Finding a gift for a wine lover can be a daunting task. Like trying to find the right pipe tobacco, or cigars for a smoker, wine connoisseurs can also be a persnickety lot. It’s been my experience that you are better off getting something inexpensive and fun, rather than something pricey that may never be taken out of the box. There are many things available that I would classify as ‘stocking-stuffers’, that are both fun and functional.
If the wine lover in your life is also a techno-geek, they are sure to appreciate Metrocane’s Electric Wine Bottle opener. It has a back-lit LED readout that tells you how many more uses it has before needing a recharge, a slim tube design, and smooth operation. It can open a bottle in 5 seconds, or less, and is easy to handle, even for people with small hands. It is much easier to use than a traditional corkscrew, and a bargain for a retail price of less than $50.00.
When it comes to appreciating the great wines of France, Michael Broadbent literally wrote the book. Michael Broadbent’s Vintage Wine-50 Years of Tasting Three Centuries of Wine is a 560 page literary tour through the great chateaux of Boudeau, tons of detailed notes on wines and vintages. Broadbents decades-long experience with wine-tasting, and extensive knowledge of all things wine is matched by his witty, and very readable writing style. This should be required reading for anyone wanting to build a wine collection, and at $35.00 a copy, it is well worth the money.
Most of us hate it when a white wine or champagne is served too warm. This problem can be eliminated with a Vacuvin Prestige Wine Cooler. These neat little units use a re-useable cooling element that you keep in the freezer until ready to use. The Wine Cooler will chill a bottle to the perfect temperature in 5 minutes, and keep it at that temperature for hours, all without the need for any electricity, or electrical cords running about, or batteries that need to be changed. There is also no watery mess to have to clean up. At a mere $19.00, no wine lover should be without one of these.
Every wine connoisseur needs at least one nice decanter. Lead crystal is beautiful, but recent studies have indicated that during long-term storage, lead can leach into the wine, creating a possible health-risk. The answer may be one of the exquisite natural lead-free crystal decanters from Ravenscroft Sommelier. The Breathing Decanter is 8” tall by 7” wide and holds 40 ounces. It will easily hold a standard 750ml amount of wine. The crystal has an unearthly sheen to it, and showcases both the color, and clarity of your wine. At $45.00, it’s hard to go wrong with this gift.
Have you ever considered giving someone a Wine Club membership? Wine clubs are a great way to sample some exceptional wines with the convenience of to-your-door shipping. There are red wine clubs, white wine clubs, French wine clubs, California wine clubs, International wine clubs, and just about any other kind you can think of. Most clubs send you one or two bottles of wine per month from California or International vineyards, complete with a first-class newsletter, tasting notes, recipes and food pairing suggestions. There are different membership levels for all budgets, and their panel of wine experts ensure that every bottle you get will be top-notch. For someone new to the world of wine, this is a great way to learn a lot, fast.
For the person who would like to develop a professional ability to evaluate wine, consider the Think Like A Genius Wine Master DVD. Master Sommelier Tim Gaiser walks you through each step of wine tasting, with suggestions on cues to component confirmation, mental recall strategies, and paradigm shifts. By breaking down the wine tasting process into visual, olfactory, and taste sections, then rebuilding them into intuitive habits, tasters will be equipped to properly evaluate, and remember wines for long periods of time. He includes helpful hands-on tips for categorizing wine components. The package contain a 25 minute high-quality DVD, and an accompanying instructional book. The information is priceless, but the DVD is only $29.00.
A Wine Magazine subscription is one of the more thoughtful gifts for wine lovers, that can be enjoyed all year. Wine magazines contain valuable information about wines, wineries, accessories, current relevant news, reviews of wines, and wine-related products, food-pairings, listings for wine-tastings and festivals, and much more. Some of the better publications are : Quarterly Review of Wines, Wine and Spirits Magazine, Wine Enthusiast Magazine, Wine Spectator Magazine, Food and Wine, and Wine Maker. All of them are under $20.00 per year.
For wine to be at it’s best, it needs to be stored in the proper position and at the right temperature. And the best way to do it is with your own personal wine cellar. Sky Enterprises 16-bottle Wine Cooler stores your wine properly, on it’s side. It features and adjustable temperature control to keep the wine at it’s optimum temperature, a digital LED display, a lamp button to control the lighting, quiet internal fans to keep the internal temperature even, and ultra quiet operation. It is compact, and can be used in almost any size room. And the best part of all…it is only $84.95 + s & h from Amazon.com.
And lastly, for the connoisseur that likes to go to wine festivals, and wineries, consider the Neoprene Wine Tote Bag from wine enthusiast.com. It is an insulated messenger-style bag that holds three bottles of wine, and will keep them cool. Transporting wine from home, or from a winery has never been easier. The bag holds the bottles securely and does not allow them to clink together. There is an outside pocket to hold wine journals, wine passports, or other important items. Other nice touches are a detachable shoulder strap and two gel ice packs. The only drawback is that wine totes cannot be used to transport wine on an airliner. But for domestic transport, at $29.00, these are hard to beat.
These are just a few of the possible choices of gifts for wine lovers. The only real limitation is your imagination.