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Holiday gift guide


Here are the best gift ideas for the wine geeks in your life

Wine geeks can be an odd bunch to shop for during the holiday season. You can always buy them wine, but will they like it? Ditto for glassware. Why are there so many different types, is it just to cause gifting anxiety?

Yes it’s true, while we wine geeks love all things related to wine, we tend to be an astoundingly fickle bunch. I’ll be putting together upcoming lists of the toys I like to use while enjoying wine, but for the wine geek on your list, you might want to consider the unexpected.

Wine games are great gifts since most self-respecting wine geeks would never admit to wanting them but will play until the cows come home. There are also some nifty items out there that every wine geek can find a use for.

Check out this list of prime wine gifts for your favorite wine lovers, and don’t forget to buy a little something for yourself, too. You know you’ll be getting bottles of wine you’re not familiar with and wine glasses that aren’t your style anyway, so make sure your wine gift list has at least one winner this year!


Wine Smarts Game 2.0

$12 and an easy stocking stuffer for the novice or intermediate wine lover on your list.

Find it on Amazon


Final Touch Decanter and Glass Cleaner Brush Trio

$23 for brushes? Yes, these are specialized brushes, created for the wine geek who has almost everything and wants to keep his or her toys spotless and ready to highlight every nuance from the next bottle of wine.

Wine glasses and decanters are notoriously difficult to keep clean and the best quality glassware needs to be cleaned by hand, so these brushes are both useful and likely to be used often.

Find it on Amazon


True to its name, this board game ($25) blends wine and Monopoly. It’s a fun game to play, especially when you supply a few bottles to share while playing it. Anybody can join in the fun with Wineopoly, but wine geeks will get a bigger kick out of being banished to the wine cellar to miss three turns. We know how that usually turns out.

Find it on Amazon

All You Need Is Wine

That is generally true, but in this case we’re talking about a blind tasting kit, wine not included. For $30, you get all you need to put on your own blind tasting, which in my not so humble opinion is the best way to taste wine. This is fun for every wine lover. Learn what you like to drink and not just what you like to buy, no previous wine knowledge needed.

Find it on Amazon


Sicilian Wine Cork Art Kit

At first glance, this is a little cheesy, but I haven’t seen a better way to display prized corks! Most cork saving kits involve building trivets and corkboards, but we don’t save old, nasty corks so that we can burn them or poke tiny little holes in them! No, we save them because they remind us of the bottles they came from, the wines they protected and the friends we shared them with. Displaying them nicely is what we really want to do and frankly, this little Sicilian-inspired arch ($30) is as good a way as any. I might put one in my cellar.

Find it on Amazon


Glass hanger

What? Is this a gift or a bad Dolph Lundgren movie from 1984? Relax, it’s a glass hanger ($30) that folds away when not in use but conveniently hangs glasses for drying or storing when needed. I didn’t think too much of it when I first saw it either, but it’s pretty nifty, particularly in my NYC apartment where space is at a premium.

Find it at


Wine Tasting Essence Kit

Not sure what wine writers are talking about when they refer to tannins, smoothness, or bitterness? This tasting kit ($70) includes nine of the essential essences of wine, allowing you to familiarize yourself with them and better understand your thresholds and tolerances for each. That’s a fancy way of saying you’ll be better able to explain why you like the wines you like. This will help make finding wines you like even easier, too!

Find it on Amazon


Deluxe Essences Collection

Once you’re familiar with the texture of wines, it’s time to move on to the big stinky. There are so many aromas that a wine can have, it’s often difficult to know what you are smelling. This training kit ($145) includes 12 basic white wine aromas, 12 basic red wine aromas and 16 complex aromas, allowing you to train that schnoz of yours to detect even the subtlest nuances of Vietnamese clam paper and the crushed fruit of extinct Arctic Polar berries in your wine. That might be a bit of hyperbole, but you will easily recognize what the classic descriptors of winespeak refer to.

Find it on Amazon


By Gregory Dal Piaz