Christmas Gifts for the Wine Geek
Christmas is nearly here and the pressure to find that perfect gift is building. In fact, you only have to glance in any mall or shop across the land to see that the present buying frenzy is well and truly underway, or possibly a small riot has just broken out.
Luckily the failsafe gift for any wine lover is, of course, a bottle, though even this can be a minefield (for more guidance check out our guide to buying the perfect Christmas bottle.) But what if you want to take that wine-related present to the next level? If so, here are some of the best wine-related gifts and gadgets for the die-hard grape geek in your life.
1) A Decanter
As well as ensuring that their wine is perfectly aerated, a decanter makes for a wonderful present, with Austrian glass-masters Riedel producing some of the most beautiful around. Our personal favourites are the Eve, with a shape reminiscent of a snake, and the Swan with a super-long neck ideal for pouring across a crowded table. Prices range from 150 – 4,500 AED depending on how big and glorious you want to go. Check out our selection here.
2) Wine Books
Ok, we’ve got a few recommendations in this category.
Described by The Washington Post as, ‘The best introductory book on wine to come along in years,’ Wine Folly – the Essential Guide to Wine by Madeleine Puckette is based on her hugely successful blog and offers a thoroughly entertaining look at the world of wine.
For something really unique check out The Essential Scratch and Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert, by Master Sommelier Richard Betts.
For years we’ve been staying amped during the long booze-run drives for years by listening to the Wine for Normal People podcast… and now there is a book filled with great stories, opinions and explanations.
3) The Coravin
Possibly the geekiest and most awesome wine gift around, The Corovin inserts a surgical grade needle through the cork, allowing you to extract some of the contents, before an injection of inert gas reseals it as if its never been touched. What’s more, no oxygen reaches the wine, you don’t have to commit to the entire bottle and can just drink a glass or even a taste without worrying about spoilage. Available at MMI, The Original Barracuda, Le Clos, Crate & Barrel and Al Hamra Cellars. Prices range from approx 950 to 1620 AED depending on the model. Gas cartridge refills available for 100 AED for a two-pack.
4) Give them the gift of knowledge with a WSET Certificate
For those in the UAE with a real love of wine, there’s previously not been an easy way to take that passion to the next level. However, the internationally recognised Wine & Spirit Education Trust course – the global standard for wine lovers – has recently come to Dubai. The one-day WSET Level 1 explores the main wine styles and grape varieties around the world and teaches participants how to taste like a pro in one day, whilst the more advanced WSET Level 2 lets them explore and taste forty wines over three days digging deeper into a huge range for regions globally – the perfect way to prove that they are indeed a true wine nerd, with the certificate and lapel pin to back it up. Get more info at www.hospotraining.com.
5) Treat the Whole Crew with a Home Tasting Experience
Treat your wine-drinking crew to a home tasting lesson with us. A sommelier will come around to your place with beautiful Riedel glasses and a lead a fun and interactive class on six wines, beers or whiskies. Our most popular tasting is Wine 101, but tastings that focus on a particular region or country are popular too. It’s 150 AED per person – T&C apply.
6) A Sabrage Knife
Sabrage is the dramatic art of opening a bottle of Champagne by decapitating it with a snazzy sword that looks as though it were stolen from a pirate. Perfect the bubbly lover (or Instagram video pro) in your life. Amazon offers a range of beautiful sabres, perfect for a truly unique present. Prices start from 200 AED, however before buying it’s well worth pondering the state of your relationship and whether you trust them with a small sword.
7) Le Nez du Vin Aroma Kit
Comprised of 6 to 54 different essential oils, these clever kits isolate the complex aromas found in a glass of wine – coffee, oak, cherry, freshly cut hay – even common wine faults, helping you develop the ability to pick them out. They’re available online for between €24 and €300 or sometimes the Lighthouse in D3 – 54 have them in stock.
8) Wine Cradle
If you’ve got a wine-lover in your life who is particularly interested in older bottles this is a unique and thoughtful gift. As a wine ages sediment will form, and also the cork may become quite delicate. A wine cradle is an aid for transporting and opening old bottles as gentle as possible to avoid little floaty bits ending up in your wine, which are pretty common hazards of drinking really old bottles. Check out the selection on Amazon.