Here are 10 gifts, all worth considering for the wine lover who has everything.
What could you possibly gift a wine lover who has everything? For someone who already has that 500-or-more-bottle collection, and regularly vacations in wine regions around the world, is there anything more they could possibly want? Yes—they just don’t know it.
GoVino Dishwasher Safe Shatterproof Wine Glass, $10: By now, most die-hard wine enthusiasts own a shatterproof GoVino. They’ve probably also made the mistake of putting them in the dishwasher and melting a few. Well, it’s the dawn of a new day because GoVino has engineered one line that is dishwasher safe.
2019 Page-A-Day Desk Calendar by Karen MacNeil, $17.99: Packed with engaging wine quizzes, recommendations, and pairing ideas, this is the definitive desktop calendar for wine lovers, produced by Karen MacNeil, author of the widely popular The Wine Bible.
The Sommelier's Atlas of Taste: A Field Guide to the Great Wines of Europe, $25: This guide to the classic wine regions of the world and belongs in a library or out on the coffee table of every serious wine lover. Authored by Raj Parr, a world-famous sommelier, winegrower, and winemaker (Domaine de la Cote and Sandhi) along with Jordan Mackay, a renowned food and wine journalist, this is their second book together (their first was The Secrets of the Sommeliers). Producers from France, Italy, Spain, Germany, and Austria are featured with an emphasis on French wine country.
The New Yorker Book of Wine Cartoons, price varies: “I want Chardonnay, but I like saying ‘Pinot Grigio.’” All this and more...from a classic collection. You might need to get a used book if you can’t find a new one, but this is worth the hunt. Warning: the recipient may even recognize themselves in some of the cartoons. Be prepared with a full glass of wine.
Riedel Performance Series Glassware, $59: The gold-standard for crystal wine glasses, Riedel continues to innovate for both practical use and visually effect. Its Performance Series line offers a bowl imbued with “light optic impact” which is a fancy way of saying they made it look really elegant at the top while increasing surface area allowing for a more focused aromatic experience. Varietal-specific glasses for Riesling, Chardonnay, Champagne, Syrah, Cabernet, Pinot Noir, and spirits are available.
Lalique 100-Points Universal Glass, $280: Wine critic James Suckling partnered with Lalique to create a line of glassware they dubbed the “100-Points Collection." The universal glass is a stunning work of art. For the wine lover who has everything, this gives them the purity and elegance of Lalique in a really practical and functional wine glass.
Code 38 Wine Key, $225: A wine key that inspires confidence, is made to last forever, and in any hands turns someone into a pro wine opener? That’s the Code 38. Adored by sommeliers worldwide, many of whom believe it is even better than a Laguiole, Code 38 is equally adored by wine writers, critics, and winemakers—it is the professional wine key the casual wine lover has dreamed about but didn’t know existed. Solid, durable, made of high-grade stainless steel or titanium (depending on the model), with a precision cut slicing blade, it is a tool that is designed to last a lifetime.
Coravin Model 11, $1,000: If you’re already a fan of Coravin, this model is the upgrade you’ve dreamed about. If you haven’t experienced the beauty of a Coravin, here’s a crash course: The device allows you to pour a glass of wine without ever popping the cork. A thin needle is effortlessly depressed into the cork, a spritz of argon gas into the bottle pushes the wine out through the needle and into your glass. Once the needle is removed, the cork reseals, and if the bottle is stored on its side in a cool, dark cellar, it will keep for many years.
As for the Model 11, gone is the trigger to pour, replaced by self-pouring smart technology. You simply lift, tilt, and the Coravin begins pouring—best of all you can control the size of the pour using the Coravin app, from a 1-oz pour up to half a bottle! The Model 11 also comes with specially designed tops for wines under screw cap that you can Coravin and preserve for up to three months. There’s also a really cool, incredibly gentle aerator, good for young, big, bold reds that could use some softening.
This is the perfect gift for someone with a decent or generous cellar who wants to have just a glass of some special bottle, or to see how certain wines are progressing, i.e., are they ready to drink now or do they still have time to cellar in the bottle and gain more complexity?
17 Limited Release Bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa’s Stags Leap District, $2,000: For lovers of Napa Cabernet Sauvignon, this is one unbelievable gift set that will leave the wine lover who has everything, speechless. The Stags Leap District Winegrowers Association has put together a rare gift set of all Stags Leap AVA producers in this limited “Appellation Collection.” This is the only set of its kind and it includes one bottle of the 2015 vintage Stags Leap District-designated Cabernet Sauvignons from each association member winery—think Clos du Val and Odette to Shafer and Pine Ridge, and more, adding up to 17 different producers. Only available for purchase now through December 15th, 2018. Only 150 sets are available.
Really Big and Extremely Big Bottles of Wine: There’s nothing like getting a big bottle of wine as a gift. Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon makes for an ideal big-bottle gift, and if you inquire, most producers have a few very big bottles available for special order. Elizabeth Spencer Winery offers a wide range of affordable large-format bottles in white and reds (inquire: firstname.lastname@example.org). Or spring for a magnum of Orin Swift Abstract Red Blend—the label itself is super cool and looks great on the bigger bottle. But how about a showstopper, like an 18-liter bottle, the equivalent of two cases of wine!? If you can afford it, they’re not cheap—as much as $4000-$6,000 or more— but you’ll be revered forever while at the same time, never able to outdo yourself. So save this for someone really special. Two brilliantly-made wines come to mind: an 18-liter of Ad Vivum, which comes in a beautiful hand-carved box and is offered once a year (but they also produce a limited number of 1.5-liter Magnums in a custom-box (inquire with the winemaker: Chris@advivumcellars.com), or Rudd Oakville Estate, which also makes an 18-liter that comes in a hand-made box, from which the wine can be poured (inquire with email@example.com). Lastly, if you want something European, look for a 2015 Testamatta Bibi Graetz in 6-liter, equivalent to 8 bottles, available for $804.99 at Zachy’s.