For those wine lovers and hard-to-shop-for relatives! Here is my list of top wine gifts that isn’t a lonely, browned-bag bottle of wine. The perfect gift for a wine lover during the holidays or as a host/hostess gift, birthday gift, or newlywed gift under $100! Drumroll, please!
You can easily mix and match these wine gifts for the greatest wine gift box set that they’ll ever receive!
Best Wine Aerator
Why aerate wine?
You best believe aerating wine makes a difference. Most younger wines benefit greatly from decanting or aerating. Exposing wine to oxygen helps dissipate unwanted compounds in wine like harsh tannins, the sharp taste of alcohol, or the rotten-egg scent of sulfur. However, older bottles of red wine will do better in a decanter, separating any sediment that may make the wine taste more astringent.
Why use a wine aerator?
A wine aerator speeds up the aeration process, so you don’t have to wait ages for wine to decant! Generally gives me instant gratification when I don’t want to go through all the trouble of using a large glass wine decanter. Though I wouldn’t personally use it for very delicate, older wines.
Using a wine aerator is also a lot easier than the trendy, hyperdecanting method for quick wine aeration. I mean … Think about how gross it is to decant your favorite wine in a blender when you last used said blender to make hummus?
Why choose a wine aerator over a decanter?
After using a few different wine aerators on the market like the handheld Vinturi Wine Aerator, Vintorio Wine Aerator, and traditional wine decanters, in-bottle aerators often win me over for ease of use.
I can easily pop it on the bottle without holding an extra gadget. It really takes the effort out of going through the motions with a traditional wine decanter and makes dinner parties way less fussy.
Elevate your wine appreciation with this elegant wine pourer and stopper set designed by industrial designer Thomas Sandell in collaboration with Georg Jensen. Crafted from mirror-polished stainless steel and ABS plastic, these accessories not only add a touch of sophistication to your home bar but also ensure flawless wine aeration with the patented OxiPour function. Gift-worthy and aesthetically pleasing, they guarantee a sensory wine experience while preventing flavor contamination.
What to Avoid When Choosing a Wine Aerator
Avoid anything with refills or cartridges that you need to keep repurchasing like Üllo Wine Purifier or Aervana Essential Electric Wine Aerator. I’m a sucker for new gadgets, but those were too gimmicky. Sulfites are also naturally occurring in raisins, FYI.
Fully plastic aerators don’t tend to last in my experience, and depending on your personal taste, may look a bit tacky on the dinner table. My friends and I have gone through quite a few popular plastic versions on Amazon, and they’re usually best avoided. They work well for a year or two, and then the plastic cracks over time.
Best Wine Decanters
When it comes to glassware, I’ve always been a fan of the Finnish glassware brand, Iittala, for their modern designs and top-notch quality. In my younger, post-college years, my glasses and bar accessories often came from TJ Maxx, Target, or Amazon, but I’ve come to appreciate the importance of where you purchase your glassware. Quality control varies significantly among manufacturers. I’ve learned that there’s no substitute for genuine, mouth-blown glass crafted by reputable brands that specialize in the art of glass-blowing, as opposed to mass-produced items from factories in China. While mass-manufactured glasses have their place, they simply don’t compare in terms of durability and craftsmanship.
Elevate your wine experience with the Georg Jensen carafe, a stunning blend of form and function. Designed by Swedish-born Thomas Sandell, this glass decanter boasts an organic shape that enhances aeration, revealing the wine’s bouquet, and features a convenient dimple in the base for easy pouring. It’s not just a visual delight; it’s a wine connoisseur’s dream. With a polished stainless steel and silicone stopper, this decanter is the perfect gift for wine lovers, offering both elegance and practicality in one. Made in Europe.
Internationally acclaimed architect Antonio Citterio and industrial designer Toan Nguyen collaborated to create the Decanter, stripping each element down to its essential function. The result is a stunning mouth-blown decanter that gracefully enhances the grape’s aroma. Its elongated neck subtly introduces the ideal amount of air while accentuating the wine’s ruby-red brilliance. This versatile piece complements various wine glasses and pairs seamlessly with Iittala’s Essence Collection. An excellent choice for wedding, anniversary, or housewarming gifts, it’s proudly mouth-blown in Finland, with handwashing recommended for care.
This exceptional set transforms ordinary moments into memorable occasions, celebrating the pinnacle of glass artistry and craftsmanship. The NUDE Vintage wine decanter, with its harmonious proportions and whimsical circular cork stopper, exudes elegance. Complementing it are the NUDE Terroir wine glasses, meticulously designed to elevate taste and flavor, characterized by their sleek, minimal silhouette and graceful drop into the stem. Crafted from pure lead-free crystal, this set is a delightful choice for both wine enthusiasts and connoisseurs. Made in Turkey.
Best Wine Opener
An industry standard! This inexpensive and classic corkscrew comes in a wide variety of colors and designs. The Teflon-coated worm inserts easily into a wine cork, and the two-step lever system prevents bending or breakage. The steel micro-serrated blade is curved (important!) for effortless cutting. And with a built-in bottle opener, the Pulltap’s Corkscrew is a one-stop shop, ready to open any bottle thrown at you.
Buy the best-selling Pulltap’s Wine Corkscrew on Pulltaps.com.
Pulltap’s Wine Corkscrew, hands down. Every wine lover needs the perfect tools in their arsenal, beginning with a wine opener. After spending many years waiting tables, I’ve bought dozens of wine corkscrews that disappointed me very publicly while wine-hungry eyes stared back at me as I fumbled with broken corks. From spirals snapping or squeaking in front of guests to awkward hinges, my worst nightmare was a public cork mishap while handling their very expensive wine bottle.
The double lever grips comfortably over any bottle, making it much easier to pull the wine cork out without using brute force. It’s also incredibly durable, and I’ve managed to hold onto mine for years with the only fear that someone will “accidentally” pocket it. All wine tools are not created equal, and Pulltap’s reminded me of that.
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Honorable Mention: Laguiole Jean Dubost Waiters Corkscrew and Laguiole en Aubrac Waiter’s Corkscrew
For the ultra-fancy and those with money burning a hole in their pockets, these Laguiole corkscrews, Laguiole Jean Dubost Waiters Corkscrew ($130) and Laguiole en Aubrac Waiters Corkscrew ($250), are worth lusting after! Made in Laguiole, France — a village famed for its knife craftsmanship (and cheese!) — these high-end corkscrews make me feel as if I drink Châteauneuf-du-Pape every day as my table wine.
Best Novelty Wine Gifts
Totally Instagrammable, this unisex pair of socks reminds the people in your life to bring you wine pronto.
Buy the Wine Socks ($9.95) on Amazon.com.
Probably not the best quality socks in the world, but great for announcing to the world that it’s #winetime. And who knows? Maybe someone will heed its suggestion and bring you a bottle or two.
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Best Wine Books
A fun and approachable book for those just dipping their feet into the world of wine.
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A comprehensive beginner’s guide to wine.
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Perfect for the burgeoning oenophile! Written by Madeline Puckette — author, sommelier, and one of the founders of winefolly.com — this guidebook introduces the vast world of wine in an easy-to-digest manner, full of infographics. The book also recently won a James Beard Award!
I really, really love what Wine Folly is doing with wine culture. They’re making it so approachable!
You may also find the book in its English and Korean edition at Kyobo Bookstore in Seoul.
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Best Wine Glasses
An expressive design that’s over 50 years old, these iconic glasses were designed by the legendary Tapio Wirkkala (1915-1985) and inspired by an ice-covered Finnish Lapland. The rounded base supported by three “ice peaks” make for a surprisingly sturdy and balanced wine glass, not easily tipped over. Wirkkala and Iittala spent hundreds of hours perfecting the glass-blowing technique to create these functional works of art. Oh, and did I mention that they are dishwasher-safe?
Buy the Iittala Wine Glasses (Set of 2, $35.85) on FinnishDesignShop.com.
Read more about the story of Ultima Thule glasses on Iittala.com. I also highly recommend following Iittala on Instagram for some Scandinavian design inspiration, and I hope you fall in love with Iittala just as I have!
Why choose the Iittala Ultima Thule glasses?
I think most people have pretty basic, everyday wine glasses at home … But it’s not every day that you come across a truly unique set of wine glasses that make your eyes widen and sparkle!
When I say they’re gorgeous, they are absolutely gorgeous. Dainty, but not fragile. The entire Iittala glassware set is worth coveting, too.
I ended up buying my Iittala Ultima Thule glasses at Lotte Department Store in Seoul, but you can also purchase below directly from their website and have them shipped in Korea.
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Handblown in Austria by Zalto Glasmanufaktur, these highly-coveted glasses are exceptionally light, with great clarity. While machine-made glasses have a rounded lip, Zalto’s glasses are polished down to be flat, making them look whisper-thin without the fragililty. A sommelier favorite, some even argue that wine tastes better in this glass. The Zalto Denk’Art Universal Wine Glass design was also inspired by the earth in accordance to the tilt angles – 24 degrees, 48 degrees, and 72 degrees. Made with lead-free crystal and dishwasher-safe.
Buy the Zalto Denk’Art Universal Wine Glass ($62 per glass) at Barneys.com.
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The Bormioli Rocco Mini Tumblers are versatile enough for any drink you throw at it! Use for wine, little snacks, desserts, or as a tea light candle holder. The wide shape and sleek, minimalist design makes pouring wine into this vessel feel like you’ve entered into a Spanish tapas bar. And most importantly, they’re affordable. Dishwasher-safe and made from tempered glass in Spain.
Buy the Bormioli Rocco Mini Tumblers (Set of 12, $19.99) at Target.com.
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Best Wine Beauty Products
This red wine face mask is formulated with real red wine extract and rosemary (and no parabens!) which tightens, refines, and purifies skin for the perfect pick-me-up after a long flight, dry winter, or bad skin day.
Buy the Tony Moly I’m Real Red Wine Face Mask ($3) on Amazon.com.
How long did you think I’d go without throwing in a Korean staple? A face mask sheet makes your skin glow AND makes you look like a burn victim to give you that ultimate don’t-mess-with-me-while-I’m-drinking-wine vibe. Please wear this while sipping a smooth glass of Pinot Noir for double trouble. Also safe for those too young, budding winos or wine-reminiscing teetotalers.
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Another cult K-Beauty favorite, this exfoliator gently removes dead skin cells and impurities with the help of lactic acid and reservatrol. Reservatrol, a red wine derivative, has naturally-occuring AHAs and antioxidants to prevent wrinkle formation.
Buy the NEOGEN Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling Pads ($27) on SokoGlam.com.
The Neogen Bio-Peel Gauze Pads have been a bit of a Korean cult beauty classic for a while. Though you can purchase these wine cleansing pads in the United States, if you happen to be in South Korea, head to Olive Young, the Korean beauty megastore, as they’re frequently on sale.