Wine has a way of disappearing. So every year as the holidays come around, I feel the need to shout to the rooftops: What wine lovers want more than anything else is...more wine! Not dumb gadgets. Not personalized charms to hang on our glasses. Wine.
But here's the hard part. We likely want wine that fits into a narrow category of specific personal preferences. Maybe your loved one only drinks no-sulfur reds from the Loire. Maybe they really love old, well-preserved German rieslings. Maybe they get a kick from Champagne, but only if it's produced by a grape grower, not a big house. Or a big house, not a grape grower. You could shell out a pretty penny for a bottle from their birth year, and probably that'll go over well. But other than that, if you want to buy wine for a wine lover, you need to do some sleuthing. (I'm not officially saying you should stalk their Instagram or break into their wine fridge, but that would give you some intel.)
Or you could do the easier thing: buy a wine adjacent gift that'll actually please every wine lover, whatever their specific predilections. Here are recommendations for the best non-wine gifts for wine lovers, from a real-life wine lover (me).
Zalto Wine Glasses
These are crazy-expensive wine glasses. But there are many reasons they came out on top of Epi's recent wine glass reviews, and many reasons why so many wine aficionados have a few. I own one and only one, and I love it more than pretty much any piece of glass I've ever brought to my lips. This kind of glass heightens the drinking experience. It concentrates the aromas, which are an essential part of what we experience as flavor. It's also just lovely to hold, with its thin stem and modern shape. And the delicate rim makes every wine-drinking experience feel much, much fancier.
$59.00, Wine Enthusiast
Many wine geeks I know reach for something savory at the end of a dinner party instead of something sweet, especially if whatever bottles they've opened that night aren't quite empty yet. Send along a worthy cheese pairing, whether it's a Francophile's assortment or a literal tower made of cheese.
$65.00, Murray's Cheese
The Greatest Champagne Stopper
I know that Epi's Food Editor Anna Stockwell always has a few of these fizz-preserving caps on hand to save the bubbles in her sparkling wine. And I have a couple, too—but they've moved to the back of the drawer since I've started using this stopper. Unlike the two wings of the Winco wine-keeper, which don't always feel totally solid in their grip and are sensitive to slight differences in the bottle's girth, this model has a tight stainless pincher piece that hugs the neck of the bottle and truly keeps the seal airtight. It gives you permission to spread out your Champagne celebration over more than one evening...or to open a few different bottles to try.
Vintage Champagne Bucket
Is there a classier chilling bucket than a vintage chilling bucket? Depends on your style, I suppose. I also like this dark, modern take.
A Wine Opener For Old Corks
Most serious wine drinkers have plenty of regular corkscrews, but sometimes a corkscrew just won't cut it. Or rather, it will cut through a little too enthusiastically, causing an older, more delicate cork to crumble into the bottle. Enter the ah so wine opener, which slides around the cork rather than through it, allowing you to jiggle the cork out tweezer style and skip the flurry of cork-bits in your precious beverage. This is a really nice gift to pair with a well-aged bottle.
A Pretty Water Pitcher
A carafe of water on the table serves as a reminder to hydrate, but it might as well be good-looking, too. This ribbed pitcher reminds me a bit of some kind of exotic bird, and I'm into it.
$28.00, Essa Carafe
Originally Appeared on Epicurious