Wine is the utilitarian and versatile gift for all seasons. As the season of giving peaks with Christmas, consider giving a more unique and creative gift for the wine lover in your life. Let the Cork Dork guide you through a range of gift options for wine lovers--other than wine.
For the ambitious wine collector in your life, remodel your home to include a private wine cellar with the help of in Bellevue. Collectors can spend in the tens of thousands of dollars. If your budget is more modest you can rent a locker at Wine Storage Bellevue for under $100 a month.
There are many more practical gifts, however, than a home remodel.
Wine aerators, an alternative to decanters, are among the trendiest wine gifts today. The handsome bottle-top Soiree aerator helps to gently pour wine from the bottle to the glass, releasing the aromatics and softening the tannins, especially in young wines. The Soiree, made of hand blown Borosilicate glass, is available at in a luxury set that includes a stand, carrying case and wine vacuum pump for $50. The Soiree alone retails for $25 at and Wine Alley in Renton.
Vinturi produces a popular free-standing aerator for about $40. The deluxe aerator set, which includes a stand to hold the aerator over a glass of wine, sells for about $70. It is available at Esquin Wine Merchants in Seattle’s SoDo District.
The more traditional decanters also make an ideal gift. Sur la Table makes a versatile and elegant decanter for about $20. The decanter and other wine gifts are available at , 90 Central Way, and at in Bellevue, 11111 N.E. 8th St.
Riedel is the leading wine glassware producer in the world. The 11th generation family-owned glassware producers revolutionized how wines are enjoyed. The Vinum Series is the workhorse out of the 12 different glassware series produced by the Austrian company. in Bellevue sells the versatile Vinum Series Bordeaux glass for $20 a stem. The two-pack for $40 makes for a practical gift.
Books are also a practical gift for the wine lover in your life. Paul Gregutt’s Washington Wine & Wineries is the most exhaustive guide to Washington wines. Wine Trails of Washington by Steve Roberts takes a more casual approach to visiting the wineries in the state. The Sotheby’s Wine Encyclopedia is a thorough reference book of the wines of the world. The book is clearly laid out and appeals to the entry-level wine drinker as well as the sophisticated collector. All the books are available at Wine World in Seattle and at Barnes & Noble locations around the Puget Sound.
Mill Creek artist Richard Duval produces posters for as little as $8.50 per print up to matted prints for $275. He also teams up with Kirkland-based to produce an Artist Series of wines. The wine collection includes four red wines, a white wine and a sparkling wine featuring Duval’s art on the label. The collection, retailing for $195, is presented in a luxurious wood case. The wines and Duval’s art are available at Wine World.
Wine Away, a spray wine stain remover, is a handy stocking stuffer. It’s available at , 10300 N.E. 8th St., and , 7214 170th St. N.E., as well as the gift store.
If you insist on buying wine as a gift, consider giving it in the form of a membership to a local winery wine club. Many local wineries, including , , , , and , are among the wineries selling wine club memberships offering regular shipments of wines at a discount, limited production wines and invitations to exclusive member events.
Wine Pick of the Week: 2007 Covington Cellars Rough House Red
Winemaker Morgan Lee crafts an elegant blend that is predominately Merlot, 75 percent to be exact. The balance of the wine is 10 percent Syrah, 5 percent Cabernet Franc and 5 percent Petit Verdot. The luxurious and velvety tannins classic of Merlot define this wine. Black cherry, blackberries, currants and cigar box dominate the nose. More spice as well as blueberries and plum fill the palate.
Merlot has enough structure to hold up to a meaty hunk of beef. It is also a natural pairing with gorgonzola. At in Woodinville, tenderloin is wrapped in pancetta and served with baked gorgonzola. The wine enhances all the flavors of this rich beef dish. The soft texture of tenderloin is in harmony with the elegant texture of the wine.
Only 300 cases of this wine were produced. It is available at the tasting room in Woodinville, 18580 142nd Ave. N.E., open on Fridays from 1 to 9:30 p.m., Saturdays from noon to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m.