Recession Riedel

Riedel is synonymous with luxury when it comes to crystal, thanks to its famous fishbowl glasses at nearly $100 a stem. The Target-ized version is slimmed down, from bowl size to lead content (this Tyrol crystal is lead-free) and - most important - price. The Vivant series rings in at one-tenth the cost of Riedel's top line, but the glasses are still far superior to most other inexpensive glasses, with an elegantly thin edge and a generous shape for swirling your best everyday vintage.

- Craig LaBan

Riedel Vivant red wine glasses, set of 4, at Target for $39.99.

Chocolate spice

Chef Marcie Turney has been showing off her new chocolate chops at Verde, the fresh flower and confection shop on 13th Street, with partner Valerie Safran. Herbs and liquor add a culinary angle to the truffles (La Colombe coffee with Maker's Mark). But the dark-chocolate nut clusters pay spicy homage to the couple's duo of nearby restaurants, with Madras curry-dusted cashew clusters winking to Indian Bindi across the street, and a rusty red chile dust over Marcona almonds and chocolate nodding to Mexican Lolita next door.

- C.L.

Spice-dusted chocolate-nut clusters, $2 per piece (or $14.95 for 8) at Verde, 108 S. 13th St., 215-546-8700.

Effortless cork-popping

I know - it's one more gadget cluttering the kitchen counter. But for those who are vexed by the inability to pull a cork from a wine bottle, this is for you. Just position it over the wine bottle, press the button and Voila! The cork is out. The device, which resembles a cordless drill, fits into a rechargeable base unit and removes up to 80 corks with a full charge.

- Maureen Fitzgerald

Waring Pro Cordless Wine Opener, $40; at Fante's, 1006 S. Ninth St., 215-922-5557.