Dec 31 2012
Ok, Christmas is actually over, but I suspect that there are a few of you out there still scrambling for gifts to give, so here are a few ideas of things I would recommend, and one that I actually received, to give to the wine-lover in your life that you forgot to buy a present for.
Clever wine charms, quality bottle openers, or even chilling devices such as wraps or the corkcicle (which comes in two variations, both of which I have – I recommend the one with a pour spout), are great stocking stuffers and can be found at most of your local stores such as Target, Wal-Mart, and of course online.
I’ve reviewed a few books on here recently, and still have a few more to do, but doing so has made me appreciate having a nice library of wine-related books. The beauty of buying a wine book for somebody is that they cover every topic, so you can get a book that covers a region you know they are passionate about, one that they might want to learn more about, or one that is more introductory for somebody that is just getting into wine.
Books on wine are numerous and affordable, making them an attractive option to wrap up and put under a belated Christmas Tree.
Wine Club Membership
This will cost you a bit more money, and require a bit of investigation, but can also be one that’s really appreciated. Your two best options for purchasing a wine club membership are to either buy them one for a region they live in, but may not know that much about (for instance I live in Virginia, but many of my friends don’t know about the quality wine we produce, so I would get them one that focuses on our state), or to get them one for wines that are outside their usual comfort zone or area of expertise (buying me one for wines of France would be a good option).
Most clubs will have options on length you can gift somebody a membership (3, 6, or 12 months typically), as well as whether to send them all white, all red, or a combination. Find one that fits the needs of the gift, as well as your budget, and you’ll have a gift that they’ll enjoy for several months.
I actually received one for Christmas, so expect a review of it in a few weeks when the wine is complete. That being said, anybody that is passionate about wine has likely at least entertained the idea of making their own wine. While it’s unlikely that any of us are going to either open our own vineyard or go through the process of becoming a winemaker, winemaking kits give us the opportunity to have a little fun, as well as produce some wine that we can have around the house as table wine if nothing else.
I’m currently making a Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz blend, but most winemaking kits will give you the option on what varietal to create – usually reds along the lines of Cabernet, Shiraz, Merlot, and even Pinot Noir, with whites typically being Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, and Riesling. Different kits will have different options, so be sure to shop around and read the reviews to see what others have to say about it.
Last Minutes Gifts
In the end, if all else fails, there’s always the trusty bottle of really nice wine, or a gift card to a local wine store so the person in your life and pick out a bottle themselves without any guilt about the price (I have one of those too from my birthday in November).
Buying the wine lover in your life a wine-themed present shows you know what they’re passionate about and that you support it…or that you’re hoping they’ll share that really nice bottle you bought them with you over a nice meal. Either way, it’s a nice gesture and something you can tailor to the knowledge level of the person receiving the gift, and the budget of the person giving the gift.