The Best Gifts For Wine Lovers
Believe it or not, it's much more difficult to list the best wine gifts than it is the worst wine gifts. The worst ones stand out like bruised, battered and worn out soar thumbs. You can't miss them. But the best wine gifts is a subject that requires much more nuanced appraisals of the needs of wine consumers and the recipient. It's good to know, for example, just how much of a wine fiend the recipient is and just how indulgent they have been in their quest to satisfy their fiendish desires.
Nonetheless, I think it is possible to take a good stab at curating a list of great wine gifts that are likely to appeal to wine lovers. These are gifts real lovers of the vine will appreciate, whether they know it now or not.
THE OXFORD COMPANION TO WINE, Edited by Jancis Robinson
The wine lover that does not possess this tome of wine information simply doesn't have at their disposal the means necessary to truly indulge their love of wine. The Oxford Companion To Wine is a true encyclopedia with 1000s of references written by the experts in the field. It's big and bulky and heavy, making it extra special to give. $40.00
A MAGNUM OR LARGER OF A FINE WINE
A bottle of wine is nice gift, but it will to many feel like an after thought and most wine lovers will have lots of these. But a large bottle of wine, a magnum or larger, well, that's an occasion! The large bottle is also an unusual thing. Most wine lovers simply don't possess very many if any. It's a gift that says "drink up" or "have a party". Plus, a fine wine in magnum will age more slowly and allow the recipient to keep the wine in their cellar longer without fear of it getting too old.
TWO TICKETS TO THE CLOSEST GREAT WINE EVENT
If you are n the Bay Area, it's the ZAP Tasting. If you are in the Boston area, its the Boston Wine Expo. If yo are in Colorado, its the Aspen Wine and Food Fest. The fact is, there are great wine events and wine tastings all across the country. Find out where and when the best one is near the recipient, and get them two tickets. Wine lovers enjoy mingling among their own. Plus, two such tickets give them something to look foward to, which is in itself a real gift.
SUBSCRIPTION TO A WINE MAGAZINE
It's the gift that keeps on giving…all year long. It could be the Wine Spectator, Wine & Spirits, Wine Enthusiast, Mutineer Magazines, or World of Fine Wine. Or, you might consider a subscription to Jancis Robinson's Purple Pages or to eRobertParker. The point is that this kind of gift brings pleasure all year long and continues to remind the recipient that you care about them.
EIGHT VERY NICE WINE GLASSES
Yes, eight of them because 8 is a dinner party. Wine lovers NEED glasses like they need wine. We break them and can't have enough. But you want to get them something nice. You don't need to go the Riedel Sommelier route, however. I've got some of these and every time I drink out of a $100 wine glass I'm thinking about breaking it. A wine glass should be nicely shaped, simple, elegant and you should be able to break it and not feel like the bottom just dropped out of your investment. The Riedel "Wine Line" Chianti/Zinfandel glass is a great choice: $25/2 glasses
SOMMELIER "ENRICO BERNARDO" CORKSCREW FROM LAGUIOLE
Yes, most wine lovers will have a number of corkscrews, of various design, knocking around the house and cellar. But they won't have one like this. This is a hefty number that is beautifully designed to look at and use. It's made by one of my favorite companies in the world that makes create blades and fantastic wine openers. My own Laguiole corkscrew is unfortunately gone, lost somehow in a move. But I still think about it every time I pull something inferior out of the drawer to open a bottle….which is every single time. It's a gift your recipient will really cherish…even if they lose it: $229.00
LE NEZ DU VIN
This remarkably well packaged kit filled with vials that contain aromatic examples of various wine characteristics (pineapple, cassis, vanilla, oak, etc) is a great gift for a budding wine enthusiast that you know is getting their feet wet in wine and who you know is keen on education and educating thier palate. It comes with a book that delves into the aromas of wine, but the best thing about this wine is that it helps breed the confidence in young wine lovers that is necessary to truly explore the wine world. I prefer the Nez Du Vin that includes aromas from both red and white wines.$239.00
A GREAT WINE CARRIER
The only thing wine lovers do more than drink, cellar and talk about wine, is carry it around. We take it to friends houses and restaurants. Any self respecting wine lover ought to possess a nice, elegant, useful wine carrier in which to transport a couple bottles of wine. It doesn't need to hold more than a couple bottles. But it should be easy to tote around and it should look nice in the recipients hand and or on their shoulder. I'm partial to the Vino 2. It's leather. It's nicely padded and it looks good. $70.00