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Best Gifts for Wine Lovers That They Can’t Drink

Glasses, Gadgets, EuroCaves and Napa Dream Trips

BY // 12.16.19

Editor’s note: PaperCity’s counting down to the holidays with ultra-curated and distinctive gift guides.

The holidays are in full swing, but you still have time to make the wine lovers on your gift list happy. Part One of our Best Gifts for Wine Lovers is an excellent lineup of bottles from California, Italy, Germany and Spain — among other lands — a diverse roster of wines suitable for Christmas dinner, parties, and New Year’s Eve.

Part 2 of the Guide is also all about wine, but this time it’s accessories, equipment and other vino-related items, gifts that will impress and wow, not to mention bring smiles.

Schott Zwiesel glassware, all-purpose perfection (Courtesy Schott Zwiesel)

First, glasses. One should not drink one’s wine directly from the bottle — except, some would say, on rare occasion — so glasses come in handy. One option is an all-purpose glass, and here is the perfect one: Schott Zwiesel’s Diva. These glasses, from a German company with a storied history of excellence, will gracefully hold Riesling, Cabernet Franc, or Tempranillo.

They are durable and safe for use in the dishwasher (if you must), and feel good in the hand … drinking from them is a pleasure. A set of six is selling for $95.95 on Amazon, and you can find the brand at many fine merchants.

Zalto Denk’Art wine glasses are works of art … form does follow function here, with elegance. (Courtesy Zalto)

If you want a glass for each type of wine, there are plenty of options out there, and what you choose often comes down to personal preference. I have long been loyal to Riedel, Schott Zwiesel and Spiegelau, but I’m going with something different for our Guide: Zalto.

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The Austrian brand makes elegant glassware that your recipient will cherish for years to come. They are not inexpensive, but they are worth every penny. Here’s what you should get for that someone special (you can purchase individual glasses or sets of six): Zalto Denk’Art Bordeaux glass ($97.99); Denk’Art Burgundy glass ($75); Denk’Art White Wine glass ($89.95); Denk’Art Sweet Wine glass ($60.48); and the Denk’Art Mystique decanter ($144). That’s an enviable collection.

Wine refrigerators are everywhere nowadays, standard-issue amenities in homes and high-end apartments on the market. They come in a multitude of sizes, and price ranges, from $150 to many thousands. I have had a EuroCave for nearly 20 years now, and it is my recommendation for your wine-centric gift list. (Don’t have one? Perhaps you can be your own Secret Santa as well.)

I’ll offer two models, each of which would work beautifully in a kitchen, wine bar, or cellar.

First, the EuroCave Pure S 259 Wine Cellar. It holds as many as 74 750ml bottles, and protects them well — with its ingenious alarm system. If the humidity or temperature (or both) reach unacceptable levels, the EuroCave will notify you. Cushioned shelves treat bottles with kid-glove care, and if energy efficiency is a selling point for you, you can’t get better than this brand. (From $2,895)

The EuroCave Revelation Double L: nothing but the best for your gift list. (Courtesy EuroCave)

Want something that holds a larger collection? Opt for the Revelation Double L. Depending on how you configure this two-unit masterpiece, it will hold 364 bottles. If displaying special bottles is a priority, the Revelation does it with aplomb. As with the Pure model, your gift-list recipient’s new wine fridge will securely hold and maintain their collection, making sure that every bottle is cosseted and pampered for the short our long haul. (From $13,375)

How about opening those bottles? If the plan is to consume that ’86 Pfalz Riesling in one sitting, no problem. But if you want to sample a few vintages in a tasting session and save some for later enjoyment, Coravin is your answer. The system is easy to use and will keep a bottle of wine in prime condition for a long while.

The Coravin’s thin needle pierces the cork, and when you pour a small amount of wine into your glass, argon gas pressurizes the bottle and prevents oxygen from entering and working on the contents. The cork remains stable, and, voila! I recommend the Model Two Plus Aerator Pack, which is on sale for $244.30.

Now, when one wishes to remove the cork permanently, a corkscrew comes in handy. These accessories can be works of art, or they can be as utilitarian as a simple wrench. (If you find yourself in Napa Valley, and like corkscrews, be sure to visit The Culinary Institute of Greystone and see Brother Timothy’s collection. It consists of more than 1,000 corkscrews, and is fascinating.)

Here are two corkscrews for your gift list, one French, the other amazingly inexpensive. Both work well, and will appeal to different people.

Opening a bottle with this Laguiole corkscrew is a pleasant ritual. (Courtesy Laguiole)

Laguiole’s horn-handled work of art. It’s made in France, it will last forever, and is worthy of being passed down to the next generation. It will cost you around $440. And if you want to spend a little less than that for a corkscrew, a Coutale Sommelier is for you (and more than a few people on your gift list at $19.95).

To close out my guide, let’s go somewhere. This year, Napa Valley is the destination, and Las Alcobas Napa Valley is where your gift recipient will stay while visiting wineries, dining at the French Laundry and other stellar restaurants, and enjoying the natural splendor of the region (we’ll leave it to them to arrange their winery tours and tastings).

Time spent at Las Alcobas Napa Valley is more than relaxing. (Courtesy The Brockhaus)

Las Alcobas is a melding of the old with the new, and it’s beautiful. It’s located in the middle of everything, on Main Street in St. Helena, but staying there is calming and serene. Service is discreet and professional, so much so that guests won’t want to leave the property.

Choose a room on the ground floor that opens onto the vineyard, and they’ll watch the sunsets around the fire pit on their private patio, glass of Champagne in hand. It’s the perfect way to end the first day of a Napa journey. Rooms start at around $500 a night for this Marriott property.

Bonus: Acacia House, helmed by celebrity chef Chris Cosentino, is Las Alcobas’s marquee restaurant, and the menu and wine list are commendable. Try the hamachi collar and the pork schnitzel with caviar. Lighter standouts include a burrata salad and salmon tartar.

The pork schnitzel with caviar at Las Alcobas (Courtesy The Brockhaus)

That’s Part Two of my Wine-Centric Holiday Gift Guide, and all I want for Christ1mas is everything on both lists. Happy Holidays, and drink well, with those you love.

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