Dec 102012
 

Dear Alleigh:
I’m looking for a Christmas present for my brother and I was hoping you could help.  He’s a wine lover but since we’re from a wine drinking family, I’m sure he already has the typical wine things I would normally buy as a gift.  Do you have any suggestions?

I get asked a lot about what makes a good present for a wine lover, particularly around the holidays.  It’s a hard question to answer, since everyone’s budget is different and often what a wine lover loves is, well, wine.  However, I think there are some fun options for “the wine lover that has everything.”  Here are 10 ideas to get you started:

Wine Books ($5+)
There are wine books out there for every type of wine lover, but here are some ideas of books that I’ve either read and loved or have on my “to read” list.  The wine lover with wanderlust may enjoy Ferenc Máté’s A Vineyard in Tuscany: A Wine Lover’s Dream, while the politically-minded wine lover may go for fellow blogger Tyler Coleman’s Wine Politics: How Governments, Environmentalists, Mobsters, and Critics Influence the Wines We Drink.  The feminist wine lover may be enjoy Ann Matasar’s Women of Wine: The Rise of Women in the Global Wine Industry, while the foodie wine lover may be thrilled with The Food Lover’s Guide to Wine.  As you’re putting together your book basket, just remember that some books, like The Oxford Companion to Wine and Sotheby’s Wine Encyclopediawhich are both great for the scholarly wine lover, only come in hardcover copies.  So, double check before you do any Internet shopping.

Wine Glasses ($10+)
Every wine drinker needs a glass, so what better present than nice glasses?  You could look one that matches your wine drinkers hobby, like the Knit 1 Sip 1 knitting wine glasses I’ve had my eyes on.  Or, you could buy a set of holiday glasses that help celebrate the festive time of year.  If you want to buy something a little more special, the Riedel Vinum Bordeaux Glasses set is a must have for every wine drinker.


Wine Soiree ($20-$45)
There are a lot of different aerators on the market, but in my opinion, the  is the best.  It takes a big, bold red that needs to breathe and makes it drinkable immediately. And, it does so simply by using a small glass aerator that goes into the top of the bottle before you pour.  No fancy stands.  No holding a special device as you try to pour wine through a small hole.  No waiting while wine sits in the decanter. The Wine Soiree is an easy to use, easy to clean aerator that would make the perfect Christmas stocking stuffer or small Chanukah present.

The Corksicle ($25)

I discovered the Corksicle last year, and even though I don’t have one, I’ve seen one in use…and desperately want one of my own.  It will keep chilled white wines cold, as well as bring warm red wines down to the right drinking temperature. All you have to do is plan 90 minutes ahead, as that’s how long should be in the freezer before you use it.  Then, when you’re ready to drink, you simply open the wine, pour out a taste (or your first glass) put the Corksicle into the open bottle…and voila!  What’s even better is that the Corksicle is not only reusable, but also comes in a variety of different colors, as well as in the original “cork.”  Definitely another good option for a stocking stuffer or small Chanukah present.

Brix:Chocolate for Wine ($25-$50)
Wine lovers are also often chocolate lovers, and there are few things in this world that are as enjoyable together as the right wine and the right chocolate.  Brix specifically makes chocolate that was meant to be paired with wine.  So, if you know your wine lover likes a particular type of wine, you can buy a chocolate that pairs well with that wine.  If, however, they are an equal opportunity wine drinker, there are plenty of assorted chocolate options, so that there is a chocolate for every wine.

Wine samplers ($25+)
Maybe your wine lover enjoys exploring new wines, but has mentioned that s/he hates spending money on unknown bottles.  Tastingroom.com has the perfect answer for that–packages with several mini bottles large enough for a “tasting” portion of wine.  I haven’t had a chance to write up reviews from wines that I’ve tasted through these sample packages, but I promise you, this is a great way to discover new wines without having to shell out a lot of money.  Even if you don’t end up buying one as a present, I highly recommend giving these samplers a chance  yourself.

Wine or Wine Club ($30+)
Obviously, you can buy wine for less than $30, but I figured that if you’re buying a present for someone you weren’t planning on buying Two Buck Chuck.  A Glass After Work is full of options for wine, so I’ll leave you to searching the site for something that works for you.  If you have questions, though, definitely email me!  If you’re thinking about a wine club membership, you probably are looking at spending at least $50, and likely more.  I’ve written about my thoughts on wine clubs before, and I do think they’d make a good gift.  There are really two options—a winery run club, like the one I belong to at Storybook Mountain Winery; or a non-winery club, the Virginia Wine of the Month Club  or WSJ Wine.

Wine Cellar Sign ($130)
Not everyone has the space for something like this, but if your wine lover has a finished basement with a bar or a wine cellar area, having a personalized wine cellar sign would be the perfect addition.  There are lots of items like this on the market, but the ones made of real wood seem to be in this price range.  Be careful, though, as not all of them are made from real barrels.  If that’s what you’re looking for, make sure you double-check the description.

Recycled Wine Barrel Table ($380)
This is probably pushing the budget for most people, but this recycled wine barrel table seems like it would be the perfect addition to any wine lovers home.  It’s stunning.

If you didn’t find what you were looking for on this list, you may want to look at my list from last year.  I put together two—a list of ideas for gifts under $25 that would be perfect for to bring to a party or use as stocking stuffers, as well as a list of slightly more expensive ideas.  There are a couple of ideas that show up on both last year’s and this year’s lists, but most of this year’s list is new.

Question of the Day: Did I miss something that you think would make a great present?  I’d love to hear what you’ve received or what you’ve given, so please share!

Cheers!
-Alleigh

Do you have a question?  Don’t be shy!
Send me an email, leave your question as a blog comment, or ask me on Twitter!

  2 Responses to “Mailbag Monday: Presents for a Wine Lover?”

  1. I did a Google search for the Knit 1, Sip 1 wine glasses and this was the fourth link that came up. LOL! Did you ever get one? And I LOVE my Wine Soiree!

    • I love that I came up for the Knit 1, Sip 1 wine glass search. Sadly, it’s still on my wish list, but I’m crossing my fingers that this year is the year I get them ;-)

      And, I don’t know what I would do without my Wine Soiree!

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