Gifts for Wine Lovers
If you've got an oenophile in your life, you're in luck: There are enough wine-related gear and gadgets—not to mention great bottles—out there to take care of your holiday shopping list for the next decade. And since the drink is just as likely to be sipped by bargain shoppers stocking up on Barefoot at Costco as it is by experts who've stalked big-budget bottles at auction, there's great wine gear at every price point and experience level. Here, we've assembled a master list of gifts for every kind of wine drinker, from the casual to the committed—plus a few with enough universal appeal to please Yellowtail and Yquem lovers alike.
This year, Travel + Leisure is offering its most comprehensive gift guide ever. The goal? Make sure you can find the perfect present for everyone (yes, even your mother-in-law) on your list. Below, our top picks for wine aficionados.
Firstleaf Wine Club
For the vino rookie, a wine of the month club is one of the best ways to train the palate. Firstleaf takes it to the next level: As your recipient rates each bottle, Firstleaf adjusts the lineup of future bottles to ensure they’ll get more of what they love. We’ve selected six of our favorite bottles to give your giftee a taste of what Firstleaf has to offer. By this time next year, your buddy, the newly-minted som, will be swirling and sipping like a pro.
To buy: firstleaf.club, $70 for 6 wines
Wavehooks Bathtub Wine Glass Holder
The right pairing can enhance the experience of sipping a great vintage, and the only thing that’s guaranteed to pair well with every bottle in the local liquor store is a hot bubble bath and a good book. Buy this for a stressed-out pal along with bath oil and a transportive novel, and they’ll soon be hailing you as the heir to the GOOP lifestyle guru throne.
To buy: amazon.com, $11
Corkcicle 25 Ounce Canteen
This insulated steel bottle goes where glass can’t (pool decks, any situation where busting out a bottle might be frowned upon) and can keep a Chablis chilled for 24 hours or mulled wine hot for 12. A pared-down design and a full spectrum of colors to choose from make the Corkcicle a guaranteed hit.
To buy: amazon.com, $19.95
Coravin Model One Wine System
A committed oenophile needs the high-tech tools to match, and nothing comes close to competing with the Coravin. Use it to sample a single glass of an expensive bottle or to switch up wine pairings throughout a meal without popping the cork and risking waste. The Coravin sticks a long, thin needle through the cork to extract as much wine as needed, and replaces it with argon gas to prevent the rest of the wine from turning due to oxygen exposure. It’s well worth the price if someone on your list is serious about the grape.
To buy: bedbathandbeyond.com, $200
Le Nez du Vin 54 Wine Aroma Master Kit
The only way to learn about wine is putting in the hours sniffing, sipping, and remembering—but a few extra smelling drills will certainly speed the process along, and this aroma kit is the one to snag. With 54 vials of scent notes and accompanying explanations, it’ll help a drinker notice subtleties in wine that the untrained palate might not notice.
To buy: winearomas.com, $400
A few dishtowels and whatever canvas bag is lying around the kitchen may suffice for toting a bottle or two, but hauling enough wine to pour for a crowd requires something a bit more heavy-duty. French company Zebag (get it?) created this hexagonal bag to serve as a multipurpose wine stash spot. Roll it up to hold or carry six bottles, or unroll and use it as a wine rack for storing as many as 11 bottles.
To buy: amazon.com, $279.14
Vacu Vin Wine Saver
Put an end to wasted wine. After a glass or two, just cork the bottle with a rubber stopper, place the wine saver on top, and pump it until it clicks. By sucking out excess air in the bottle as it seals, the Vacu Vin purportedly slows the oxidation process that causes an open bottle to turn bad. It’s not as effective as higher-tech gas replacement methods, and pros will certainly notice the difference, it’s well worth the cash for a loved one who’s just getting into wine.
To buy: amazon.com, $12
Silicone Wine Glasses
Save the solo cups for frat bros and block parties. For drinking wine sans glassware, these stemless silicone cups are a more eco-friendly (and tasteful) alternative. They’re squishable and lightweight, so they can be toted in a picnic bag without adding extra heft or risking breakage. Put them in the freezer first to help wine stay chilled, and since they’re dishwasher-safe, your recipient won’t have to bother with the usual painstaking hand wash.
To buy: amazon.com, $11
Hosts will love this attractive decanter, with its acacia wood coaster and hand-finished metal accents. The strainer removes impurities and sediment from a wine lover’s favorite bottle of red, while the funnel aerates the wine. But it’s the waterfall-effect, created as the wine flows down the glass walls of the decanter, that we’re really excited about.
To buy: bloomingdales.com, $99.95