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Posts Tagged ‘gifts for wine lovers’

Wine Baskets Make Great Wine Gifts

December 15th, 2010 2 comments

Wine baskets are wonderful gifts that everyone loves.  As a result, they can cost hundreds of dollars at fancy food stores.  But why spend the cash when you can easily make them yourself?  They’re simple to create, and they make great, personal gifts that your friends and family will really appreciate.  You can fill your wine gift baskets with almost anything, so get creative: the possibilities are endless!

To start, you need some kind of attractive basket or box.  Visit your local craft store for wicker baskets or large tin pails.  Wooden wine cases also make great receptacles. For a unique container that’s a gift in itself, use a leather brigade bucket by Mulholland Leather.

Then pick a wine theme and get to filling!  Here are some ideas:

A chocolate-themed gift basket. Visit a chocolate store and pick out a variety: white, milk, and dark chocolates all pair well with wines.  If you know the person’s favorites, play to them.  You can even try some unusual chocolates: they may include goat cheese, herbs, or even chilies.  Next, pair some wines with the chocolates you’ve chosen.  For a dark chocolate lover, strong, rich reds like Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon are perfect.  For the milk chocolate lover, try something smooth like a Pinot Noir or something sweet like a Muscat.  White chocolate pairs well with sweet wines like Muscatos or even something darker and tannic for contrast, like a Merlot.  For our full wine and chocolate pairing guide, click here.

A summer-themed gift basket: Line a basket with a checkered picnic cloth, then fill with beautiful summer fruits, like strawberries and peaches.  Add some goats-milk cheese (it’s at its peak in the summer) and some crackers or a baguette.  Finish with summer wines like Rosé or Pinot Grigio.

A gift basket for the new wine lover: If you know someone in your life who’s just starting to appreciate the pleasures of wine, help them out!  Fill a basket with a few bottles of your favorites.  Try to think outside the box and introduce the person to some types of wine he or she might not have heard of.

A wine and cheese basket: This one’s a crowd-pleaser.  Pairing wine and cheese can be intimidating, so see our easy wine & cheese pairing guide for help.  In general, stick to white wines and pick a variety of cheeses (like brie, gruyere, and cheddar).  Include a few different types of crackers, a bunch of grapes, and you’re ready to go.

A wine game gift basket: Give everything they need to have their own wine-tasting party.  Include several types of wine, or a a few bottles of the same type at different price point.  Place bags over the bottles or cover the labels, and add paper for note-taking.  Maybe they’ll even invite you over to play!

Interested in our recommendations for wine lover gift ideas?

Gifts for Wine Lovers: Rogar Wine Openers

December 13th, 2010 No comments

Looking for a holiday gift for a special wine lover in your life?  How about a quality wine opener?  Rogar wine openers were originally designed in the late nineteenth century to meet demands from restauranteurs for a professional wine opener that could get the job done fast.  Today, Rogar wine openers remove the cork in under a second.
One of Rogar’s premiere lines is the Rogar Champion opener series.  Champion openers can both uncork and recork the bottle with speedy ease.  All Champion wine openers feature the Rogar original design: a vine-and-flowers theme that’s classically beautiful.  The base is made of die-cast zinc, and the top can be finished with nickel or pewter, and there are both wood and granite options for the stand and handle.  The Rogar Champion line has timeless elegance that any wine lover is sure to appreciate for years to come.

Rogar Estate openers are another beautiful option.  Their gorgeous designs make them timeless pieces that will never go out of style.  This particular model has an antique bronze finish and a hardwood handle.  It features an ornate design of grapes and leaves.  It can be clamped onto a bar, shelf or table for a classic barroom look, or it can be paired with one of Rogar’s stands for a beautiful, self-supported look.

If you’re looking for that perfect wine gift for the wine lover in your life, you can’t go wrong with a beautiful and functional Rogar wine opener.

Wine Gift: Riedel Wine Glasses

December 4th, 2010 No comments

Riedel has been making the world’s premiere wine glasses for more than 250 years.  For the serious wine collector, they’re almost a necessity.  For the more casual wine enthusiast, they’re a beautiful, classic way to enjoy great wines.  Riedel glasses make great holiday gifts for anyone who has a special place in his heart for wine.

Riedel makes a wide variety of glass styles.  One great choice is the Riedel Sommelier line.  Their graceful shapes and long, delicate stems make them an elegant choice for the holiday season. Even better, these lovely glasses are on sale–check Facebook, Twitter or the latest VC newsletter for coupon codes for Riedel Sommelier, Howard Miller and WineKeeper products.

Glasses from the Sommelier line are perfect for the serious wine lover.  For someone who’sriedel o a little more casual about wine, a perfect choice is the “O” Stemless line.  These family-style glasses are great for casual gatherings, dinner parties with friends, and just sitting around and enjoying a glass.

Don’t forget if neither of these lines are what you’re looking for for the wine lover in your life, Riedel makes many more choices.

How to Gift Wrap a Wine Bottle

November 28th, 2010 No comments

With the holiday season comes dinner party invitations.  And with dinner party invitations come gifts for the host.  There’s no more traditional dinner party offering than a bottle of wine–and why not?  Wine is a crowd-pleaser: with it, you really don’t have to worry that your hosts are smiling on the outside, but thinking on the inside, “Now what are we going to do with this?

But if you’re going to go to the trouble of picking out and purchasing a bottle of wine for your hosts, you don’t just want to plunk it down, unadorned, in the center of the table.  Gift wrapping a bottle of wine adds an appropriately festive touch.  But how to do it?  Wine isn’t box-shaped, after all (Well, some is.  But you really shouldn’t be giving that kind as a gift).

The simplest method for gift wrapping wine is this: set the bottle in the middle of a large square of tissue paper or colored cellophane.  Gather the edges up at the top of the bottle, and tie with a pretty ribbon (you can also hang a nice tag from the ribbon identifying yourself as the awesome gift-giver).  This method is pretty, and totally simple (sorry men, you can’t get out of wrapping this present).

You can also wrap a bottle this way in brown paper or even newspaper.  It looks artsy-chic, and it’s eco-friendly.  Just make sure to use a nice ribbon so it won’t look like you dug your wrapping paper out of the recycling bin (even if you did).  For another cool way to wrap wine in newspaper, check out the video below:

Another method is to just wrap the label.  This makes for an elegant presentation.  It also allows you guests to easily identify the gift, while still being surprised by the kind of wine in the bottle.  To do this, use ribbon edged with wire, wrap several times around the label, and secure the end with a small-stick on bow in the complementary color.

Do you have any great bottle-wrapping techniques?  We’d love to hear your ideas!

Wine for Mother’s Day

If your mom is like mine, there’s nothing she’d rather do on Mother’s Day than have a chance to relax with her family, minus the laundry and dishes.  And what better way to help her get some me-time than wine?  Wine is a great way to celebrate with your mom, and you don’t need to plan an extravagant wine tasting or a fancy dinner to do it.

Whether you’re celebrating with brunch or dinner, Vintage Cellars has a great Mother’s Day idea for you.  Best of all, these ideas are man-friendly!  If you’re a dad or son trying to do something special for the mom in your life, look no further than these easy, fool-proof ideas.

For Brunch: Are you going the traditional breakfast-in-bed route?  Then make it extra special with a champagne cocktail.  It’s equally great accompanied by a fancy breakfast spread with all the trimmings or her toddler’s proud creation of soggy waffles and burnt toast.  There are tons of recipes for champagne cocktails out there, but if you want an easy recipe that will guarantee the smile on your mom’s face, try this one (hint: it’s especially good because it’s strawberry season, and they’re sweet and delicious right now).

Simple Strawberry Champagne Cocktail

  • Put a splash of strawberry-flavored liquor (Framboise is one) in a champagne flute.  (If you’re the measuring type, try half a shot.)
  • Top with your mom’s favorite champagne.  DON’T stir the cocktail or you’ll ruin the bubbles!
  • Garnish with a fresh strawberry (make a slice in the strawberry starting at the tip, but stop halfway to the top.  Stick the strawberry on the rim of the glass.)  Don’t skip the garnish–it’s what makes it special!
  • Present to mom with a card.  She’ll smile for the rest of the day!
  • Variations: rim the flute with sugar first (put sugar on a small plate, invert the glass, dip the top of the glass in water, and swirl it around in the sugar.)  If you don’t want to use the liquor, you could puree some strawberries in a blender or food processor and use that instead, following the same directions.

For Lunch or Dinner: Most women love cheeses, and Mother’s Day is a great time for your mom to indulge.  Setting up a wine and cheese platter for your mom couldn’t be simpler, but it has that personal touch that makes it special.  Visit your local cheese shop or grocery store and pick out a few cheeses and (this is essential) a crusty baguette or loaf of French bread.  If you don’t know what cheeses your mom will like, no stress–just mix and match.  Try some soft cheeses and some harder ones so your mom can have fun tasting the different kinds.  Slice the bread, add some fruit (don’t forget strawberries are great right now!), put on a big platter, and all you need is the wine.

The simplest, most foolproof wine to pair with cheese is champagne.  Champagne goes well with almost any cheese (even the stinky or blue-veined kinds!).  It also acts as a palate cleanser, which means that your mom can taste different cheeses back-to-back without her taste buds getting tired.  If your mom isn’t partial to champagne or you’d like to try something different, visit our post on pairing wine and cheese.  It has some great tips for tasty pairings.  Sit back with your mom, eat and drink, and enjoy some bonding time (which all moms love).

Remember, the best gifts come from the heart, so think about what makes your mom happiest.  If she craves some time to relax with her family, try one of our ideas for a Mother’s Day that is special, but super-simple.

Bringing Wine to a Dinner Party

April 16th, 2010 1 comment

So you’re on your way to a dinner party.  You stop at a wine shop to pick up a bottle.  But then you stand there, bewildered.  Red or white?  How expensive?  What do your hosts like?  What will go with their dinner?

Let us simplify matters for you:

First of all, you should not expect that your hosts will serve your wine at the actual dinner.  Remember that gifts should not come with obligations.  Especially if they’re wine lovers like you, they might have put a lot of time and planning into their wine selections, and your wine just might not fit with their planned menu.  It’s always polite to relieve your hosts of any obligation by saying something like, “You definitely don’t have to serve this tonight, unless you want to.  Put it aside and enjoy it another day!”  With this as your tactic, you don’t have to worry about pairing your wine gift with their food.  A bottle of wine that you’ve tasted yourself and enjoyed makes the best gift, and it can be a great conversation starter!

Another tactic is to call ahead of time and offer to provide wine for the dinner, or part of it.  If you don’t know your hosts well, this may be stepping on their toes, so use your judgment.  If you’re good friends with your hosts, they will probably be grateful to you for taking some of the planning–and expense–off of their hands.  If you’re going to bring wine to share, a great choice is champagne to be served with appetizers.  Champagne is almost universally liked (especially if you stick to a dry champagne, to please more palates), and it goes well with almost any kind of appetizer your hosts might serve, even those tough-to-match cheeses.  Just make sure you provide more than you think you’ll need–champagne goes fast!

If your host wants you to get involved, you can bring a wine that pairs with a specific dish or course.  But remember that pairing goes far beyond that simple “whites with fish or chicken, reds with red meat” rule.  If you want to learn more about pairing wine with food, click here to see our post on the subject.

Remember that picking out a bottle of wine to give shouldn’t be a stressful experience.  Put a little time and thought into it, and your hosts will be happy!

More Great Gifts from Vintage Cellars

December 12th, 2009 No comments

As the holidays draw closer, it’s time to get serious about shopping.  Here are some more great gifts by leather company Mulholland, available from Vintage Cellars:

Mulholland Leather Wine Case

Picture 2Mulholland is a maker and purveyor of fine leather products.  Their goods only improve with age, and will last for generations.  Mulholland’s line of leather wine bags was developed for the true wine connoisseur.  They are perfect for carrying wine to a party, a picnic, or even across the country.  Mulholland makes wine carrying bags to hold one, two, or six bottles.  The six-bottle carriers are also available in a rolling style perfect for transporting your beloved bottles through busy airports.  All carriers are made with a semi-rigid insulated nylon liner that maintains the temperature of chilled whites and champagnes, and protects red wines from temperature extremes.  Each comes with a handle and shoulder strap, and all are shipped with a free stainless corkscrew.

Mulholland Leather Flask

Picture 4For the wine lover who also enjoys fine liquor, Mulholland makes flasks from their premium leather.  These flasks are stainless steel and wrapped in one of Mulholland’s two leathers: the Lariat or the Latigo.  The Lariat is a strong, honey-brown leather that ages beautifully, acquiring a surface etched with marks from daily wear.  The Latigo is a rich, dark leather cured with natural vegetable extracts.  Its distinctive sheen makes it a beautiful material for all of Mulholland’s crafts.  Flasks are available in 4 or 6 oz styles, and include screw caps that are hinged to the flask’s surface, ensuring they will never be lost.  Mulholland’s flasks are crafted with the finest workmanship, and make stunning gifts.

Mulholland Leather Golf Bag

Picture 3It’s no secret that many wine lovers are avid golfers.  The ultimate golfing gift?  One of Mulholland’s all-leather golf bags.  Handcrafted from the signature leather that has made the name “Mulholland” synonymous with “fine leather,” a Mulholland golf bag is a gift that will last a lifetime.  Made of only the hardiest, most durable leather, a golf bag by Mulholland will acquire a unique patina of scrapes and scratches that will tell the story of your golfer’s years on the links.  These golf bags are divided into three sections and come with several accessory compartments, as well as adjustable shoulder straps, leather trunk handles, water-repellant rain hoods, and umbrella holders.  Consider gifting the golf lover in your life with the ultimate in beauty and function: a leather golf bag by Mulholland.

3 More Great Wine Gift Ideas for Wine Lovers

December 1st, 2009 No comments

Looking for the perfect Christmas gift for that special wine enthusiast?  Look no further: Vintage Cellars has tons of great wine gift ideas.  Make sure you check out last week’s wine gifts post, and stay in touch for the next installment!

Creative Wine Rack

Delia wine rackDelia Wine Storage makes unique, artistic wine racks with metal and glass.  These racks add a conversation-starting touch to any wine collection.  Many are small, and so are ideal for wine lovers in tight spaces.  If you know someone whose apartment won’t fit a wine refrigerator, or a wine collector just starting out, a Delia rack might be an ideal choice.  But these beautiful wine storage sculptures aren’t limited to those in small spaces.  They can also be used to spruce up a kitchen or add an interesting element to an existing wine cellar.

Delia makes a wide variety of wine racks, from wine trees to wine tables to wall mounts.  Their elegant, modern designs add a unique touch to any wine collection.  These artistic storage options are a great wine gift idea for anyone who appreciates functional art.  Make sure to check out full line of Delia wine racks.

KleanKanteen Wine Karafe

KleanKanteen

Picture this: you’ve hiked to the top of a forested mountain with your loved one.  You spread a blanket and relax to watch the sun set over the gorgeous panorama you’ve worked so hard to see.  You reach into your backpack and pull out your water bottle.

Something’s missing, right?  Life’s great moments deserve to be celebrated with a toast.  But those special moments don’t always happen near a kitchen.  What’s a hiking, camping, or picnicking wine lover to do?  Meet the KleanKanteen.  No more pretending your sports drink is Chardonnay or worrying about your wine bottle shattering in your backpack.  The KleanKanteen is a high-grade, virtually unbreakable container specifically designed to hold a standard 750 mL bottle of wine.  This food-grade stainless steel is free from all toxins. Best of all, it doesn’t retain or impart flavors like a traditional plastic beverage container, so it can carry a Pinot Grigio or a Zinfandel with equal ease.  The KleedKanteen Karafe can even be purchased with an insulating tote to keep wines at the correct temperature, even after a long walk on a hot tropical beach.

For any wine enthusiast who would love to take her passion outdoors, the KleanKanteen Wine Karafe is the perfect gift.

Know a wine purist who rejects “fancy” openers, preferring the subtle artistry and show of skill that comes with opening a bottle with a traditional Sommelier Knife? This professional wine tool and leather case by maker of fine leather Mulholland might be the perfect gift. This ages-old corkscrew design includes a knife, pull, and corkscrew, perfect for opening that bottle that’s been aging for 50 years the way it was meant to be opened. This Sommelier Knife comes encased in a pouch made of Mulholland’s fine leather.
Corkscrew and leather caseMulholland makes most of its luxury leather goods in two colors. The first is the “Lariat™,” known for its honeyed surface known for its uniqueness: each product acquires marks and scratches from use that become part of the beauty of the material. The second is the “Latigo™,” a darker stout color cured with vegetable extracts and polished with a high-speed glass cylinder. For the Sommelier Corkscrew and Case, Mulholland makes a third color: a rich, medium “Bridle Tan.”
For the wine collector who would love a high-quality tool that will last for generations, the Mulholland All-Leather Sommelier Corkscrew and Leather Case is a great gift.

5 Great Gifts for Wine Lovers

November 28th, 2009 No comments

Do you have any wine lovers on your gift list this Christmas?  Check out these great gifts for wine lovers from Vintage Cellars:

Pek Wine Steward

Pek Wine Steward

Many wine collectors enjoy opening a bottle to drink with a weeknight dinner.  But most often, they don’t want to finish the whole bottle.  They might try recorking it and stashing it in the refrigerator, but are invariably disappointed by the wine’s quality the next day.  After all, there’s no sense in buying and aging fine wine if you’re only going to enjoy two glasses.

Meet the Pek Wine Steward, the first device ever made that truly extends the life of an open wine bottle.  The Wine Steward works by replacing the air in the top of an open bottle with argon gas, protecting the wine against the harmful effects of oxidation.  For any connoisseur, the Wine Steward is an indispensable tool and a great gift.

Riedel Glassware

Picture 2Perfect wine deserves a perfect vessel.  There is no better maker of fine glassware than Riedel (contrary to popular belief, “Riedel” rhymes with “needle”), an Austrian company that has been producing glasses and decanters for eleven generations.  In that time, the name Riedel has become synonymous with quality.  The technical precision of their glass designs, with such characteristics as large bowl sizes for capturing aromas, make Reidel glasses the ideal way to enjoy wine.

Reidel makes a variety of glass designs, but one great holiday gift is the Riedel “O” Stemless glasses.

Stemless glassware is a trendyRiedel decanter and also perfectly usable way to enjoy fine wine.  In addition to its of-the-moment appeal, stemless glassware fits perfectly in a dishwasher or picnic basket.  Its sturdy design makes it a great gift for grandparents or families with young children.  “O” Stemless glassware comes in several varieties specifically made for different wine types, from Pinot to Chardonnay.

Riedel Decanter

World-renowned glassware company Riedel also manufactures decanters: large, necked glass bottles that wine is poured into before service, allowing it to aerate.  Wine connoisseurs know that allowing the wine to come in contact with air before serving brings out its best flavors.  Younger wines and some older wines can greatly benefit from being decanted before they are enjoyed.

Besides being functional, Reidel’s decanters are true works of art, offered in designs that range from traditional to modern.  Browse the full line of Riedel glassware.

Rogar Wine Opener

Rogar wine openerA high-tech wine opener is a must-have for any wine collector.  Rogar makes professional-grade wine openers that open wine quickly and easily.  Those days of floating cork pieces are over.

Rogar offers a variety of wine openers.  The Champion can be clamped to a bar, and can re-cork your wine bottles as well as open them.   The Estate Wine Opener specializes in beauty and functionality, taking an antique design and outfitting it with modern technology.  The Professional Wine Opener is crafted to look like an antique corkscrew.  It is equipped with a plastic safety barrier around the auger, and automatically ejects the cork once the bottle is open. Hint: Table-mounted openers make great gifts for wine lovers who can never find their bottle opener!

Wine Barrel Furniture

Wine barrel furniture

Unique, functional, and vintage: wine furniture from Vintage Cellars is the ultimate gift.  Wine furniture from the Barrel Collection is made by Fontenay Wood, a company that constructs pieces completely from vintage wine barrels and tanks.  Beautiful tables and chairs are composed entirely of the medium for wine aging.  The curvature from wine barrels is crafted into elegantly arched table legs and chair backs, and the wood’s natural burgundy stain has been soaked into the grain from years of wine aging. These unique qualities make the furniture a natural conversation starter, and a great place to sit and enjoy a perfect glass.  Reclaimed wine barrels can also be made into countertops, doors, floors, or anything the imagination can shape them into.

Check back next week for more great gifts for wine lovers from Vintage Cellars.  Happy shopping!