by Lorri | May 16, 2018 | UnCorked
It’s the time of year when mailboxes are filling up with invitations to weddings to be held in the coming months. I always find buying the ideal gift for our bride and groom confusing, what with all the choices.
The intention is genuine and we want to buy a unique gift that will be appreciated or treasured for years to come.
For me, the dilemma often comes as I look over the gift registry printout debating the blender, the fondue set or the stainless-steel popcorn popper. It’s not that the newlywed couple would not truly appreciate one of these additions to their household, after all they are asking for them. But I want my gift to be special, so why not share my passion for wine in a unique and commemorative way?
Wine and wine accessories can be perfect wedding gifts and a thoughtful gesture.
The bride and groom will enjoy it during a quiet, reflective moment.
The following are ideas that will add a personal touch to your gift:
- Personalized wine boxes — I love this gift because it is a novel way to package and wrap wine bottles. The Wine for a Wedding boxes are made by Artificer Woodworks. Each box features a custom engraved design with “open on” anniversary instructions for each compartment. As the couple reaches the anniversary they open a bottle of wine along with a personal message engraved on the inside lid of the box. The site guides you with ideas on design and fun or sentimental quotes. It’s as simple as selecting your box, adding the personal message and shipping address. As for selecting wines for each compartment, your local wine shop can help select the right wines for each anniversary. For more information, visit arkansasonline.com/0516boxes
- Write an inspiring message — Buy any large-format bottle of wine and have friends or family write a personal message to the couple. Wine bottle markers come in an array of colors but the metallic silver and gold stand out the best. They are usually under $10 and can be found in most craft stores.
- Personalized Wine Labels — A fun and unique gift for the bride and groom also can be used for wedding favors. You can select from hundreds of designs and ideas or create your own by adding a favorite photo. Most of the companies I researched do not charge a design fee and allow you to order as little as one label. The price from most companies ranged from 50 cents to a dollar.
by Lorri | Dec 12, 2012 | UnCorked
It’s mid-December and for most of us it’s crunch time with the checklist, gift list, party list and of course on my special people list … gifts for the wine lover. For those on this list, gift buying is more of a challenge than just grabbing a bottle of wine. To make tackling the list a little easier, I’ve scoured the gift world and my notes from the past to find some unique gift ideas for values and splurges.
Wine Enthusiast Double-Wall Iceless Wine Bottle Chiller (about $20) A sweating ice bucket is an eyesore (and safety hazard if the water makes its way to the floor). That’s why I like this iceless chiller. It has thermal-insulated walls that will keep a wine bottle chilled for about 3 hours without the exterior condensation that most chillers create. It has a simple design with acrylic walls and a stainless-steel trim.
Wine Across America, A Photographic Road Trip by Charles O’Rear (about $30) I love giving books as gifts because they are enjoyed throughout the year, and this is one of my favorites. While enjoying a friend’s bottle of out-of–state wine, renowned wine photographer Charles O’Rear and his wife, Daphne, were inspired to photograph America’s wineries. Eighteen months and 50,000 miles later, Wine Across America shows their journey, drinking in the passion and pride of winegrowers, winemakers and wine sippers from New England to California and everywhere in between. It features all the states, providing a spectacular photographic journey and uncovering the unique personality each region offers.
Fusion Wine Glasses ($40 to $70 for a four-glass set) It happens to even the best of us … wine-glass breakage. Maybe it’s from a stumble, a slip, an exuberant toast at a dinner party or a casual meal with family. Crash! Tiny shards of glass are everywhere. But maybe not anymore. Fusion wine glasses are made with European crystal and fused with super-strong magnesium, forming a durable, lightweight, graceful wine glass that is break-resistant. The glasses are made in many sizes and styles. The company claims a 10-year warranty against breakage and that the glass will not cloud or dull.
The Napa Style Venetian Tumbler (about $70 for a set of six) I must admit this is one of my favorite wine presents. We enjoyed them so much we have since given them as gifts and ordered several more sets. Many Old-World wines are best enjoyed not from a fancy wine glass but from a tumbler. The glasses are very delicate to the touch but can still withstand a toast. Each tumbler has a distinct design of raised dots or lines. Champagne flutes are also available.
Le Nez du Vin Aroma Kits ($100-$400) I was given the aroma kit as a gift from my husband and have used it for more than 10 years. The kits help to develop the sense of smell while creating a common language when describing wines. Each vial has a distinct aroma such as orange, strawberry, coffee, lemon and even earth. With the controlled exposure to specific scents, you learn a better range of descriptors common in wines from around the world. The kits range from a master kit to ones geared to red or white wines, wine faults and oak casks.
by Lorri | Dec 5, 2012 | UnCorked
I appreciate any advice that makes holiday shopping easier so I thought I’d offer a list of the best of the best to help kick off your shopping season.
BEST WINE FOR THE HOSTESS
When I give the host or hostess a gift my intention is they will not open it in the stress of a dinner party but savor it at a relaxing moment. The best wine to give is one they normally wouldnt buy themselves but one you encourage them to enjoy and not save. I like to give champagne, sparkling wine or cava and persuade them to open it with pizza or the next casual occasion.
- NV Piper-Heidsieck Champagne Extra Dry, France (about $45 retail)
BEST WINE ON A BUDGET
Quality inexpensive wines, such as those from Cupcake winery, are great for entertaining and giving. Cupcake offers great value (usually less than $15 a bottle) in each of its many varietals, not only those from California but other regions around the world too. With the many occasions coming your way, saving money is always a bonus.
- 2011 Cupcake Cabernet Sauvignon, California (about $12 retail)
BEST WINE GADGET
When you dont know which wine to give, the wine gadget is an ideal gift for any wine lover. One accessory no one should be without is the Vacu Vin. It reduces oxidation in opened bottles of wine. The vacuum style pump pulls out air allowing wine to stay fresh for up to a week.
- The Vacu Vin Wine Saver Pump and Stopper (about $14 retail)
BEST WINE TO IMPRESS
I always enjoy giving a wine with a story and a connection to home and the Murphy family has one of the best with Presquile Winery, a prestigious California winery with Arkansas roots. The winery is in an ideal terroir for pinot noir production nestled in the Santa Maria Valley. An excellent bottle of wine vintage after vintage and an ideal gift to open during the holidays or save for a special occasion.
- 2011 Presquile Pinot Noir, California (about $49 retail)
BEST BOXED WINE
With the many choices of wine in a box the Big House Red brand always offers consistent quality. And when youre entertaining a crowd, its hard to beat the convenience of and price of boxed wine. This wine can easily compete side by side with many $12 bottles.
- 2011 Big House Red, Red Wine, California (about $20 retail)
by Lorri | Dec 15, 2010 | UnCorked
The official Christmas shopping rush is well under way – a dreaded experience for some, a joy for others. Knowing your recipient appreciates wine makes for an easy list of ideas, and having the option of shopping in your pajamas is a perfect solution for those wanting to avoid traffic and crowds.
With online shopping you can compare prices with the click of a button and search out the best values. Over the next few weeks, many sites will offer sale prices and “online only” deals for easy savings. Add convenient around-the-clock shopping hours and front-door delivery and you are almost finished checking off your list.
But, online shopping for a wine lover in Arkansas has its downside, as alcoholic beverages cannot be bought online in the Natural State, so shopping is limited to wine accessories.
To avoid shipping costs, some stores offer online viewing or ordering and in-store pickup.