The wine lovers in your life are the easiest people to buy for because you just have to hand them a bottle and they’re happy.
But get creative, like you do with all things. There are some great gift ideas out there for wine people these days.
Here are a few nonconventional suggestions:
1. For Your Friends Who Just Like to Drink
A Neoprene bottle tote.
Sure a bottle of wine (or two) is a great gift but why not bring it to them in a Built NY Neoprene two-bottle tote that they can reuse? “That’s one of my favorite holiday gifts,” says Alyssa Rapp, founder and CEO of Bottlenotes, an online wine and spirits community. They retail for about $17. Then you can decide how much you want to spend on the wine.
Even better, there are a bunch of sites out there that will let you put your company logo on that tote. Things Remembered is one of many.
A good corkscrew.
Because in addition to your home, you really should have one in your office and you should probably keep one in the car, for tailgating purposes, etc.
And again, you can put your company name or logo on that, too. Check out Wineopeners.com. Another great gift for your employees.
Consider a wine club.
Wine clubs are great because random bottles of wine show up at your wine lover’s house for as many months as you choose to pay for. And doesn’t everyone love to get wine? The best part is these clubs force your recipients to try stuff they typically wouldn’t. I have used Gary’s Wine & Marketplace’s wine clubs in the past and my family members have found new favorites.
There’s tons of them out there though. Websites and wine shops all have them these days so find one in your area and budget.
Just remind your friends the wines may need to sit and settle once they get to their house.
2. For Must-Have-New-Gadget Friends.
We all know people that need to have to newest, coolest gadgets. And we have written about a bunch of them before.
One of the items in the previous column was the Coravin -- the magical tool that lets you pour a glass of wine without uncorking the bottle – and I am still a huge fan. I use it all the time. But it's $300 – so you really have to like your gadget-loving friend.
There’s tons of fun stuff if you are on a budget though, too.
Check out the BusyBoo wine thermometer. It wraps around your bottle like a belt and tells you the temperature so you can get your wine to that perfect level. “And it just looks just looks darn cool,” says Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan, a Master of Wine. Very sleek.
Or consider the Vinotemp Epicureanist Wine Chilling Stick with Pourer. It retails for around $17 and basically creates a cold pour for white wines when you don’t have time to chill them. Also cool-looking and it works.
3. For Your Nerd Friends Who Really Want to Learn More
We all have those friends who are consummate learners, so consider these three things.
There are tons of books out there – but I am a sucker for pictures, which is why I love the Wine Folly’s The Essential Guide to Wine. Easy to read, super informative.
Wine Awakenings kits are aroma kits that come with a bunch little vials filled with liquid essence. So if you have been wondering what cassis really smells like, there’s a little bottle filled with that scent. Have you ever smelled barnyard? It’s in there, too. What’s great about this is you can train your nose to smell things so the next time you pour a big Cabernet, you’ll immediately get that cassis.
I have used one of these kits before. It was really fun and totally eye-opening.
There are tons of great how-to-taste-wine DVDs out there. I have used The Great Courses series which comes as either a DVDs or you can stream it. Each one is dedicated to a particular wine region. Simonetti-Bryan is your “professor.” You get a list of wines to buy beforehand. Then you turn on the video and learn and taste along with her. I have done the Italy DVD. We went on a Tuscany wine tour from the couch. Awesome.
4. For the Wine Collectors in Your Life
Old, rare bottles are such great gifts for a collector, and you don’t have to spend a fortune. Check out Hart Davis Hart out of Chicago. “For $45, you can find 20-year-old wines with gravitas,” says Rapp. Homerun.
Of course a nice bottle of champagne and two flutes (or the Mad Men style coupes) will please any collector, any day.
So get creative. Most wine lovers are open to trying new things to begin with so they certainly will appreciate your extra effort.