Every birthday and holiday, you struggle with the same challenge. You can’t think of anything to give your self-professed wine snob father-in-law, longtime best friend or boss.
Giving wine is out of the question. You’ve seen their impressive wine cellar stocked with rare and expensive bottles. You worry you’d accidentally insult their taste by selecting a bottle not up to their standards.
Wine glasses or gadgets such as a corkscrew, an aerator or a decanter are also off the table. Their top-of-the-line bar is already stocked with their favorite wine accessories.
Fortunately, we have a variety of unique and inexpensive wine gifts that will pleasantly surprise any oenophile. If you’re feeling especially generous, consider putting several items together to make a wine gift basket — a gift guaranteed to keep you in their good graces, at least until the next gift exchange comes along.
1. Wine soaps and lotions
Keep it clean with this practical and fun gift to liven up their kitchen or guest bathroom. Napa Soap Company’s products include bar soap, liquid soap and lotion. All are hand mixed and poured in small batches in their headquarters in downtown St. Helena, Calif., in Napa Valley. Napa Soap Company uses local and organic products whenever possible, including a trademark ingredient: cold-pressed grapeseed oil from Napa Valley wineries.
Score bonus points by gifting a soap that matches your recipient’s favorite wine. Scents include Clean-O Noir (a juicy blend of red raspberry seed oil, grapeseed oil, olive oil and red wine), Soapignon Blanc (a rich blend of grapeseed, olive, avocado and sunflower oils with a splash of white wine) and the more exotic Figs and Zinfandel (an interesting combination of grapefruit and pomegranate oils).
2. Wine-themed onesie
If that special someone recently celebrated a new addition to the family or has a little one on the way, they’ll appreciate the Vino Bambino Onesie. Available in 6-12 month and 18-24 month sizes, this best of the bunch onesie will help mom or dad instil their love of wine early on.
3. Cork collection kit
Once the last drop of a rare or special occasion wine has been enjoyed, what’s the best memento of the event? The cork! Collecting corks has become popular among wine lovers, but everyone doesn’t have a good way to display them. Cork collections sometimes go unnoticed in a drawer or bowl.
Our Cork Trivet Kit is one of our top sellers and allows the owner to make their own creative masterpiece. For a larger work of personal cork art, consider the Cork Bulletin Board Kit. Both kits include a solid oak frame, mounting board and glue, all neatly packaged in a gift box.
Cork cages and cork cage ornaments are other popular items to keep and store cork collections. Our cork cages are crafted from sturdy metal formed in the shape of wine bottles, globes, handbags and more.
4. Wine label remover and cellar album
Saving labels is another way to commemorate special bottles. But removing a wine label from the bottle typically isn’t an easy task — it’s downright tedious.
Win the gift giver of the year award with the wine label remover set and book from Lett’s of London. The book contains a guide to tasting and scoring, a dictionary of terms and cellar charts and wine cellar pages for recording tasting notes. The set includes 10 LabelOff strips, which easily remove only the printed surface of a wine label for a durable, laminated memento for the cellar album.
5. Wine Lover’s Daily Calendar
Since wine can’t always be enjoyed on daily basis, the next best thing is cultivating your passion and knowledge with the 2014 Wine Lover’s Daily Calendar. The calendar is packed with 365 days worth of wine trivia, advice and lore. From tasting notes and language to weekend wine adventures, every day brings new insight and eclectica to inspire any oenophile.
6. Cheese serving platter
Wine and appetizers anyone? Your wine lover probably also enjoys entertaining. Give them a contemporary chic serving platter for their next at-home wine tasting party.
The Blue Bottle Serving Platter is an actual cobalt blue bottle melted down into a one-of-a-kind cheese plate and comes with a grape-handle spreader.
The Slate Serving Board also makes for another interesting cheese or appetizer presentation. The names can be written on the board with chalk so guests know what they’re munching on.
7. Specialty chocolates for wine pairing
Chocolate is a great complement to wine that can help bring out a vintage’s flavors. But not just any chocolate can be paired with any wine. Just as different wines have different tastes and characteristics, so do different types of chocolate.
For those who love both chocolate and wine, the Wine Lovers Chocolate Collection is a perfect gift. This chocolate collection includes six tins, each for a different type of wine: Cabernet, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Syrah, Zinfandel and Port.
8. Clef du Vin Pocket Professional
For serious wine collectors, the Clef du Vin is a handy tool that instantly matures a glass of wine. When dipped in a glass of wine for one second, the Clef du Vin will replicate the key aspects of wine aging for one year. Two seconds will replicate two years, three seconds replicate three years, and so on.
Give your wine lover the gift of collecting with confidence and take the guesswork out of selecting bottles for their collection.
9. Outdoor wine accessories
Wine is the perfect complement to an outdoor concert, picnic, BBQ or day at the beach. But spilled wine — especially when it’s a bottle popped especially for the occasion — is definitely something to cry about.
To safely enjoy bottles of wine in the great outdoors, give the Tovolo Bamboo Outdoor Wine Table or Steady Sticks Gift Set. The table is designed for almost any type of ground, including grass, sand and dirt. It also features a slot on either side to hold two glasses.
The Steady Sticks Gift Set design pays homage to croquet: simply push these durable stainless steel sticks into the ground. Then add glasses and bottle of wine, and enjoy a spill-free wine drinking experience.
10. Milano serving trays
These stylish trays are some of our most popular gifts. Choose from either the Small Milano Tray or Large Milano Tray — or both, since the small tray was designed to nest inside the large tray, so no extra storage space is required.
Both trays are imported from Turkey, have cordovan-colored faux crocodile details and rich wood trim. They’re perfect for a tasting party or as a stylish backdrop for enjoying that special weeknight bottle.
11. Mahogany wine totes
A dinner party, picnic or outdoor concert is a perfect opportunity for a wine lover to bring just the right bottle to share their love of wine with friends. But wine bottle transportation is rarely stylish. The 1-Bottle Mahogany Tote and the 4-Bottle Mahogany Tote solve that problem.
Both feature a hard Mahogany leatherette exterior, a suede-lined interior and handle cutout with snap closures to keep the bag closed. And when they’re not being used to transport wine, these totes fold flat for easy storage.
12. Stiletto bottle holders
For the wine-loving fashionista who already has everything, consider a stiletto wine bottle holder to bring together both her love of shoes and wine. The Classic Black Stiletto, Zebra Stiletto and Red Sequined Stiletto all hold standard-sized wine bottles.
About the author: Betsy Mikel is a freelance copywriter who enjoys a strong cup of coffee in the morning and a glass of red wine at night.