Here in Napa the vines sleep in preparation for Spring when once again the valley will be filled with the hope of a new harvest.
During the winter months we are generally hosting very exclusive guests who prefer the quiet pace of slow season and come to Napa specifically to replenish their cellars and stock up for corporate wine gifting. It is a slower pace for us where conversation abounds and we grow in knowledge and passion for the wine industry.
Just a few days ago while I waited for a very dear guest to land at the Napa County Airport (if you are coming via private jet you can learn more about their fees and regulations here) I received a text from a friend asking for ideas for holiday hostess gifts from Napa. Today I am pausing for a moment to share an expanded version of my response hoping it will be useful to you.
Host & Hostess Gift Etiquette
It is always a good idea to arrive with a little token of appreciation when someone has opened the doors of hospitality to you. The price of the gift is not set in stone but take into account the effort invested by your host or hostess and adjust your gifting budget accordingly. If you decide to give a gift of food don’t expect it to be part of the meal. A hostess or host gift is something for the host to enjoy post-event. On that note; if you are bringing wine it does not need to pair with the food. Your selection should be based on the taste of the host or hostess or a wine you have recently discovered and you anxiously wish to share.
If you decide to give a gift of flowers or food take into account dietary restrictions due to religion or lifestyle as well as potential allergies. If your gift is home accessory go for something small that is likely to blend in with the decor.
A great way to stock up on Hostess gifts is while you are on vacation. If you have social engagements in your calendar shortly after a vacation consider bringing some local goodies to gift to your host or hostess. We recently came back from a Maui vacation and encountered all manner of local culinary gifts that we hope will make wonderful hostess gifts.
My Favorite Hostess Gifts From Napa
If you have toured with us you probably know that we are famous for the little extras. From artisanal chocolates to picnics prepared with locally sourced ingredients. Here is my cheatsheet. I hope you find it useful and as always I am open to new suggestions if you discover a gem while visiting Napa with us.
It might come as a surprise to you that Napa produces some of the most beautiful and complex artisanal olive oils. My two favorites are the Cimarosa Napa Valley Howell Mountain Extra Virgin and the Jericho Canyon Winery Olive Oil. If you are ever in the mood of having a tour dedicated specifically to the discovery of the best olive oils in Napa just ask. We will be happy to make it happen for you.
We love sweets. Why not consider a box of Kollar Chocolates. Their holiday collection is to die for. Not necessarily in Napa but close enough and worth the drive. If you want to impress your friends with a sweet tooth head to Bouchon and get some cookies or macaroons.
Wine is the classic hostess gift. A well selected wine speaks volumes of both the person giving it and the person receiving it. I am particularly fond of Encanto’s 2009 Pinot Noir. It is a gorgeous wine that will seduce even the most discerning palate. Or why not consider a lovely bottle of Muté by Orin Swift, one of the most beautiful and complex dessert wines.
We hope this holiday season is full of love, friendship, joy & family.
Javy & Team