Many of this year’s gifts focus on the theme of keeping your wine around longer – whether enjoying a bottle everyday wine throughout the week, or taking a glass from a special bottle without risking the rest of the wine.
There are lots of other great ideas in here as well, from indulgences like wine-inspired spa treatments or glittery coasters, or simple fun like a blind tasting game or glass charms that celebrate your travels.
Finally, in the spirit of the holidays, we’ve uncovered two great ways to give back through wine. Gallo’s Every Cork Counts program benefits Meals on Wheels and L.I.F.E. Line Fashion’s “Save the Wino” bags support programs to stop animal poaching in Kenya.
This year’s guide is organized into four categories: Serve, Store, Enjoy and Do Good. Happy shopping and happy holidays!
Need to chill in a hurry? This wine cooling sleeve stores flat in the freezer so it’s ready to cool your wine at a moment’s notice. It does so in less than 10 minutes – just enough time to pull out the glassware and assemble a platter of cheese and crackers.
Available from shoptrudeau.com. $14.99
These adorable glasses are also quite practical. They are crafted with a double-glass wall, providing insulation and helping maintain the wine’s temperature for much longer than a typical wine glass, even when held in your hand. Perfectly sized for red or white wine and dishwasher safe.
From Fab. $19 for a set of two.
Add Some Sparkle
Because the holidays can’t have enough glitter, put out these sparkly coasters from Kate Spade. Made with clear resin, these are super-easy to care for while keeping your furniture safe.
Available from Papyrus. $34.95 for a set of 4
Decant with Style
Napa winemaker and icon Robert Mondavi would have celebrated his 100th birthday this year. To commemorate this occasion, the Robert Mondavi winery commissioned Riedel to design these limited-edition decanters.
Individually made by master craftsmen, these crystal decanters are numbered and hand painted with original artwork by Margrit Mondavi, Mr. Mondavi’s wife. The art depicts Bacchus, the god of the harvest and wine.
Available from the Robert Mondavi Winery; contact Kristen at 888-766-6328 x3 to order. $450.00
Wine Within Reach
Okay, so it’s not an actual person who will cater to your wine needs. But the Wine Butler will hold your bottle at the ready, no matter where you are!
This device was crafted with a spike on the end, making it perfect for camping or backyard entertainment. It is made of heavy duty steel and can fit a standard or magnum-sized bottle. A version with a round base for use on hard surfaces will be available in April 2014, insuring that your bottle will never be out of reach.
Available from Outdoors Unlimited. $19.95
VinEdge offers a simple yet ingenious way to make a bottle last a little longer.
This system offers a no-mess wine spout that attaches to a “vin-sert,” a disposable plastic balloon that slips into the bottle. As you pour, the balloon inflates, using a vacuum suction effect to keep oxygen out of the wine. It will keep for 7-10 days after it’s opened. Once the bottle is finished, just pop off the spout and save it for next time.
Available from VinEdge. $29.95
Rack It Up
Designed by Jordan Murphy, this free standing wine rack elegantly displays and stores a small wine collection. One rack holds as many as 6 bottles. Have more? The displays are interlocking, allowing the rack to grow with your collection.
Rubber feet on the bottom protect furniture and countertops; stack up to three to hold 16 bottles in style.
Available from Umbra. $30
The Coravin System uses a thin, hollow needle to pierce foil and cork and access the wine. The bottle is then pressurized with argon, an inert gas. The pressure forces wine through the needle without allowing any oxygen in the bottle. The gas fills the space once occupied by the wine, helping preserve what’s left. The cork reseals itself once the needle is removed.
This way, the manufacturer says, you can repeatedly go back to a bottle over weeks, months or even years. A great way for a collector to see how a wine evolves without sacrificing a whole bottle – or for a light drinker to enjoy their bottle over time.
Available from Coravin. $299
KRUPS introduces a two-bottle wine aerator and dispenser that looks cool enough to keep on the counter but retains its practical side. There are two chilling chambers to store the wine as well as an aerator that helps the wine breathe as it’s poured AND vacuum-pressurizes the contents to help the juice last longer – up to a week for white wine, and seven to ten days for red.
Available exclusively at Crate & Barrel. $499.99
Know anyone who travels around the globe seeking out the latest race or competition? This set of wine charms makes the perfect stocking stuffer. The standard quartet includes Chicago (ORD), Boston (BOS), San Francisco (SFO) and New York (LGA). However, they can be customized at no extra charge.
Available from Words to Sweat By. $9.75
Get Carried Away
This tote is perfect for carrying wine – though it has a multitude of other uses as well! A curved zipper accommodates taller bottles and long handles fit over the shoulder for easy carrying. Insulation helps keep the bottles cool, and a front pocket holds the bottle opener. The bag comes in three prints and can be personalized at no extra charge.
To order the Cool Tote, contact Jill Robustelli at Initials, Inc. $28
Do something different at your next party and play All You Need Is Wine! This gamecomes with everything needed to host a blind tasting party, including tip sheets, tasting note sheets, numbered wine bags and wine glass tags. All you provide is wine and glassware.
Available at Amazon. $29.99
Speaking of Glassware…
Up the ante when it comes to blind tasting with these Authentis Blind Tasting Glasses from Spiegelau. Crafted from black crystal, they really add to the mystery of what’s in the glass – because you can’t tell what color the wine is!
Whether connoisseur or just having fun, these glasses will challenge your taste perceptions and turn wine drinking into an exciting sensory experience.
These glasses are available as a set of six from Speigelau. $119.90
Wine & Dine
Take a little getaway to Chateau Elan Winery & Resort, a 16th century style French chateau just a short drive north of Atlanta. (Yes, as in Georgia!)
This acclaimed destination offers wine tours and tastings, bike and hiking trails through the 3,500 acre property, golf, fine dining and a European spa.
For a full wine immersion, enjoy the Chateau Winery Ritual, which includes a wine bath, a Crush Body Scrub using wine grape seeds and grape seed oil, and a De-Vine Mudwrap that combines crushed grape seeds and clay to help regenerate and revitalize.
Reserve through Chateau Elan. A Chateau Winery Ritual Gift Card is $327.78; room prices vary.
Think Outside the Bottle
Each “Bouquet” is individually crafted, turning even the most special wine bottle into something extraordinary. This art can also be displayed on its own long after the wine has disappeared.
“Bouquet” can be made with red or white roses and is customizable to commemorate any occasion. The flexible material insures it fits a variety of bottle sizes.
Available through Shapeways. $425.00 A smaller version is available for $110.00.
Every year, we try to find one wine to feature that also does some good. For 2013, that wine is Gallo Family Vineyards and the cause is Meals on Wheels Association of America (MOWAA).
Through its Every Cork Counts program, Gallo will donate up to $100,000 to MOWAA to help deliver meals to seniors in need.
From now until December 31, save the cork from every Gallo wine you drink. Pack them up and mail them to Every Cork Counts, PO Box 3017, Grand Rapids, MN 55745-3017.
For every cork they receive, $5 goes to Meals on Wheels.
Give More Back
I am a sucker for a good pun. This “Save the Wino” wine tote helps save the rhino – a farmore important species! These eco-friendly bags are handmade in Kenya, with $1 from every bag sold donated to conservancies in Kenya that protect rhinos and elephants against poaching.
But it’s not just about the animals. Through these sales, the woman who make these bags are able to better provide for their families and send their children to school.
Bags come in two designs and are available through L.I.F.E. line Fashion and at Whole Foods stores nationwide. $10.99