Wine Gift Guide: Wines Tools and Accessories for Wine Lovers
Black ‘Blind Blind’ Tasting Glasses, by Riedel: Step up your wine tasting game with these black wine glasses. The color is undetectable from any vantage point. You have to sniff and taste your way through the wine in these glasses! If you like testing your knowledge and exploring wine blind, you’ll love these. It may surprise you how difficult it actually is to identify red from white.
The Durand Bottle Opener (for old wines): Have you ever tried to open an old bottle and the cork disintegrates before it comes out of the bottle? You can filter out the cork, but what a hassle. Use this handy tool to remove old and fragile corks in one piece.
Find pricing and product information here.
iSommelier: There is nothing more disappointing than drinking a wine too young or past its prime. And, what about playing the guessing game of how long to aerate you wine? iSommelier is high on our wine lover wish list because it does it all for you. Labeled the first ‘smart’ decanter, it takes your wine to the ready-to-drink stage in minutes by filtering ambient air that is traditionally laced with moisture, dust, odors, and more. Wine aerated with iSommelier it’s only in contact with purified, highly concentrated oxygen.
Find pricing and the product information here.
Coravin: For centuries, the cork had to be removed in order to enjoy a glass of wine - that era is over. The Coravin C1000 is the first tool in the world to let people access, pour, and enjoy wine from a bottle – without pulling the cork. Coravin’s proprietary technology protects your wine from oxidation, by leaving the cork in place while the wine flows. Now you can enjoy your favorite and ﬁnest wines by the glass whenever you like, and feel conﬁdent that your wine will be protected until the next glass is poured. Share and enjoy the same bottle, or bottles, on multiple occasions, over weeks, months, or even longer - without wasting a drop.
During our recent trip to Barcelona and the surrounding Catalan wine regions we discovered a curious glass pourer locally referred to as the porrón. It's typically filled with local wine, or traditional liquors such as Ranci, Mistella, or Moscatell. It's meant to be passed around, it's content shared among the group, and there is a certain level of skill required to be able to drink from the porrón without touching it and spilling the liquid all over your face at the same time. This article from the Washington Post describes the fun. There's something about the act of sharing a great drink at a social gathering that makes it that much more special.
You can find quality handblown glass versions of the porron from a variety of retailers, including here.
Demivin: How often do you want to have a glass or two of something, then put it away from later? If you are like us, we like to try different wines, often side-by-side or one after the other. With wine so perishable that isn’t always an option. Enter Demivin. This specialty wine carafe allows you to pour in the contents of half a bottle and securely store it for up to six weeks. The key to immediately transfer half the bottle when you open it to limit oxygen contact. Place a specialty cap on the top and your remaining wine can be enjoyed at optimum flavor for up to six weeks. The Demivin carafe comes in packages of one, two, or three.
Find pricing and productinformation here.
The Corkicle chills and protects your wine bottle once it is open. The Corkicle is frozen and then placed into wine bottles. It is made from BPA-free plastic and contains a non-toxic freezing gel. It is easy to clean and eliminates the need for a bulky ice bucket. It also now comes in the Corksicle Air model which is a Chiller, Aerator, Pourer, Stopper all in one.
Wine Gift Guide: Travel Items
Eagle Creek Pack-It Compression Sacs: Packing items may not be an obvious wine lover gift guide entry. But, in our experience most wine lovers are also travelers. Who doesn’t love learning about and experiencing their favorite wines in their place of origin? That’s exactly why we love these packing aids. We can load up our carry-on so we can put The Wine Check in the hold and bring home a case - everybody wins!
De Long Wine Maps and Charts: The brilliant De Long wine map sets are not only informative, but they’re beautifully produced and extensively researched. You’ll find yourself referring to the wine grape varietal chart more often than not as it’s full of useful information regarding grape types & varieties. They also have a fun Metro wine map of France. The most amazing thing about this novel new wine map is how clearly it shows France's complex wine regions. Created by architectural historian and wine buff Dr. David Gissen, it's fun, great looking and wonderfully informative.
The Wine Check: Yes, we had to mention it. Our signature product, The Wine Check, lets you safely and easily transport wine on a plane. Our 12- and 15-bottle wine carriers are easy to maneuver and meet weight requirements for most airlines. The 12-bottle luggage works perfectly for low cost European carriers who enforce a strict 20 kg limit. Load up on wine, sparkling, beer, and liquor. Read our Flying with Alcohol 101 guide to reference rules and regulations by countries. If you want to surprise someone for their next trip, we can have a Wine Check waiting for them at their hotel nearly anywhere in Europe.
Find pricing and product information here.
Wine Gift Guide: Books for the Wino Library
Wine isn’t just about grapes and tasting notes. Our wine travels and work in the industry has taught us that. We are lucky enough to talk to producers and growers regularly. Not everyone gets that opportunity and that’s the beauty of Cathy Huyghe’s new book. Get beyond floral scents and cigar box notes to learn where the wine really comes from. The 12-chapter book highlights 12 different wines from all over the world, looking at issues you don’t usually associate with the seemingly insulated and luxurious world of wine, including migrant labor, war, financial crises, and post-apartheid economics. Cathy explains, “For the people you'll meet in these twelve chapters, wine does so much more than quench thirst.” The book tells the story behind the wine; a unique adventure that most consumers are not privy to at their local wine shop or bar.
Wine Folly is easily one of our favorite wine education websites. From the written word to the vibrant, easy-to-digest infographics, we spend time on Madeline’s site regularly. That said, we were thrilled when she published her first book in 2015. The Essential Guide to Wine offers everything from taste profiles (popular to obscure wines), to a wine and food pairing guide, regional wine maps, tips and tricks for serving wine, and lessons on how to taste. Every wine lover will enjoy this - beginner to advanced.
The ultimate wine resource has been updated. The new edition features nearly 4000 entries, ranging in topics from grape varieties to regions to the history of wine, and more. Over half of the book has been revised and updated with the most recent research. Plus, you’ll find new information on things like wine apps, social media, tasting note language, and more. A coveted wine gift for any oenophile.
The 2016 edition of 50 Great Cavas takes the form of a stunning illustrated 154 page full colour collectable book and contains the Gold and Silver medal winners with photos and evocative tasting notes for each. The book, written in English is a sumptuous guide to discovering Spain’s most interesting and exciting Cava producers. The book looks at the history of Cava, outlines how Cava is made, clarifies the different Cava styles, spotlights successful regions and recognizes outstanding producers. A two page captivating article on all of the participating wineries covering family history, winery philosophy, grape varieties, location and wine tourism options can also be found in the book.
Find pricing and book information here.
Husband-and-wife journalists and contributors to Wine Spectator, the Kladstrups recount the dangerous and daring exploits of those who fought to keep France's greatest treasure out of the hands of the Nazis. Whether they were fobbing off inferior wines on the Germans, hiding precious vintages behind hastily constructed walls, sabotaging shipments being sent out of France, or even sneaking people out of the country in wine barrels, the French proved to be remarkably versatile when it came to protecting their beloved wine. The authors craft a compelling read that shifts back and forth between individual tales of bravery, including those of five prominent wine-making families, and the bigger story of how World War II affected the French wine industry.
Find pricing and book information here.
We are looking to keep our wine gift guide growing during the holiday season. Please leave us a note below to share your favorite wine toys. The week of December 15th we are offering holiday deals on wine travel items. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for details!
Happy Holidays from Lazenne!