The Vinous 2019 Holiday Gift Guide
BY ANTONIO GALLONI | DECEMBER 11, 2019
The Vinous Holiday Gift Guide is packed with gift ideas for the wine lover in your life. You’ll find a tantalizing selection of the latest books, glassware, openers, maps and more in this curated list of the year’s most tempting gifts.
The revolutionary Coravin allows wine lovers to enjoy a glass of their favorite wine without actually opening a bottle, avoiding the problem of unfinished bottles that spoil. Coravin’s new model Eleven ($799.95), the latest state-of-the-art edition of Coravin, is a perfect luxury gift for the wine lover in your life. The model Eleven includes Moments, the new Coravin app powered by Delectable. Vinous readers can also take advantage of a very special 50% discount on Coravin’s entry-level Model Two Elite in the stunning Light Gold finish created exclusively for Vinous and Delectable. This is the best deal on Coravin available anywhere. Please note this offer is valid only for residents of the United States. ($175, exclusive price).
Barolo MGA Vol. I: The Barolo Great Vineyard Encyclopedia, 2nd Edition by Alessandro Masnaghetti
Barolo, with its ability to produce complex, multi-dimensional, ageworthy reds, is one of the world’s most fascinating wine regions. For years, Alessandro Masnaghetti has enchanted us with breathtaking books and maps that explore the vineyards of Barolo to a degree that has never been possible before. But one piece of the puzzle in understanding Barolo has long been missing: a thorough study of its geology and soils. Leave it to Masnaghetti to shed light into this complex and fascinating subject in the just-published Second Edition of his book Barolo MGA Vol. 1. I can’t recommend the Second Edition of Barolo MGA Vol. 1 enough. It is absolutely essential for anyone who wants to discover all the nuances that make Barolo and its wines so special. ($90).
Wine Simple: A Totally Approachable Guide From A World-Class Sommelier by Aldo Sohm
Aldo Sohm’s Wine Simple is a fabulous book for those who are just getting into wine and as well as an excellent reference for more experienced wine lovers who want to brush up on the basics. Sohm takes all of knowledge he has gained in a brilliant career that includes over a decade as Wine Director at Le Bernardin and distills it into a series of easy-to-understand lessons. Wine Simple is fun, easy to read and full of all the enthusiasm that has made Sohm one of the world’s most admired sommeliers. On a recent visit to Le Bernardin, I was pleasantly surprised to see so many affordable wines available by the glass. “When I started eating in nice places I couldn’t afford expensive wines, so I want the wines by the glass program here to always be accessible,” Sohm told me recently. That same down to earth approach comes through in Wine Simple, an essential gift this holiday season. Buy two, you will want a copy for yourself. ($29.25).
Cider Revival: Dispatches from the Orchard by Jason Wilson
Jason Wilson would argue that the apple's greatest contribution is not its role inspiring Sir Isaac Newton nor its temptation of Eve, or indeed Snow White, but rather cider. In Cider Revival, his orchard's worth of beautifully written, passionate and informative essays exploring the history and current state of American cider, Jason successfully makes the case that this is a beverage with a storied history from Colonial times through Prohibition to today, often a product of craftsmanship, and capable of intrigue and nuance. Cider is entering a renaissance period at the moment, with much to be excited about for the future. Readers may know that after a busy day of tasting I usually enjoy a glass of Champagne or a Pilsner style beer. Next time, it's cider. ($21.99).
Zwiesel - Sensory Glass
Roberto Conterno has an intuitive grasp of many subjects that extend far beyond farming vineyards and making wine. “When I was first approached to design a glass I said ‘no’ as I had too many things going on. But one weekend I was home, and I started thinking about it with my son, Gabriele. We drew up some designs on the computer, and pretty soon we had our first prototype,” Conterno told me. The Sensory Glass is a light-weight, elegant handblown stem that works well with a number of wines. I have mostly used it with Piedmont reds and Burgundy reds and whites, and have found it to really accent a wine’s aromatic presence and persistence. The Sensory Glass makes for a great splurge this holiday season. ($99).
Vinous Napa Valley Vineyard Maps
Vinous’s Napa Valley Vineyard Maps are the most detailed vineyard maps that have ever been produced in the history of Napa Valley. The maps are the result of a collaboration with renowned Italian cartographer Alessandro Masnaghetti. The Collection presently includes seven maps: St. Helena & Conn Valley, Oakville (poster format only), Pritchard Hill, Rutherford, Stags Leap, Howell Mountain and Yountville. Vinous Maps are available in a handy, folded format, full-size poster format suitable for framing and special autographed Collectors’ Edition. In 2020, the Collection expands to include maps of Sonoma Valley and more regions within Napa Valley. ($25/folded map, $50/rolled map, order by Monday, December 16th for Christmas delivery).
The Durand Corkscrew
The Durand Corkscrew is a must-have for wine lovers who enjoy drinking older wines. Two blades work alongside a conventional corkscrew to extract even the most fragile, brittle corks. Suffice to say, the Durand has saved many an older bottle from mishaps with a lost cork. ($125).
Vinous Classic Gift Subscription
Give the gift of (wine) knowledge this holiday season with a Classic subscription to Vinous. Our team of critics spends months of the year on the road to bring Vinous readers the most up to date and in-depth insight into the world's major wine regions. Just as Vinous is the go-to destination for wine enthusiasts around the world, a Vinous gift subscription can make it become so for the wine lover in your life. A Classic subscription gives full access to the Vinous website and the apps, where you can look up reviews on the go. And if you use any of these services, you can also link your account to Delectable, CellarTracker and WineOwners. Tip: the gift subscription email is sent immediately to the recipient. You can send the email to yourself to get the gift link that you can pass on whenever you like. ($140).
Riedel Vinum Cognac Hennessy Glass
Riedel’s Vinum series Cognac Hennessy glass is ideal for enjoying fine Cognac, Armagnac and other spirits this holiday season. It is also a terrific choice for the wine lover who has it all. ($59 for 2).
For more gift ideas be sure to take a look at previous editions of our Gift Guide.