Gifts for Wine Lovers
When it comes to giving gifts, some people are easier than others. We all have that friend or loved one in our life who seems to have everything they want. If that person loves wine, the below list should make things easy! Here are some of our favorite gift ideas, at all price points, to delight every wine lover on your list.
Polishing Cloth $10
If you’ve ever eaten at a high-end restaurant, you may have noticed the perfect shine and clarity of their wine glasses. Yes, they do have professional grade dishwashers and staff dedicated staff to polishing, but they also use different polishing cloths than you have at home. Try a microfiber polishing cloth designed for wine glasses, and you’ll find that not only does your crystal shine brilliantly, but it’s also protected from some of the wear and tear of long-term use. Riedel offers polishing cloths for about $10.
Vacuum Stoppers $10
If you don’t want to finish a bottle of wine in a single evening, you have to decide how to keep it so that it’s still fresh and enjoyable the next day. Broadly speaking, wines will stay fresh for about 24 hours if sealed with their original cork. However, if you’d like to extend the life of the wine by an additional day or two and maintain optimal freshness, try using a vacuum stopper. Professionals and restaurants use these stoppers to maintain their wine programs. The stoppers come with a pump that removes air from the inside of the bottle, which slows the oxidation process, and allows the wine to keep for at least twice as long.
Before you can enjoy a bottle of wine, you have to get it open, and you might as well do so in style! There are many styles of corkscrew on the market, but the vast majority of professionals forgo using fancy gadgets and stick with the trusty “waiter's corkscrew.” Here are a few versions: plain, gold plated, and wooden.
Wine Books $12-$150
There are many books about wine with varying levels of seriousness and depth. Here are three options: The Essential Scratch and Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert: Take a Whiff of That by Richard Betts and Wendy MacNaughton is a fun way to learn about wine and impress your friends. The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson has great pictures, maps, and tons of information. If your friend or family member is extremely serious about wine or has a love of beautiful books, consider Wine Grapes: A Complete Guide to 1,368 Vine Varieties, Including Their Origins and Flavours by Jancis Robinson, Julia Harding, and José Vouillamoz. It’s one of the most comprehensive and picturesque books about wine available.
Sometimes, you can’t get a bottle open with a traditional corkscrew, because the cork is old or fragile enough that it starts to break. That’s when an osso ("ah-so") style wine opener comes in handy. It features two thin pieces of metal that slide into the neck of the bottle, grab the cork, and pull it out of the bottle. As simple as this device is, many people have never seen one and will be thrilled by how useful it is. There are many styles to choose from, but a basic version should work just fine.
Vinturi Aerator $20+
The Vinturi Aerator allows you to “decant” wine instantly. It’s a filter you pour wine through when filling your glass. It has holes on the sides that draw air in and mix with the wine. Not only is it useful, it’s also an impressive novelty to entertain dinner guests.
Ice Bucket $20-$75
An ice bucket may not sound like the most glamorous wine accessory, but it can be both useful and elegant. The classic style of bucket is one that you might see in a fine-dining restaurant, and can be used for chilling bottles with ice, or as a spit bucket if you are doing an extensive tasting. They are usually stainless steel, and you should be sure to get one that is both durable and waterproof. Here is a nice version with a stand.
Sometimes a newly-opened bottle of wine is not at its best, and needs to be exposed to air before its aromas and flavors open up and express themselves fully. This process is called letting the wine "breathe." Opening a bottle and leaving it for twenty minutes to a few hours will accomplish this goal but if you don’t want to wait (or have a flair for the dramatic) try decanting. Decanting a wine is the process of putting it into a vessel with a shape that maximizes the surface area of wine in contact with the air. Decanters are both functional and beautiful, and make a great gift as they can serve as decoration even when they are not being used. Here are a few great examples. Basic, innovative, luxurious.
Although most wine lovers have at least a few pieces of stemware around the house, they might enjoy the chance to drink from a beautiful and functional piece of crystal. The Riedel ("rEE-duhl") brand makes the most famous wine glasses in the world, and have designed shapes for almost any style of wine. The shape of the glass has a real and direct impact on flavor. If you don’t believe it, try a side-by-side comparison between a simple wine glass, a Riedel glass, and a plastic cup. You’ll be blown away! If you’re overwhelmed by the selection offered by Riedel, we suggest these two options, one for red wine and one for white. Each type of glass runs around $60 for a set of two.
One of the most exciting inventions of the past decade in the world of wine accessories, the Coravin, is a device that can remove wine from a bottle without having to open it. It essentially uses a long, durable, needle to pierce the cork and draw out a sample of wine. Its really fun to show off and allows you to enjoy and share the contents of a precious bottle over the course of weeks and months, rather than hours or days.
Beer lovers have been installing kegerators at home for years, but most people don’t realize that a wide variety of high-quality wines are now available in kegs as well. What could be better than fresh wine on tap? For the most part, kegerators designed for beer can also be used for wine.
A bottle of wine would accompany any of these gifts perfectly! Check out our blog, How To Give Wine As A Gift to find the perfect bottle for anyone!