Hanselmann Pottery 4908 Corrales Road Starting at $142 for a single place setting
“Dining in” trends have moved away from six courses and Martha Stewart-esque table settings and towards potlucks and simpler, fresher fare in the past several years, and we’re pretty happy about that. With this sea change has come a refreshed appreciation for handmade kitchenware and ceramics, like the beautiful and understated pieces from Hanselmann Pottery in Corrales. The speckled eggshell color of all their pottery can match any other silver or dishware, and the handmade, wabi sabi look is as homey as a roaring fire in the hearth. For the home cook or the homebody, a few place settings—which consist of their 6" breakfast bowl, 8.5" salad plate, and 10" dinner plate—are the perfect gift to make every meal a little more special.
Every self-described beer snob is either already brewing their own beer or is a step away from doing so. For those beer people on your gift list who have yet to make the plunge into homebrewing, there’s no better way to get them started than to send them to Southwest Grape and Grain, the headquarters of all things homebrewing and fermenting in Albuquerque. Not only are these folks wise in their art, they’re also super friendly and happy to share that wisdom with others. Although you could take the plunge and buy the Brewer’s Best Equipment Kit ($140), which has everything a first-time homebrewer needs to get started, I recommend a gift card simply because it will actually get the giftee into the store, where they can get recipes and advice from the staff. A gift card to SWG&G is good both for equipment and for any of the many classes they host throughout the year.
No, we’re not drinking hot cocoa this winter. This is drinkingchocolate, and it’s about 1,000 times better than the old Swiss Miss you’ve got in the pantry. Eldora, the new bean-to-bar chocolatier in Albuquerque, makes this dark chocolate drink that comes in bars of eight servings each. In this special Aztec-style chocolate, roasted cacao is mixed with a little raw cane sugar, mamey seed and rosita de cacao for creaminess and a floral, fruity taste. Melt these down and mix with a little hot water or milk, and you’ve got a new seasonal tradition on your hands.
I know that a growler is a growler is a growler no matter what brewery it’s from, but here’s the thing: Not only does Bow and Arrow have some of my favorite beers in the city, they’ve also got the coolest looking growlers. If you follow them on social media, then maybe you’ve also seen their classy white vacuum-sealed growlers that look like they’re designed to go into outer space. Fill one of those bad boys up with B&A’s Denim Tux lager or their fantastic Cosmic Arrow saison and slap a bow on it—that’s my idea of a good holiday.