The holidays are always a fun time for wine lovers.
Pulling special bottles out to share with friends and family is always a joy, especially if it’s something coveted and unique. After all, there is no greater joy than sharing great food and good wine with those you love.
On the other hand, getting a gift for a wine lover can sometimes be a challenge. And that’s especially true if there’s a perception that he or she is a ‘connoisseur’ or an ‘expert.’ In those cases, picking gifts for these folks might be intimidating – after all, you want them to be pleased with your choices and you want them to see how carefully you’ve considered their passion.
Fret not, Rustik reader. We have 10 wonderful gifts worth considering for the wine lover in your life that are guaranteed to please.
This is the ultimate in glass stemware and, speaking from personal experience, the design of these glasses can only be described as extraordinary – perfectly balanced and completely lead-free. You can pick from shapes meant for Burgundy, Bordeaux, Champagne, white wine, dessert wine and even water.
But, from a functionality and cost perspective, start with the Universal wine glass Zalto offers. Trust me, once you drink from your Zaltos, it will be the benchmark by which every other glass will be judged. Worth every penny!
You want white, he wants red. You want Rioja, she wants California Cab. Whatever the permutation of the desire, Coravin is the perfect tool to free you from the tyranny of a bottle (or your partner!).
Simply insert the needle into a bottle that has a natural cork, pour, and then extract the needle. The wine that’s removed is replaced with a neutral gas to keep the bottle fresh. This product has revolutionized by-the-glass pours in restaurants and amongst fine wine collectors. It’s now affordable enough to consider for loved ones, too!
In a wine column I wrote earlier this year, I gave some guidance on ideal temperatures for storing and serving wine. One of the things that rings true for many enthusiasts is that setting up a cellar is not often in the cards because of budget, space, or both. So what’s the next best thing? Get them a wine fridge. It doesn’t have to break the bank and is a sure-fire way to guarantee great wines are always in the house. For solid values on wine fridges that can hold 6 or 60 bottles, look online at larger appliance stores or others like Costco or The Home Depot.
For the hard-to-gift wine lover, how can you go wrong with a t-shirt? Something fun, something sassy, something unique – Etsy has a host of hand made, small production shirts (like this one) and they’re bound to please.
Sometimes, bottle accessories can be a little bit cheesy. But the fine folks at (once again) Etsy seem to know how to make it unique, fun and poignant at the same time. This sailboat wine stopper is a good example. But there are some other cool stoppers, like the Gear Shift and Hammer wine bottle stopper, available elsewhere.
Govino is a line of dishwasher-safe, shatterproof, recyclable wine glasses that are perfect for whenever proper stemware isn’t available, or when breakable glass is impractical. Made from an ultra-thin, flexible BPA-free polymer, it will reflect a wine’s color and provide aromatics much like fine crystal. You just found your new go-to picnic glasses for wine!
The world of wine is always changing, so you have to be steadfast in your reading and curious about everything. For the wine lover in your life, think about great wine writers like Jancis Robinson and her Wine Grapes: A Complete Guide to 1,368 Vine Varieties, Including Their Origins and Flavours (pictured). Or tips and tricks for drinking and thinking about wine from one of the world’s best sommeliers, Rajat Parr, in his Secrets of the Sommeliers: How to Think and Drink Like the World’s Top Wine Professionals. I’m also a big fan of what Madeline Puckette does on her Winefolly website; her companion book, Wine Folly: The Essential Guide to Wine, is worth reading.
There can be nothing more rewarding than earning proper education and, beyond that, certification in your passion. It’s how I landed in the business and it opened up a world for me. Think about some of the great courses offered by your local community colleges in continuing education, but beyond that, think about the Institute of the Masters of Wine, the Wine and Spirit Education Trust, the Sommelier Society of America, and the Society of Wine Educators. All have their strengths, and all have programs to help aspiring enthusiasts, sommeliers and wine experts get the level of education they need to truly take their passion to the next level.