I am an aspiring minimalist. So gift lists - which I frequently have to create for various publications - are challenging for me. I don't like to give a gift that's related someone's interest simply because it's related to that interest. (I don't know anyone who NEEDS a 2019 Wines of the World wall calendar, do you?)
Here's what I'm talking about: Your friend who is a frequent wine drinker probably already has a corkscrew. Now, if that friend has let you know they want a new corkscrew, a specific corkscrew, that's a great gift. But in general, a corkscrew for someone who frequently drinks wine is redundant.
So, keeping in mind what the wine lover in your life already owns and doesn't need another of, here are a few items they might appreciate.
The stocking stuffer
Sparkling wine bottle stopper - Stick a regular wine bottle stopper in your bottle of bubbly, put it in the fridge, and check it in an hour. Unless your sparkling wine has gone flat, the stopper will have popped out of the bottle and landed somewhere in the back of the fridge with the leftovers that are starting to come alive. A sparkling wine bottle stopper is designed to clamp down below the lip of the bottle, preventing the stopper from flying off when the CO2 in the bottle builds pressure - leaving your sparkling wine from the night before effervescent enough to make French 75s for brunch the next morning.
The unexpected gift
Lonely Planet's Wine Trails United States & Canada - 40 Perfect Weekends in Wine Country. Lonely Planet had wine experts in various regions create trails through 40 wine regions (New Jersey included!). This is a great gift for anyone who likes to spend their weekends at local wineries.
I wrote about this book for my Courier Post On the Wine Trail column, interviewing two of the contributors - Lenn Thompson who wrote the New Jersey entry and Paul Vigna who wrote the Eastern PA entry.
For anyone who travels throughout the U.S.and Canada , this guide will introduce them to wine regions that aren't on the West Coast (although it features West Coast trails, too). There are wineries in all 50 states now. While the book doesn't cover every state, it hits many of them, encouraging travelers can drink local even when they're on the road.
The co-worker gift
Rideshare gift certificates - It's important to have a designated driver when visiting wineries or going to wine tastings at restaurants - or even just spending a night at your friend's house popping corks. But being the designated drive can be a bummer. Give the wine lover in your life the gift of a designated driver so she (or he - let's not be sexist here) can enjoy the wine and still keep everyone on the road safe.
Jump in to the conversation. Let me know in the comments about the wine-related gifts you'd love to receive for the holidays - practical or not.