Gifts for the wine lover are close at hand |

Gifts for the wine lover are close at hand

Stock photo/Sierra Sun

The Christmas shopping season officially begins today, so I thought I would mention a few gift ideas for the oenophile on your list. As an added bonus, these items can be found locally or on line, which will save you money not spent on gas, driving to those crowded shopping malls, as well as not contributing to the pollution index by reducing your car trips this holiday season.

The most essential tool for the wine lovers on your list is a cork screw. To enjoy that bottle of wine you must have a tool to remove the cork. A wide variety of cork pullers and styles exist on the market today. You will be able to choose from elaborately designed units to sleek folding waiter styles. Most corkscrews are designed to insert the worm thats the spiral-metal-drill-bit-type-thing in the center of the cork. When selecting an opener, choose one that has a slender worm: They will not damage dried out, or inferior corks as much as a thicker worm will. The French winged-style remover is a good choice for many. This opener works by inserting the worm in the cork by turning a knob located at the top of the opener. Each turn of that knob raises a lever on either side of the opener, which are pushed down when the worm has been fully inserted into the cork: This action removes the cork from the bottle neck. There are other type of removers that work without a worm, utilizing two prongs which are inserted on either side of the cork and wiggled down the sides. The cork is then removed by twisting and pulling it from the bottle.There are also high-tech styles that will pierce the cork and release pressurized inert gas into the bottle that pushes the cork out with a single push of a button this would make an excellent gift choice for those wine lovers that may have trouble opening a bottle because of a physical limitation such as arthritis. The Rabbit corkscrew has become a very popular opener, that allows you to pop open a bottle of wine in three seconds. It works on a central lever that pushes the worm into the cork and removes it when you bring the lever back.All the local wine shops carry a good assortment of openers to choose from. I particularly like the antique reproduction openers that Florians wine shop in Truckees Safeway center carries. If you are looking for a special gift, check them out.For on line sources of corkscrews there is, or

Time For Wine in Tahoe City has a wide assortment of unusual wine and cocktail glasses that would make great gift choices. They also carry some very cute dog collars made from wine-inspired prints. For a special stocking stuffer, they are stocking a pocket-sized digital wine thermometer that checks for the perfect serving temperature in a few seconds from outside the bottle.The Pour House, on Jibboom Street in Truckee, has a great selection of decanters which every wine enthusiast should own. Most red wines and some white wines will improve with aeration. The contact with air will allow tannic wines to soften and a wines complex flavors to develop. Decanting a wine will also allow for the sediment in some wines to settle to the bottom of the decanter, or be easily removed by using a fine screen with the decanting. Many wines will become much more flavorful if you decant them prior to imbibing. Decanting isnt only for those fine old vintages a young harsh red wine will also benefit by being decanted prior to drinking. The Pour House also offers a build your own gift box. You can select wines, chocolates, Reidel wine glasses, or any wine related item for your personal gift box. On line resources for wine related items, try, or

Wine for a wine lover is a no-brainer gift choice. To make that bottle special, try something new, a wine that youve read about, or my favorite way of finding a new wine, ask a wine shop employee. The holiday season is a perfect time to try wines from different producers, or a new wine region, or splurge on wine from an old world region that you havent tried yet. All our local wine shops stock plenty of wines that qualify as special wines, as well as plenty of interesting and useful wine-related gifts to choose from. So this shopping season, why not make it simple and shop locally?Janice Jones is a Truckee resident and wine consultant. Reach her at

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