Wine Gifts

Apparently, many of you love our gift guide but think it’s been getting too long.  So this year the guide has been split into two. This is the first edition, with the second –the holiday wine guide– coming out in early December. 

Have a great Thanksgiving!

Keith Wallace, Founder
Wine School of Philadelphia


Cool People Deserve This

The irony of my job is that I’d probably drink a lot more if it wasn’t for the high-caliber of our students. Self-obsessed wine snobs depress me, which is why we are always looking for more of folks like you

Outside of human cloning, the best way is a bit of holiday matchmaking. If you have wine-loving folks on your gift list, maybe send them one of our gift certificates?  They will love it, and I won’t resort to freebasing Zoloft.

A Free $25 Dollar Gift Certificate for New Students

Haven’t attended a class at the school yet? Are you awesome? Well, we have a sweet little gift for you. Bring a friend, and this gift code will take $25 off your first class.
Gift Certificate Code: wsop31z8si  

Terms & Conditions: This code will expire in December 2018, you must register for two seats, not valid with other offers, and don’t be a self-obsessed wine snob.

Sommelier  Inspired Gifts

Old City Canning Co.

Old City Canning Co.

When Stanford told me his plans for Old City Canning Co, I was skeptical. Why’s this dude making candles?  But then he busted one out, and it all made sense.

The guy’s aced his Sommelier certification and is only a few months from earning his Advanced Somm degree, too. He knows scents as few people do.  And he’s killing it.   “Campfire” is a personal favorite, but the “Driftwood & Moss” is a fantastic background scent for dinner, especially if you pop open a bottle of Pinot Noir.

Locally made candles hand-crafted by a Sommelier? This is an awesome gift.  Check it out here:

Swarovski Encrusted Wine Key

During last summer’s Wine Instructor Certification program, one of the top sommeliers in the program pulled out this bad boy, and I was smitten with the bling. I’ve been using one ever since, especially when famous winemakers visit. It’s pretty much guaranteed to banish all snobbery from the proceedings.   Check it out here:

Wine & Spirits Books for 2018

Is it wrong to still love books so much? 

Hungover: The Morning After and One Man’s Quest for the Cure

A delightful trip down memory lane. Or more precisely, a stumble down the murky recollections of one saucy author. Shaughnessy Bishop-Stall delves deep into the myths and traditions of the morning after. Written with wit and backed with solid academic research, Hungover is the book we all will need this holiday season.   Via Amazon.

Tasting the Past

Tasting the Past: The Science of Flavor and the Search

Science writer Kevin Begos (Scientific American, New York Times) has crafted an epic journey into the center of wine history. This book is now the defacto standard for teaching wine history at the Wine School.  A deep and compelling book that barbecues some sacred cows while serving up some much-needed scientific rigor. Bravo! Amazon Link

How to Import Wine Second Edition

Starting in the early 90’s, Deborah Gray was importing top-tier wines from Australia to the United States. She introduced Schild Estate and Torbreck to American wine lovers long before the low-rent kangaroos jumped across the globe.

Since released in 2011, the first edition has been the essential guide to wine importing. A lot of laws and procedures have changed in the past seven years, and this edition is a welcome update. If you are thinking of importing (or exporting) wine, this book will be a critical part of your education. Amazon link


101 Wines to Try Before You Die

This year, some of our suggestions for wine books have been extremely geeky. That comes with the terrior, kiddo. If you are looking for a more hedonistic read, I’d suggest 101 Wines. Be warned: make sure you have a few bucks in your pocket before you pick it up: you’ll be tempted to buy each and every wine in this book.

I have a deep respect for Marget Rand, and her wine choices are well considered. If all you drink are these 101 wine, then you’ve lived well.   Amazon link

Whiskey America

If you’ve been around the world of whiskey, then the name Michael Jackson will drop you into the golden realm of single-malt nostalgia. He was the poet laureate of all things whisk(e)y, and his book, The Complete Guide to Single Malt Scotch, was the trade’s bible.  

With his passing in 2007, the authorship of the tome went to Dominic Roskrow. Over the past few years, he’s come out of Jackson’s shadow and is rightfully known as the greatest living whiskey writer.

If you want to keep up with ongoing trends in American Whiskey, pick up this book. It is one of the top reference books I use for my bourbon tasting classes.   Amazon link

The Bourbon Bible

Eric Zandona has an awesome job. He’s the Director of Spirits Information for the American Distilling Institute, a trade group for craft distillers.  He also writes for their in-house publishing group, White Mule Press. The Bourbon Bible is perfect for the new –or newly passionate– drinker of fine bourbon.  The history, the essential bottles, and a compendium of great cocktails are between the pages.  Amazon link.

That’s it for now! Hope to see you soon!




The best Thanksgiving wine is the one everyone enjoys at the table. Know your audience! My in-laws love a touch of sweetness in their wines, so I go with a demi-sec Vouvray, a single-vineyard Zin, and a Lambrusco Grasparossa.