Christmas is right around the corner, which means it's time to shop for those special people on your holiday gift list. If the wine drinkers in your life have you stumped for gifts, read on for some unique presents they're sure to love.
Aerator. As every wine drinker knows, time improves wine; and as every wine drinker laments, time increases its price. This year, trick time by giving the gift that ages wines instantly--an aerator. As wine is poured through the aerator it forces air to interact with the wine, which ages and improves the wine's flavor. Just hold the aerator over the wine glass and pour away! ($30-$40; Williams-Sonoma.com).
Wine Bottle Tote. For the wine drinker on the go, give a wine carrying case. These cushiony cases not only protect bottles from breaking, they keep them at a chilled temperature thanks to cold neoprene inserts that wrap around the bottles. The best thing about this gift? You'll see it throughout the year when your wine friends bring you bottles to consume together. Totes come in two-bottle and three-bottle sizes ($25-30; bedbathandbeyond.com).
Cork Serving Tray Kit. What better way to serve wine than from a tray made of wine corks? This kit comes with a mahogany wood tray and plexiglass surface to show off the wine corks of your favorite bottles. Plus, it's a vino lover's conversation piece. Point to a cork and reminisce: "Remember drinking this 20 year-old bottle of Bordeaux?" ($40; wineenthusiast.com). Warning: you supply the corks, so start drinking!
Wine Spectator subscription. Wine lovers are a passionate, curious, literate lot. Here's your chance to show how much you understand them with a subscription to Wine Spectator magazine. This insightful, well-written magazine covers all aspects of the wine industry from what vintages to buy and where to buy them, to winery business and trends. It comes in a digital version ($50), which can be read on a computer, mobile phone, iPad, Nook and Kindle, as well as in a glossy paper version ($50; winespectator.com).
Wine refrigerator. The key to preserving wine is storing it at a steady, cool temperature. The best way to ensure uninterrupted cooling is with a specially designed wine refrigerator. The size options for wine fridges run the gamut from a petit 34-bottle unit to a mammoth 332-bottle built-in ($400-$4,000; wineenthusiast.com). No matter the size, a wine refrigerator will help wines feel that winter chill all year long, which is a good thing.
Wine. At the end of the day, the best gift for a wine lover is… wine. Of course! For the white wine aficionado on your list, give a bottle of Cakebread Chardonnay 2010. With its nose of apricots and green apples, this Chard is a definite palate pleaser ($43; BevMo!). For the red wine drinker on your list, splurge on a bottle of Kistler Pinot Noir 2010. This Sonoma red has hints of cherry and oak in the mouth, especially after it's had 10-15 minutes to breathe ($129; K&L Wines).
Whether it be an aerator, a bottle of wine, or a wine refrigerator, whatever you decide to give the wine drinkers on your list this year, know they'll be happy you remembered them. And when they share their wine with you, you'll be happy, too. Cheers!