Gift ideas for the wine lover in your life!

We all have wine lovers (or wine lover wannabes) in our life. We're here to here to help take the stress out of panic buying the right gift for your favourite wino.


Our pick of top wine gifts for this Christmas

1. Decanter: No wine lovers house is complete without a decanter as a centre piece. If you're feeling generous, Riedel are the Rolls Royce equivalent and have some amazing decanters that are nothing short of wine porn. However, you can get really nice decanters from other brands from around the £35 mark. Try John Lewis as a starter.

2. Glasses: Not courtesy of specsavers but nice glasses to hold your wine in. Again, Riedel set the benchmark for the serious wine professional, but there are some cute and trendy alternatives that are very successful at holding wine while also looking rather trendy. A nice selection of plain and pattern glasses for all budgets are at Debenhams at a variety of price ranges.

3. Wine books: If you're not drinking wine, why not read about it? Want some excellent wine tips, try Hugh Johnson's excellent Pocket Wine Book to identify great value bottles. Fancy something a little more fun? Go for 1001 wines to try before you die. Or for those who would like to learn about wine in a very non-stuffy way, you can't beat Wine Folly's A Visual Guide to Wine

4. A Wine log: Many serious wine drinkers like to keep notes of wines they had. While there are lots of wine apps out there that do the job, there's something special about having an old fashioned paper based version. Here's a really nice one that can be personalised from notonthehighstreet

5. Nose trainers!: The real wine geeks love the challenge of identifying smells within a wine and this kit allows your wine lover to practice without having to open a bottle. Available from WineWare at the starting price of £28.

6. Wine Society Subscription: This is an absolute no brainer for us. For a measly £40 you get membership of the best wine membership there is where you are part of a not for profit organisation that sells exceptionally good wines that represent fantastically good value for money. Oh, and you get a £20 credit for your first order! Check them out at The Wine Society.

7. Wine course: We believe that a little bit of knowledge makes wine a lot more fun. There are lots of wine courses out there from fun to factual. On the fun side, check out providers such as LocalWineSchool. If you want to get a bit more technical, the WSET provide industry recognised qualifications for all levels.

8. Wine taste lab: Something we have tried from Honest Grapes this excellent wine tasting lab forces you to taste wines without knowing what they are and not be influenced by the label. You answer some questions and they come back with some real insight as to what wines you like and why you like them.

9. Corkscrews: There is real ceremony in opening a bottle of wine and we all have a favourite corkscrew. Trendy wine drinkers just love having a good old-style corkscrew which is much better at delicately extracting a fragile cork from an old bottle. Check out WineWare for a great selection but we're hoping Santa brings us a hand crafted Laguiole.  

10. Bottle of wine: An easy one to end on. Who doesn't like to get a bottle of wine as a gift? But don't go to your supermarket and pick up one on offer, instead find a good local independent wine shop, tell them a little about teh recipient and get them to pick one for your budget. Places like The Sampler have a fantastic selection of wines across most price ranges.

So there you have it - all your Christmas shopping concerns sorted. Now you can put your feet up and enjoy a well earned glass yourself.

Drinking wine can save your relationship!!!

Man, that's one hell of a sales pitch. My initial reaction having seen this curious headline was that this must be a piece circulated by Hallmark or some other empire that profits off the forced romance of Valentines Day. Then I realised that it's not actually February...

So, on digging further, it seems that the research has in fact been published in the Journals of Gerontology ( a much better 'ology' than the Scientology crew) which makes it seem even more official. They even titled the article as Drinking Patterns Among Older Couples: Longitudinal Associations With Negative Marital Quality which suggests that those involved with the publication were taking their task quite seriously and didn't have the time, resources or inclination to devise a punchy or humorous title....

If you want to read the official report, knock yourself out (or at least sedate yourself heavily) and click through here. However, to save time, let us instead argue the case based on many years and bottles of wine that drinking wine can indeed save your relationship.

  1. Wine makes you and your surroundings more interesting. This is achieved either through people sharing a common passion for wine, increasing your animation levels and making you more interesting to those around you or providing a level of intoxication that acts as a diffuser to unwanted interference. Political debate is like nails on a blackboard to many, but add a bottle of Rioja and all of a sudden its a Punch and Judy show for adults.
  2. Nice wine makes you happy. And euphoria is infectious. They say misery likes company but company would much rather silliness and Chardonnay.
  3. Arguing after (too much) wine doesn't count. If we do remember having an argument, we usually can't remember what it was about. It gets all the angry out of the system in a controlled manner where slip ups such as 'you are turning into your mother' and thankfully forgotten by the next day. This release mechanism means we don't need to have real arguments which is nice for all involved. 
  4. Wine collections keep couples together. Of those possessions where there is a genuine concern as to what happens post relationship, the order of priority is (1) dog, (2) wine and (3) children. If your dusty bottles all of a sudden have some fingerprint marks, these could be a sign of your other half weighing up his or her options before making a call to stay or to go. If you don't have a dog and do have nice wine, best cook something special, wear something clingy and suggest an early night.

So in conclusion, it is interesting to note that, (without scientific qualifications or substantial lottery funding) we have managed to come to the same conclusion as our intellectual superiors. However, I bet we had a lot more fun completing our research... ;-)