Some folks don’t have their own wine blog, so they write down their wine notes every time they open a great bottle. If you know someone who jots down their wine notes in a regular notebook, then this gift is the ultimate upgrade. It looks fancy, has room for all the details for the wine, and includes a page for pasting in the label. Of course, you’ll want to get a few packs of label savers to throw into the gift box.
The Rabbit and other me-too’s have been more popular recently, but it all started with the original leverpull by Screwpull. I’ve owned one and been quite happy for almost ten years of rigorous use — it has been through several tastings that required the opening of 200 bottles or more (in one day). I think it is the easiest to use cork extractor on the market, with the only caveat being that every once in a while it will refuse to pull out a cork (sometimes it just takes a second or third jab, once in a while it won’t grab it at all). This particular kit is more giftworthy than the Screwpull on its own, as it comes with a small assortment of useful wine gadgets and is packaged in a nice gift box.
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.