10 great wine gifts, stocking stuffers under $25

Wine is always a good gift for a wine lover–more on that next week–but so is wine paraphernalia! With almost every catalog now offering some sort of wine accessories, it’s not hard to find stuff. But some of them are cheesy and some of them are expensive. Here are some links to good value gifts.

bottlebag.pngBrown bagging the hooch! OK, no brown bag, but handsome velvet bags. Have blind tastings at home! May sound uber geeky but it is actually a fun way to sharpen your perceptions of grape varieties or regions. [$19.95 for a set of 5, Amazon]

screwpull.jpgHave screwpulls: An excellent, super-easy corkscrew that beats many at 10x the price. Go crazy and throw in the $8 foil cutter as well. [$15 or $22.98 with the foil cutter, Amazon]

tritanforte.jpgKicking glass: well, you probably can’t kick this glass and have it survive, but these “impact resistant” crystal stems from Schott Zwiesel do seem to have nine lives. [$10 each, Amazon]

I can decant: Decanting can help improve some wines, particularly young tannic monsters. But you don’t need to break the bank on a decanter. Although I haven’t tried this specific decanter, I picked up a similar one with clean lines at a wine store earlier this year for $24.95. [$19.99 via Amazon]

glasstag.pngTag it so nobody snags it: “Wine Lines Waterproof Colorful Drink Tag Markers for Parties, Euphemisms for Drunkiness” – come on, with a product name like that on Amazon, what’s not to love?!? Keeping track of your glass at a party can be confusing and the more well known dangling trinkets can be annoying while actually drinking as they clink and slid along the stem. [$6, Amazon]

Tag it again “From the cellar of…” stickers. OK, this could be a little pompous. But throw in some wit and no bottle that you bring to a party will be forgotten whether it is consumed then or by your hosts later. [$0.14 each with an order of 500, victorystore.com]

delong.pngTake note: The only thing more important than tasting is writing! Oh wait, I guess tasting is still more important. But writing notes is crucial so you can remember where your category “wine” in Quicken went. Steve De Long has a new and original tasting notebook including a “guided” tasting note to get you started down the road of scribbling. [$6.95, De Long Wine]

vacuvin.pngSavor saver: Can’t finish the bottle in one sitting? Give it more life with a pump from the Vacu Vin stopper. And toss it in the fridge too. [Amazon]

Drinking game: Play Wine Smarts with friends and you will likely bore them or alienate them. But it’s a fun bunch of (sometimes hard) questions that you can use for yourself (wine solitaire?) or your nearest and dearest sommelier friend. Memorize the questions before giving then you will look all the smarter! [$19 via Amazon]

oldman.pngBook it: Oldman’s Guide to Outsmarting Wine has great nuggets of wine info interspersed with–get this–humor! [$12, Amazon]

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5 Responses to “10 great wine gifts, stocking stuffers under $25”

  1. Good list! I have the Oldman book and as much as I hate to admit it, it’s a good read.

  2. Thanks for the lead on the De Long tasting notebook. I’ll take several of those, please! And, I must admit a certain hankering for those labels…

  3. Tyler says, “Can’t finish the bottle in one sitting? Give it more life with a pump from the Vacu Vin stopper.”

    Methinks you’re no longer a Doctor of Vino, but, rather, someone who has succumbed to persistent marketing. Here’s that wine class you missed…

    Take two bottles, drink half from each. Mix together and redistribute half back into each. (So you have the same wine/same amount in both.) Now, pump one (for as long as you’d like – really!), but not the other. Put both in the fridg. Come back in 4 days. Let them sit out for an hour to warm up. Blind taste test (a good time to see if you can pour from those slippery velvet bags (above) without spilling). Report.

    (One hint: do this with a wine that can actually age in a cellar for 5 years without going brown/fading/etc.)

  4. Ooops, missed a tiny instruction and no way to go back and edit…

    Stopper both – and pump one.

  5. Hello Jack,

    Why don’t you share your findings with us?

    I’m generally just concerned about a half-consumed bottle making it to Day 2.

    Have a nice day!


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