What Wine Lovers Want

Let me guess, the last thing you’re interested in reading right now is another damn gift guide.

I recently wrote What NOT to give a wine lover, and the myriad of bad gift round ups has inspired me to share some gift ideas that are actually new and noteworthy. Unlike silly and hard-to-use wine openers, dorky glass charms,  or Pinterest-inspired crafts these six gifts are useful, inexpensive, and just plain cool.

Read on for the coolest booze gifts young wine lovers will actually appreciate and use. (Mom, consider this my Christmas List.)


1. Silicone Wine Glasses

These glasses do everything GoVino plastic drinkware does, But you can squish them! They take up zero space, and look cool.  I’ll admit, holding rubbery cups takes a little getting used to, but being able to stuff glassware into backpacks, picnic baskets and glove compartments is awesome.

2. Red Wine

The weather outside is downright frightful, and that means it’s red wine season. Not only do many reds pair beautifully with winter comfort foods, but these bottles just feel festive.

Right now, I’m in love with Mullan Road Cellars red blend from Washington. The Bordeaux-style blend is hearty, full-bodied and driven by ripe cherry and blackberry flavors. In my experience, it’s the quickest way to warm up on a Wednesday night, but tasty enough to impress.

3. Picnic Stix

I love an accessory that prevents spills and drinking away from the table, and Picnic Stix do both. Simply jam the stake into the ground and you’ve got a bottle stand and holder for your silicone wine glass.

Gone are the days when frisbee games or snowman building led to spilled wine.

4. White Wine

When fondue parties and diving into holiday indulgences stops, salads return and that means white wine. Clambake Chardonnay is a great $15 option from sunny California–its rich apple flavors are designed to accompany shellfish (which it does in spades) but it also beautifully pairs with roasted poultry, vegetarian salads, Cheez-its, and other winter snacks.

5. Vacuvin Active Wine Cooler

Who wouldn’t want an ice pack that slips over your wine? It’s small, convenient, and practical. Give me 5.

6. Sparkling Wine

Sparkling wine isn’t just for New Year’s Eve, and there are more bubbly bottles on store shelves than ever before. Right now, I’m totally loving Tselepos Amelia Brut. Made from the Moschofilero grape, this bubbly is floral, and ripe with flavors of peach and melon–definitely a tasty, welcome change from apple-scented Proseccos!

Of course you can’t go wrong with classic Champagne, but there’s a wealth of non-Champagne bubbly like the Amalia, that are gentler on wallets and still delicious.

None of these options cost over $50. None of them rely on invisible science to “improve” your wine. None of them are breakable or could require replacement parts. They’re all useful.

What I’d really like for Christmas is for the wine accessories industry to take a break from R&D and just drink some wine. Then maybe they’d release their vice grip on wine toys that just don’t make sense.

If it didn’t come across in the list, the best and most reliable gift is wine. Just plain wine. And don’t fret over scores and ratings–pick something thoughtfully, but don’t worry about choosing the perfect bottle. Bottles that don’t amaze are perfect for mulled wine, sangria, or wine-based punches. Run Wild and give freely!

Wine Gifting Uncorked:

Laura Loves: This article on ridiculous gifts.

Wine to Water, a charity that sells wine to bring clean water to communities without wells.

This infographic on how to shop for wine gifts.

Fun Facts: All the gifts in the Twelve Days of Christmas would equal 364 gifts.

Christmas wasn’t declared an official holiday in the United States until June 26, 1870.