What do you buy a wine lover? Wine, maybe? Egads no! I’ve done this, and even as a wine-smart person I can attest to the fact that it’s an adventure in uncertainty –like buying art for an art collector. So instead, leave tasting to the tasters and focus on all the wonderful items that wine enthusiasts truly need, want, and lust after.
Unique Wine Gifts for Wine Lovers
Some of the wine gifts are quite new and others are tried-and-true. Please enjoy the Wine Folly Wine Gift Guide for 2017 and we hope it helps you create the perfect gift for the wine lover in your life.
Wine Gifts Under $40
A really good sommelier friend of ours ran up a sizable credit card bill after discovering Natural Whine on Instagram. Yes, we are wholly disappointed in her money management skills, but no, we can’t help but gawk in awe every time she wears her Cru Beaujolais sweatshirt.
Even wine hipsters need to wear clothes.
For those who still love the feeling of writing, Moleskin came out with a pretty handy journal designed especially for wine tasting notes.
Hands down, this is the best Champagne stopper we’ve ever come across. The patented WAF design is easy to operate and won’t pop off like those double clasp-styles often do. It’s one of those kitchen drawer tools that no wine lover should be without.
You might laugh, but this little wine opener works wonders on older bottles with natural cork. Plus, it feels amazing to use. Anyone with a wine collection will appreciate this little German-made opener.
For $11, it’s really hard to beat the quality of the Hicoup corkscrew. While it’s no Code 38, it still looks great, feels great, and if you’re building a multi-item gift for someone, it makes a great addition.
Thinking of stocking stuffers? Crystal wine glasses are kind of like fancy cars. You can drive them into the ground but if you baby them, they’ll last a lifetime and become a classic. A lint-free polishing cloth will make them shine like they are always new.
We buy tea towels by the sack-full for polishing glassware but really wish we had one as cool as these.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a $5 or a $5,000 bottle of wine. If it’s red, it will stain. This stocking stuffer is one of those household items that wine lovers cannot live without. We’ve used both Wine Away and Chateau Spill, and both are great, but the former is the best we’ve found thus far.
Now you can carry your wine anywhere you can carry a water bottle. Swell makes a 25 oz. bottle, which is exactly the right size to pack the entire contents of a wine bottle (okay, not exactly–you’ll have to drink the remaining 0.36 ounces).
A profound thought: serious wine enthusiasts are captivated with history and human-made things. And, wine enthusiasts have been obsessed with wine for a long, long time. As a result, there are a great many amazing antiquities in the wine sphere. A quick trip to ebay revealed some great choices, all for under $40.
Want to know how to drink better wine? Simple. Learn how to taste all the flavors. This is a great item for an enthusiast because the backside of the paper chart also includes aroma compounds associated with different flavors in wine. Designed, printed, and shipped to you directly from Wine Folly in Seattle, WA.
Aeration is a necessary thing for red wine. It greatly improves the taste. Plus, the practice of emptying a bottle into a decanter is strangely therapeutic.
There are a multitude of decanters to choose from. Our favorite one is still the restaurant standard issue Riedel Merlot decanter. Don’t worry, you can use it on any variety.
Learn to write great tasting notes using wine tasting placemats that are designed to guide you through a tasting from start to finish. This is probably the most interactive gift of the bunch. Designed, printed, and shipped to you directly from Wine Folly in Seattle, WA.
On the hunt for quality? A map of your favorite wine region will quickly point you in the right direction. Designed, printed, and shipped to you directly from Wine Folly in Seattle, WA.
If you love wine, there’s a pretty good chance you’re fond of cheese as well. Why not put them together? Designed, printed, and shipped to you directly from Wine Folly in Seattle, WA.
Get inspired to try new wines based on the styles you most enjoy. Designed, printed, and shipped to you directly from Wine Folly in Seattle, WA.
It’s very difficult to find an excellent set of wine glasses for under $40. That said, they do exist! The Style Series are Austrian, lead-free crystal by the brand Spiegelau (part of the Riedel wine brand). This set offers 4 Bordeaux glasses for just under $40.
While we’re talking wine glasses, there is another brand worth investigating that manages to produce fine crystal for a great value. Schott Zwiesel is a German glassmaker that makes a great, affordable line called Tritan, using lead-free crystal (other glasses use titanium and zirconium oxide instead). Yes, the glass set is slightly over $40, but you get a set of 8!
If you live on the move, or are a destroyer of fragile things, a decanter is a terrible idea. What you need is a wine aerator. This little gurgling device quickly improves the flavor of wine after a single pour (a decanter takes at least 30 minutes!). Ever since the Vinturi came out with the wine aerator, many copycats have created similar looking devices, but we still like this one the best.
If you’re someone who works in the business as a sommelier or wine retailer, you know how annoying it is to shuffle bottles around from here to there. All day long. This handy carrier is built with the industrious wine enthusiast in mind. We’ve used one for about a year and love, love, love it.
Educational Wine Books
On the hunt for mental strengthening? How about a book? Well, for someone getting into wine there are a few books out there that have proven themselves to be the best of the best.
Wine Folly: The Essential Guide to Wine
A visual handbook to the world’s more important wines and wine regions. Plus, it includes lots of information on tasting, serving and storing wine. It’s one of those toolkit books that’s a joy to use. And yes, we’re completely biased, so definitely read the reviews.Wine Folly: The Essential Guide to Wine $20
The Wine Bible
Karen MacNeil’s new edition of Wine Bible is the perfect partner to a guidebook like Wine Folly. Why? The Wine Bible has the details. The history is important because it gives meaning to the wines of the world. Therefore, we absolutely love this book.
Windows on the World Complete Wine Course
This book is the core curriculum to Kevin Zraly’s famous wine beginner course. It’s an amazing book that can literally taste you through the wine world. All you need are a few bottles of wine and an open mind. That’s the best way to learn wine.
Wine Isn’t Rocket Science
Wine Isn’t Rocket Science was written by an awesome French writer who works with an illustrator. The book is packed with lovely French laissez-faire drawings and useful information. The book has a distinctly European focus so it would make a great choice for a Francophile.
24-Hour Wine Expert
The British wine expert, Jancis Robinson, is much more famous for her academic-level books like The Oxford Companion to Wine Companion and Wine Grapes. So it was a delight to see her launch a microbook, The 24-Hour Wine Expert, that’s loaded with wine common sense.
Staying in the know is a constant game for wine lovers. One of the most physically satisfying ways to feel wine smart is to subscribe to a wine mag. Yes, your wine-loving friends should definitely subscribe to Wine Folly’s e-newsletter (no-brainer), but printed things feel awesome too. Here are four of our favorite wine mags this year:
A great, all around everyday wine magazine that covers the real questions we have about wine.
Wine & Spirits
This one has the appeal of being able to peek behind the scenes of the wine business, but without all the annoying business jargon.
Totally irreverent. One third is fascinating, one third is beautiful, and the last third will make you mad. But then again, that’s what irreverent means.
World of Fine Wine
The equivalent of an art magazine but for wine. It will make you drool at things you cannot afford.
Wine Gifts Over $40
Peter Liem has been slowly and fastidiously changing expert’s minds about 2 beverages: Sherry and Champagne. At first look, his latest book is something you could proudly place on a coffee table. Let my assure you, this book is way more than a pretty cover. Champagne: The Essential Guide to the Wines, Producers, and Terroirs of the Iconic Region is a noteworthy deep-dive into the region and its wine. Make your bubbly fan happy, buy them this book!
This is still one of our favorite wine glasses that’s easy to find. (Our other top favorite is Zwiesel’s Select Riesling Grand Cru… if you can find it!) This glass is a wee bit terrifying to use because the stem is so thin you think it will break. Surprisingly, the crystal blend Zalto uses results in a very durable glass. Not recommended for people with big hands.
If looking at this image doesn’t make your eyeballs pop out of our head you’re clearly not a sparkling wine snob. Get this for someone who is; it will give them googly eyes. Promise.
A sword you can actually use if you know how to saber a bottle of sparkling wine. The Fox Sciabola del Sommelier is one of those tools you might never buy for yourself but you wish you had. Handmade in Italy.
You love your corks so where do you put them? This wine barrel-shaped cork collector can store over 2,000 corks. That’s a lot. For comparison’s sake, if you drink a glass of wine a night for your entire adult life, it only equates to a little over 4,000 bottles of wine! Challenge accepted.
We’ve been using the Coravin now since 2015 and have to say that this wine preservation system has created a whole new way of drinking for us. Suddenly you can decide to taste some of the good wines you have without committing to the whole bottle. The Model One may look like a medical device (it was, in fact, designed by a medical device inventor!), but it’s an awesome tool for anyone who wishes to savor serious wines.
The obsessive handmade knife-like wine opener. The new “Magnum” model truly considers people with bigger hands and is a joy to use.
Tactical grade wine opener. This is the darling and the envy of sommeliers everywhere. Not indestructible, but the parts are interchangeable, so this opener can hang with the busiest wine pros in the biz.
How do we come up with the Wine Folly gift list? We source as many cool products over a year and then put our favorites on the list. A company cannot pay to have an item featured here, although we welcome companies to let us about their amazing new products. We do feature Wine Folly products, which are labeled. We also use affiliate sale through amazon when possible. Please help support free content by using these links if you like a product. Thanks for looking!
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