These wine gift suggestions should cover all the wine lovers in your life, from the annoying (but loveable) know-it-all, the eager but uninformed neophyte, or your savvy Father-in-law.
We’ve got the best hostess gift ever in the Christmas Countdown, mind-altering truffle chips, an adult wine colouring book, and a Chambong (yes, you read that right). Here are 10 gifts perfect for the wine lover on your holiday shopping list.
If you missed out on New District’s sold-out Wine Advent Calendar, this affordably-priced 12-bottle collection of Christmas Countdown wines will give pleasure and refreshment through the holiday season. Bubbly, winter-weight whites, and rich reds are individually wrapped and numbered for a daily surprise over the 12 days of Christmas. You’ll look like a hero and be ready when the gang drops in.
A go-to easy reference book on wine, Karen MacNeil’s clear, concise and well-organized Wine Bible is a great way to expand your wine knowledge. Written in a chatty, accessible way, peppered with travel tips, thousands of recommended wines and best of all, it is current, which matters in the constantly changing world of wine. This hefty hardback or paperback is available in most bookstores or online for $25 to $37.
With wine, a little irreverence never hurts. Designed to facilitate the -ahem – rapid ingestion of sparkling wine, this is the perfect gift for anyone irritated by the major unspoken issue with Champagne flutes, namely, bubbles up the nose. Basically, it is a delivery system that allows drinking from the bottom, not the top, of a glass. The fact that it may be ever so slightly awkward does not in any way alter the fact that it is a bloody good laugh. And it’s well-named.
These addictive morsels from Quince are pretty much as decadent as a chip can get. And who doesn’t like potato chips (secretly or otherwise?). Most chips are great with wine, but these truffled ones are quite simply off the charts – nothing is better with a glass of proper champagne. Or Meursault. Or Barolo. See? Available in 175 gram bags at Quince.
The best way to experience Okanagan wineries is on a privately guided (and chauffeur driven!) tour. Award-winning sommelier Matt Wentzell is a highly knowledgeable and personable guide. Tours are conducted in the luxury of Mercedes Sprinter vans, with a gourmet picnic lunch from the brilliant Waterfront Bistro at midday. Gift certificates can be purchased and printed from the comfort of your own home; year-round tours are generally $125-$165 per person, but can be entirely customized.
Here’s the world’s greatest stocking stuffer: Champagne Gummie Bears! Handsomely packaged and containing REAL vintage Dom Pérignon champagne, these cute and tubby bears come in brut or rosé shades. Might as well get a dozen or so, for all your grown-up friends. You’ll find Sugarfina at Nordstrom in Vancouver.
Now here’s a colourful way to learn about the world’s wine regions. Study the excellent maps, then test your knowledge by colouring in countries, regions and small appellations, and label them as you go. You’ll soon know where Barolo is relative to Chianti, or Valpolicella. And you might as well sip some wine as you go – adult colouring suddenly got better. Created by B.C. wine pro Louise Wilson.
The wine glass business seems a little out of control – there is a shape for absolutely everything. The best antidote to this stemwear fussery is a nice simple (but uber-stylish) glass from fashion maven Kate Spade. Sprinkled with her trademark polkadots, pink wine will look especially pretty in them.
This wine gadget is a game changer, finally providing a way to taste precious, age-worthy bottles without removing the cork. Coravin is a revolutionary new technology that makes it possible to remove a taste (or a full glass!) from a bottle, and then seal it perfectly until the next time – days, weeks or years later. It’s a splurge, but worth it for the serious wine lover. Trust us: wine geeks covet this. Available online.
Don’t ever under-estimate the value of a practical gift! Keep wine fresh for days with a quick spray of inert gas into the bottle with WineLife. Think of it as the poor man’s Coravin. It’s simple to use: the sleek white canister comes with a plastic stray (yes, like WD-40) that sparges the bottle with gas, forcing oxygen out and keeping your half bottle fresh for up to 10 days. Available at fine private wine stores for about 15 bucks.
DJ Kearney is the Director of Wine for New District, an innovative wine technology platform. Kearney is a renowned wine educator who has trained over a thousand sommeliers across North America. She’s a critic for WineAlign and Chief Judge of the Vancouver Magazine Wine Awards and is always in demand as a speaker and judge.