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Last-minute shopping: 9 foodie gifts for under $130 (plus one $300 whiskey)

Here's the scoop

Part of German-based Rosenthal’s studio-line, Scoop china pieces look breathtaking on the table. The plates are oddly shaped and strikingly beautiful; the soup plate is particularly gorgeous. From top: Rosenthal Studio-Line Scoop All-Purpose Bowl, $56.50, Soup Plate, $56.50, Dinner Plate, $63.50 at William Ashley ( or through – Lucy Waverman

Magnetic appeal

Finally, a gadget that really cleans my murky decanters and vases. This magnetic spot cleaner, a great stocking stuffer, scrubs away hard-to-reach spots with the aid of magnets, leaving glassware crystal clear. Cuisipro Magnetic Spot Cleaner, $11.95 at Degrees Kitchen Store in Toronto ( and many other retailers (visit for locations). – L.W.

Sweet sensation

This syrup is so good that you’ll want to drink it straight from the bottle. Before you do that, though, try it on pancakes, over veggies or to kick up a sauce for chicken or pork. It also makes a tasty cocktail mix. Noble Bourbon Barrel Maple Syrup, $32.95 at Edible Canada in Vancouver ( or through – L.W.

Tea temps

Made of double-walled bone china with a stainless steel cover, the Salam Teapot, designed in the 1950s by French designer Guy Degrenne, is the best I have used (and I am a huge tea drinker). Salam Guy Degrenne Teapot, $130 through – L.W.

The ripe stuff

Rich and mellow without any grassy or peppery overtones, this special olive oil is made in France from fruity ripe olives, known as fruité noir. Perfect for saucing fish, goat cheese or vegetables. Moulin Castelas Fruité Noir Oil, $34.95 at All The Best Fine Foods in Toronto ( or through – L.W.

Don't put a cork in it

Got leftover wine? ouring vino from an unfinished bottle into this ingenious glass carafe by U.S.-based Savino will keep it fresh for four to seven days, depending on the wine’s acidity and tannin content. The secret: A floating disk acts as an oxygen barrier when the cylinder’s vertical; tilt to pour and the disk automatically bobs to the side to let liquid through. Savino Wine Preservation Glassware, $59.95 (U.S.) through Beppi Crosariol

Cold comfort

A tidy solution to one of my life’s constant challenges: chilling a bottle in the cab on the way to a dinner party. To use this adjustable, gel-filled jacket, store it in the freezer, then strap it around a room-temperature bottle and it will get the job done in five to 10 minutes. Trudeau Wine Cooling Sleeve, $7.99 at kitchenware and department stores across Canada (visit for retailers). – B.C.

A big chill

Large ice cubes (and spheres) are all the rage at fancypants bars these days because they melt slowly and, frankly, look cool. At home, I’ll be upping my cocktail game by serving gin and tonics in stemless Riedel tumblers with a single snooker ball like the one shown here; it was made with an oversized mould by Trudeau. Trudeau Ice Sphere Mold, $16.99 at kitchenware and department stores across Canada (visit for retailers). – B.C.

Saluting Ol’ Blue Eyes

Aged in deeply charred barrels for a bolder, spicier profile, Jack Daniel’s Sinatra Select is a special-edition tribute – only 350 cases have been released in Canada – to the Tennessee whiskey’s most famous devotee (and my favourite voice). I promise to sip it exclusively while wearing my tux, bowtie undone. Jack Daniel’s Sinatra Select, $295 to $300 in various provinces. – B.C.

For members only

A different selection of Ontario wines, qualityvetted by experts Tony Aspler and David Lawrason, delivered to the front door each month? Nice. I like surprises all year long. This service’s two-bottle “Sommelier” plan, with better offerings than the basic plan, varies from $55 a month in Ontario to $69 a month in Newfoundland and Labrador.’s Wine of the Month Club membership through or 1-866-254-6075. – B.C.

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