Looking for wine accessories? Love the environment? This Gift List Is For You
Giving a bottle of your favorite wine to a friend this holiday, or to the host of the holiday party is a common, and very appreciated practice.
This holiday season, you can put real purpose behind that kind gesture by considering where that gift comes from.
Some of my favorite wineries are using sustainable practices, alternative irrigation, packaging and delivery options to both eliminate waste and reduce their carbon footprint.
Companies that create wine accessories are doing the same thing. I love supporting sellers that are making steps in the right direction, so here is my earth-friendly, wine accessory, gift-giving guide for 2017. Some are sustainable, some are items I already have, and some are things I wish I had! Check it out, and cross a few items off your gift list.
Gifts with an * denote sustainable items.
These cork fabric-covered cases are an impressive, fashionable and sustainable way to carry bottles of your favorite wine to a party, a restaurant or any place you want to bring your best! The cork fabric exterior is so soft and velvety, and cork fabric is great—it’s water resistant, sustainable, a renewable resource and lightweight. The Soleil Cork Wine Tote Bag is a well structured, padded case and will hold up to two 750ml bottles of wine. Champagne bottles fit well, too. Cheers!
The Picnic Plus Clutch Wine Bottle Tote, also made of cork, holds one bottle with an elastic inside pocket to hold keys, ID and more, so you can carry it as a purse.
The shape of a wine glass affects the way we taste the flavor of wine, and so do decanters that allow a wine to breathe. I collect decanters all over the world, and especially when I travel to wine regions. Here are my favorite decanters:
Bottega del Vino crystal “America” decanter
I love the unique shape of this piece. It’s such a creative way to pour the wine – a definite conversation piece at the dinner table.
Carrol Boyes “On the Brink” decanter with stand
Steel and pewter crafted housewares designed and manufactured by Carrol Boyes are uniquely African. Boyes began as a sculptor in her native South Africa and now creates items for the kitchen and dining, many featuring an African female motif. Her factory in Limpopo Province is socially responsible with a multi-ethnic and equitable approach to worker advancement.
This lovely piece is made from recycled glass—the perfect gift for the eco-conscious host.
My new book would be a great gift to give along with a delicious bottle of sustainable wine, some listed here!
Handmade Vintage Oak furniture pieces made from reclaimed and recycled wood*
How cool would it be to own a bar or bar stool made from a wine barrel? There are tons of other great pieces on this site too, from bookcases and planters to pet beds.
5) Champagne Accessories
This tool is handy for opening champagne bottles and the sealer/stopper is ideal for those occasions (rare in my home!) when you don’t finish the bottle and want to preserve the bubbles for the next day.
6) Vintage Champagne Glasses
On a recent visit to Reims, France I learned that the traditional flute, while festive, is probably not the best glass for tasting vintage champagne. A tulip shape with a deep point in the bottom of the glass is ideal – the point generates bubbles, and the shape aerates so that the drinker can experience the nose of champagne like a fine wine. This glass is ideally made for enjoying vintage champagne and the bubbles.
7) Recycled Wine Glasses
These beautiful wine glasses, made of recycled glass, would be an extra special gift for a red wine lover.
8) Cheese Board
Williams Sonoma Breville Smart Oven Bamboo Cutting Board*
Bamboo regenerates quickly and is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. Bamboo absorbs four times as much carbon dioxide as trees and releases 35 percent more oxygen. Unlike wood, it also grows without pesticide or fertilizers, making it a much more sustainable choice than traditional cutting boards.
The aeration process introduces oxygen to wine—and heightens its flavors. If you have time, use a decanter before your guests arrive. If you don’t, use a good aerator like these from Soiree. The gift set includes both a stainless-steel bottle chiller and aerator, and there’s a great explanation in this video.
10) Tasting Journal
For the serious oenophile in your life or aspiring sommelier check out this gift. This was a Christmas present from my niece the year I began my Wine MBA studies in Bordeaux and it is a real treasure because it now contains tasting notes from wine I have experienced around the globe. It is a beautiful leather book with lots of pages indexed for various grapes, types of wine, regions and room for all my tasting notes and wine labels. Available in stationery and book stores in the US and internationally.