Vines & Vittles

Holiday gifts for your wine lover

Right about now, you’re probably scratching your head and fretting over what special wine or related gift to give your favorite wine lover this holiday season.
Well, fret no more! You’re intrepid wino has a few recommendations for your consideration and I’m sure one or more of these vinous gift ideas just might work.

Wine Books
In my opinion, the absolute best wine reference book is the World Atlas of Wine by Janis Robinson and Hugh Johnson. It’s a compendium of everything you need to know about wine, including information on specific grapes, wines and regions, as well as label descriptions, and the culture and history of wine. Check for it at your local bookshop or online.

How about a little wine and intrigue? Get yourself a copy of Wine and War by Don and Petie Kladstrup. This page-turner deals with the lengths to which French wine makers went to protect their precious products from the Nazis in WWII.

Wine Storage
Finding a place to store your special wine is always a challenge. One pretty neat option is the Wine Enthusiast Six -Bottle Touch screen Wine Refrigerator. This adjustable, temperature- controlled wine refrigerator is a great gift for those who don’t have a lot of storage space, but want a reliable place to keep their special bottles. Check it out at: $130 with free shipping.

Wine Stemware
The aesthetics of sipping wine in crystal is oftentimes a very expensive proposition, but it’s nice to occasionally break out (probably not the best choice of words) the special stemware for that celebratory event. Riedel, Schott Zweise and Spiegelau are probably the best options for really fine crystal. You can find them at wine shops, department stores and online. Christmas Clarets

Stocking Stuffers
– How would you like to turn that special bottle of wine into a beautiful candleholder? Adam Morton of Bridgeview Candles, Accessories and Designs will do it for you. Check out his Facebook page (Bridgeview Candles) to peruse his work. You can also call him at 304-610-1553 or email him Adam’s studio is located at 139 South Court St. in Fayetteville, across the street from the Cathedral Café.

– For the manual dexterity challenged wine drinkers in your life, you might slip a container of Wine Away in that Christmas stocking. Wine Away is a red wine strain remover that cleans up a clears out those stains that so often appear on your clothes or carpet when people like me are attempting to sip and speak at the same time. Shop for it locally or simply Google “Wine Away” and find it online for about $10.

– Name It Wine Glass Markers are cool and colorful pens you can use to write on wine glasses, bottles or any glass surfaces. Great for signing that special wine gift and priced under $10. Amazon or other online sellers have it stocked for the Holidays

– I like to keep track of the truly special wines I have consumed, but getting the labels off the bottles is a real pain. So I recommend using Label Off. This product is an easy way to remove and collect those special wine labels. Label Off splits the printed surface of the paper from the adhesive backing leaving a laminated label to place into your wine catalog. Find it online at around $10.

Special Holiday Wines
The last several vintages (2012 through 2015) of cabernet sauvignon and red blends (meritages) from Napa and other northern California wine regions have been excellent. So you might consider these opulent, full-bodied, rich and balanced cabernets and meritages for that special red wine lover.

Meritages: Anderson’s Conn Valley Right Bank; Cain Five; Vineyard 29 Aida; Newton Claret; Joseph Phelps Insignia; Beringer Knights Valley Meritage; Artesia Meritage and William Hill Benchmark Meritage.

Cabernet Sauvignon: Shafer Stags Leap; Franciscan Napa Valley; Robert Mondavi Reserve; Rudd Mount Veeder; Beaulieu Georges De Latour Private Reserve; Joseph Heitz Martha’s Vineyard; Cliff Lede Vineyards; Stags Leap Wine Cellars; Caymus Special Selection Cabernet and Siler Oak Napa.