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Gifting wine is no easy fête. If the oenophile on your list is serious about wine, chances are their cellar is already full of bottles they covet. Then there are the complicated shipping laws that vary by state and may actually make it difficult or illegal to ship the wine. But these challenges don’t mean there aren’t plenty of wonderful wine gifts worth sending.
As a certified wine geek who's been passionate about the subject for the past decade, I've pulled together a list of things wine lovers will actually want—from wine accessories to items that help indulge. If you’re in a pinch, a gift certificate to a local wine shop or a restaurant with a well-curated wine list is never a bad idea. However, if you prefer something that can be wrapped and will last more than an evening, this is the gift list for you!
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1. For the solo wine drinker
Some may consider it sacrilegious to have leftover wine, but life happens. And for those who don't always have someone to share a bottle with, the trick to not getting too drunk or having to pour good juice down the drain because it's gone bad after a couple of days is a good preservation strategy. Enter the Coravin, one of the most innovative wine gadgets on the market. The device uses a hollow needle to extract the wine so you never have to uncork the bottle. It then replaces the liquid with Argon gas to prevent any extra oxygen from seeping into the bottle. The Coravin, used by sommeliers at many high-end restaurants, makes it possible to save the wine to drink for weeks or months without fearing the juice will turn into vinegar.
2. For red wine drinkers
Decanters are one of those wine accessories that it doesn’t matter which one you get. Whether it’s a beautifully designed hand-crafted crystal vase-like piece of art or a glass flask you’d find in a scientific lab, decanters all do the same thing: helps the wine open its aromas and flavors while smoothing those harsh tannins. Most wines (even some Champagnes!) can benefit from a decanter, but red wine usually needs the most breathing room. For gifting purposes, find one with a little pizzazz. Something that’s fun to show off while entertaining or will bring a smile if it’s sitting on the Tuesday night dinner table.
- Get the Schott Zwiesel Pure Red Wine Decanter at Amazon for $79.99.
- Get the Zalto Denk'Art Axium Decanter at Amazon for $124.
3. For rosé and white wine drinkers
Keeping rosé and white wine properly chilled while sipping at the dinner table, on the living room couch, or on the porch during a hot summer day is key to enjoying the wine. Marble wine chillers, like this one from Williams Sonoma, make a chic addition to any table while preventing the wine from warming up too quickly.
4. For the wine collector who drinks aged wine
If the wine lover in your life has an impressive cellar and prefers drinking decades-old wine, consider the one tool that’s a must-have for carefully extracting old corks from the bottle. The Durand combines a traditional corkscrew with a device called an Ah-So, which supports the sides of the cork as you carefully pull it out. The Durand's price more than makes up for it the first time you pull out a disintegrating cork that doesn’t crumble and fall into that rare bottle worth twice as much (or possibly more!) as the gadget itself.
5. For curious wine drinkers
Passionate wine drinkers are just as interested in the intellectual aspects of winemaking as they are in the taste. It's a subject matter where you discover, the more you know, the more you actually don’t know. That’s why wine books make a wonderful gift: Whether it’s for a novice, someone curious about the latest wine trend, or a seasoned wine professional studying for the master sommelier exam, these books will help them on their journeys.
- Get The New Wine Rules by Jon Bonné at Amazon for $7.99.
- Get Natural Wine for the People by Alice Feiring at Amazon for $13.89.
- Get The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson at Amazon for $34.49.
6. For curious wine drinkers (part two)
Don’t just stop at books. This year, the creators of the "Somm" documentary series have launched their own streaming service featuring original wine content with winemaker interviews, a blind-tasting series, videos from wine and food industry events, plus wine-focused films like "Bottle Shock" and "A Year in Burgundy." Who doesn’t want to relax with a glass of wine in hand while watching gorgeous vineyards stream across their television? Somm TV is available on most streaming devices, but here at Reviewed, we recommend the Roku Ultra.
- Get a subscription to Somm TV for $9.99 a month or $74.99 for a year.
- Get the Roku Ultra at Amazon for $69.
7. For the person who wishes they could live inside a wine bottle
It’s no secret that sensory experiences often drive a wine lover’s passion. The aromas emanating from the glass are just as important as its taste. So why not give them that experience, even when it may not be the optimal time to drink a glass of wine. My cynical brain wanted to immediately dismiss the LAFCO New York's “Wine Room” candle as nothing serious, but the combination of black pomegranate, cherry, and oak really are reminiscent of an elegant Pinot Noir.
8. For fromagerie fans
No pairing is more iconic than cheese and wine. Munching on cheese while sipping wine isn’t just delicious, it’s sustenance to soak up the alcohol. But whether it’s an aged Gruyere, a fresh Chevre, or a stinky blue, pairing selections can get complicated. Let the experts at one of the most famous fromageries in New York City do the choosing for you in gifts curated for red and white wine lovers.
- Get the White Wine Lover's Collection at Murray's Cheese for $85.
- Get the Red Wine Lover's Collection at Murray's Cheese for $95.
9. For candy-loving Champagne drinkers
Who doesn’t want to casually taste Dom Perignon on a random Thursday? That’s what makes these Sugarfina gummy bears so wonderful. I first discovered these treats last year and wanted to write them off as a gimmick. But it’s not. The small amount of Champagne in each bear is just enough to remind you of the famed fizz, and the injected bubbles seem to cut some of the sweetness from a traditional gummy bear. Those with a sweeter tooth may prefer the Rosé bears instead (filled with Whispering Angel rosé), or perhaps you want to gift something a little harder? Among Sugarfina’s top-shelf inspired candies are chocolates filled with Tito’s Vodka (but beware, these liquid-filled candies are a bit more potent than the bears!)
- Get the Champagne Bears at Sugarfina for $8.95.
- Get the Rosé All Day Bears at Sugarfina for $8.95.
- Get the Vodka Cordials at Sugarfina for $8.95.
10. For oenophiles who prefer to BYOB
For serious wine geeks, transporting half a dozen bottles to dinners, parties, or on a weekend getaway can get precarious (not to mention, funny looks along the commute). And while plopping bottles in a tote bag or backpack is possible, it doesn’t offer much protection from the glass bottles clanging against each other. This leather bag from Wine Enthusiast has a stylish rugged look and can protect up to six bottles (there's a three-bottle version available, too), plus it's a much more comfortable way to carry wine without anyone knowing the wiser.
- Get the Wine Enthusiast 6-Bottle Leather BYO Weekender Wine Bag at Amazon for $299.
- Get the Wine Enthusiast 3-Bottle Leather BYO Wine Bag for $149.
11. For anyone who sneaks wine into a movie, concert, or takes on a hike
The folks behind one of Reviewed’s favorite water bottles, the Hydro Flask, also makes an insulated container specifically for wine. The 25-ounce Hyrdo Flask Wine Bottle is designed to fit a full bottle of vino. Wine geeks will appreciate its double-insulation stainless steel that should hold the wine’s temperature steady until it’s ready to pour.
12. For the generous host
If you’ve been drinking your friend’s well-cellared bottles and feasting on delicious homemade meals at their home all year, then it would be rude not to bring a gift to the annual holiday or New Year's bash. This Michael Aram coaster and stopper set makes a generous thank you, turning the bottle on the dinner table into a piece of art.
13. For the sentimental wine lover
Corks are often the only tangible mementos someone has for drinking fabulous bottles, which makes these cork catchers from Wine Enthusiast a fun gift to give. Once full, the cages—in shapes like wine barrels and globes—offer wonderful reminders of all the great bottles (or perhaps the fun times sharing so-so bottles) that have been drunk.
- Get the Wine a Little Cork Catcher at Wine Enthusiast for $34.95.
- Get the Globe Cork Catcher at Wine Enthusiast for $34.95.
14. For the wine drinker who takes tasting notes
Tasting notes are a key part of many oenophiles' world. And while there are many online apps like Delectable and Vivino which let wine lovers keep track of the wines from their mobile devices, there's something about keeping a personal journal that feels a bit more intimate to the hobby. The Moleskine Wine Journal isn't just a burgundy-colored version of their famous notebook, it's specifically designed to help keep tasting notes well organized.
15. If you really must send a traditional wine gift basket
If you're not convinced to purchase something other than a wine gift basket, please don't send one with a no-name bottle of wine to someone that's picky about what they drink. Fortunately, this Champagne and Truffles Gift Basket offered by GourmetGiftBaskets.com impresses us with their sparkling wine choices. Depending on who you’re gifting, you can choose from a popular Prosecco, a Champagne that’s loved among the Hamptons set, or the more luxurious Dom Perignon. The basket is also filled with indulgences such as Lindt chocolates, Dolcetto wafers, and other sinful treats.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
This article originally appeared on Reviewed.com: Wine gift baskets: Our favorite wine gift ideas that they'll love