Inspired by my mom since I was a little girl, I’ve always been an early holiday decorator and shopper. If I haven’t selected three to five uncommon and ever-so-delightful gifts by the time Santa’s Enchanted Forest begins testing its lights in early October, I start feeling a bit behind — as is the case this year. Thankfully, our annual Holiday Gifts & Givers issue really delivers, and I’m overjoyed to discover more than 60 fabulous ideas from 11 connoisseurs of good taste.
Let the shopping season begin with a few age-appropriate recommendations from our youngest contributor, Fabiola Isabel Comas. This amazing 11-year-old has impeccable taste in theater, getaways and bags, like her favorite Vendula Coffee Truck Grab Bag. My Vendula choice is the Prosecco Bar Truck Pouch, but each is a unique and whimsical work of art. Fabi notes that these bags are absolutely shareable between moms and daughters, and I wholeheartedly agree!
For the discerning men in your life, Brandon Tanner inspires with several gift choices. I’m positive my husband, Bill, would appreciate his very own exquisitely hand-tailored blazer from Stitched. And I suspect he may roll his eyes when he finds out I signed up Samson, our dachshund, for BarkBox, one of dog expert Meg Connolly’s suggestions for pet owners.
If all these imaginative gift ideas aren’t enough, peruse Launching Now, where Eric Barton recommends a handful of events and experiences to enjoy in the 305. There’s nothing like fresh-picked fruit, like lychees and limes, from a local farm, and the Taste of Redland program delivers just that. Or purchase some tickets to a local food and wine festival for a friend… and then join them for the fun! Your choices abound — the Seed, Doral and Coconut Grove fests are all lined up for November, when our weather is just right for outdoor tasting and sipping.
And if it’s sips you’re savoring, check out the always-bubbly Heath Porter with his pairing recommendations in Pour, like a 2016 Gewürztraminer for your next pig roast. As he describes it, “the sweetness of the wine with the saltiness of the roast pork is yin and yang magic.” All five of his selections are impressive, but LOL-amusing is how this witty sommelier manages to weave together Disney and Pitbull in describing the Broadbent Madeira. He can talk wine to me anytime!
Speaking of wine, a glass enjoyed on a balcony with a spa tub certainly has its charms, and that’s exactly what’s on the agenda at the newly renovated and casually luxurious Cheeca Lodge & Spa in Islamorada, as reported by our editor Evan Benn in Staycation. Prefer going farther afield? Hop a flight to NOLA for dinner at one of the celebrated restaurants of former Miami chef Nina Compton, named 2018 Best Chef: South by the James Beard Foundation.
No matter how you enjoy the season, all of us at INDULGE hope our 2018 Gifts & Givers issue helps put you in the holiday spirit. I will be taking advantage of this great gift selection to finish checking off my “Nice” list, and to make Mami proud. I may even do so with a glass of Joy — that is, 2004 Iron Horse Joy sparkling wine from Sonoma, one of Heath’s expert picks. Cheers!