The best gift for a wine-lover is a special bottle chosen for a specific reason—a bottle that, say, comes from a momentous year in your giftee's life, or a pivotal occasion you’ve shared together. Absent that, there are still many great options. A wonderful gift is a vertical set (a few vintages in a row) of a favorite wine. Or put together a wine adventure and book private winery visits. Here are a few more ideas that won’t require anything but a click and a credit card:
Book classes or get gift certificates to the CIA Greystone in Napa Valley. There is no more historic or majestic place to take a wine class, at every level and focus. If you’d prefer to stay in SF, try The San Francisco Wine School, which offers serious certifications as well as one-offs like Blind Wine Tasting Basics. For the people who are more about cheese and wine, or pairings in general, try the Cheese School of San Francisco. They have cheese and wine pairing classes of all kinds.
If you’re looking to for a fun and useful toy, an aerator is an easy but sophisticated gift. These soften big, closed, and young wines—and will save the day if you opened something prematurely. Vinturi does a great job. The hottest new thing for the serious wine drinker is the Coravin, which is quite expensive, but uses surgical technology to allow you to sample precious bottles, enjoy a glass or two, and save the rest for another time.
Party Gifts and Carriers
Try something fun to dress up the bottle you’re bringing to the party, or charms—which will help people keep track of their glass, save a ton of dishes, and even avoid spreading winter colds. Many bottles have been lost by slipping through careless fingers in transit, and Wineskins and Carriers can save the day.
Glasses & Decanters
Every wine drinker should have nice glasses, and Riedel sets the standard. If they’ve already got nice glasses, or even a decanter, chances are you still may be able to surprise them with a personalized decanter. Or try a set of GoVino glasses, which are extremely useful at big parties and on picnics.
We spend so much of our time in front of screens, so why not turn to focused, trustworthy literature? The Wine Bible, 50 Premiere Winemakers of Napa Valley, and Wine Dogs are all popular options.
Storage & Random Cool Stuff
It’s a big gift, but perhaps the most important and necessary gift in any wine-lovers life: a wine fridge. There are many to choose from and Wine Enthusiast does a great job of selecting the best and pricing them according to quality and size. For high-end, useful, creative wine toys check out Soireé Home and click here for more fun accessories.