My first job after college was on the marketing team for a wine store in New York. At 22, I didn’t have much experience with wine that didn’t come in a gallon-sized carafe. I had many opportunities to taste and learn during my time there, but one bottle sticks out in my memory. When the label was damaged on a 1989 Beaulieu Vineyard “Georges de Latour” Cabernet Sauvignon, buyers decided to use it as a teaching moment. The wine itself was perfectly good, but the faulty label diminished the retail value: opening the bottle gave staff the opportunity to observe how the wine’s flavors develop with age.
The wine itself was delicious – velvety and coated with just a hint of warm baking spices – but what really blew me away was the fact that the bottle was older than me. In a way, drinking it was like cheating death. This type of experience is actually quite common. For many, there is an identifiable moment when their idea of wine shifts from just something served with dinner to something worthy of time and consideration. Among wine professionals, this is what we call the “drops of God” moment; it may be the moment that inspires you to start loving wine, or it may be what motivates you to keep tasting.
Maybe you had your God moment over a bottle of Chablis, or maybe it was your partner, friend or family member who was inspired to delve into the wider world of wine. Regardless, there are a few things (some essential and some just plain fun) that can help deepen and guide a person’s fascination (and enjoyment!) with wine. We analyzed our reviews and got advice from author and wine professor Charles Springfield to put together this list of great wine gifts for the wine lover in your life.
Many wine professionals, including Springfield, have recommended a the waiter’s corkscrew. These are inexpensive, versatile tools that typically include a coiled piece of metal (the corkscrew or “worm”), a small blunt plate, and a pry tool. All these elements fold and unfold like a pocket knife. Springfield explains their appeal by saying, “I like it because you can use it to open beer and wine bottles sealed with beer caps (as well as) traditional wine bottles.” » This all-in-one tool does everything you need it to do: cut foil, remove the cork, or remove the cork from the bottle, and nothing more. They’re also inexpensive and small, so you don’t have to worry about storage. In fact, you can easily put one in your pocket and take it to the park for a picnic. One of our favorite models from Pull-down faucets features sturdy stainless steel construction, a sharp aluminum cutter, and a hinged lever that makes removing even the most delicate corks easy.
The only downside to the waiter’s corkscrew is that it requires a firm grip and twisting motion. Wine lovers with limited hand mobility may prefer something more ergonomic. In these cases, Springfield recommends a simple electric corkscrew. Our favorite model from Peugeot removes corks with just the slightest pressure on the top of the corkscrew. We also appreciated this more economical model from Cuisineart.
When it comes to glassware, the selection can be overwhelming. In addition to red wine glasses, white wine glasses, Champagne flutesAnd stemless glasses, you may come across special glasses designed specifically to flatter each grape variety. There’s no need to get overwhelmed: Springfield encourages viewing glassmaking as an opportunity, not a mandate. Universal wine glasses are ideal for those new to wine. These Reides Vinum glasses are a great place to start: they’re thin enough to look stylish but sturdy enough to last through reasonable use. Plus, they are well sized for red and white wines.
Learning more about wine can improve your appreciation, but we admit that diving into a book aimed at wine lovers can be intimidating. The Wine Bible covers everything that influences wine – from geography to politics to production – and remains easy to read and unpretentious. It’s a book you’ll find on every wine lover’s shelf, including Springfield, who is an author himself.
Nice ones to have
Letting the wine breathe can bring out its best flavors and aromas, but this is not the case. technically Need a carafe to achieve this. If you don’t have a carafe, you can aerate the wine by removing the cork well before drinking it, or even letting it sit for several minutes in your glass. That said, a crystal carafe can speed up aeration, help separate sediment and, well, it looks really fancy. Our favorite carafe of Made in is elegant and simple. The neck is roomy enough to allow for easy decanting (pouring from the bottle into the carafe) and the angled spout makes pouring glasses easy without any errant drops. This would make a fantastic (and stunning) gift.
Many wines improve with age: they become softer and more balanced. Cork stoppers, on the other hand, do not age well. Corks from old wine bottles can become brittle and brittle and a traditional corkscrew may be too aggressive. Inserting a worm-shaped corkscrew into a vintage bottle can cause the cork to break and crumble into your wine, which is not ideal. A Durand bottle opener is an alternative style of bottle opener designed to remove fragile corks from older bottles without breaking them. These two-pronged tools fit between the cork and the neck of the wine bottle. The cork is then removed in one piece by gently pulling while the cork opener applies pressure on the sides. This DeVine model also serves as a crown cork opener.
If you have space (like in a basement or garage) or really want to splurge on a gift, a wine refrigerator is a foolproof way to preserve wine. Heat and light are the enemies of wine: excessive temperature fluctuations or UV exposure can damage unopened bottles. A wine cellar maintains a constant temperature and protects the wine from the sun’s harmful rays. They also hold the bottles on their side, which prevents the natural corks from drying out. For those with space to spare (and money to spend), we recommend the BODEGA 24-inch wine refrigerator. This beauty can hold up to 174 standard-sized wine bottles. It features a tinted door for enhanced UV protection and dual-zone cooling that allows wine lovers to store reds and whites at two separate temperatures. If you are looking for a less bulky and expensive storage solution, a wine rack can help protect bottles from breakage and keep corks intact.
No one wants to drink from a wine glass covered in smudged fingerprints (or serve such a glass to guests – embarrassing!). Glassware, especially stemware, can be difficult to clean. Purchasing a few microfiber clothes makes the task of polishing stemware much easier. These easy-to-use garments reduce the risk of breaking a glass by applying too much pressure when cleaning.
While most wine professionals prefer a stemmed glass (it directs the heat of your hand away from the bowl so it doesn’t heat up), a stemless glass has merit in its own right: it’s less likely to break and, like June Rodil, master sommelier, said in our opinion“They allow you to be casual about wine and not take it too seriously. There are so many delicious wines that are just great out of the box, and I think if that’s the goal of your drinking of wine, you are in an excellent situation.” place.” We really liked this set of Schott Zwiesel glasses, delicate without being fragile, easy to hold in one hand, not to mention they are elegant and would also make a great housewarming gift.
A wine subscription service It may not be an absolute necessity, but neither are most of the other enjoyable things in life. Offering a Wine Access subscription isn’t just about avoiding a trip to the store: these services can help someone discover small-batch wines that may not be available at their local bottle shop. Wine Access Clubs include additional information and accompanying YouTube videos to help your giftee learn while tasting their wines.
What is the best way to store wine?
Unopened bottles should be stored on their side in a cool, dark place. This method protects the wine from heat and sun, which can cause faults. Storing bottles on their side also prevents the cork from drying out and cracking. Opened bottles of wine should be stored in the refrigerator, whether red or white.
What do I need to serve wine?
All you really need to serve wine is a bottle of wine, a way to open it, and a glass to drink from. If your wine is a screw cap, the list is even shorter.
Which wine glasses are the best?
The best wine glasses are the ones that suit your tastes and your budget. The shape and texture of glassware can subtly affect the flavors and aromas of wine, but unless you are an extremely experienced collector, you probably don’t need to worry about this. Wine can be enjoyed from almost any drinking vessel: choose something durable that fits comfortably in your hand.