If you’re struggling to find presents that are appropriate for 2020, try a gifting staple that’s been around for several thousand years. It’s called wine, and you probably have a few friends and loved ones who could use a gift or two to help them drink it.
To find the best wine-related gifts, we talked to 14 highly knowledgeable sommeliers and wine professionals from around the country and asked what they were giving this year. The result was this list, which covers everything from essential books and glassware upgrades to a sparkling wine from a member of the Wu-Tang Clan. Think of it as a gifting cheat sheet for anyone in your life who’s ever swirled a glass of water as if it were made in Bordeaux.
Need some actual wine? Check out our Holiday Wine Gift Packs. They come with six bottles each, curated with our friends from NYC-based wine shop Parcelle. Or, if you’re looking for cocktail gifts, you can find some great expert recommendations in our guide to The Best Cocktail Gifts, According To Bartenders.
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“Gift these lovely Made In wine glasses to the budding wine enthusiasts in your life. They’re beautifully designed and a pleasure to drink from. The stems, though super elegant and thin, are breakage resistant and dishwasher safe. Pair them with Aldo Sohm’s Wine Simple for an incredibly fun but unfussy gift bundle.”
Caviste specializing in natural wine; Founder, Industry Sessions: A Natural Wine Study For BIPOC; @Yirkita
“A gift card to The Children’s Atlas of Wine is my go-to gift. You can either get beautiful maps of different wine regions throughout the world that reflect what is happening in wine today, or you can sign up for a class and get wine shipped to you. Either way, the wine lover in your life will be swooning. [The founder], James, is an incredible and approachable wine educator. ”
“I’m currently obsessed with Estelle wine glasses. They’re hand-made and come in an array of colors, from pastel to black. So chic, elegant, and stylish.”
“For a splurge, you can’t go wrong with a Coravin system for the wine enthusiast in your life. The gift of being able to enjoy wine in the quantities you want, without being beholden to the 750ml format, is priceless.”
“When sparkling wine is in my presence, there is typically no such thing as ‘leftover’ wine. But with the current state of things, we’re more likely to have a party of one instead of a party of five, so sometimes you just can’t finish a whole bottle in one sitting. When that happens, the Champagne Stopper by Kloveo is my best friend. Nothing is worse than a sparkling wine that has gone flat, so this stopper is an easy way to seal off the bottle and maintain the bubbles for up to five days. I love to keep a couple of stoppers around - one for my apartment and one for my bag for small socially distant gatherings.”
“We use these incredible Bottega del Vino glasses at our restaurant, and though we have all different shapes and sizes, I absolutely love the BV07 glass. (It’s the glass I use personally as my all-purpose stem at home.) I love them so much, I’ve gifted four packs of these glasses to literally all of my relatives.”
“Vignette by Jane Lopes is an incredible book - part autobiography and part wine 101. Jane was one of the master sommelier candidates whose MS was denied during a cheating scandal two years ago, and she was one of the women who came forward in the NYT article about sexual harassment within the court, so her stories are deep, and her voice needs to be amplified.”
“The Sommelier’s Atlas of Taste by Raj Parr breaks down the often complicated classic European classifications and producers to ensure you’re always buying quality juice.”
General Manager, Parcelle
“Since we won’t be dining out for a bit, I’m gifting some close friends and family a set of glassware with a bottle of wine. Zaltos - most commonly used in those restaurants we flock to during the holiday season - make an inexpensive bottle of wine seem fancy. Pair them with something everyone will love like this Côte-du-Rhône.”
“My go-to wine key is the Pulltap Extendo. Beyond the compact size, the spiral worm and serrated knife are clutch.”
“I’m a huge fan of Glou Glou Magazine. It’s a great gift for fans of natural wine, no matter where they are in their wine journey.”
“I’m obsessed with all things from Asp & Hand, especially the spritz and veritas glasses. I’ve been going stemless, and I think their glasses are perfect for sipping.”
“My gift choice for every wine drinker is Licataa, a sparkling red wine created by Raekwon from Wu-Tang Clan. Aside from it being delicious, this a true expression from the artist.”
“I am not often one to recommend a flute, but for holiday gifts, any sort of fun glassware really hits home for me. I love these Tutu flutes because one side is a wine glass, and the other can be a serving vessel on a pedestal. You can buy a bunch and use them for serving dishes or toasts. As a shameless plug, you should also buy my book, Better With Bubbles: An Effervescent Education in Champagne & Sparkling Wine. And if you’re feeling extra generous, add a gift pack of Caviar from CaviAIR.”
Sommelier; Wine Influencer; @wine_time_with_ferdy
“Vegan Wines finds the best vegan wines from around the world. They offer gift cards, and you can also get someone a subscription to a wine club they’ll surely enjoy. I recently bought myself and my relatives a wine called Portapiana. It’s from Terre Del Gufo in Calabria, which is set to become the next it wine region in southern Italy. Since we can’t celebrate together, we’re all participating in a virtual cheers.”
“In California, we spend so much time outdoors, so I hate it when someone brings a delicious bottle of rosé or Champagne to a (socially-distant) picnic or hike, and all you have to drink out of are terrible single-use plastic cups. They take all the aromas (and magic) out of the wine. So for a relatively easy wine gift, I love to give people quality, recyclable wine glasses that can be used over and over again. A great brand is Tossware, because they make all shapes and sizes for nearly any beverage. I always keep some of their glasses in my car because I never know when the perfect picnic opportunity is going to pop up - and the right stemware is never a bad thing to have.”
“Now that we’re drinking wine everywhere (but indoors), I’m a huge fan of BrüMate’s wine canteen. It’s the perfect size for a whole bottle of wine, plus it keeps the wine chilled for a super long time, and it’s easy to toss in a tote bag or backpack without worrying about breaking the bottle or it leaking. One could drink wine straight from the canteen without judgment, however, I always prefer a glass I can sniff and swirl.”