You're two weeks away from Christmas. What are you going to buy the wine lover in your life?

Use every trick in the book The clock is ticking, and the smell of desperation is wafting out of your pores. The problem: what to buy (fill in the blank here with your spouse, boss, relative, friend, neighbor, or significant other) for Christmas or Hanukkah? If you filled in the blank with someone who has any appreciation for wine, the solution is simple: HUGH JOHNSON'S POCKET ENCYCLOPEDIA OF WINE 2001 (Fireside, $14). This great little book is a gold mine of information that can help wine lovers (or those on the upside of the learning curve) better understand the wines they already have and can provide invaluable assistance when shopping for it. It's this latter trait I really appreciate; after all, no one wants to schlep a 25-pound coffee-table tome into a wine shop. But Hugh Johnson's book really does fit neatly into a pocket. Take it into a store and you have instant access to wine definitions, vintage reports, and ratings of wines from all over the world—sweet deal. Terrific wine from an oddball region A couple of months ago, I reviewed a wine from Foris, a little winery in southern Oregon's Rogue Valley region. Given that wine buying is at a fevered pitch this time of year (thanks to a multitude of parties and dinners), I thought I'd pay this producer of affordable and delicious wines another visit. We'll start with the '98 FORIS ROGUE VALLEY PINOT NOIR ($15), a velvety wine with bright cherry flavors that beg to accompany poultry dishes. Next is the little-known '99 FORIS ROGUE VALLEY PINOT BLANC ($13). You'll love its absence of oak and its bright flavors of honeysuckle and jasmine. And finally, there's the '99 FORIS ROGUE VALLEY GEWܒZTRAMINER ($11) that's brimming with spice flavors. Cheers! DENNIS, I'm confused. When I browse through the shelves at my local supermarket, I see some wines from Columbia Winery and others from Columbia Crest. Are they the same winery? CLEO CLEO, They're about as closely related as Pamela Anderson is to Louie Anderson. No, they are entirely different wineries, sharing nothing but the confusion of having similar monikers. To make matters worse, there's another winery called Columbia Cliffs. You'd think that with the vastness of the English language, people could come up with unique names. DENNIS Give the gift of mail: E-mail Dennis at wine@seattleweekly.com.

 
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