What to buy for the wine lover in your life? Below I’ve listed Christmas gifts to suit all budgets from £3.50 to a million quid! From silly to sophisticated!
Wine lovers who travel
You can get a wine package at the hotel Le Saint-James which includes a night’s luxury stay for two, including breakfast, dinner, tickets for La Cité du Vin (which I highly recommend visiting), and an hour’s tasting with their sommelier. They have their own vineyard. Or create your own package. Bordeaux is beautiful.
I saw this for sale at the wine museum in Bordeaux. It’s a less bulky replacement for an ice bucket. You freeze the stick and place it inside the wine bottle, keeping the wine at a cool temperature.
This decorative rod which covers the neck of the bottle, keeps the bubbles in your fizz. According to the reviews it works, certainly better than that old wives tale, the teaspoon!
Lonely Planet published this wine travel guide. Sounds perfect any wine drinker who likes to wander and taste.
Wine lovers who cook
5.Wine Lover’s Kitchen: delicious recipes for cooking with wine by Fiona Beckett £15
Guardian wine columnist Fiona Beckett is also a gifted food writer. This is a delicious collection of recipes using wine and suggesting wine matches. There are many classic and creative European dishes; from Moules Marinieres, to Chestnut, Mushroom and Madeira Tarts, to a Spiced Plum Red Wine Crumble. Beautiful photography makes this a coffee table must.
6.Wine Dine Dictionary: Good food and Good Wine by Victoria Moore £15
Victoria Moore is such an engaging writer, making the world of wine more accessible. This is a dictionary of two halves: the first listing foods and the wines that match with them. She runs through the alphabet from Abalone to Zander (a fish), passing by chocolate, tofu and tomatoes. The second half is the reverse, wines and what food to pair from Albarinho to Zinfandel.
It’s one of those books you’ll constantly be getting down from the shelf for inspiration whether your starting point is a particular ingredient or a bottle of wine.
7.Winemaker’s Salt £4.95
Salt flavoured with Merlot and Cabernet; nice on meat, fish or a chocolate truffle.
8.Mulled Wine Pouches £3.50
Obviously you aren’t going to use your best wines to make mulled wine, but a decent set of mulling spices will turn even the dodgiest plonk into a festive drink! Cheers!
9.Verjus du Périgord £16.95
I use verjus, which is less acidic than vinegar, for many recipes. It adds a subtle flavour to dressings and sauces, being made out of unfermented grapes.
Wine lovers who like home decor
I’m quite partial to a decanter to aerate wine. This hand-made Italian one is made in glass and pewter.
11.Bohemia Crystal Provence wine glasses £25 for 6
These are pretty and delicate. I’m constantly buying glasses, the turnover is significant. You end up with a mix and match collection so try to buy similar types.
For polishing glasses with a fluff-free cloth. Always have a couple of decent linen tea towels. I often buy mine at French flea markets, but failing that, these are good quality.
13.Merlot red wine scented candle in wine bottle green glass £21.50
Even if you aren’t drinking, you can add atmosphere by having a wine scented candle. Perhaps one for January when you are trying to drink less or for while you are having a bath?
Spendy but nicely distressed and you can fit in plenty of wine.
15.Wine glass charms £8.75
You can track your glass and save on washing up. As these are British themed, possibly a good present for a boozy Brexiter?
If you’d like your wine bottle to look like Elizabeth 1st or Sir Walter Raleigh, this is a set of 10 disposable wine ‘ruffs’. I like it.
For wine geeks
17.Riedel wine glasses: about £25 for 2
Riedel are the bizz when it comes to serious wines. You aren’t going to spend a fortune on a wine and drink it out of a plastic tumbler are you? See also my article on good wine glasses. Hand wash only.
18.Coravin wine system: £279
I really want one of these, partly because I live on my own and don’t want to waste a good bottle by only drinking a glass or two.
19.Adopt a vineyard around £150
20.Buy a vineyard, from £200,000 to £1million
This is probably about as sensible as starting your own restaurant: ruinous to your health, finances and relationships but if it’s your absolute dream and money is no object – go for it. The ultimate Xmas pressie.
Women who drink
Reservatrol is the secret ingredient in red wine which is good for your health and with an anti-ageing element. Experts swear by it. This face mask, they also have an oil, seems very expensive, personally I don’t spend more than a fiver on a face cream. But, it may be the secret to everlasting youth. I prefer to take my wine beauty products internally.
Or you can spray grape water on your face. This French company are the pioneers of wine-based beauty products. They say: ‘This exclusive Caudalie process makes it possible to isolate water from the grape juice by evaporation and also purify and potentiate it.’
Absolutely ridiculous but just the ticket for the more hirsute lady. They have a few London venues.
25.Red wine truffle gift box £11.25
You can’t really go wrong here.
Wine gifts for gardeners
I’ve got a vine in my garden. It had grapes the very first year, but not enough for a vintage. I’m still hoping to produce Chateau North West London. With global warming, it’s becoming increasingly possible to grow wine in this country.
Once that vine is growing, you’ll need these for grape thinning. They are useful for all kinds of gardening jobs.
Need a glass of wine while you are gardening? This is the perfect gift. You won’t knock it over. Also good for picnics.
People who just want to drink
The best thing is, of course, to buy actual wine. Wine Trust is offering the following bundles:
29.The South African Case: a set of 5* stars recommended by Platter £135
32 and 33. Or you can join the WineTrust Wine Club: a seasonal case, picked by their experts, is sent to you every month or quarter. Gold selection is £96 per case and Platinum is £198. This ensures you have a varied selection, so you don’t just rely on your old favourites: you expand your knowledge and tasting.
Happy Christmas drinking to all customers of Winetrust100 and a Happy New Year!