Berkshire House's Great Destinations wine guides may not be coffee table beautiful, but they're crammed with info critical to traveling oenophiles. Look for the revised Eastern States guide and the Sonoma and Napa edition ($17.95 each).
Cucina alla Coppola
With his soon-to-open San Francisco food and wine shop, Rosso & Bianco (916 Kearny St.), legendary director and Napa winemaker Francis Ford Coppola adds "retailer" to his long list of credits.
Wine of the Month:
The 1998 Thelema Sauvignon Blanc ($18), from a leading South African producer, is exuberantly fresh and very well balanced.
Now it's easy to know what to pair with an after-dinner stogie, thanks to prestige Cognac makers Pierre Ferrand and A. de Fussigny. Both have created special cigar blends, whose flavors are said to echo the aroma of a great cigar. And for smokers looking for something to drink with dinner, Napa winery Cosentino offers CigarZin, a robust red.
There's still some space left for discerning sybarites on the Sleepy Hollow Wine Company's luxury Millennium Wine Tour of Bordeaux. Highlights of the trip (from December 29 to January 4) include black-tie dinners and tastings at the great chÃ¢teaus. For details, call 914-524-7385.
South of the Border Spirit
Hacienda de Chihuahua Sotol Reposado is one of the latest superpremium mescals to make its way to America. Produced just south of El Paso in the desert of northern Mexico, this smooth-tasting spirit is 100 percent sotol (a wild cousin to agave) and comes in a handblown glass decanter ($40; available nationwide).