If you don't know much about wine, you probably have no idea where to start when it comes to buying gifts for the wine lovers on your list. Between the many, many varieties and the countless products and accessories you can buy to make the drink better (and more fun to consume), finding a present can become a seemingly endless maze of confusingly named products. And while it might seem like the obvious choice is just to buy a bottle and call it a day, according to the recommendations of vintner Samantha Rudd of the Napa Valley winery Rudd Oakville Estate, the best gifts for wine lovers don't actually involve wine.
After growing up on the Rudd Estate, which was founded in 1996 by Rudd's father, Rudd went on to spend four years training and learning from some of the best vintners and wineries in the world — so it's safe to say she knows a thing or two about the topic. And when it comes to finding the best presents for everyone on your list, she recommends gifts that provide an experience or a way to make your wine — and the process of drinking it — even better.
One such product is Plum, a $1,999 wine dispenser that preserves, cools, and dispenses wine from any standard 750ml bottle. For the ultimate wine lover, it's a gift that won't let you down. For a present that'll help extend the life of wine without the high price tag, opt instead for the 4-Pack of Repour Wine Savers for $8.99. They'll keep a bottle fresh for a longer amount of time, which any vino enthusiast can appreciate.
Know someone who's just as into learning about terroir as they are drinking a glass? Give them a copy of "Napa Valley Then & Now" by sommelier Kelli Audrey White for $95, which delves into the history of a prominent wine region in America. And for something on the pricier end, "The Impossible Collection of Wine", which costs $945, is a celebration of the best vintages in the world that comes in a beautiful, luxe package.
Not totally sure about the extent of your friend's interest in wine? Forgo the in-depth books and wine gadgets for some pretty accessories to accompany their next glass of Burgundy. The Assorted Gold Ring Coaster Set from Bell’Invito for $22.50 is simple and pretty enough to fit into any home, and the Poglia Signature Bicolor Corkscrew for $160 will make any bottle look good in a home.
For the family member who's always on the hunt for the perfect Pinot Noir or the friend who lives to discuss the "nose" of every glass, surprise them with a gift they'll never expect — but definitely appreciate. Ahead, eight recommendations from Rudd on the best presents for the wine lovers in your life.
"This state-of-the-art wine dispenser automatically identifies each wine label to provide information, chills the bottle to the correct temperature and pours wine in customizable sizes," explains Rudd. Present this luxe gift to the extreme wine enthusiast in your life.
If you're looking for a beautiful, elevated wine accessory that'll look good on any bar cart, go with this luxurious corkscrew. "We partnered with Max Poglia a couple years ago on a handmade horn and wood corkscrew — he is a true craftsman in every sense of the word," says Rudd. It's a high-quality gift worthy of any high-quality wine.
"Kerri Laz is considered a 'Tastemaker' in the Napa Valley and holds all the keys to the hidden gems," says Rudd. "You can customize the levels of tasting and opt for food including artisan cheeses, pizza or dim sum!" Prices for the tasting range from $70 to $350 per guest. If you're not able to make it to California, a wine tasting at a nearby winery will give your gift recipient an experience they're sure to remember.
"These maps of Napa Valley are perfect for any wine lovers looking to expand their knowledge of terroir," says Rudd. "The Vinous Maps show property boundaries of vineyards on the front, and detailed information on the back including historical background and 3-D images. [I], of course, recommend the Oakville map, or his new Mt. Veeder map." Prices for the maps start at $25 and run up to $500 for pieces like signed collectors editions.
Give your friend the gift of extensive wine knowledge with this comprehensive book on Napa Valley, which was written by sommelier Kelli A. White. "A beautiful look into the history of the region and the current state of the United States’ most prominent wine region, it’s a must read," says Rudd.
"The perfect accent to a full wine glass, these elegant gold ring coasters are always a crowd pleaser," says Rudd. They'll make the perfect small gift if you want something special but you're not looking to splurge.
World champion sommelier Enrico Bernardo takes readers through a history of some of the best vintages in the world in this hand-bound, oversized luxury edition. "Arriving in a wood box similar to the best wines in the world, 'The Impossible Collection of Wine' by Assouline is equally impressive visually as it is informative," explains Rudd.
If you're on the hunt for a foolproof stocking stuffer, opt for these inexpensive wine savers (and maybe throw in a bottle to use them on). "Sometimes the simplest gift can be the best — these pocket-size stoppers extend the life of your wine," says Rudd. "By removing the oxygen in the bottle that would cause wine to deteriorate, each glass you pour will be as fresh as the first."