If one of your gift recipients has a full-blown wine cellar, these color-coded tags are the perfect present. One of the most annoying things when looking for a wine in a cellar is having to pull each bottle out to see what it is. In addition to identifying the wine, you can also write in other details, such as purchase price, WineWeekly score, or a “drink by” date. One kit comes with 100 tags, so you may want to buy two if your recipient has a serious cellar.
Riedel is the name to remember when it comes to glassware, but you already knew that. Now that the Austrian glassmaker can be found in Targets throughout the US, is it still fancy enough for gift ideas?
Of course … but you want to choose glasses that are more unique and unusual — and pricey. These are gifts, after all, and a good gift is one that the recipient would not lavish himself/herself with.
After seeing a set of Riedels on sale in Target, you might wonder why anyone would pay upwards of $50 or $100 for a single glass. Well, what you’re getting on sale is likely machine-made, while the upper-echelon of Riedel’s line — the glassware that impressed Robert Mondavi, Robert Parker, Jr., and the rest of the wine industry — are hand-blown, made from 24% lead-crystal. These ultra-thin, specifically shaped glasses really DO make a difference — their only drawbacks are their price and fragility. But if you know someone who is REALLY into wine, and often drinks expensive and rare wines, then a glass chosen from Riedel’s Sommeliers series is guaranteed to be a hit.
It’s kind of like getting a Balabushka cue for a pool player, a Steinway baby grand for a pianist, or an Akadema glove for a baseball player — in other words, the best of the best, and if your recipient is that passionate, the gift is well worth the cash outlay.
Remember — look for the Riedel Sommeliers Crystal Collection (or just click the link to get to the Amazon page full of Sommelier selections).
(FYI – all of the suggested gifts on this wine blog can be purchased from Amazon by clicking on its image)
Basically, it’s for wines that need to breathe — think young, expensive Zins, Cabs, and mature Bordeaux and Burgundy. After placing the funnel thing into the top of your decanter, you pour the wine through it and it does two things: first, a screen traps the sediment, and second, its slanted spout further aerates the wine by directing it against the inside wall of the decanter. For those who are so concerned about “bruising” their wine, this is a gentler introduction to the bottom of the decanter. It also comes with a nifty, shiny stand to display the funnel prominently on the wine bar.
Want to go one better? Spend $55 for the Spiral Pewter Funnel. Remember as a kid you drank juice through one of those spiral straws? Well this is just the opposite — though that gives me an idea to freak out a wine snob at the next party. As you might guess, the wine takes a whirlwind of a tour before falling into the decanter, and the purpose of all this round-and-round motion is to further aerate the wine.
Any of these is a must for wine ubergeeks.
(click on images to learn more)
This 7-item Accessory Gift Set ($55) has just about everything a wannabe snob could wish for, all encased in a fancy wood box. It includes a ‘patented’ one-hand cork screw, thermometer, stainless steel stopper, foil cutter, wine ring, pourer, and bottle cap. Good for someone who often entertains wine drinkers and has one of those wine bar thingys in the home.
The MetroKane Houdini Wine and Stuff
($40) set’s centerpiece item is the Houdini corkscrew, which is a variation on the Leverpull and Rabbit cork removers. It also has a foilcutter, drip-stop ring, wine sealer, identification tags, metal whacker, and extra spiral screw. All nice pieces for the wine geek in your life.
Do you know someone who keeps a “wine book” ? In other words, they keep notes on nearly every wine they drink, and glue a label next to their notes to help remember the wine? Well, it can be gosh-darn difficult to get the labels off of the bottles — especially if they use a specific type of glue that seems stronger than cement. No amount of soaking, blow-drying, or peeling can take those things off. Enter the Wine Label Savers. All you do is stick the thing onto the label and peel it right off. It works every time. They work great, but they’re not cheap, especially if you’re always recording your wine notes. Therefore, they make a nice gift for someone who wouldn’t otherwise spend the ducats to make their life easier.