It’s getting close to crunch time and the idea of finding the perfect gift for everyone on your holiday shopping list seems to be a little more stressful with each passing day. I may not be able to help with every friend and family member on your list, but if you have any wine lovers, this may make shopping just a little bit easier. Here are some of my top gift suggestions for wine connoisseurs.
So you might say “no kidding” but there is a lot more to buying a bottle of wine than just running into Whole Foods and frantically grabbing a bottle in your price range. First and foremost, if you have the time, seek out a smaller, family run winery from your wine lover’s favorite wine region whose wines aren’t available in stores. If you order a special bottle that is limited in production and hard to find, I promise that whomever gets the bottle will appreciate that you put some thought into their gift. Plus, a lot of wineries are running specials this time of year so look for discounts on bottles and shipping. If you are cutting it too close, try a smaller local wine shop and ask their suggestions. A little work will go a long way.
Wine Club Membership
If you want to spend a little more money, a wine club membership from your loved one’s favorite winery is a sure way to brighten their Christmas morning. Most wineries have different levels of memberships and most of them have added bonuses like invitations to harvest parties and discounts on cases of wine.
If your budget is a little tighter, books about wine are a great, thoughtful gift. Natalie Maclean’s latest book, “Unquenchable“, is a wonderful read. “The Food Lover’s Guide to Wine” by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg is also another favorite pick of mine. Books about wine will be appreciated by both those newer to wine and those who have been drinking bottles of Bordeaux for 30 years.
Olive Oil, Charcuterie, and Cheese
For those of you who are intimidated by the thought of having to pick out the perfect wine, the foods that complement wine may be your best bet. In my opinion, wine is best sipped with great food, so this is something almost every wine lover will appreciate. Olive oils, artisan cheeses, and fine charcuterie are excellent choices. Try Cowgirl Creamery for cheeses (www.cowgrilcreamery.com), Formaggio Kitchen for charcuterie (www.formaggiokitchen.com), and olive oils from Pasolivo (www.pasolivo.com).
Membership to WineSpectator.com
If all else fails and you are in a total crunch, visit www.WineSpectator.com and grab an annual membership. It’s quick, easy, and will cost you $75 for an annual membership. It’s a fantastic resource and will be a gift that gives all year long.
I hope these gift ideas just made your Christmas shopping just a little bit easier. I promise that you can’t go wrong with these ideas. Cheers and happy holidays!