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Espresso in a Minute
A Nespresso is the fastest, most convenient way to make an espresso, and the Essenza is the best machine we tested. It churns out drinks as tasty as the company’s $400 machines, and its tiny footprint won’t clutter your countertop.
This heirloom, single-origin turmeric is grown in India by Kasaraneni Prabhu, a fourth-generation farmer. It has a very high (4.7 percent) content of curcumin, the ingredient rumored to reduce inflammation.
Based on traditional tarot decks, Food Fortunes is a well-illustrated set that features a different food on each card, so players can let the spirit world put together a meal – for real or just for fun.
Rough Linen napkins are my absolute favorite because they’re soft, generously cut and effortlessly chic. They easily flatten with a steam iron, but I prefer their natural unfussy texture straight out of the dryer.
Miir’s 64-oz growler keeps beer colder and fizzier than any other growler we tried. Also, its insulation does just as good a job of keeping hot drinks hot. Coffee or tea brewed in the morning will still be drinkable in the afternoon.
A splurge for the chocolate lover, this six-bar set from Dandelion Chocolate was created by two teams – one from the United States, one from Japan – who use the same beans and philosophies to make very unique tasting chocolate bars.
The Zalto Universal outperformed every wine glass we tested in our blind tasting. Our experts gushed over the beauty of this exceptionally thin, feather-light glass with its long, elegant stem. It’s the perfect gift for serious wine lovers.
Wine stored outside cellar temperatures can degrade in just a few weeks. For space-constrained wine lovers, the Ivation IV-FWCT181B wine fridge is the next best thing to a private cellar. It silently preserves 18 bottles in a sleek, stylish body.
Get this roomy tote bag for the proud pasta lover in your life, and giggles will follow wherever he goes. T-shirts with beloved dishes like steak diane and chicken parm emblazoned across the front are also available.
A good burr grinder is an essential part of any coffee lover’s toolkit, and for a home setup the Baratza Virtuoso is top of the line. It grinds beans quickly and evenly on a wide range of settings, so you can brew a more delicious cup of coffee.
I never used to drink gin and tonics, but then I had one with Monkey 47 gin and became a quick fan. It’s a stunner that’s distilled in Germany’s Black Forest with 47 handpicked herbs and botanicals, including lingonberries, bitter oranges and pomelos.
With perfectly executed flavors and an eye-popping array of shapes and textures, Recchiuti’s Black Box assortment was our tasting panel’s top choice, beating out an array of new and old-world boutique chocolates.
The Zojirushi Stainless Mug has been our top pick insulated travel mug for nearly four years, and for great reason. It keeps liquids (mouth-burningly) hot for longer than everything else and has easy-to-use protections against leaks and spills.
After tasting wine in over 80 glasses, the Riedel Vinum stood out from the competition for enhancing the aromas of red and white wines. Though it appears delicate, this nonleaded crystal wine glass is surprisingly durable and dishwasher-safe.
Your dog may never get a taste of real fried chicken, but she will love digging the three squeaky drumsticks out of the plush bucket over and over (and over) again. Also available in coffee and donuts and popcorn bucket styles.
This hard-to-stop-eating Raclette cheese is made by a husband and wife team in Leelanau County, Mich., who studied cheese making in Switzerland. It’s a local and tourist favorite. Available in a number of sizes and varieties.
What’s more fun than showing up to a party with an enormous bottle of wine? Eric Asimov, The Times wine critic, recommends Arianna Occhipinti, an affordable red from a gifted producer in the Vittoria region of Sicily. It’s delicious and ready now.
The Breville Infuser is the ideal starter espresso machine for budding coffee enthusiasts. We found it easier to use than any other machine we tried, and it impressed the pros on our test panel with its consistent shots and cafe-quality frothed milk.
Sam Sifton said he’s buying a can of Rougie Confit of Duck Legs for everyone on his list this year “in part because it’s delicious and in part because it’s a big metal can you can use as a doorstop until you’re ready to open it up.”
I visited The Dalmore on a trip to Scotland this year and fell in love. This Port Reserve, released this year, has notes of ginger, blood oranges, cinnamon and coffee. It tastes like pure luxury, but comes at a manageable price.
These attractive, eight-ounce Godinger Dublin Double Old Fashioned Glasses are great for cocktails and entertaining. They’re hefty and durable and look like Waterford crystal, but they’re inexpensive enough that you can stock up for a party.
These 20-inch cotton napkins from Anthropologie are soft, absorbent and wildly colorful (they hide stains). They’re durable enough for everyday use, but special enough to trot out for a birthday dinner.
Wirecutter founder Brian Lam gives employees Maui Gold pineapples for special occasions to share a piece of his home with us. Start your own tradition with a local specialty, or send someone the best-tasting pineapple ever to brighten their day.
Clase Azul is my favorite brand of tequila, so it’s no surprise that I’m equally taken with its first mezcal. Made from Cenizo agave, which grows wild in the Mexican state of Durango, this drink is slightly smoky, slightly sweet and perfectly smooth.
Give a treat and give back at the same time with this Box of Hope from the nonprofit Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, which donates the profits to pediatric cancer research. The box has three-dozen cookies, and there are four flavor sets to choose from.
From tea to tequila, the Yeti Rambler Tumbler is a durable stainless steel 20-ounce cup with double-wall insulation that keeps hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold. (Yay!) The magnetized lid helps prevent spills.
Give Rancho Gordo’s heirloom beans – from growers in California, Oregon, Washington and New Mexico – to cooks who treasure rare, quality ingredients. The box includes a tote, a cookbook and five one-pound bags of utterly delicious beans.
Beautifully marbled and incredibly tender and flavorful, this rib roast is from Strassburger Steaks, a more than 150-year-old family-run meat company. It’s guaranteed to be the star attraction of any special occasion dinner.
Produced in California, the new Bertoux is a blend of pot-distilled brandies that are aged three to seven years, resulting in a nutty tasting spirit with hints of apricot and orange blossom. It’s great on its own or as a base for cocktails.
Here’s a statistic I’m fairly confident in: One hundred percent of people have that one friend who always complains about wasting money on seltzer and “ugh I should just buy a SodaStream already.” Do them a favor and give them one this year.
Everything in Jasper Hill’s basket is exceptional. A variety of outstanding cheeses made in Vermont with snappy lavash and accompanying spiced nuts comprises one of the best cheese baskets I’ve had. It’s perfect for sharing and snacking.