Wine from Shallon Winery in Astoria, Oregon. This was on my list from last year because it's worth it and as of August the owner was still alive and running the winery! Unfortunately the only way to get this wine is to visit the winery, but lucky for you, the trip is so worth it! This winery is a one man operation and he's about 80 years old. The first thing he'll do when you walk in is lock the door. Don't be alarmed, he just wants to devote all his attention to you and not be bothered by any other pesky customers. Allow at least 30 minutes to listen to his spiel and taste his wines. This will not be a quick 'run in for some chocolate wine' kind of trip. WHOA! Did she just say CHOLOCOLATE WINE!? Yes I did and it is fabulous!!!
Ransom Dry Gin I have it on good authority that if you're a gin drinker, this is the gin to get. It's made in the Willamette Valley of Oregon and has won numerous awards. Pair it with a cocktail recipe book such as The New Cocktail Hour: The Essential Guide to Hand-Crafted Drinks or these awesome handmade tumblers with embedded Oregon, Washington, or California mountain tops and you'll be set for the long winter ahead!
Everlane Linen Scoop-Neck Tee Ok, enough with the booze....I purchased one of these last September and I loved it and have worn it so much, I just ordered two more! I really like the way they drape effortlessly and the fact that they're so versatile. They can be worn with jeans or can easily be dressed up with a skirt or blazer.
Leatherman - Micra Multi-Tool Because what's a gift guide without a knife? This is a great tool for your purse or pocket. I'm rarely without mine, except when I get it taken away at the airport because I forgot to remove it from my purse--fair warning. This tool and my Maglite Flashlight are two items that get moved from bag to bag.
Camera Bag/Backpack. Speaking of bags, I love the bags from this shop and the fact that they are so inexpensive. I purchased one of their backpacks a few years ago and it has held up great. I use it as day pack and sometimes a camera bag by using the optional camera insert pouch.
Keeping with the camera theme, about a year ago, I purchased this camera strap for my camera. It sure beats the Nikon nylon strap that came with the camera. It's soft and not itchy and is very well made with leather ends and quality hardware. I'm almost always asked about it when I use it. The store sells wrist straps as well.
Palo Santo Incense Sticks This is my latest obsession! I've been a big time candle burner in the past but these sticks have just about ended my candle burning. If you've never burned palo santo before, you simply light the end of it, then blow out the flame and wave the smoke around your room (you can chant if you like). The sticks don't burn for long but the woodsy, clean scent they leave behind really last without overpowering like some candles do.
It's at this time of year I really appreciate my pogies. What are pogies you ask? Well they're handlebar mits for your bicycle that keep your hands warm and dry. I purchased mine a year ago from Portland Pogies. After riding with them all winter last year I can honestly say they are the best bike accessory (besides helmet and lights) I've purchased! If you know of a year round bike commuter, this is one gift that's sure to please!
Soap from Lora's Beauty This was also on my list from last year and is an obvious promotion of my wonderful, artisan soaps! However, for those of you who haven't tried the awesomeness that is artisan soap, may I recommend a few. The Peppermint Goats' Milk Bar made with menthol and peppermint essential oil has been a popular soap. Know someone who has trouble waking up in the morning? Get a few bars of this for their stocking and shower! Another favorite is the Little Black Bar (pictured) made with activated charcoal and scented with a blend of lemongrass and basil. This is a great facial bar or use it for shampoo and enjoy the benefits of activated charcoal for your hair!