Is there a wine lover on your holiday gift shopping list this year? (I’m going with a strong yes.) The thing about wine lovers is that while their personal preferences may vary when it comes to the actual wine, the tools of the trade are pretty standard. So, unless you’re absolutely sure what kind of vino your special person enjoys, consider these gift options (pssst…they’re all under $50!):
Decanting, or pouring wine into a separate container before serving, is thought to enhance its flavor through a process called aeration (sometimes described as allowing the wine to “breathe”). This process is thought to speed up the evaporation of undesirable compounds and separate sediment that’s common in older wines. While decanting is still somewhat controversial (some argue that it is neither effective nor necessary), it’s hard to argue that there are some really beautiful decanters* on the market, so if nothing else it can make for a beautiful dining table accessory.
Similar to decanting, another way to aerate wine is to use a pouring device called an aerator topper* that attaches to the top of the wine bottle. While aerator toppers don’t effectively address the sediment issue (and can sometimes clog aerators), it does offer an alternative to decanters. So, if you’re looking for a small, travel-friendly gift option, this might be a good bet.
Over the years, I’ve personally tried a variety of wine stoppers and my favorites are by far the Rabbit bottle stoppers*. While cork stoppers may look nice, in my experience they’ve broken apart or crumbled way too quickly. My Rabbits, on the other hand, have held up for years under extensive use. Plus, they’re super easy to wash and come in a variety of colors. (I use the yellow for white wine and pink for red.)
Corkscrews and Wine Keys
It’s never a bad idea to have an extra corkscrew or two–you just never know when you’ll need one. Traditional corkscrews typically have arms on both sides, which are slowly pulled down to dislodge the cork. Wine keys are similar, and are often used by servers in restaurants, but use a slightly different lever action to remove the cork. Both are effective at getting the job done and are basic tools of the trade for most wine enthusiasts. Unless you’re buying an opulent corkscrew that’s attached to a stand, most hand-held wine keys* and corkscrews* are pretty affordable, though you could always opt for a slightly fancier hand-held version* that comes with a foil cutter. This is a great gift for any wine lover.
Cheese Board and Knives
Cheese pairs extremely well with wine, which is why it’s a no-brainer accessory for most wine lovers. Cheese boards come in a whole host of varieties, from slate* (which are fun to write on with chalk) to olive wood* to marble*. And there are just as many beautiful cheese knives* available as well.
Prefer an alternative to traditional product-based gifts? Organize an experience like a wine tasting, a membership to a wine club, an art event, or a trip to somewhere special.
If you’re looking for some fun gift ideas for your special wine lover, any of these are sure to please. Cheers!
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