Even for stalwart wine lovers, all that racing around and buying gifts for other people is exhausting. So why not take a detour for a few minutes and track down a gift for yourself? Below are a few suggestions for wine lovers who feel a need to treat themselves well this holiday season.
1. A worthwhile corkscrew. That wobbly piece of junk you've been using? To open good wine with? Meh. Treat yourself to a corkscrew worthy of a real wine lover. Laguiole is the answer. This turquoise-handled one is pretty impressive, for instance. $225; williams-sonoma.com
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2. Coravin, Model 2. If you wavered about buying one of these nifty gadgets when the first edition came out, just as well. The new “Model 2” has a slightly wider needle so that it pours a bit faster, has various other useful modifications, and it also just looks better. Which is something. Same idea, though: You can extract wine from a bottle without ever removing the cork or letting in oxygen. So if you want one single glass from your bottle of 1990 Mouton, go for it. $299, coravin.com
3. A wine glass cleaning widget. Ever since I inadvertently pulled off an actual piece of a Riedel glass while trying to clean it (seriously: pop, and there I was holding a triangular piece of the glass), I have been a fan of soft spongy brushes like this one. Put it in your own Christmas stocking. $7.95; wineenthusiast.com
4. An absurdly detailed book about a wine region you love. There are a number of great generalist wine books out there, but for the wine geek, what's more exciting are those books by the crazed specialists, the folks who know everything there is to know about a region and its wine. A few to consider: The Châteauneuf-du-Pape Wine Book by Harry Karis; Native Wine Grapes of Italy, by Ian D'agata; Barolo and Barbaresco by Kerin O'Keefe; Jura Wine by Wink Lorch; The Pearl of the Cote by Allen Meadows, Sherry, Manzanilla and Montilla by Peter Liem and Jesús Barquin...well, the list does go on. Most of the above are available on Amazon.com; the Meadows book is best purchased from burghoundbooks.com.
5. A really cool wine map. These maps from De Long are detailed, accurate and also visually appealing. For (possibly) even more detail, check out these maps from Italian writer and cartographer Alessandro Masnaghetti. They're easily purchased in the US from the Rare Wine Co. www.enogea.it