Wine gifts can be tricky, especially because wine lovers tend to be a picky lot. Finding affordable gifts that enophiles will appreciate isn't an easy task (unless you have $375,000 lying around for your favorite Sauternes fan). This collection of holiday gift suggestions gives new purpose to wine bottles, corks and even wine itself. For more ideas, check out Wine Spectator senior editor MaryAnn Worobiec's wish-list blog.
Crawford Denim Vintner's Western ($135; crawford-denim.com)
Robert Mondavi Private Selection Napa Valley Cabernet was used to hand-dye the accents on the Vintner's Shirt by Crawford Denim & Vintage Co. The inside cuffs feature stylized grape leaves, and the wood washer stitched into the left breast pocket was cut from one of the oak barrels used to make the wine. The shirt is accompanied by a wine-dyed bandana that sports the Robert Mondavi Private Selection logo and Crawford Denim's signature arrows. The Vintner's Western shirts are hand-made in California.
Guarda Cork Umbrella ($120; queork.com)
Cork cultivation is eco-friendly, as the bark is harvested from cork trees without needing to chop the trees down. This elegant umbrella takes advantage of its durability, strength and elasticity. Hand-carved from Portuguese cork trees, cork fabric—which feels like a soft leather—is stretched over a clear nylon backing and sealed with a thin silicone coating to support cork’s already water-resistant nature. A curved wood handle and metal frame keep it durable.
Gabriel-Glas ($29 and $55, winegls.com)
If you prefer a gift that gives life to wine in its primary form, consider the Gabriel-Glas, a wineglass designed by Swiss wine critic René Gabriel, who says that his stemware serves as a universal vessel, equally suited to all varieties of wine, from red and white to sparkling and sweet. The glass's broad base, which Gabriel claims promotes more air contact with the wine, curves upward into a rounded cone shape, the better to drive the aromas to your nose. Both versions of the glass—the machine-shaped StandArt ($29) and the mouth-blown Gold Edition ($55)—are attractive and sleek. The Gold Edition in particular is so remarkably light and delicate that you'll have a hard time believing it's safe for the dishwasher (it is).
ReWined Candles ($28, www.rewinedcandles.com) and Vineyard Tales Candles ($30, www.vineyardtales.com)
ReWined’s handsome candles are made from hand-cut recycled wine bottles, and they tell the scent story of eight different varietals, including Chardonnay, Merlot, Riesling and Pinot Noir. The Sauvignon Blanc smells of grapefruit and fresh grass; the Cabernet is reminiscent of black cherry, currant and toast; the Champagne scent is a mix of honey and citrus. Handmade in Charleston, S.C., with sharp, detailed packaging (including a vintage date) the candles are made from clean-burning soy wax and will burn for about 80 hours.
Vineyard Tales is a new St. Helena chandlery that makes candles from recycled wine bottles gathered from Napa Valley wineries and tasting rooms, offering interpretive scents of the winemaking process, including Harvest (a blend of citrus and herbs), Yeast (fresh-baked bread and butter), Oak Barrel (a spicy amber and sandalwood mix) and House Red and House White. They also offer an innovative bottle-to-candle service, where you can mail them an empty wine bottle and they will turn it into a candle for $40. A terrific gift and a way to finally put those empty trophy bottles to use.
Cork Globe ($130; uncommongoods.com)
Flaunt your love of wine, your travels, plot world domination, or mark the wine regions you want to visit with this cork globe from Uncommon Goods. Pushpins are included.