Wine culture has exploded in recent years, yielding a variety of cringe-y handicrafts (think t-shirts that say “it’s wine o’clock” and tumblers that emblazoned with “mommy’s special grape juice”). If you have a friend who’s really into wine, you might be tempted to give them some of this junk for the holidays, but we implore you not to do that. Instead, get them useful, cool gifts that still align with their interests in fermented grapes. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Wine, obviously (but good wine)
Some Wine People are super snobby about it, and it might be best not to buy them any wine at all, lest you, a connoisseur of the cheap stuff, inadvertently offend. Fortunately, your friends are probably cool and would appreciate anything you give them. To be safe, let a sommelier recommend some wine. Sarah Tracey from The Lush Life suggests Casa Ferreirinha Callabriga ($34.99) or Casa Ferreirinha Vinha Grande ($21.99): Callabriga has a “lively floral aromas and is medium-bodied on the palate” and Vinha Grande features “dark fruit, earthy cocoa notes, and a long lingering finish.”
Wine glass markers
Gain Art Wine Glass Markers, Washable Wine Glass Marker Pen Review, Easy to use n clean
Glass markers are perfect for winos who love to host or who enjoy tasting a variety of the good stuff, as they can be used to write names of guests or wines on the side of a glass. This eliminates confusion, but is totally temporary—the ink washes right off. Try this set of three for $9.60.
Do you know someone who has rowdy kids? They probably do love a little wine when they settle down for the night, but during the day, when those kids are running around, wine glasses and other delicate items can easily get smashed. Consider break-resistant glasses as an immediately usable gift. Williams-Sonoma offers a variety of them here.
A bathtub glass holder
Wooden Shower & Bath & Bathtub Wine Glass Holder Beer Bottle Can Holder Portable Shower Drink Holder
Wine is great. Wine in the bubble bath is an unparalleled pleasure we should all enjoy at least once. If you get your loved one a wine glass holder for their tub, they can enjoy it all the time—and they’ll thank you for it. Try this one on Etsy, for $13.99.
A bucket-shaped ice mold
Champagne & Wine Bucket Ice Mold
For something cool, unusual, and useful, consider a bucket-shaped ice mold that will keep champagne or other wine nice and cold while looking pretty sick. Your friend can redesign the ice mold every time, adding fruit slices, flower petals, or little decorations. Wine Stuff has one for $24.99.
How to Make Wine Glass Coasters | a Shabby Fabrics Sewing Tutorial
On Etsy, you’ll find a ton of these cute little coasters designed to fit around, not just under, the bottom of a wine glass. Not only do these save your tables from annoying rings and catch accidental drips, but they help party guests remember whose glass is whose—which is helpful after a few heavy pours. Try this set of six for $24.99, or learn to make them yourself with the video above.
A wine wand
The Wand | Wine Histamine & Sulfite Absorbers
Help your favorite wino rid their preferred beverage of histamines and sulfites with single-use wine wands from PureWine, which advertises that its cute stir sticks will help drinkers achieve “no more headaches.” Tell your friend to just swirl the wand around in their glass to pull out the headache-causing buggers—and offer to show them how if they would just be so kind as to pour you some, too. Fine the PureWine options here.
Gadgets and gizmos are cool, but sometimes you just need to go back to basics. What goes better with wine than cheese? Try Sandeman’s collab with Jasper Hill Farm, the Port-Washed Harbison mini cheese. Washed in Sandeman Founder’s Reserve Ruby Red Port, this cheese retails for $15 and features “powerful aromas of rich red fruit and fire bring out flavors of vanilla, woodsy oak, and a hint of viande fumée” to pair with some port.
Finally, add some cleaning supplies to the mix—just toss them in the gift bag. Any red wine-drinking gift receiver will appreciate the thought, we promise. Here’s a good starter kit: A Tide pen, a little nip of high-proof clear liquor, and a microfiber cloth. If they’re experience imbibers, they’ll get it.
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