Giving to a wine lover s easier than ever | SierraSun.com
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Giving to a wine lover s easier than ever

Gift shopping for the oenophile on your list should be easier this year with more wine-related gifts being offered in all types of stores. You can pick up the always-appreciated corkscrew, as well as the not-so-common wine paraphernalia anywhere from your local grocery store, drug store, or hardware store, to any one of the fine wine shops we have in the area. Online wine-related sites also provide perfect places to locate some great gifts.If the wine lover on your list hasnt dropped any hints, the following suggestions may help you in choosing that just right gift to give to enhance your wine lovers drinking experience.

Wine, of course, is the obvious good choice. If you are not aware of the favorite wine of the person for whom you are shopping, or if you want to make the gift-giving special, consulting with the people at one of our local wine shops will provide a great benefit. Ask them to recommend a rare or collectible wine; a wine from this category will certainly be a very well-received gift.A wine selected from this years top 100 lists from Wine Spectator, Wine & Spirits, or Wine Enthusiast magazines will also make a great gift. You can find these highly rated wines online at these magazines Web sites. A bottle of a rare vintage, a highly rated wine, a hard-to-find allocated wine, or a wine that is a collectible because of its label, or some other distinguishing association these all make wonderful gifts.The wine professionals working in our local wine shops will be able to steer you in the direction of one of these great wines.

Wine accessories are always a welcomed gift. A wine opener makes a gift that you can rest assured will always be used. These handy accessories are made in a variety of styles. The most common is the waiters style, which is the lever-style you see in use all over. You can purchase one for as little as $2, or you may opt for one like the Laquiole, which is crafted to the highest standards, with the handles made from exotic woods, bone or finished metals. These French-made openers range from $120 to $150 apiece.There are also many other uniquely styled openers on the market. There is the rabbit, which clamps onto the bottle and removes the cork in one pull of the lever. There are also a number of battery-operated openers, as well as pulls that are constructed using interesting materials like finished grape vines. You will find these openers at prices ranging anywhere from $6 to well over $100. Foil cutters, a simple tool that cleanly cuts the foil capsule, are also well received gifts: they make excellent stocking stuffers and can be found for less than $20.

All wine drinkers want to preserve the wine after it is opened, and a wine-preservation device would make an excellent gift. You can pick up a vacuum preservation kit, complete with two bottle stoppers, starting at about $9 and going up toward $20. For the very serious oeniphile, there is the new Pek wine-preservation system for about $230. This automatic preserver consists of a temperature-controlled cylinder and argon gas to keep that opened bottle at the most optimum. One of the best preservation systems, and most economical one, is a can of Private Reserve, which costs about $10. To use Private Reserve, you spray the gas into the bottle for a few seconds and quickly re-cork the bottle. Champagne can be preserved by re-capping with a specially designed stopper the keeps the bubble in your bubbly. There are pour-through designs, as well as solid stoppers, and you can find them costing from in the teens to more than $50.There are plenty of stoppers on the market to re-cork your opened bottle. They are made in many unique and whimsical designs, using a wide variety of materials.These excellent stocking stuffers range in price between $2 to $50.

Other interesting and useful accessories include drip-less pourers, a must for preserving tablecloths. Then there are wine chillers, always appreciated by the white wine drinkers, and fine-meshed funnels that are made from pewter, stainless steel, or silver, which will run from $30 to $70.Glassware and wide-mouthed, clear glass decanters are great wine enthusiast gifts. Another unusual gift, which should be well received, are wine aerators. These are, generally, swirled-design accessories to be used on an opened bottle of wine for aerating the wine as you pour it into a glass. You will find interesting designs like driftwood, seashells and figures, made mostly from pewter or stainless steel, for about $30.For the oenophile who loves to evaluate wine, there is a glass sipping straw that aerates and allows a person to appreciate all the subtle nuances of the wine for around $20.Winery-direct clothing, wines, and accessories make great gifts, and you can purchase them over the internet by visiting your favorite winerys web site. Again because its worth restating wine, of course, is the obvious choice for a wine enthusiasts holiday gift.Cheers, and happy shopping.Janice Jones is a Truckee resident and wine consultant. Reach her at sierrafinewines@yahoo.com.


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