screw mechanism while it pulls the cork? Go right ahead, Chad, you deserve it.