There's nothing quite like the sweet-tart drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar to brighten up a plate of Parmesan cheese. But it can come at a steep price. This Balsamico Suite, made from the must of the traditional trebbiano and nebbiolo grapes, is an impressive deal. After 10 years aging in cherry, mulberry and oak barrels, it takes on a syrupy, coating texture that is a drizzler's delight.
- Craig LaBan
An 8 oz. bottle of Balsamico Suite, $19.99 exclusively at Di Bruno Bros., 1730 Chestnut St., 215-665-9220.
You will come to love this penguin who turns tap water into sparkling soda. This package from Soda Stream includes two carbonation canisters and two carafes, to make 120 or more bottles of seltzer.
- Maureen Fitzgerald
Soda Club Penguin, $199.95, from Williams-Sonoma, or Soda Club, www.sodaclub.com.
Serve your holiday drinks and appetizers on this lovely wooden tray decoupaged with a reproduction of Volume 1 of the Botanists Repository Comprising Pomegranates.
Wooden botanical tray, $42, at Details, 103 S. 18th St., 215-977-9559.
This authentic, cast-iron Japanese teapot is stunning as well as functional. Fill its infuser with loose tea and brew the perfect cup of tea in a pot that stays hot. Pair it with two Japanese maple-leaf cups for a lovely gift.
Teapot, 22 ounces, $90, cups, $11 each, at Premium Steap, 111 S. 18th St., 215-568-2920.
From Cookies à la Main in West Chester, a star is born. Baked to order by Jen Cascarino, it's an elegant redo of the oatmeal cookie - a lacy, shatteringly crisp oat wafer slicked with sublime dark chocolate. She calls it "Oat Couture;" the best cookie we've bitten into in years. (In handsome, hinged gift boxes.)
- Rick Nichols