It’s Easy To Find a Present For Us

It’s Easy To Find a Present For Us

Curnonsky, the Prince of gastronomy, used to say that the easiest person to please was the gourmet, because “we love all good things”.

Some years later, Winston Churchill said something similar in an anecdote worth every detail. Once when he was spending his holidays at Mamounia, the palace/hotel in Morocco, he was seated at the dinner table facing a very rich, somewhat elderly American lady.

Hideous” Sir Winston Churchill said to her as soon as he saw her face, with his usual outrageous self-assurance, brought on by his fourth glass of whiskey.

Drunk”, the lady replied.

Yes, but I’ll get over it tomorrow” he answered.

The next day, after the hotel manager pressured him for an apology, he invited the lady for a cup of tea and offered her his apology.


-“I feel you must be a very hard to please person, after having had everything”, the lady commented.


-“No, that’s not quite true, madam- he replied-men like myself are very easy to please, we only like what’s good.”


What to give in December

But due to life’s paradoxes, I’m sure you, a reader of the Blog, in the same category as Sir Winston, don’t get the presents a gourmet dream about.

And on the contrary, there’s always the friend who shows up with one of the worst German bottles of wine under his arm, or a girlfriend with a couple of crystal green wine glasses, spectacular as flower vases, but useless for reading the color of the aging of the wine in them.

If this has already happened to you, prepare yourself for the worst.  Now in December comes the end-of-the-year gift.  If you have a mother-in-law, she’ll come up with the idea of giving you a chef’s hat (making non-chefs look like clowns). The friendly company will send you a Christmas package where sometimes quality engages in a battle with common sense.

But it doesn’t stop there. Someone dear to you will waste good money in sending you a couple of very expensive bottles you don’t like. Or you’ll receive four wine glasses with a weak stem that will break at the first washing.


Make a suggestion, something sticks

This is a summarized version of things that are appreciated and needed by those gourmet lovers of excellence that can serve as a guide, not for you but for your acquaintances. And here lies the problem. You have to find a way to send them the link to this paper and explain where you found it. 


Whiskey Decanter, crystal carafes are fine for whiskey, vodka, cognac, etc. That is, for all those distillates which will not change their structure, since their aging ended the day they were bottled. The most spectacular, costly and famous carafes and jars are made in Germany, France, and the United States.

These are the names of the most famous German glass manufacturers: Rosenthal, (which besides its own brand, has Versace and Thomas), Eisch and Nachtmann. 

From France, you can suggest a present from Christofle, Baccarat, Lalique, Saint Louis, or Mikasa. In addition, in Ireland, you have Waterford, and in Austria, Riedel.


Sets of Wine Glasses and Cups

There are wine glasses and cups for all needs, drinks, tastes, and prices. Remember that if you want to stand out, each special drink has its special wine glass or cup (Sherry, White wine, red wine, Oporto, Champagne, Whisky, Grappa, Vodka, Cognac, sweet Liqueurs…Beer).  Since in most drinks color is information, wine glasses must never be colored.

In champagne glasses, popular but useless, are those flat glasses, similar to a breast. When Curnonsky thus stated it, those defenders of Marie Antoinette protested said that the matrix of the glass had been modeled after the figure of the Emperor’s companion, and he replied: “Even if that’s true, that wine glass is no good.  You should admit your Excellencies, that that vessel, if extraordinarily pleasant to the touch, was created for storing champagne wine.”

The proper wine glasses for sparkling wine are tall, the flute or tulip type that allow the pearly flow of the bubbles.

Unbreakable wine glasses: Made with a special mix of titanium and crystal. There are many brands; I use the German brand, Schott Zwiesel.

Decanters: Destined to allow the wine to be transferred according to its age, leaving the dregs or residue of impurities in the red wine or Oporto bottles. There are many varied prices. They confer the dinner table a certain elegance.


A Message for Santa 

Besides all this glassware, you can give a gourmet a corkscrew, wine thermometers, kitchen clocks, knives, pans in different styles and weight, wine racks, metal coolers, boards for canapés, kitchen utensils, saltshaker, oil and vinegar sets, bottle holders, candelabra, linen tablecloths and napkins, clamps and palettes, heavy tableware with elegant design, salad bowls, and hundreds of alternatives in crockery, bottles, and books.

-If the variety is so large, why don’t I ever get any of those things?  You’ll probably ask yourself.

-I think it’s Santa’s fault.

If TV and the social media dedicated some time to the excellence of the dining table, instead of the daily show offering mobile phones and electronic devices, you can be sure there would be much better gifts for gourmets worldwide.


Prof. Alberto Soria

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