This holiday season may be very different when it comes to group gatherings, but it is still easy to treat the wine drinker in your life to a great bottle, book, or learning experience. Whether shopping in person or buying online, check out some of these gift ideas below.
If buying local on the Island, T.J. at the West End Economy Liquor has these suggestions. For the red wine lover in your life, he recommends the Flora Springs 40th Anniversary Rennie Reserve Cabernet 2014 which is a bit of a splurge at $99, but with only 100 cases made, it is definitely a special gift.
White wine aficionados may appreciate the estate-grown Rochioli Russian River Valley Chardonnay 2018 which is available for $52.99, while the sparkling enthusiast will be delighted with a classic Champagne such as the Billecart Salmon Brut Rose for $79.99.
T.J. also suggests hand-turned, wooden stemmed wine glasses made by local artist, J.D. Frye, a resident of Sea Isle. They range from $25-$34 depending on the chosen style.
For the True Texan wine drinker, the Texas Fine Wine group is offering its first-ever Holiday Celebration Pack with a real taste of the Lone Star State. It features wines from each of these five award winning wineries: Bending Branch Winery in Comfort, Brennan Vineyards in Comanche, Duchman Family Winery in Driftwood, Pedernales Cellars in Stonewall, and Spicewood Vineyards in Spicewood. The pack includes top wines from each for $160 with shipping included to more than 30 states. For more information or to order, go to www.pedernalescellars.com and click on wines then 2020 Texas Fine Wine Holiday Bundle. Orders placed by December 9 will ship on December 16 and arrive in time for Christmas.
For the most serious of enophiles, Master the World™ is a new and innovative wine education platform designed for both industry professionals and consumers that seek to hone their palates. Subscribers will improve their tasting skills while expanding their wine knowledge through curated blind-tasting kits which are conveniently delivered every month.
There are three subscription plans available: a single one-time kit, a monthly pay-as-you-go option, or a 12-kit annual subscription which range from $70 to $90 per kit.
Each kit contains six different wines packaged in 187ml glass bottles selected by a panel of Master Sommeliers as textbook examples of a specific grape variety, region, or style. Users can blind taste each wine and enter their judgments into an online interactive tasting tool enabling them to form their own conclusion as to the identity of each wine, using a deductive sensory analytical process used by professionals.
Kits also include a tasting mat with instructions on how to use the online tasting evaluation grid. Tasters can learn at their own pace, but MTW subscribers will also have an opportunity to engage with an online community of like-minded wine lovers through monthly webinars hosted by a trio of Master Sommeliers. For more information, go to www.MTWwines.com.
For the first time since 2011, National Geographic Books has fully updated The New Sotheby’s Wine Encyclopedia which is considered one of the most comprehensive guide books in the world of wine. This will be the sixth edition of this reference book which has long been used as the go-to text for the Master Sommelier examination. It can be purchased now on Amazon for $65.95.
The launch of this new edition was also the catalyst for a new online program which features information on related history, culture, geography, and more. Wine enthusiasts can continue to advance their knowledge with upcoming virtual monthly seminars.
The live online tastings will be held at 11am on the respective monthly dates beginning on December 16 and continuing through June 2021, and are also available on demand at no cost. However, for a great gift option, register a wine lover and purchase one bottle or the entire set of wine for each webinar so they can sip along with the speaker.
Register at Bottle Tribe, staging6.bottletribe.com/club/geographical-digest-wine-club/signup.