Wine of the Week: Gift ideas for wine lovers who don’t need another bottle

T’was the week before the holidays and all through the wine cellar, the thoughtful spouse was fretting about what to buy her wine-loving feller.

And as she worried about what to get for her guy, her caring spouse was contemplating what for her he should buy.

The wine-sharing couple both fretted and pouted until an idea slowly sprang and then sprouted.

They’d write to their favorite wine-writing team and see if they had any ideas they could glean.

As luck would have it, their plan worked just fine, for the Vine Guy and Vine Gal had gift ideas for more than just wine.

We each have our favorites, from which you can choose, and with advice from both, you simply can’t lose.

Whether it’s Christmas or Hanukkah you chose to celebrate, here are several gift ideas that every wine lover can appreciate.

Just remember that prices might vary a bit, so check around before you commit.

The Vine Gal Suggests:
I like “usable” wine gifts. If someone gives me a bottle of wine, it’s nice, but it usually disappears faster than teenagers with weekend chores. I am always thrilled when I give a wine-related gift that I see my friends still using several years later.

Whether you’re a devotee of presidential history, a lover of wine, or both, I cannot recommend Wine and the White House: A History by Fredrick Ryan, Jr., Publisher and CEO of The Washington Post, highly enough!

This tome takes the reader on a comprehensive journey through the history of White House hospitality and explores every president’s experience with wine.

This beautifully illustrated book features memorable presidential toasts, menus from historic White House gatherings, a catalog of vintages served, and more. Almost every president has recognized the important role wine has played in entertaining at the White House as well as in diplomacy.

This is truly a book that is a history lesson as told through wine, one bottle at a time. All proceeds from the sale of the book benefit the White House Historical Association. $55

The Vine Guy Suggests:
I agree that reusable gifts are the best. After all, buying a bottle of wine for someone can be tricky business, particularly if you are not familiar with their taste in wine.

I am aware of friends, who on more than one occasion, “re-gifted” a wine that I thought they would love … and last year, I received a wine back from a friend as a gift who forgot that I gave it to him the year before! Lesson learned.

Let’s start with the essentials. No wine lover would be caught without a trusty corkscrew at his or her side. After all, my motto is “always carry a corkscrew, and the wine will present itself.”

Right now, my favorite de-corkerator is the rabbit “style” wine opener, thus named given the large handles that resemble rabbit ears.

Simply place the opener on top of the bottle, squeeze the “rabbit ears” together, push the top lever down to insert the corkscrew (a.k.a. “the worm”) into the cork, then lift the lever back up to remove the cork.

With a little practice, you can easily open a bottle of wine and eject the cork in under seven seconds. The original Rabbit runs around $55, but since the patent recently expired you can find comparable knockoffs (Quick Pull for one) for as little as $25 at area department and kitchen/home stores as well as wine catalogs.

We Both Recommend:
Every year we recommend wine decanters. Why? Because we both agree that a person can never have enough of them! Wine decanters are not only a stylish gift, but they are also an incredibly practical gift.

Decanting serves two purposes: to separate a wine from any sediment that may have formed in the bottle, as well as to aerate the wine to enhance its aromas and flavors before serving.

They come in a variety of styles and shapes. Check out the selection at Wine Enthusiast — they range in price from $25 to $100.

Happy Holidays!

Listen and subscribe to the “The Vine Guy” podcast on Podcast One

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