This holiday season, when considering what to give the wine lover in your life, think outside of the, er, bottle. Whether whimsical or sophisticated, these wine-centric gifts will bring a smile to any oenophile’s face this holiday season.
Books about wine can range from fun and irreverent (The Essential Scratch & Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert, by Richard Betts, $14) to full of advice in real-people speak (Wine. All the Time., by Marissa A. Ross, $14), from great story telling (Cork Dork, by Bianca Bosker, $10) to highly educational (Wine Folly: Magnum Edition: The Master Guide, Madeline Puckette and Justin Hammack, $18).
Ullo Wine Purifier ($80) Sulfites and other preservatives added to the bottle during production help the wine’s stability but get a bad rap by wine drinkers who claim adverse effects. Savvy wine consumers have taken to filtering out sulfites and other preservatives that are said to cause headaches and other unwanted reactions. This revolutionary device sits atop most glasses or decanters and removes sulfites as the wine is poured through it, leaving the wine with only its natural preservatives and flavors.
Coravin ($299) This amazing system is at the top of every wine collector’s list—it’s the only tool that lets you pour and taste a wine without actually opening the bottle. The device carefully pierces the cork of any wine bottle, allows the wine to be poured out of the spout, and injects the empty bottle space with argon instead of air, preventing oxidization until you’re ready to open it.
Wine Lip Balm ($11) Delight Naturals has created lip care for the wine lover. Each set contains four tubes of lip balm made from all-natural beeswax and food-grade ingredients like coconut and olive oil. Choose between Bordeaux/Cabernet/Chardonnay/Merlot or Chardonnay/Rose/Moscato/Champagne. Makes a great stocking stuffer!
Plush Picnic Insulated Travel Wine Tote Bag ($30) This iThermashield insulated wine and cheese tote is the perfect picnic companion. The light-weight canvas bag features room for two bottles and comes with wine glasses, cheese board, bottle stopper, napkins, knife and wine key included.
Yeti Rambler Wine Tumbler ($30) No more broken glass! This 10 oz. insulated stainless-steel tumbler comes in a rainbow of colors and is ideal for any outdoor happy hour, whether tailgating, at the pool, on the beach, or wherever you want to enjoy your vino.
Eola Bucket Bag ($129) This perfectly portable backpack cooler is ideal for hikes, picnics, tailgating and festivals. With a chic design, it looks like a leather purse pack but inside holds 8 cans and 2 wine bottles, plus ice.
Williams-Sonoma White Marble Monogrammed Board ($40) This distinctive marble board is hand-crafted and inlayed with a copper initial letter that will develop a patina over time. Elegant and modern, this board is perfect for anyone who likes a bit of panache when serving snacks to accompany their wine.
Winc Wine Subscription Service ($39) This isn’t your mother’s wine club—and wine subscriptions have come a long way, baby. Winc is user-friendly because it lets subscribers customize their orders and adapts to your taste over time. It starts with users answering six non-wine related questions. After you sip each of your monthly wine allotment, rate them, and the Winc system will be able to start tailoring to your tastes.
Murray’s Cheesemonger’s Picks Cheese of the Month Club ($75) Everyone knows that cheese is the perfect thing to pair with wine, and there’s a whole world of unique cheeses to explore. You’ll practically feel like you’re behind the counter at Murray’s when you get your selection of 3 or 4 sense-stimulating cheeses. Murray’s cheeses come from both domestic and international cheesemakers and the store also has other gourmet items like honey and crackers available.
A Wine Tasting Getaway (cost varies) One of the most special ways to taste wine is to see the place where the grapes are grown and the wine is made. Any wine aficionado would swoon over a wine country getaway like these: La Maison des Vignes Bordeaux, a 17th-century house for up to eight guests that overlooks the vineyards of Chateau Bujan; the Vines Resort and Spa, a luxe resort in Mendoza, Argentina where guests can make their own small-batch wine and eat at the onsite Francis Mallmann restaurant, Siete Fuegos; at Gustafson Family Vineyards, a boutique winery in Sonoma with an estate house, spa, gardens and pool for 12 surrounded by 20 acres of vineyards; or at Rocca di Cispiano, a two-story stone villa in Chianti just a half hour from Florence.
Wine Yoke ($12) Hands-free wine drinking has never been easier than with the Wine Yoke, featuring a silicone holster for a wine glass and a strap which fits around the neck. Great for parties or food and wine festivals to allow for holding a plate or eating when limited table space is available.
Corkciscle Air ($25) Like a cork with a giant icicle attached to it, chill the corksicle in the freezer for 90 minutes before use then insert it into the bottle to get reds to the perfect temp or keep whites chilled. Bonus: the pour-through top aerates as you serve the wine.
Sipski Shower Wine Glass Holder (Available at various retailers) ($16) Ever stand in the shower and wonder what’s missing from your life? A wine glass holder in the shower, of course. You don’t have to drink while you get clean, but why wouldn’t you?
Custom wine storage (prices vary) Every collector or wine lover will want a beautiful place to store their wine. Get some inspo for your dream cave at Wine Cellar Innovations. If you’re not ready to dedicate yourself a whole wine cellar yet, consider a quality Wine Fridge or some Wine Barrel Furniture. Naturally, you’ll want to fill it with some Collectible Wine from Château Margaux, Château Lafite Rothschild, Château d’Yquem and the like—many people like to buy a bottle whose vintage commemorates a special date like a birthday or anniversary year.
Wine Art Winemaking itself is an art, and lovers of wine will enjoy looking at wine-centric prints on the wall of their favorite in-home wine-sipping spot. Ideas include Wine Country Maps or the Genealogy of Wine ($40) prints.
Wine Wipes ($35) Get rid of Malbec mouth with these handy wipes, designed to remove stains left on teeth by sipping red wine without compromising the wine tasting experience.
Cork Shoes (price varies) If you think cork is only for stopping wine bottles, bulletin boards or flooring, think again. Queork is creating items for the sartorial set. Next time you’re strolling through a vineyard, don your cork loafers and be among the most nattily dressed there.
Decanters When oxygen hits wine, it “opens up” the wine and allows more complex aromas and flavors to come out. There are two ways to achieve this: decanting and aerating. If you have time on hand ahead of drinking, a beautiful decanter is the best option. The impatient among us will want to use an aerator, like the Vinturi Aerator which has the same effect on wine in a fraction of the time. Decanters are available at for any budget, from the $30 Swoon Decanter to the Reidel Boa Decanter, coming in at a cool $525.
Rebecca Treon is a Denver-based freelance food, travel, and lifestyles writer who has written for publications like 5280, DiningOut, American Bungalow, Reign, Denver Hotel, The Coastal Table, the Huffington Post, Tasting Table, Food 52, Time Out, BBC Travel, Livability, The Cape Cod Travel Guide, Edible Cape Cod,Edible Denver, Edible Lower Alabama, Alabama Journey, The Denver Post, and DRAFT magazine. She is the proud mother of two tiny globetrotters.