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Gifting isn't always easy. You have to consider what the recipient wants, needs, and might use, but you also have to think about the message that you’re sending. A vacuum might be a useful and practical gift, but it’s not exactly an exciting present to unwrap. Giving the gift of wine (or a wine-related accessory) sets the right mood for a party. Wine is decadent, indulgent, interesting, and fun. The gifts on the list below manage to bring the excitement and be useful at the same time.
For the friend or family member who occasionally struggles with corks, this electric wine opener is a dream. Just place this opener over a wine bottle and remove the cork with one touch of a button.
The sleek design and small footprint make it easy to leave the entire device charging on your countertop, but if space is limited, there’s no need to worry. This corkscrew can open up to 30 bottles on a single charge. It’s easy to tuck it away in a drawer and charge it every few months.
For a wine lover with a flair for the dramatic, consider this countertop wine opener. This lever-operated opener comes with an included stand, but to save space it can be removed from the stand and fastened directly to a countertop or table ledge. That way it’s always within arms reach, and its owner can be ready to open a bottle of wine at a moment's notice.
The antique-inspired design is unique and durable. To open a bottle just place it inside the clamp; one full pull down on the lever completely removes the cork. It’s so fun to use that its owner will want to open bottle after bottle. This bottle opener is a guaranteed conversation starter.
Decanters are a useful tool when drinking bold reds or aged wines. Allowing a wine to mellow out in a decanter will bring its best flavors, and it will also double as a beautiful table centerpiece. This model from Vintorio has a large base that will allow wine to aerate properly. It also features an angled spout designed to make pouring easy, and to minimize drops and spills.
Of course, since this is also a serving vessel, appearances matter. This decanter’s simple, sleek design will blend in with almost any style of home decor.
The majority of what we taste in wine is actually not about taste at all, it’s about what we can smell. Because of this, the wine glass can actually have a huge impact on the taste of the beverage. Some glasses funnel aromas directly toward your nose, while others allow them to fan out widely.
Reidel has been manufacturing crystal glasses for over 300 years. They’re considered the iconic producer of wine glasses, and are the only stemware you’ll find in high-end European restaurants that are serious about wine. Reidel pioneered the production of varietal-specific glasses. The bowl of each glass is designed to complement the aromatic profile of its specific grape.
For those not ready to invest in several different sets of wine glasses, the Riedel Zinfandel/Riesling glasses are well-suited for red and white wines and are sure to enhance the drinking experience.
A wine rack helps keep bottles organized and also frees up cabinet space. This elegant rack will hold up to six bottles, keeping them safe and tidy. Storing wine on its side will prevent the cork from drying out, so this rack will actually help keep those save-for-a-special-occasion-bottles in prime drinking condition.
The material itself is durable, with an anti-rust and anti-oxidation finish. It’s made to last for years. This rack’s sleek deco-inspired design will give any home a little bit of old-world glamour, and it’s a great gift for anyone decorating a new living space.
For a friend who loves to host, this marble wine chiller is a beautiful and practical gift. This sleek vessel will keep a bottle of white or sparkling wine refreshingly cool, and look beautiful at the center of a table.
To use, it can be filled with ice, or the entire container can be placed into the freezer several hours before use. Marble naturally retains its temperature well, so this thick-walled chiller will stay cold for hours. When not in use, it’s attractive enough to display on a bar or countertop, and can even double as a vase or utensil holder.
For a sparkling wine lover, consider this set of retro stemware. Champagne flutes, the tall narrow glasses sometimes used to serve sparkling wine, are designed to preserve the carbonation in the liquid, but the small opening can limit the perception of aromas for the drinker. These wide-mouthed coupes will expose more of the wine to oxygen, changing both the texture and the flavor of the wine. The bubbles will take on a light and frothy texture, and the full range of aroma and flavor will leap out of the glass. The beautiful design is just a fun bonus.
Shopping for wine should be fun, but carrying home a bag full of clinking bottles can be stressful. This specialized wine carrying bag from Fisioan has a flat bottom and individual compartments that make it easy to carry up to six bottles of wine at a time. The thick and sturdy fabric will keep every bottle upright and padded to ensure that they arrive safely at home.
The Wine Bible
Wine experts and novices alike will find something new in this comprehensive guide to wine. Karen MacNiel’s Wine Bible is a best-selling masterpiece full of hard facts and entertaining anecdotes. She covers the history of wine making, important wine growing regions, and the elements of tasting wine.
For those new to the world of wine, this book can help the reader figure out which grapes and regions suit their tastes. More experienced drinkers will love digging in to the information on obscure varietals and recommended bottles. Weighing in at over 1,000 pages, this book will become a go-to resource to open up time and time again when the desire to learn something new hits. It’s the perfect thing to bring to a wine tasting, or to quickly consult when picking a bottle to have with dinner.
Anyone who loves a day at the beach will use this insulated wine bag. It’s made from neoprene, the same material used to make wetsuits, and will keep any bottle of wine chilled for hours. This option from Hipiwe holds two bottles in separate compartments so that they won’t clink around. It also features a comfortable handle. This tote has everything needed to keep the beach party going all afternoon.
For the wine enthusiast who likes spending time outside, this kit comes with everything you need to enjoy a glass of wine in the park. Just strap a bottle of wine into the side pouch, throw in a wedge of cheese, and get going. The kit includes four plastic wine glasses, so there’s no need to worry about fragile glass. Best of all, it’s easy to carry. The traditional picnic basket can get a little heavy for those who like to bring a few bottles along. This system packs everything neatly into a wide-strapped backpack, so that the wearer can actually enjoy the journey there.
For extreme wine geeks, consider the Coravin wine preserving system. Normally, once you open a bottle of wine, a clock starts ticking. The wine is being exposed to a flow of oxygen, and that air will carry away the volatile flavor compounds in the wine until it’s no longer drinkable. Putting the cap back on a partially finished bottle will slow this process, but it can’t stop it. Even with the bottle closed up, there’s still plenty of air inside the newly empty space in the bottle.
The Coravin system puts a stop to that. This device preserves open wine by filling the empty space in the bottle with argon gas. The gas is injected into the bottle, and it forms a blanket over the wine. This layer of gas protects the wine from oxygen and halts the aging process.
Coravin systems are sometimes used in high-end restaurants to allow them to serve expensive wines by the glass. At home, it’s perfect for anyone who loves good wine but isn’t a heavy drinker. With this system, there’s no reason to worry about finishing a bottle. Whatever isn’t consumed will be just as good next week.
For a true wine lover, why not give the gift of wine itself? The Primal wine club offers a monthly delivery of curated natural wines. Each month, the recipient will be able to explore bottles of truly exciting wines produced organically with minimal-intervention techniques. For drinkers who are already well-versed in classical wines and noble grapes, this box will offer an opportunity to taste, and perhaps fall in love with, something new.
The subscription service offers multiple plans, ranging from one-time deliveries to monthly boxes. Subscribers can choose between a box of reds, a box of whites, or a mixed case.
The Essential Scratch & Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert: Take a Whiff of That
For those who are more interested in drinking wine than studying it, this playful scratch-and-sniff wine book offers plenty of useful information in an approachable package.
Author Richard Betts is a Master Sommelier who certainly knows his stuff, but wants to dispel the myth that wine is an inherently stuffy subject. This book explores all the essential elements of wine in a hands-on, easy-to-understand package. The book includes 16 different scratchable scents, plenty of illustrations, and priceless knowledge.
Set the mood to enjoy a great bottle with these wine-scented candles. These candles are made from 100 percent soy wax, and packaged in jars made from recycled wine bottles. They are available in six wine-inspired scents, from a nutty and toasted Chardonnay to a fruity and crisp rosé. These candles are sustainably handmade in California.
Fancy stemware is all well and good, but some occasions require something a little less fragile. For those who like to surreptitiously enjoy a little wine at the beach, these unbreakable tumblers will be a gamechanger. They come with a lid, to prevent spilling, and they’re available in a wide range of colors to suit anyone’s taste. The insulated walls will keep any beverage cool long enough to be savored at a leisurely pace.
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Madeline Muzzi is a Certified Sommelier and lifestyle writer who specializes in food and restaurants, so she knows her wines, wine gadgets, and the perfect gifts for everyone from the wine aficionado to the casual drinker.