Showing posts with label wine gifts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label wine gifts. Show all posts

Friday, November 27, 2015

Gift Ideas For Your Wine Lover

Every holiday season, we see our email inbox fill up with gift ideas for the wine lover in your life. Really? Do you know what gift a wine lover really wants? Wine! Or a gift card with which they can buy wine. If you must go the novelty gift route, here are some suggestions for this holiday shopping season. But, really, it’s wine they want.

This online shopping site - and aren’t we all shopping online as much as possible, if only to save the trip to the post office? - offers home bar accessories and gifts designed to please men. The company’s slogan - “Dare to be awesome” - strives to sound hip, while actually sounding kinda kitschy. It works, though, in a weird way. The male-centric gift items come from all over the world, but custom printing and engraving is handled at the company's home in Oklahoma City.

The company’s website states, "Giving back to the community and the military that protects the American heartland lies at the cornerstone of the company's business model." As such, they offer a 10% discount on all military orders shipping overseas.

The Sonoma personalized wine serving tray holds four stemmed glasses and a bottle. It also can have your own personal inscription added to the bamboo wood.

The Rack’Em Up Billiards Shot Glass Set features 15 glasses in a triangular tray. Perfect for the pool room, or for keeping track of how many shots you’ve had.

Beer Cap Maps of the US - or your own home state - let you fill in the holes with bottle caps from your favorite breweries. I've done it. It’s actually more fun than it sounds. At least, accumulating all those bottle caps is fun.

The Green Room Social has a wide range of gift items, and tons of them are tech-oriented.

Zipbuds are "Tangle-free earbuds created with patented Zipperless Zipper Technology™ providing premium sound and unrivaled convenience."

I love the Zipperless Zipper Technology™, but it's the low bass response I'm really after.

Fizzics offers the "world’s first personal beer dispenser that delivers expertly poured draught beer." I like to rely on professionals for that service, but then I usually agree when the warning says "do not try this at home." Reports say that this home bartender is 100% safe! and you don't have to tip it.

Bottles & Wood is a trend-setting eco-design company headquartered in San Diego which has a creative selection of sustainably chic gift ideas. Handcrafted, repurposed jewelry, serveware and home décor use locally-sourced materials.

For the beer lover: A four-glass set of Bottles and Wood’s beer tumbler glasses are made from recycled bottles featuring both national labels and some of San Diego’s favorite craft beer names.

For the wine lover: Bottles and Wood’s reclaimed wine glassware offers a set of tumbler glasses, a nut dish or a cheese plate crafted entirely out of repurposed wine bottles.

For the tippler: Bottles and Wood’s liquor-inspired tumblers, vases, dishes and shot glasses  are made using recycled liquor bottles.

For the jewelry lover: Accessorize with Bottles and Wood’s new line of tastefully upcycled jewelry. Earrings, bangles or a unique necklace are made from liquor, wine and beer brands.

 Vinturi Champagne Stopper

Don't let your celebration go flat. Vinturi says the "spring-loaded design of the Champagne Stopper effortlessly seals your champagne bottles, maintaining the pressure equivalent of the original cork – to ensure your bubbly lasts and lasts." It's available at Williams-Sonoma.

Books for the wine lover...

The Wine Bible (Workman; October 2015), Karen MacNeil answers questions we all need help with from time to time: What bottle to bring to a party? Which wine do I serve with Christmas dinner? Bubbles for New Year's Eve that won't break the bank. Lots of food pairing tips, too.

Tangled Vines: Greed, Murder, Obsession, and an Arsonist in the Vineyards of California (St. Martin’s Press, October 2015, Hardcover, eBook), Frances Dinkelspiel goes back in time to uncover the California wine industry’s dark and bloody past. From murder to enslavement to controlling monopolies, California’s "elixir of the gods" has had many unsavory moments in its history. She also looks back at a time when Southern California dominated the wine making business. For fans of true crime, history and of course, wine, it is a gripping tale best savored with a glass of vino in hand.

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Thursday, November 24, 2011


Gifts For Wine Lovers

If there are wine lovers on your holiday gift list, you could do a lot worse than simply buy them some wine.  That sentence makes for a pretty short article, however, so let me elaborate on a few items your oenophile might enjoy finding under the Christmas tree.

The wine thing isn't all that bad an idea, as long as you have some idea what to steer towards and what to steer away from.  Nobody wants to get a card bearing the note, "Thanks for the wine. That was my ex-wife's favorite Cab."  Use your best judgement there.

This list should get you started on the twelve days of Christmas, and if you are celebrating the eight nights of Hanukkah, you'll have a few goodies left over for yourself.

Wine Club Membership - Every winery and most wine stores have one.  Prices vary.  Make sure you're not going to be on the hook for renewal every year, unless you are just that kind of gift giver.  In which case, is it too late for us to get on each other's list?

Gift Cards - What wine lover doesn't like to pick our their own vino?  Your local wine shops can no doubt accommodate you.  A Visa gift card will work, too, but that may seem a bit crass for some.

Themed Wine Samplers - offers a variety of samplers made up of six 187ml servings, so the tasting room can be sent right to your wine lover.  Those little bottles go awfully fast, though.  187ml is not even a good pour at my house.

Vinturi Wine Aerator - Vinturi has a variety of gadgets designed to aerate wine in seconds, staring at $40.

Wine Totes - Reusable canvas tote bags for wine bottles from Towne 9 of Seattle are cool looking and useful. - $14

Jet Bag - These bags are lined with a diaper, so even if your wine bottle breaks in your checked luggage, your white shirt won't come out Burgundy.  They start at about $5 each, in three-packs, 10-packs and 25-packs for those who travel with only wine, no clothes.

Engraved Wine Tool Set - The package from Gift Tree includes a fancy corkscrew, stainless steel drip ring and a bottle stopper. - $35

Wine stoppers made from real grapevines - The Vine of the Wine website is geared more toward wholesale, but they list some Paso Robles wineries who carry their creations.  $42 in Pismo Beach, California.

Naked Wine: Letting Grapes Do What Comes Naturally - Alice Feiring's first-person study of the natural wine movement has been praised by nearly everyone who drinks wine while reading.

A Toast To Bargain Wines - George M. Taber’s book written to help wine lovers sip good wine without having to do so in the poorhouse.

Unquenchable: A Tipsy Quest For The World’s Best Bargain Wines - Sommelier Natalie MacLean also seeks the best quality wine at the lowest possible price.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Flasq Trio

Alternative containers for wine are all the rage lately.  Boxes, bags, pouches and kegs are all getting their turn to show how well they keep the wine, and how well they fit into our lifestyles.

Flasq Wines comes from Napa Valley-based JT Wines, and they are showing their mettle by packaging their wine in metal.  Their aluminum bottles are 100% recyclable, quick-chilling and they are great for taking wine on the go, since they won't break.

Flasq says their 375ml bottles chill five times faster than glass bottles and they leave a carbon footprint 35% less than glass since the cases are so much lighter to ship.  The bottles are lined so the wine does not experience contact with the aluminum, and no light gets into the bottle, helping to further preserve the wine inside.

The bottles were launched in January 2011 with Merlot and Chardonnay sourced from Monterey and San Luis Obispo Counties.  Now Flasq has released Cuvée Blanc made with grapes from Alexander Valley.

The Flasq Cuvée Blanc is 80% Sauvignon Blanc, 19% Viognier and 1% Moscato.  JT Wines' CEO, Tim McDonald, says that millennials have responded warmly to the new wine.  He says, "Responding to the growing popularity of sweeter wines across the country, particularly the coined 'Moscato Madness,' Cuvée Blanc is an easy drinking wine with attractive varietal-specific complexity and rich flavor for which our customers have been asking."

Flasq wines sell for around $7 per 375ml bottle.

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Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Mirage Wine Rack

Clever designers have come up with a neat way to store your wine while saving space when you're down to just a couple of bottles.  In the Now And Zin household, we don't let our supply drop to such dangerously low levels, but if you only store from one or two bottles to eight at a time, you may want to check out the Mirage wine rack.

The Mirage Augmentable wine rack is a collapsible wooden rack which expands to accommodate the number of bottles.  As you remove the bottles, it gets smaller, saving countertop space.  Fully expanded, its two bottles by four configuration is about 15 inches wide, and only nine inches tall.

The price listed is about $45, much cheaper than a full-size wine rack but more expensive than other 8-bottle storage options.

Online, I found several nice looking wooden racks designed to hold eight wine bottles in a diamond configuration for about half the price of the Mirage.

Follow Randy Fuller on Twitter.

Friday, November 26, 2010


Gifts for wine lovers

Certainly the best gift for someone who loves wine is - wait for it - wine!  But if you don't know what kind of wine to give, or what kind the person likes, you might consider a wine club membership.

Wine clubs send a package of wine to their members at monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly intervals.  It may be a grab bag of different styles, only red, only whites, etcetera.  The cost varies widely, as does the quality of the wine.

There's a seemingly endless supply of clubs to choose from.  You might select one from a good wine store or a winery the recipient likes.  Most wineries offer wine clubs featuring their wines.

Gift options vary from club to club, but you may be able to gift a month, a year or longer.  Keep in mind that when the gift subscription ends, it's up to the recipient to extend the membership.

Fancy corkscrews are a hit if your friend only has one around the house, but there are only so many corkscrews a person can use, unless they collect them.  The Rabbit Corkscrew (from Metrokane Wine Tools) retails from about $40 to $100 and claims to allow the user to open any bottle of wine in three seconds without any huffing or puffing.

Stemware is always a good gift for a wine lover, especially if it's special.  Austria's Riedel Crystal is generally regarded as the standard-bearer for quality wine glasses.  Look to spend $60 to $100 each for Riedel glasses.

Wine Chiller is something every wine lover would love to have. For under $20 you can find these items which employ a reusable cooling element you keep in your freezer until you need it. It can chill a bottle of wine in five minutes.

People who can't wait for their wine to chill probably can't wait for their wine to breathe, either.  A Wine Aerator is what they need.  Vinturi makes one that goes for about $30.  The wine breathes while it's pouring into the glass.  Is that fast enough for you?

No matter what kind of wine the person on your gift list likes, anybody can use a nice bottle ofChampagne.  Dom Perignon has a special release this year honoring Andy Warhol, which goes for around $150 a bottle, special label included.  Buy the three labels separately, or as a set - forreally good friends.

By the way, the cute little items in the image can be found at San Antonio Winery in downtown Los Angeles.