Now that American Thanksgiving is over it feels like we’re fully into the holiday season, which means it’s time to talk gifts. I know, I know – it can be hard to come up with good gift ideas! I always try to find something thoughtful while also not breaking my meagre bank account – sometimes easier said than done. So, in the spirit of giving those you love gifts they’ll love, here are some gift ideas for the wino in your life.
I like to take any opportunity available to enjoy a special bottle, and the holidays are definitely a good excuse to do just that. Here are six special bottles that are sure to impress.
Let’s start with some reds, shall we?
I know what you’re thinking, “a Zinfandel?? Like Wild Vines? No thank you!”. Well! First, let me tell you that Wild Vines doesn’t even count as wine and why are we even talking about that gross poser wine? Cakebread is an incredibly delicious winery out of California that is out of my personal price range for the everyday, which makes it a great splurge for the holidays. This Zin will be big and full-bodied – and California is known for creating great ones.
Pomerol is a mainstay Appellation of the Bordeaux region of France. Wine makers in this area use mostly Merlot grapes with some Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. This particular wine is a common occurrence in the Vintages sections of LCBOs and would be great to open when given or to be saved for a few years, depending on whether the wino in your life enjoys cellaring.
Now, the Amarone. Amarones are Italian wonders – big, full bodies, ripe red fruit flavours and a nice strong finish. The grapes for an Amarone wine are allowed to partially dry out before making them into wine, which concentrates the flavours into something really wonderful. If your wino likes Italian wine they will surely appreciate this one, especially since Masi is a reputable maker.
Now, for the whites.
- William Fevre Champs Royeaux Chablis
- Cave Spring Indian Summer Select Late Harvest Riesling 2013
- Strewn Vidal Icewine 2006
You probably haven’t met the Chablis grape before, and I don’t blame you. It’s difficult to find them in the LCBO for less that $24. In fact, my own experiences with Chablis come exclusively from the kindness of others sharing theirs with me. Which is why this would be a great gift, especially if your wino is on a budget. This Chablis is light, crisp, and very dry, and really, how wrong can you go with a white wine from the Burgundy region of France? (hint: not very)
The Cave Spring Late Harvest Riesling is something special. These grapes are harvested between the regular harvest for Cave Spring’s other Rieslings (which are wonderful) and the ones harvested for their icewine. This means they’re slightly sweet but not so much so that they venture into super sweet icewine territory. This would be a great wine for the wino in your life who, like me, doesn’t have a huge sweet tooth but still wants to enjoy something special.
You didn’t think I was going to leave icewines out, did you? I live too close to Niagara (with its world renowned icewine production) to do that. Strewn is one of many wineries in Niagara making icewine and this one is made with Vidal grapes, a common icewine varietal. It’s sweet of course, and has some citrus flavours going on as well as apricot and mango. The LCBO suggests serving it with blue cheese, which sounds heavenly.
If you don’t feel super comfortable wandering the aisles of the LCBO (or worse, the Vintages section) then here are some wine-related gift ideas. And, for your shopping pleasure, they’re all available on Amazon.
The Corksicle is a wine accessory that I just love. Put it in the freezer and then, when you’re enjoying some bubbly or white or rosé you pop the Corksicle in the bottle, keeping the wine cool in more way than one (see what I did there?). If your wino likes cold wine this is a must-have.
This aerator is super handy, especially when you’re not drinking an entire bottle and therefore don’t want to use a decanter. Since I’m still learning I love tasting wine on its own and then through the aerator to get a sense for how oxygen changes a wine.
Again, this accessory is great for winos who like their wine cold. Just put this marble cylinder in the freezer an hour or so before opening the wine, and then use pop the bottle in, keeping your wine cold while enjoying it. I would love one of these for hot summer days.
BONUS – Wine Experiences
If your wino is the type that has everything or is a minimalist at heart, then consider giving them a wine experience instead of more wine stuff. If you live in Ontario I heartily recommend the Niagara Icewine Festival, which conveniently runs in January. If you’re somehow already booked up for early 2016 then check out these events at wineries throughout Ontario. Or, you know, there’s always France.