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Top 8 Gifts For A Wine Connoisseur

We are often asked by partners of wine enthusiasts ‘What do I get them for Christmas / their birthday / our Anniversary?’

To help with this dilemma, we’ve put together a gift list any wine enthusiast would love. If you are the prospective recipient, all you have to do is print this list and subtly leave it lying around the house in the hope that someone will take a hint. Fingers crossed!

1) A Magnum

Wynns Magnum

Wynns Magnum

Why you ask? Because a lot of the time we don’t get to open one and, well, it provides  more of a “WOW” factor than two 750ml bottles – even if it’s just a good everyday wine. That’s right, it doesn’t have to be a top tier release (like Rockford Basket Press or Cullen Diana Madeline), just a BIG BOTTLE.

A magnum makes even the most humble wine look great. Your friends will feel special and as a host, you will get lots of brownie points. Some examples – Wynns Black Label Cabernet, Penfold Kalimna, Orlando, Petaluma, Yalumba.

2) A Decent Corkscrew

Code 38

Code 38 Corkscrew

Sure, many wines today are bottled under screwcap but don’t assume the corkscrew is dead.  How many times have you been to someone’s house for dinner and they take out a mangy bottle opener they bought at the supermarket in 1986? Not a good look. Every wine enthusiast needs a decent corkscrew full stop.

A woman I once worked with said she judged a man by his watch, his shoes and his friends.  Well, I think a corkscrew should be added to that list. Names to look out for:

For the classic man: Forge Laguiole (not just ANY Laguiole)

For the uber cool dude: Code38

For the man who likes big things: Le Creuset G10 (ex Screwpull)

For the picnic basket: Pulltab is excellent value for money

For the collector: a 2 prong corkscrew (these are often the only corkscrews that won’t result in a crumbling cork). There are only really two to consider here; 1. The Ah So Monopol (yes, this is the name – interesting story) from Germany that you can get here in Australia for under $20. The other one is the Durand (a nice piece of engineering, love the cork packaging).

3) An Aerator or Decanter

Vinturi

Vinturi Aerator

A good quality aerator releases and intensifies the natural aromas in wine and almost ‘wakes it up’ after being cooped up in a bottle. Wine will definitely taste better after it’s been aerated. A Nuance Wine Finer or a Vinturi Aerator are both very popular and these are great for every day use or to pack into the wine bag on weekends away.

For more formal occasions, a beautiful decanter does the job (along with a good wine funnel for an extra touch). All decanters pretty much do the same thing and the shape is really only aesthetics.

4) A Cool Gadget

Coravin

Coravin

The latest gadget to hit the market is the Coravin.  Essentially, it allows you to enjoy a glass of wine without ever pulling the cork. Check it out at www.coravin.com

Pourvin takes the place of the traditional candle, illuminating while pouring the wine so sediment can be easily seen and separated from the clear wine. Visit www.pourvin.com .

5) A Good Book

Champagne by Tyson Stelzer

Champagne by Tyson Stelzer

You can’t go wrong with a book for the stocking and actual wine related “novels” are hard to come by.  Any of Campbell Mattinson’s stories like the ‘Wine Hunter’ or ‘Why The French Hate Us’, are a thoroughly good read and classics by Matt Kramer (‘On Wine’ or ‘Making Sense of Wine’) and Kermit Lynch (‘Adventures On The Wine Route’) might appeal.

As for coffee table books, you can’t go past Tyson Stelzer’s new Champagne book ‘The Champagne Guide 2014-2015’.

And of course, any of the wine guides by Jeremy Oliver, James Halliday, Robert Geddes or Nick Stock will be a winner.

6) The Right Glassware

Plumm Outdoor Glasses

Plumm Outdoor Glasses

There’s really no point in buying good wine if you’re going to drink it from an average glass. When I say ‘average’, I don’t necessarily mean inexpensive. You can get varietal glassware without spending a fortune. What really counts is the shape of the bowl as this will have a big impact on the taste of the wine. Whether it’s crystal or plain glass doesn’t matter as much (although you can’t beat a beautiful lightweight crystal glass).

Dinner parties: Schott Zwiesel has varietal glassware that won’t break the bank.

Zalto

Zalto Glassware

Outdoor dining: Plumm Outdoors Glasses; polycarbonate varietal glassware in packs of 4. Go to www.plumm.com.

Just for you: Once you drink from Zalto glass, you will never go back. Made in Austria for six generations, their Burgundy glass was voted “The Best Burgundy Glass” in the world by an independent study by the German ‘Stein’ magazine. Zalto is made of mouth blown crystal and you’re not going to pay a premium for a mass market brand name here. Go to www.macphees.com.au.

7) WineArt wine preserver by EuroCave

WineArt

WineArt

I know, I know, you’re saying “but we always finish the bottle!”

There are times however when you might like a glass or two of wine, but you don’t want to drink the whole bottle. Or you may like to open more than one variety at a time, when you’d like a red but your partner would prefer a white. Without a wine preserver open wine will oxidise and spoil, and your good wine will be wasted.

WineArt allows you to preserve 2 opened bottles of wine for up to 10 days and keeps wine at ideal serving temperatures, ready to drink. Perfect wine by the glass service for you at home, with no waste. Also great for entertaining.

8) A EuroCave Wine Cabinet

EuroCave

EuroCave Wine Cabinet

It doesn’t get much better than this. If you’re very very good, Santa may bring you a EuroCave wine cabinet to cellar your wine collection. Beware though, you may be the victim of wine cabinet envy from your fellow wine enthusiast friends. The new Pure range is the most energy efficient, technically advanced and beautiful wine cabinet on the market. Learn more at www.eurocave.com.au.

So there you have it. I hope you enjoy a lovely magnum you can store in your EuroCave, open with your decent corkscrew, aerate properly, drink out of the right glass, all while reading a riveting wine book and playing with your wine gadgets – it will be a very good Christmas indeed!

Cheers,

Craig and Tania MacPhee

MacPhee’s Wine Cellarage and EuroCave Australia

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