Le Bon Garcon Caramels

Caramel is the new chocolate

Looking for a last-minute gift for the object of your affection? Drugstore chocolates might not cut it this year, and your Valentine will have no doubt already dipped into some candy hearts from the office pool. Instead, ensure your continued Casanova status with a fresh box of Le Bon Garcon’s caramels – buttery, smooth, soft morsels of goodness handmade by confectioner Jason Chao.

The charming packaging and sweet “je t’adore” notecard (blank inside for your personalization) enfold a selection of all-natural caramels in either a single flavor or an assortment. Choose from one of Le Bon Garcon’s signature flavors – Mango-Passion Fruit, Macadamia Nut, or Salted (a definite ace in the hole for your favorite salty-sweet fiend) – or try the one-of-a-kind “Caramour,” a special limited-run Valentine’s Day flavor of citrus, vanilla and spice melded with caramel.

Available in 4 oz. ($15) or 8 oz. ($27) gift boxes on lebongarcon.com – order by February 7th to make sure your sweetheart gets their sweets on time.

Patric In-NIB-itable Chocolate Bar

From the winner of the Good Food Awards

Alan McClure of Patric Chocolate knows how to make chocolate. He’s been making them since 2004. He’s even won a couple of awards. The In-NIB-itable Bar is made with two parts: 70% Madagascar chocolate and crunchy nibs. Alan’s goal was to show two sides of cocao since not everyone has tried the unsweetened part. He says, “the contrast in flavor and texture that they give, however, is really amazing when juxtaposed with the smooth chocolate.” Which creates a chocolate bar “unlike any that most people had ever tasted.”

Montes Winery’s Folly (Syrah)

There's acrobats somewhere in this bottle

Aurelio Montes, winemaker of Montes Winery‘s Montes Folly, for whatever reason had an inkling that Apalta Valley was the best terroir for reds in Chile, something that is hard to dispute today and that he was determined to prove. They said it would be a “folly” to grow Syrah, an untested variety, in the region and the altitude, but they were wrong. Harvested by acrobats, all grapes are hand-picked and sorted on a special selection table, where every grape not up to the quality required is removed. Yes, acrobats …

Montes Folly is available at multiple locations and online wine stores throughout the U.S.

Woodford Reserve Double Oaked

For those that like their oak doubled

The distillers take two barrels. The first is seasoned outdoors for nine months and is completely toasted and charred on the inside. They age the bourbon. Then comes the second barrel which gets toasted for twice as long. The bourbon from the first barrel gets moved into the second barrel for additional maturation, thus crafting the Woodford Reserve Double Oaked. Available March, 2012 in U.S. markets.

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Fonseca Porto Bin 27

What to drink with your dessert? This port produced north of Portugal can be easily paired with desserts from a classic Linzer cookie to a decadent chocolate soufflé. If you’re down with the the taste of rich and fruity wine, plum and mocha, with a berry aroma then the Fonseca Bin 27 might just be what you’re looking for. Besides, they’ve been making port since 1822, it’s safe to say they’ve got it right by now.

ÖKO water bottle

In-bottle water purifier that works in over 120 countries?

The way we see it, a water filter is a simple concept: you put nasty water in, and tasty water comes out. So when they say that it works in 120 countries, we were a bit confused. But when you think of how nasty water gets in third world countries, it makes sense. ÖKO uses NASA derived filtration technology to provide different filters that are dependent on the country’s water. L.A. water might be gross, but Somalia’s has to be worse. Bottle starts at $22.95.

Beer nerds, we found your doormat!

It's just a mat

Doesn’t this just sum up everything that you are? The Got Beer Doormat tells everyone that comes to you door that you got beer. Might be the wrong message to be sending to your broke friends.

Russian Standard Gold Vodka

Made, distilled and bottled in Russia

If there was ever a healthy Vodka, this would be pretty close, inspired by a recipe developed by Dmitri Mendeleev, the inventor of the periodic table. Encased in a box looking like the cover of Jay-Z and Kanye West’s Watch the Throne. Russian Standard Gold is lightly flavored with extracts from Siberian ginseng making it perfect for getting your health conscious friends drunk. This is not for mixing with Red Bull. Best consumed neat or on the rocks.

His and Hers Valentine chocolates from Seattle Chocolates

From now until February 14, Seattle Chocolates will be featuring a His and Hers Valentine treat. The “Red Hot” for him is dark chocolate with cinnamon oil and crushed cinnamon candy pieces. The “Pink Bubbly” for her is freeze dried raspberries in white chocolate with champagne. Prepare ahead because Valentine’s Day is a day that you want to go right, if you know what I mean.

The Gift

2011 holiday gift guide for the foodie

Who wouldn't want this stuff?

2011-holiday-gift-guide-foodie

So far this week we’ve handpicked gift guides for the traveler and the drinker. Our last guide for this holiday season is for the foodies! Anyone who eats or cooks, will find a special place for these gifts we picked out. Read More

The Gift

2011 holiday gift guide for the drinker

Not just a list of booze

2011-holiday-gift-guide-for-the-drinker

On Monday we posted our handpicked gifts for travelers, here is a list of drinking gifts. We’re sure you know someone who can appreciate these items that we’ve picked out, even your alcohol free buddies. Read More

The Gift

2011 holiday gift guide for the traveler

Gifts for the ones you love, or for yourself

2011-holiday-gift-guide

That’s right, handpicked for the traveler in your life or for your life as a traveler. Give a travel gift this Christmas or make your holiday a travel Christmas. You get the idea. Read More

Xelsis fingerprint ID espresso machine

Stores user preferences

Imagine battles with your significant other ended by a touch of a button. Espresso feuds are brushed away by the The Philips Saeco Xelsis‘ Digital ID. User profiles are stored via fingerprints on the first fully-automated espresso machine honored by the Centro Studi Assaggiatori Italian Tasters. Now imagine the machine cleaning itself, because that’s the stuff dreams are made out of. Available now at $3,199.

Customizable chocolates from Victoria Chocolatier

San Francisco-based Victoria Chocolatier is giving customers thousands of variations through customizable chocolates. Choose between six pure, Belgian bases and a selection of fruits, nuts, and other stuff you may or may not want in your chocolate. Each bar made fresh to order with GMO free chocolates and received within two days via overnight shipping for $6.95.

Photography provided by Nuri/Victoria Chocolatier LLC

Chocolate art for the holidays

You’re at your in-laws house for Thanksgiving and it’s time for dessert. Your brother in law carefully brings out the pumpkin pie that his wife made the night before. He places it in the center of the table, gently lifts the lid off and– BAM! You slam your handcrafted Emanuel Andren chocolates down! Because no one wants to eat pie when there’s a $17 piece of chocolate in the house. Read More