Didn't get all your holiday shopping done on Black Friday or Cyber Monday? Not to worry, I've got a list of wine-inspired gifts, organized by the personality of the recipient. You can get most of these gifts online and in time to make it under the tree (if you start shopping now!).
For the gadget geek. There are always new toys for your wine. When it comes to keeping an open bottle fresh, call in the Wine Doctor. This kit, which comes with a pump for removing oxygen, works better than other pump kits out there. Why? This gadget tells you when the air has been pumped out, and will even let you know if oxygen starts creeping into the bottle. It also looks more stylish than that plastic white pump. $24.95 for the classic kit with two stoppers.
The handblown glass Wine Soirée decanter is one of the best aerators for decanting wine on the go. Retailer Nordstrom teamed up with Wine Soirée to create the "Signature Series" set with the Soiree aerator, stand, case and vacuum pump wine preserver with stoppers. It all comes in a nice gift box. $50. Received as a sample.
The S'well bottle isn't exactly a gadget, but it is still one of the coolest new wine accessories. This double lined stainless steel bottle comes in two sizes and all sorts of colors, and it is non-toxic, non-leaching and BPA free. The large S'well is 25 ounces and can hold the entire contents of one 750 ml wine bottle the company claims the bottle keeps liquids cool even exposed to hot sun in a car. I think these bottles are perfect for times when you can't bring glass containers to the picnic area, pool or beach. $35 for 17 oz/500 ml; $45 for 25 oz/750 ml (wine bottle size). Received as a sample.
For the neat freak. I discovered this nifty glass cleaning brush at a Pampered Chef party that one of my friends had. It has foam sponge-like bristles and the head is split so it fits right over the rim of a wine glass. This is the way to get rid of stubborn lipstick and food residue. I bought one and I'm hooked. $8.50.
For the wine novice. TastingRoom.com keeps adding more and more wineries to its roster of wine tasting kits. I think this idea is genius. Each sampler box comes full of six wines in miniature 50 ml glass bottles from a single winery or region. You can also choose a sampler with recommendations from Gary Vaynerchuk or Master Sommelier Rajat Parr. Prices start at $19.99 and go up from there depending on the wines selected.
For the bookworm. I have always loved Charles O'Rear's photographs of wine country, and his newest book Napa Valley: The Land, The Wine, The People is no exception. This is an intimate portrayal of wine country like you haven't seen before, with descriptions written by his wife Daphne Larkin that go way beyond captions. $45.
I can't put down Unquenchable: A Tipsy Quest for the World's Best Bargain Wines by Natalie MacLean. She's a multimedia wine personality, with a blog, videos and books. Natalie is a gifted story teller who writes with a humorous bent. No matter how much you know about wine, you'll learn a thing or two from her, as I have. $24. Received as a review copy.
For the oenophile. What to give the wine lover who has everything? I bet he or she doesn't have this. The Stag's Leap District Winegrowers, in one of the iconic wine regions in Napa Valley, has assembled a limited edition of 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon bottlings from 18 producers. Many wine lovers and critics praise the 2007 vintage in Napa Valley. You'll find Shafer One Point Five, Ilsley, Chimney Rock Ganymede Vineyard and Silverado Solo. This collection won't be around for long, available only through December 15. This is a huge splurge for sure, $1,450.
For the foodie. Where there's good wine, you'll always find good food. Olives and grapes are often grown together. The Olive Press in Sonoma County shares space with the Jacuzzi Family Winery, and it's a totally independent operation. They are a leader in making high quality California extra virgin olive oil. You'll find a number of sampler kits called Fiesta Packs, with six 60 ml bottles, including the wonderful citrus oils with blood orange or lemon. From $36-$40.
For the wine fashionista (you knew there had to be at least one fashionable gift). My brother gave me this shoe wine holder last year for Christmas, and ever since it's been a conversation starter. Gotta love the leopard print and the rhinestone embellishment. $29.95.
I came across these fabulous wine bottle stoppers at the Chateau Ste. Michelle Wine Estates tasting room. I especially love the red ruby shoe. I found them online at Just the Right Shoe for $17. Just the Right Shoe also sells shoe wine bottle holders.
Kelly & Jones is my latest obsession in the perfume world. Inspired by fragrant notes in wine, Kelly Jones has created her Wine Notes Collection with five handcrafted eau de parfums, based on wine varietals. For example Vintage No. 2 Notes of Riesling has white peach, d'anjou pear, bergamot and raspberry leaf. The cool thing is this fragrance will enhance the aromas and flavor of the wine instead of competing with it. $84 per 50 ml /1.7 fluid oz bottle, or a sample set of all five scents for $20.
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