The holidays are a time for giving and I’ll be doing my share of that this year, but over the weekend I thought what would it be like to be on the receiving end. If someone asked me what gifts I would like to receive, I would most likely include wine. I thought of doing this post over the weekend and was going to include Texas wines which I have enjoyed during the year and would like to receive. On Monday Jessica Dupuy’s great list of her Top Texas Wines of 2012 came out and Tuesday Russ Kane started his series of Top Texas Wines of 2012. A lot of my favorites are on those two lists and since it didn’t make sense to repeat the same story, a little “going back to the drawing board” took place.
So here are the holiday wine gifts I would like to receive this year and perhaps they might give you an idea for your favorite wine lover. First I have to admit I am a gadget guy. Love ’em. My philosophy has always been you need the right tool for the job. If it’s a gadget that makes it easier, even the better.
|First I need to get a wine bottle open. We have gone through many various styles of corkscrews from the lever style, to the twist style like the Screwpull with the red ball, the standard wing corkscrew, and more, but my preferred choice today is going old school with a waiter’s double hinged corkscrew. We went to a party where a White Elephant gift exchange took place and there were two electric corkscrews people were fighting over. I have never owned one and since we have seen them used in some Texas wineries who open a lot of wine bottles, it would be nice to give a good one a try.
|Now that the wine bottle is open, it depends on what kind of wine it is as to what is needed next. If it’s a red wine which might need decanting, there are a couple choices. First is a nice decanter where you can let the wine sit out for a while. We do not own a modern style decanter so that would be next on my list.
|If I can’t wait around for the wine to decant, the next best thing is to use an aerator to make the process quicker. We have a Vinturi aerator and it works well but having to hold it over a glass and pour, especially if pouring more than one, can get a little messy. I would like an aerator that is inserted into the bottle and also serves as a pourer with no drips. How easy is that? Remember what I said about the right tool for the job?
|For the white wine which does not need decanting, just pour and enjoy. But what do you do with the bottle between servings? We usually put it in the refrigerator but that brings the ideal temperature down, and if you just leave it on the counter that will raise the temperature. To solve this problem, I would like a new cool gadget called the Corkcicle. Just insert the frozen Corkcicle and problem solved. Since we might have a couple wines open, make that two please.
|It’s time to pour the wine into a wine glass. I can’t begin to count the number of wine glasses we have from different Texas wineries. We started buying them when we first started visiting wineries but realized the quantity was growing rapidly. There are wineries which include the wine glass with the tasting fee so that has added to the collection along with wine glasses received from wine festivals. It’s always a fun game trying to match the winery glass with the winery’s wine when we open a bottle, but I would like a set of titanium-based wine glasses by Schott Zwiesel. Cap*Rock Winery uses these glasses and we were astonished when a demonstration was given. The wine glass was banged against the counter and didn’t break. Since I am occasionally clumsy, this is the glass for me.
|The evening is done, the wine glasses are now dirty, and need to be cleaned. Since I have now started drying our wine glasses instead of letting them air dry, a nice lint free polishing cloth would be nice to finish them. I don’t want to take the chance on breaking a nice Riedel glass while drinking but a Riedel microfiber polishing cloth would do nicely to finish the drying of the glasses.
|Sometimes, okay most of the time, we do not finish a bottle of wine the same night. You don’t want to let air get to the wine and over the years I have tried various brands of vacuum pumps to store the wine. I have found two that work well and we use them most of the time. This year I learned about the Private Preserve wine preserver. This is a can of inert gases (harmless nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and argon) which are sprayed into the wine bottle to displace the air in the bottle and protect the wine and preserve the aroma of the wine. These various gases are also what wineries use when bottling your wine to keep the oxygen away from the wine. Since these cans feel like they are empty when you buy one, maybe a couple cans as a gift would give them some weight. I didn’t think so.
|The only thing missing in my gift list is a way to properly store our wine. Since wine is supposed to be stored less than 60 degrees and it is too hot in Texas to do that, the only proper choice is a wine cooler. We have three wine racks, two small wine coolers, one dorm fridge, and one regular refrigerator in which we store our wines. So my biggest gift this year would be one large wine cooler with dual temperature zones which handles both red and white wines. One that holds more than 75 bottles of wine should work nicely. Hey, I can dream, can’t I?
So those are the items on my holiday list. What wine items do you want to receive for the holidays? Leave a comment and let us know!
Note: All items can found at Amazon.com