Vinous Holiday Gift Guide 2015

A number of fabulous books top the list among this year’s best gift choices for the wine lover in your life. The 2015 Vinous Holiday Gift guide has something for everyone. Of course, glasses, decanters and service items all make great gifts too. For more gift ideas, readers might enjoy revisiting the The Vinous 2014 Holiday Gift Guide and The Vinous 2013 Holiday Gift Guide.

1)    Karen MacNeil’s Wine Bible (2nd Edition) is a terrific choice for those who are just getting into wine. Early chapters are focus on general topics such as how wine is made, a look at the main grapes found throughout the world, and thoughts on food pairing. Later chapters give readers the essentials on the main wine-producing regions. In sum, this is a terrific all-around book that will appeal to a wide range of wine lovers. Highly recommended. Workman; $24.95/paperback.

2)    The Oxford Companion to Wine (Fourth Edition) presents an extraordinary range of information written by dozens of contributors, all edited by Jancis Robinson and her long-time colleague Julia Harding. Information is presented alphabetically, encyclopedia style, which makes the Companion an essential resource, although this is not the kind of book one is likely to read from front to back. Still, the Oxford Companion is fabulous. Highly recommended. Oxford University Press; $65.00/hardcover.

3)    In The Winemaker, Richard Peterson recounts a life spent in wine. A child of the Great Depression, Peterson has seen it all, from the mass-market wines he helped make at Gallo to life inside the corporate world at Beaulieu Vineyard to the birth of Napa Valley’s high-end, limited production wines. Peterson pulls no punches, but it is the very personal, intimate story telling that makes The Winemaker one of this year’s most compelling books. I was so moved by Peterson’s story that I wrote the back flap. Highly recommended. Meadowlark Publishing, $29.95/hardcover.

4)    Alessandro Masnaghetti’s Barolo MGA Menzioni Geografiche Aggiuntive is a must-have for Barolo lovers. No one knows the nuances of Piedmont’s vineyards better than Alessandro Masnaghetti. In Barolo MGA, Masnaghetti examines each of the vineyards and districts within Barolo down to the single parcel with series of beautifully drawn maps. Barolo MGA is an essential reference tool for wine lovers who want to learn more about Barolo. Quite simply, Barolo MGA is a tour de force from Alessandro Masnaghetti. Highly recommended. Enogea-Alessandro Masnaghetti Editore; $85.00/hardcover. Available in the US through the Rare Wine Co.

5)    In Napa Valley Then and Now Kelli White has written the definitive account of Napa Valley and its winemakers. The book opens with an overview of the history of Napa Valley. Profiles of 200 producers follow, including tasting notes on several hundred wines. Napa Valley Then and Now is the most comprehensive book on Napa Valley I have seen, which makes it a must for anyone who buys and drinks these wines. Naturally I am a bit biased, as Kelli writes for Vinous. Highly recommended. Rudd Press; $95.00/hardcover.

6)    ClimaVinea – Sylvain Pitiot’s new app takes all of the information in his book The Climats and Lieux-dits of the Great Vineyards of Burgundy and makes it available on a smartphone. Pitiot’s vineyard maps are the gold standard, but ClimaVinea takes things to another level entirely. Ever wonder how vineyards and villages got their names? It’s all explained here, along with a glossary, a description of reference-point producers and more. Simply put, ClimaVinea is a must-have app for Burgundy lovers. Highly recommended. Available for iOS. Price: $24.99.

7)    Vinous – Our newly released iOS app puts the world of wine at your fingertips. Take a picture of label, read the review and then see where that wine is available, all on your smartphone. The extensive vintage chart, glossary and grape guide have all been designed to deliver a totally seamless experience. Prices range from $7.99/month to $4.99/month (requires twelve month purchase). A gift subscription to provides unlimited access to both the website and app. 

8)    Hand-crafted by artisans in Northern Italy, the Moreschi Wine Tote by Vinous is the ultimate gift for the wine lover in you life. Available in Cocoa or Burgundy. Vinous/$1,200.

You Might Also Enjoy

The Vinous 2014 Holiday Gift Guide

The Vinous 2013 Holiday Gift Guide

-- Antonio Galloni