Boozy Holiday Gift Guide 2016
It's that time of year again - those special few weeks when you're frantically searching for the perfect gift and your Amazon and Etsy carts have about 20 items just chillin' until you can afford to pull the trigger. The holidays are upon us and I've crafted a wine-centric gift guide for some of the peeps that are surely on your list this year. Enjoy and Merry Everything!
If you have someone in your life that loves nothing more than to casually whip up a gourmet meal on a random Tuesday, then you'll want to give them a wine that they can pair with as many dishes as they can create. A Barbera d'Alba is a good choice here because it has low levels of tannin and a high acidity, which makes it easy to pair with just about anything. It's versatile, delicious, and perfect for cooking with: in a glass and in the food.
Given the political climate of our country, there is probably a protester or activist within your close circle. The Angry Bunch Zinfandel stands out to me as a tasty gift for this person, as long as they have a sense of humor. It's big, bold, very flavorful, and it has a high amount of alcohol. While your giftee might not necessarily be angry, they're certainly passionate about something and a wine like Zinfandel will add a little fuel to that fire, perhaps also sparking a few late night tweets.
The Busy Mom
Hey, isn't this every mom? Yes, yes it is. You should give her two bottles of wine; one for the tough days and one for the days that went surprisingly smoothly. I'd suggest these pairs:
Sonoma County Pinot Noir & Jasnieres
Australian Shiraz & Mosel Riesling*
Alsace Gewurztraminer & Chablis
Rioja & Haut Medoc
*Keep an eye out for the aptly named First Drop Wines "Mother's Milk" Shiraz from Australia's Barossa Valley. It's fruit forward and full bodied with supple tannins and a high level of alcohol. It's tasty and adds a little humor to the end of one of those days.
And for the Riesling, a wine like Dr. H. Thanisch Bernkasteler Badstube Riesling Kabinett is a great choice. It's subtly sweet with well balanced and ripe flavors of peach, pineapple, lime, and a minerality that tops it off. It's dangerously drinkable and will make a great day that much sweeter.
The Dad-Joke Dad
"Do you know why the mushroom was invited to all the parties? Because he was a fun guy."
If this sounds like your dad, then he's the classic kind of dude that will enjoy a classic kind of wine. I'd go with a high end Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. You'll have to let this wine breathe after opening the bottle, so I'd suggest giving him a decanter to go with it. And if it looks like the wine isn't breathing, give it mouth to mouth. #groan
This person has thousands of Instagram followers and posts images that are far more striking and creative than you could possibly imagine yourself. They'll appreciate a non-conventional wine with a stunning label. Cruse Wine Co is a winery in California that uses some unique grape varieties, produces wines that are organic, biodynamic, and sustainable, and their labels are artistic enough to not even need a filter. You really can't go wrong with any of their wines.
Whether he is the hunter-gatherer type or the avid sports fan, this guy likes game and he deserves an equally gamey wine. The Mourvedre grape produces some funky, meaty wines that should nicely complement anything from venison to chicken wings. One of my personal faves is Tablas Creek Mourvedre.
Now that you have some ideas for wine, let's talk about some cool toys to go with it.
While summer might not be on your mind right now, this thing will be a must for any outdoor drinking come warmer weather. It's a thermos that holds an entire bottle of wine. Need I say more?
If a loved one does a lot of traveling and can't resist bringing home the local wine, this is the perfect gift for them. It's a suitcase designed solely for protecting that precious vino in transit and it weighs less than 50lbs when fully packed (12 bottles). I usually wrap bottles of wine in multiple layers of clothing and pray that they don't break, so if your person is anything like me then they will go nuts for this suitcase.
When I think of "wine art" I imagine those tacky pictures of wine bottles that you find at Target. But wine can be a modern medium and there are artists on Etsy and other art sites that paint with wine. Although it's made with
unfermented wine juice, I personally love this piece by Angela Mercedes Donna Otto. You can even take a crack at making your own if you're feeling crafty.
I wish you all a very happy holiday season filled with great wines.