By Wanda Baker and Tom Firth

Savour Calgary 2019 Holiday Gift Guide Master Chocolat make-your-own chocolate bar

Create your own chocolate bar

With one Master Chocolat store already in Marda Loop and a second in the works for South Calgary, fourth-generation chocolatier Bernard Callebaut continues to stay on trend with his chocolate. The new create-your-own 80-gram chocolate bar station allows you to choose your chocolate, select from 20 toppings including candy canes during the holiday season, and watch the result go into the blast chiller to firm up. Once solid, it’s wrapped in foil and given a fancy bar wrapper, and the store will even personalize it with a name on the wrapper.

Create-your-own chocolate bar station, Master Chocolat, $7.99

Fry me to the moon

Air-fryers are the latest darlings on Pinterest. An air fryer is a small convection oven that fits on your countertop and fulfills your choice of several functions, including roasting, toasting, dehydrating, proofing, and air frying using hot air circulation. It works by coating food in a thin layer of oil at hot temperatures while circulating heat to initiate a reaction. Make French fries at home, without the fuss of a deep fryer. Find this item online or in the Williams Sonoma CF Chinook Centre.

Philips XXL Airfryer, Williams Sonoma, $359.95

Savour Calgary 2019 Holiday Gift Guide Philips XXL Air Fryer
Savour Calgary 2019 Holiday Gift Guide Pie Junkie Gift Box

There’s a pie junkie in all of us

Occasionally everyone needs a pie fix. At Pie Junkie, you’ll find sweet and savoury pies baked in a four-ingredient butter pastry available all year round. This holiday season, Pie Junkie is offering two 16 cm pies of your choosing in a lovely wood box. There’s a space in the box for your favourite libation, or sparkling water, to be added later. Try the Turkey Dinner Pie, Tourtiere or the Cranberry Bakewell. Order in advance to ensure you get ‘em on time.

Pie Gift Box, Pie Junkie, $70.00

Cozy up with a new book this winter

For the everyday baker who wants to have warming soups or stews on the table for dinner, or longs to try a new cookie recipe like “Feuillantines” for an annual holiday swap, check out the newly released cookbook, Duchess at Home. This gorgeous cookbook is from the founder of Duchess Bake Shop in Edmonton, Giselle Courteau. She draws on her French- and French-Canadian heritage to share the food she loves to make at home. Included are chapters for breakfast and lunch, French favourites, Quebecois cuisine, dishes for Christmas and special occasions.

Duchess At Home cookbook – Giselle Courteau, Indigo Books & Music Inc. , $35.00

Savour Calgary 2019 Holiday Gift Guide Duchess at Home cookbook
Savour Calgary 2019 Holiday Gift Guide Boska fondue pot

The good old melting pot

In 18th-century Switzerland, families had little access to fresh foods during winter months, so they would dip their stale bread into a flavourful melting pot of aged cheese, sometimes with wines, garlic and herbs. This way of cooking together over one pot and eating by a warm cozy fire became the Swiss winter tradition we know as fondue. Great fondue starts with a great pot. Edelweiss Imports carries Boska Holland pots in small or large pots, cast iron, ceramic, even copper, gas or tea-light fuelled. Our favourite fondues: chocolate, cheese, and meat cooked in broth.

Boska fondue pots, Edelweiss Imports, $29.95 – $199.95

Give the gift of an experience

Give someone a unique experience by purchasing a gift certificate for a cooking class at The Cookbook Co. Cooks. Classes are all listed on the website, or purchase a preset gift card amount and let the recipient pick their own class. One of several perks of these classes includes receiving two glasses of wine selected by the staff at Metrovino to enjoy throughout the evening.

The Cookbook Co. Cooks Cooking Program gift certificates, The Cookbook Co. Cooks, any amount

Savour Calgary 2019 Holiday Gift Guide Cookbook Co. Cooks Gift Certificate
Savour Calgary 2019 Holiday Gift Guide Nachtmann Crystal Glasses at Savour Fine Foods

Crystal glassware

Making classic cocktails at home has become all the rage and it’s made that much more fun with the right glassware. Savour Fine Foods and Kitchenware offers a selection of glasses including the Nachtmann Crystal Highball glass sets. Suitable for serving everything from fine whiskies to cocktails, they can also be used to fancy-up your juice, sparkling water and soft drinks. These lovely glasses are available in sets of four and are sure to add a touch of sparkle to your table or home bar this holiday season.

Nachtmann crystal highball glass set, Savour Fine Foods and Kitchenware $33.00 – $45.00

Refill, recycle, reuse

We’re all about doing our share for the environment, so any time we can find products we can refill, recycle or reuse, it’s a good day. Canary Goods in Kensington is a relatively new “refillery” and zero-waste market. It’s Ultimate Zero Waste Kit, available online or in the store, offers a variety of helpful items including beeswax food wraps, copper pads, Stasher  reusable silicone bags, a dish brush, a tote, and even a cotton gauze produce bag.

Ultimate Zero Waste Kit, Canary, $129.00

Savour Calgary 2019 Holiday Gift Guide Canary Zero Waste Kit

Dom Pérignon 2008 Champagne

It’s the gold standard of sparklers and the champion of Champagne. The 2008 edition (and yes, it’s the current release) is the first vintage under the guidance of the new chef de caves, Vincent Chaperon, who formally took the reins in early 2019. Dom Pérignon shows austerity or finesse rather than plumpness, but the 2008 is rife with mineral presence, citrus and almost bracing acids.

Price: $250

Glenmorangie Allta Private Edition No. 10 Single Malt Whisky

The 10th iteration of Glenmorangie’s Private Edition series, Allta is a small, limited release that uses wild indigenous yeast growing on the distillery’s own barley – a first for whisky. Bottled at cask strength of 51.2 percent ABV, the whisky’s nose is delicate, with bread-crust, hard caramel, and mild citrus tones. A small splash of water opens up the toffee and caramel characters, which are accompanied by spicy heat.

Price:  $195

Savour Calgary 2019 Holiday Gift Guide Glenmorangie Allta Private Edition No. 10 Single Malt Whisky
Savour Calgary 2019 Gift Guide Taylor Fladgate 2017 Port

Taylor Fladgate 2017 Vintage Port

Part of the joy of cellaring wine is that it’s an investment in your future enjoyment. These wines – made only in the finest years in Portugal’s Douro Valley –  are massive, powerful beasts in their youth; with 15-20 (or more) years in the cellar, they become nuanced, polished treasures. Taylor Fladgate, the pinnacle producer of port, in its 2017 vintage, delivers blackest berry fruits with pressed herbs, and wonderfully intense floral character.

Price: $150

Lustau Vermut

Vermut (or vermouth) is a fortified, aromatized wine. The root of vermouth is “wermuth,” or wormwood, which has a long history as a medicinal ingredient. Hailing from Spain, the Lustau white vermut utilizes fino sherry and muscatel for the base, while the red uses Amontillado and pedro xinemez sherries.  Earthy, tropical and richly herbal, these are excellent to have on hand for the cocktail buff on your list.

Price: $28

Savour Calgary 2019 Holiday Gift Guide bottle of vermut
Savour Calgary 2019 Holiday Gift Guide

Cabin Brewing Retrospectrum Pale Ale

Locally made beer is always a treat, and it’s a beautiful little glimpse into wherever you are. Are the local beers cheap or thin? Big and brassy? I’m thrilled about, and proud of, the quality of craft beer being made here at home. Cabin’s Retrospectrum hits all the high notes of rich tropical tones, with a weight  that makes every sip an adventure.

Price: $16