Celebrity Chef Giada De Laurentiis Cooks Up Customized Holiday Gift Ideas

In Tight Economic Times, Putting Together Thrifty Yet Thoughtful Presents Doesn't Have to be Difficult

Oct 18, 2011, 11:03 ET from Bella Sera Wines

HEALDSBURG, Calif., Oct. 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Worried about gift-giving this year?  Don't stress. With a dash of creativity and a sprinkle of detail, it's easy to whip up the perfect present with the right personal touch, says Emmy award-winning chef and cookbook author Giada De Laurentiis.

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"I love to add a homemade element, whether it's a freshly baked dessert or custom wrapping, because it makes the gift that much more unique and personal," Giada says. "I also find that pairing a present with a favorite bottle of wine adds a delicious and elegant touch."

Whether you're trying to find the perfect gift for an outdoorsy friend or the host of a holiday gathering, Giada shares her customized gift ideas that make it easier than ever to give a perfectly personal (and price conscious!) present:

For the Movie Fan

As the granddaughter of famed film producer Dino De Laurentiis, Giada knows just what a movie aficionado wants. She suggests choosing a colorful popcorn bowl and adding a bag of gourmet popcorn kernels, an herb-infused olive oil, a favorite light-bodied white wine like Bella Sera Pinot Grigio, and a classic movie on DVD. "Giving the gift of a movie night is the perfect touch for cinema enthusiasts," Giada says. "Plus, the infused olive oil gives the popcorn a special gourmet flair without breaking the bank."

For the Travel Enthusiast

A travel-themed gift basket is a great match for any jetsetter, and Giada enjoys spicing this one up with a little Italian flare. In a canvas tote bag, pop in a popular travel book, a portable clock, a pocket translator and a batch of your favorite biscotti. "I sprinkle green and red sugar crystals on top of my holiday biscotti for a festive garnish," Giada says. "Also, this kind of Italian cookie pairs nicely with a crisp, fruity Italian wine like Bella Sera Moscato."

For the Epicurean

A cookbook is a classic choice to give your favorite foodie, so why not spruce it up Giada-style? "I like to include a finished product of one of the recipes so the recipient can get a flavor of what's inside," she says. Pair those with a favorite bottle of wine – "You can't go wrong with a smooth Bella Sera Pinot Noir," Giada says – and place everything in a decorative wicker basket with a colorful ribbon, and your epicurean gift is cooked to perfection.

For the Outdoor Adventurist

A portable butane camping stove is a must-have for every outdoor enthusiast.  Accompany it with cooking utensils, a sturdy skillet, a batch of homemade Italian flat bread and a versatile red wine like Bella Sera Merlot, and you've created the ultimate camping cookout gift. "A cooking kit is perfect for your outdoorsy friends or relatives because it contains practical items they can use for many of their excursions," Giada says. When it comes to baking flat bread, Giada suggests brushing the dough with extra-virgin olive oil to get a crispy, shiny crust.

For the Romantic

Whether you're gifting a hopelessly romantic friend or a newlywed couple, Giada suggests giving the gift of love with a stylish container full of freshly baked chocolate desserts. Along with it, she adds a pair of wine glasses and a bottle of dry, light-bodied red wine, such as Bella Sera Chianti. "With a delicious dessert and the zesty touch of Chianti, this gift idea is the perfect combination of sweet and spicy romance," Giada says.

For the Holiday Gathering Host/Hostess

A bottle of wine is always a thoughtful host or hostess gift and appreciated at holiday get-togethers. "Bella Sera wines pair wonderfully with a variety of foods, so bring bottles of both red and white to a holiday party," Giada suggests. "That way everyone can choose their favorite and truly get in the holiday spirit."

About Bella Sera Wines

Imported from Italy, Bella Sera means "beautiful evening" and offers inviting, easy to enjoy wines that capture the relaxed, authentic and welcoming essence of Italy.  Inspired by the enjoyment of bringing together good wine, food, friends and family, Bella Sera offers a selection of carefully crafted wines from the renowned regions of Italy. Available in 187mL, 750mL and 1.5L sizes, the award winning selection includes Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir, Chianti, Merlot, and the number one selling Italian Moscato(1).  The wines retail for approximately $7-$9 for a 750mL and $12-$14 for a 1.5L. They can be located through the "Where to Buy" section at www.bellaserawines.com.

(1) SymphonyIRI, Current 4 Weeks ending Aug 7, 2011, TTL US FD-DG, Top Italian Moscatos, Volume Sales

Italian Table Wine, ©2011 Villa di Bella Sera, Healdsburg and Modesto, CA. All rights reserved

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