Wine gifts for cellar collectors
In the run up to the festive season and with ever more wine-themed gifts in the marketplace, we round up this year’s best wine buys.
The South America Wine Guide by Amanda Barnes
Shortlisted as IWSC Wine Communicator of the year 2022, Amanda Barnes has been living and working in South America since her early twenties. Published in early 2021, The South America Wine Guide – ‘the ultimate Latin American wine guide to Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Uruguay, Bolivia and Peru’, represents a labour of love from over ten years of on-the-ground research. The only current tome of its kind, this book has won praise from many acclaimed critics, and was deserved receiver of the 2022 prestigious Fortnum & Mason Food & Drink Awards for Debut Drink Book. Presenting also as the perfect vinous travel guide to this part of the growing enotourism world, isn’t it time to start thinking about New Year travel resolutions? £35.00 https://southamericawineguide.com/product/south-america-wine-guide-first-printed-edition /
Butler’s Thief corkscrew
Though hard to believe, even some of the world’s most discerning wine drinkers still only have the kind of corkscrew found in yoga wine memes. For the rest of us there is the infallible and much-trusted waiter’s friend. And for those of a more scientific or simply history-laced disposition, there is the Butler’s Thief. First thought to have been conceived in Germany in the late 19th century, so named for its canny ability to remove any high profile wine’s cork without much trace. The operational advice is thus: insert the two blades down either side of the cork, twist and pull. Particularly favoured for older wines with corks that may have a risk of crumbling into the bottle. Wine retail Mecca, Hedonism, sells one for £6.50, alongside many other respectable outlets. https://hedonism.co.uk/product/butlers-thief-corkscrew
The sleek decanter
Mouth blown and made in Poland, so says British luxury designer Tom Dixon’s website, this copper decanter is surely the envy of any design-aficionado’s dinner table. Using glassware of a different era as its muse, this handmade sleek piece of vinous tableware makes the humble art of wine aeration prior to drinking look as sophisticated as it gets – to the envy of all good dinner party guests. £140 from John Lewis, Selfridges and TomDixon.net
Self-described as ‘delectable puzzles for thirsty people’, Rebecca Gibb MW launched ‘Bamboozled’ in 2016 – a spin-off from her otherwise wine-related interests as journalist and presenter. Originally only available in Champagne, Bordeaux and Scotland in 500 pieces, this Master of Wine has since introduced Italy, France and Spain into the collection under the re-branded Puzzle Cru. Jigsaw lovers with a penchant for cartology and all things of a decent ABV look no further for your stocking fillers. Do you know your châteaux well enough to spot them in just one piece? From £12.99 on Amazon
A wine advent calendar
A luxury advent calendar is this year’s must buy if the headlines (and advertisements) are to be believed. When it comes to wine, possibly the most luxurious of them all are the townhouse versions from wine private member’s club 67 Pall Mall. In 2022 they have launched three ‘varieties’ – the Sommelier calendar, the Burgundy calendar – curated by Jasper Morris MW, and the Bordeaux Calendar, curated by Jane Anson MW. Of course these pocket-sized vials of wine had their moment in the spotlight when many a discerning retailer tapped into online tastings to get us through lockdown, and prior to this, the spirits miniatures always had a place at the table for those trying to revise for their WSET exams. That being said, put it down to research if you must, but why is it that small formats never fail to delight? From £475
Sophie McLean DipWSET, Wine and Travel Writer.