Tasha Brandstatter on December 16, 2016 0 Comments What’s the perfect gift for any wine lover, other than a bottle of wine? Wine accessories, of course! From the inexpensive to the luxe, gag gifts to what-I’ve-always-wanted, there are accessory gifts out there for every oenophile. The following are just a few of our favorites. Shop for a Decanter Here 1. Decanter or Aerator As with wine buckets, decanters are the type of item most people don’t think to buy for themselves, even though they can greatly improve the taste of red wine, particularly tannin-rich wines like Bordeaux, Malbec, Syrah, and Barolo. Just pour, wait (the hardest part — but to make the wait go faster you can always enjoy a glass of white wine or bubbly in the meanwhile), and drink! And when not in use, decanters look beautiful sitting on a shelf or table. Decanters are available in many different styles and materials, from cut crystal to plain ol’ glass, and range in price from $25-$100 or more. The average price is around $50. The only downside to decanters is that you must drink all the wine within 12 hours after decanting. So for your friends who enjoy a glass at a time, aerators might be a better option, even though they don’t do as good a job of opening up wines and letting them breathe as decanters do. Most aerators cost between $10-15, are made of plastic, and attach to the opening of the wine bottle, allowing you to pour and aerate at the same time. Shop for Wine Glassware Here 2. Stemware & Wine Glasses Many wine lovers — not to mention cocktail and beer geeks — are also really into glassware, and why not? The right glass not only enhances your experience of drinking the wine, but can make the wine taste better. And no matter what kind of wine your giftee prefers, you can trust that a set of wine glasses given to an oenophile will not go unused. Plus, this gift is completely versatile: you can go inexpensive and jokey with funny sayings (“I teach therefore I drink,” etc.); vintage and cool with a set picked up at an antique store or garage sale; or serious and high-quality with crystal glasses specifically designed for different varietals and wine styles. If you do decide to go with the last option, Riedel is generally considered one of the better wine glass manufacturers. But, there is certainly no shortage of options to choose from. Pair the stemware set with a bottle of wine and a cheese basket, and any wine drinker will thank you. Shop for Wine Preservers Here 3. Wine Preservers While oxygen can improve the taste of wine when it’s first opened, within hours of popping the cork on a bottle, oxygen will start to deteriorate the wine’s quality. The best way to avoid this is simply to finish a bottle the same night you opened it! But for many people, particularly those who live alone or who are the only wine drinkers in their house, that’s simply not practical. Enter wine preservers, which purport to prevent oxygen from reaching the wine in an opened bottle. Most either use a vacuum pump or air pressure to create an airtight seal, essentially re-bottling the wine for later. While many people question the efficacy and usefulness of wine preservers (it’s been argued that they’re no better than just recorking a bottle of wine and sticking it in your fridge), they can serve a purpose, especially if you choose some of the more effective preservers. The Vacu Vin Wine Saver, for example, is a simple-to-use and popular wine preserver that’s very affordable. It costs about $10 for two stoppers and one vacuum pump (a five pack of extra stoppers costs between $5-7). Simply stick the stopper in your open bottle, place the pump on top, and pump out the air until you hear a clicking sound. Unfortunately, the vacuum seal will only last about a week, but it can stretch out the life of your wine by a few days. Another option is the Air Cork Wine Preserver, which inflates a latex balloon just above the surface of leftover wine, keeping wine preserved for about a month inside its original bottle. Once you get the hang of it, it’s pretty simple to use. The downside? At around $30 it’s much pricier than the Vacuvin, especially considering you can only use it on one bottle at a time. Finally, there are Wine Condoms, a new product sold exclusively through Amazon that costs about $13 for a set of six and makes an amusing party gift. While Wine Condoms don’t remove the air in an opened bottle of wine, they do form an air- and liquid-tight seal, which makes them perfect gifts for people who have trouble storing wine bottles upright in their fridge. If you really want to get serious about preservation, you can always pair Wine Condoms with a small bottle of inert gas. Just spritz it in, pop the Wine Condom on, and it’s almost like you never even opened the bottle. Shop for Wine Buckets on Amazon 4. Wine Bucket Wine buckets are the kind of thing that most people would never think about buying for themselves, yet they’re both practical and stylish, and are really a must-have wine accessory. So in other words, they’re the ideal gift! Why does anyone need a wine bucket? Ice and water in a bucket will chill wine — or any other beverage — much faster than sticking the bottle in the fridge, and you won’t run the risk of exploding wine like you would if you put it in the freezer (and then forget about it). Not to mention pulling one of these out at a party makes you look like a total bad-ass sommelier with serious panache. Wine buckets come in a variety of different styles, from classic metal to insulated glass, and generally run between $10-20. Pair it with a nice bottle of bubbly and you have the perfect celebration starter. The downside, unfortunately, is that a bucket of ice gives you little control over whether you’re serving the wine at its optimal serving temperature. Read More About Wine Subscription Boxes Here 5. Wine Box Subscription It’s the gift that keeps on giving! The modern version of wine clubs, wine subscription services combine all the fun of the internet with all the wine you can drink, and you don’t even have to leave the house to get it. Whether your giftee is just starting out exploring the world of wine, or is a wine expert with very specific tastes, there is a wine box subscription out there for them. The average cost for a box of wine is $50-60 per month, and most wine subscriptions will let you gift a single box, especially if you’re already a subscriber. But an even better option is to purchase a gift card so whomever you’re buying for can get a few more months out of the deal. Some of the best wine subscriptions for beginners are Winc and Tasting Room. For people more versed in wine, consider Wine Awesomeness, which sends out themed boxes for “adventurous” drinkers; or inClub by inVino, a very versatile service that includes many styles, regions, and brands other wine subscriptions don’t carry.