“Wine is bottled poetry.” ~Robert Louis Stevenson
“A jug of wine, a loaf of bread and thou.” ~Edward Fitzgerald
“Let us celebrate the occasion with wine and sweet words.” ~Plautus
Valentine’s Day and wine just seem to go together. DH and I are wine lovers and over the years have collected a great assortment of groovy wine gadgets–just the thing to bring as a gift to your Valentine along with a yummy bottle of wine!
Which wine to buy? One that you like. No need to worry about the Wine Spectator points awarded to the bottle. Get a wine you like, and chances are your sweetie will like it too–probably you know your sweetie well enough to be able to select a wine they will like. DH LOVES dry reds with a good tannic structure–Cabernet Sauvignon for him! But both of us liked this lovely (unreleased) Cab Franc from Reeder Mesa Vineyards. Our friends Kris and Doug Vogel make the wines, mainly from Colorado grapes.
To really make the gift, bring a little something else along; maybe a decorative wine stopper. Wine stoppers come in all sorts of designs–you can select one with your sweetie in mind. I love frogs–this is MY wine stopper!
We also have a donkey, one that has a rock from Norway, one turned from tamarisk wood, and various Christmas-y ones. Check around places like Pier 1 or wine stores to find great stoppers.
Another item you see in this picture is a terra cotta wine cooler. Before use, run cold water into it and let it soak into the pottery. Drain the water and place your chilled wine bottle into it. Evaporative cooling keeps the wine cold! Groovy!
If you’re going to drink wine, you’ll need a good opener. We have a variety, including a “rabbit” opener(I find it cumbersome), one that has 2 prongs that go down on either side of the cork (the bonus with this type is no damage to the cork, no cork pieces in the wine), and this one. This is my current favorite. It has a foil cutter, a perfectly-sized cork screw, and a two-step pry thingie. It works so smoothly, it makes me look like an expert when I use it!
Of course, if you buy a bottle with a screw-top, a wine opener might not be the best choice for the little gift to go with the wine. There are some very nice wines with screw-tops these days–not just Annie Green Springs or Boone’s Farm! (You know you’re around my age if you get THAT reference!)
A pair of lovely wine glasses go perfectly with that romantic bottle. If you’re after the romantic look, go for special Valentine glasses. These are a pair I bought at Pier 1 years ago; Pier 1 always has cute decorated glasses similar to these. Today at the grocery store, I saw they had a variety of decorated wine and champagne glasses in the Valentine aisle. If you’re after great quality, you could spend a bit more and buy Riedel glassware, designed specifically to compliment the individual characteristics of the wine varietal you selected. They make glasses with stems and without–the current trend. Personally, I like the stems. (I not-so-secretly lust after Riedel glassware!)
Our newest wine gadget is the Vinturi. Y’know how wine tastes better after you swirl it in your glass? This is because wine needs to “breathe.” Air opens up the aromas and flavors trapped in the wine. You could decant the wine to do this, but the Vinturi does it for you, one glass at a time. It really does make a difference! You can find these at wine stores, Bed Bath and Beyond and online. If you and your sweetie are wine enthusiasts, this is a fabulous gift!
How ’bout YOU, readers? Favorite yummy wines? Other groovy wine gadgets you’d recommend? Comment to this post and together we’ll create the ultimate Valentine’s (and other days) wine-gifting guide!