Gift Guide: For Beer and Wine Lovers
Our gift-guide marathon continues. Don't know a boozer? Try our full complement of lists. —Ed.
If your loved ones are into beer and wine, you can always pick them up a bottle (or six) of something special. But traveling with liquids these days is tricky, so we thought we'd come up with a few other gifts for lovers of fine beverages.
For the Wine Devotee
Vinturi Wine Aerator: This gadget helps open up young wines, mellowing out the flavor by exposing the wine to air. It's perfect whether you're opening a 2000 Bordeaux or a $5 Malbec from the bargain bin. Available online at vinturi.com, $39.95
Built Bags: Carry your bottles in style with these insulated bags. They're perfect for bringing wine to a dinner party or BYO restaurant. There are several patterns. Available online at builtny.com, $16-$20
Forte Tritan Wine Glasses: These wine glasses are elegant and tough: instead of lead, this crystal is made with titanium and zirconium. We have these in a few different sizes and just love them. Available online at surlatable.com, $47.56 for six
Wine Journal: Keeping notes is a great way to deepen your wine experience (and remember that great bottle you tried last week). This leather-bound journal is a bit fancier than one we might buy for ourselves, but it's a great gift! Available online at chroniclebooks.com, $30
Wine and Cheese Classes: Artisanal Cheese Shop offers several classes on finding the perfect cheese and wine pairings, from a beginner's Pairing 101 to more specific regional classes. For the most flexibility, you can also order a gift certificate. Available online at artisanalcheese.com, $75
Wine and War: A gift for wine lovers and history buffs alike. How French vintners and restaurateurs tricked the Nazis in order to hold on to their most precious bottles of wine during WWII. Available online at amazon.com, $10.17
Guided Vineyard Walks: Give some lucky wine lover a guided walk through scenic private vineyards including lunch and wine tastings. Three-day packages are also available, if you're feeling wildly generous (or you plan to propose). Available online at sonomavineyardwalks.com, $125 per person, minimum 2 person group
For the Beer Nut
Beer Fest Tickets: For hop heads and lovers of intense barrel-aged beers who live near Boston, tickets to the Extreme Beer Fest will be a surefire hit. More than one hundred extreme beers will be poured. (Live elsewhere? Check out this 2010 Beer Festival Calendar to find tickets to an event near you.) Available online at beeradvocate.com, $45 to $55
Homebrew Kit: For the beer lover who wants to branch into homebrewing, Brooklyn Brew Shop's kits and classes are a good way to start. They'll walk you through the steps so that you can make more Eggnog Milk Stout than you know what to do with. Available online at brooklynbrewshop.com, $30 to $50
Stemmed Beer Glasses: Beer tastes better when it's served correctly. These good looking glasses help support beer's foamy head and allow the drinker to really enjoy the aroma of well-made beer. Available online at amazon.com, $30 to $50
Beer Wars: The DVD of this documentary is not yet available on Netflix, but you can snag a copy on the filmmaker's website. Follow the battle between small craft brewers and the industry giants, with cameos from Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head and Greg Koch of Stone Brewing, among others. Available online at beerwarsmovie.com, $19.95
The Brewmaster's Table: This book is an essential guide to beer styles and how to pair food with beer, written by Brooklyn Brewery's Garrett Oliver. If your beer-loving friend doesn't own this already, it's a must-buy. Available online at amazon.com, $14.39
Beer Hot Sauce: Aggressive hot sauce made with Stone Brewing's Arrogant Bastard, Oaked Arrogant Bastard, and Double Bastard Ales. Stone also sells a variety of beer-infused barbecue sauces. Available online at stonecompanystore.com, $7 to $20
For Those Who Won't Pick Sides
What to Drink with What You Eat: This book comes highly recommended and is definitely on my wish list. Expert advice on food and drink pairings from green tea to champagne. Available online at amazon.com, $22.05
About the author: Maggie Hoffman and her team of tasters are always looking for their new favorite beer. Maggie also writes about cooking on Pithy and Cleaver.
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