Believe it or not, the holidays are coming up. And this year, it’s important to shop early to avoid any problems due to the expected shipping delays and supply chain issues.
If someone on your list loves wine, chances are you can’t go wrong with a wine-related gift.
We asked sommeliers and wine professionals what they would actually want for the holidays, and what they would recommend for wine lovers.
1. For the Wine Lover Who Loves Exclusive Bottles:
Donkey & Goat Wine Club
A wine club subscription allows a drinker to get to know a winemaker in an intimate way—by drinking the wines they’re most excited to make.
“Winemaker Tracey Brandt of Donkey & Goat is an esteemed California winemaker, having started 19 years ago in Berkeley, California,” says Margot Mazur, wine writer and educator at The Fizz. “She often releases bottles to her wine club that don’t get sold anywhere else. This allows her to experiment and make the wines that she’s most excited about for her biggest fans—wine club subscribers. Her wine club is an awesome way to connect to California wine.”
2. For the Wine Lover Who Enjoys All Things Local:
For Toronto-based wine shop Grape Witches, there’s no better gift than one that reflects the local wine scene.
“One of the lessons this pandemic has taught us is to look for delicious sips closer to home,” says Nicole Campbell, co-founder of Grape Witches. “May we suggest Canadian wine? Yes, you heard us! Try electric hybrids from Quebec star Pinard et Filles.” If those bottles aren’t available where you live, try asking an independent wine shop in your area for the best options available nowhere else.
Find bottles from Pinard et Filles at Grape Witches, or your local wine shop.
3. For the Nightcap Lover:
A Special-Occasion Italian Stunner
Ask any sommelier about aromatized wine and they’ll probably spill their hearts out about their love for Barolo Chinato. After dinner, an ounce or so of the stuff acts as the perfect nightcap.
“Chinato, the aromatized red wine of Piedmont, is the ultimate post-feast fireside tipple. This one has just the right balance of spice and woodsy charm,” says Michael Dupuy, owner of Boston’s Streetcar Wines.
4. For the Outdoor Host:
Vinglacé Wine Chiller
“A great holiday gift for wine lovers is a wine chiller. One of those stainless-steel ones or ice pack wine bottle koozies. They’re easy to travel with and super useful when you’re outdoors and don’t want your wine to warm up,” says Justine Osilla, enology student and upcoming winemaker.
5. For the South American Wine Fan:
The South America Wine Guide
The South America Wine Guide by Amanda Barnes is an armchair traveler’s dream book. According to Leona De Pasquale, sommelier and wine educator, this book explores 500 years of history, 70 regions and has 40 different regional maps.
“This beautiful book has a hard cover with gold foil and Malbec-colored gilt edge,” says De Pasquale. “It’s a delightfully heavy book, yet exceedingly accessible to both wine novices and experts. A perfect gift!”
6. For the Up-and-Coming Wine Lover
Wine for Normal People
Instead of buying a huge encyclopedia for your friend who wants to learn more about what’s in their glass, William Ferguson, sommelier, wine buyer and influencer recommends Wine for Normal People.
“Elizabeth Schneider’s approach to wine education is inclusive—not exclusive,” says Ferguson. “In the book she presents serious wine knowledge as something for everyone to nerd out about because she does. Wine for Normal People is a thoughtful and indispensable guide to major wine regions, food and wine pairings and how to taste wine like a pro that anyone can appreciate—pro or not!”