Holiday gift ideas for your favorite wine lover

After a wonderful Thanksgiving feast comes the biggest shopping day of the year! Black Friday, the biggest sales day leading up to Christmas, is today. If you want something unique for that wine lover in your life, then today is your luck day. I have oodles of unique suggestions to provide one-of-a-kind gifting opportunities for your wine lover. Most of them are available online with some available at local wineries. If you have trouble finding any of these suggested gifts, please e-mail the Wine Walker for assistance at [email protected]

Spruce up bottles of wine from local wineries like Whitley Vineyards, Bernhardt, Blue Epiphany Winery, and others with custom wine labels to place on their Texas-made wines. Wonder Land and CORK THIS! Wineries specialize in custom wine labels for your wine gift. While at those wineries, check out their gift shops for vino wear (boutique style clothing for the wine lover with cute sayings like “Well Aged” for the mature wine lover or “Group Therapy” for your favorite shopper depicting several different bottles of wine), special wine glasses and decanters, candle holders/wicks with glass globes to insert in wine bottles, autographed wine books, and much more. Several wineries also have gift certificates if you cannot make that gift choice.

Books and wine magazines make great gifts. One book I solidly recommend for your wine lover is the “The Essence of Wine” by internationally acclaimed wine blogger Alder Yarrow dealing with 47 of the basics of wine essences. “Wine Folly” by Madeline Puckette is an easy “read.” These books and other wine books are available at Amazon.com, and other book stores. Another great reading gift is a subscription to “Wine Spectator Magazine” which can be subscribed via internet at www.winespectator.com for $49.95 per year. For an additional fee, you can also provide an online, enhanced subscription to “Wine Spectator Magazine.” If your wine lover craves French wines, then I suggest “Decanter Magazine,” a British magazine centered on French wines which costs around $60 per year.

Select wine pairings are also a winner. I suggest trying out www.LocalWineEvents.com in the Houston area for a myriad of virtual wine events which could lead to some suggested wine pairings for your at-home dinners

I always enjoy my crystal wine glasses. It enhances wine experiences. My favorite stemware is Riedel which runs around $10 to $18 per stem, depending on the type of glass you want. Riedel has glasses for a multitude of different wine types such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Port, and others. The same is true for Waterford, but I stay away from their Mondavi Series since they are so big they can pass for small fish tanks. These classy glasses are available either at the store or online at Macy’s, SPEC’S, Sur La Table, Sonoma, and most gourmet cooking stores. You can also get great decanters at these stores in a variety of sizes and shapes to match your chosen glasses.

If you have ever been stymied by those heavenly descriptions of cassis, black cherry, and such, and cannot remember what those bouquets smell like, then you need to “gift” a smelling kit loaded with vials of those bouquets. SPEC’S has these kits with a beginner’s kit starting at $30 and running up to $100 for the more complete kit. These kits have great notes to help you in establishing a better “nose for vino.”

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