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11 Great Gifts for Wine Lovers

Finding the right gifts for a family member or friend can be tough, but it does not have to be if they are a wine lover.

Some of our most popular posts in the past have been gift ideas for home brewers (See Part 1 and Part 2) and gifts for beer lovers (Part 1 and Part 2).

Now we bring you the list of 11 great gifts for the wine aficionado in your life:

For Serving and Preserving Wine

1. Metrokane Houdini Wine Tool Kit

There is a basic set of tools that any serious wine lover is going to need in order to properly serve their wine, whether it be at a party or just for themselves.

This Metrokane Wine Tool Kit provides all of these necessary wine serving and preserving tools.

The kit includes a chilling carafe with a freezing stainless steel chilling core that is ideal for keeping white wine and rose wines cool.

The set also comes with an aerator which allows you to skip the use of a decanter for aeration, a corkscrew, and a preserver that allows you to save any leftover wine in the bottle for later.

Click Here to Read More About the Wine Tool Kit


2. Vacu Vin Wine Saver Vacuum Wine Pump

Leftover wine is the worst.

You don’t want the wine to go to waste, but you can’t get the cork back in the bottle and you know the wine will go bad if it sits out overnight.

Fortunately, a simple vacuum wine pump will solve the problem.

Simply insert the reusable stopper into the bottle and pump out all of the air to preserve the flavor of the wine for up to ten days.

Click Here to Read More About the Vacu Vin Wine Pump


3. Schott Zwiesel Tritan Crystal Glass Rouge 1-Liter Decanter

There are some unique decanters that make great discussion starters at any dinner party.  They work well as gifts for the wine lover who already owns all of the basic wine serving equipment.

This one liter decanter has a unique shape that is designed to let the wine aerate while the decanter is tilted on its side.

The decanter is made from a toughened crystal that is resistant to breaks, chips, cracks, and temperature shock. It is also dishwasher-safe.

Click Here to Read More About the Crystal Decanter


4. Sagaform Wine Carafe with Oak Stopper

Another fantastic option for serving wine with style is this two liter wine carafe with a more traditional design but an eye-catching oak stopper that gives it a unique look.

Click Here to Read More About the Carafe


For Cleaning and Displaying

5. Riedel Bottle Cleaner Beads

Wine decanters and carafes are difficult to clean out due to their interesting shapes.

Fortunately, the process can be simplified using cleaner beads. Simply swirl the beads in water inside of the vessel to get at those difficult-to-reach places.

These beads make a unique and very useful gift for any wine lover.

Click Here to Read More About Cleaner Beads


6. Wine Enthusiast Decanter Drying Stand

Once a decanter is cleaned it has to be dried, which is a process that presents problems of its own. Since most decanters are bottom-heavy they are difficult to stand upside-down for drying without tipping and breaking.

A decanter stand can be used to easily dry and store your decanters without the worry that an accident will occur. These make great gifts paired with cleaner beads.

Click Here to Read More About the Decanter Stand


7. Architec Air Dry Wine Glass Drying System

Just like decanters, wine glasses can be difficult to dry because they are so fragile and easy to break.

A good wine glass drying system like this one will solve that problem.

Click Here to Read More About the Wine Glass Drying System


8. Oenophilia Fusion Stemware Rack

Simplify your recipient’s life even more by combining the previous two gifts into one. Give them a stemware rack that holds 16 wine glasses plus a decanter for drying and storage.

Click Here to Read More About the Stemware Rack


9. Quirky Tether Stemware Saver Dishwasher Attachment

Washing wine glasses in the dishwasher is risky. The glasses are fragile and easy to break, and high-pressure water is shooting in every direction.

Avoid the worry by using these simple flexible dishwasher attachments that slide onto the dishwasher posts on either the top or bottom rack and hold the glasses securely.

Click Here to Read More About Stemware Savers


Fun Wine Gifts

10. Wine-Opoly Monopoly Board Game

A fun, unique gift that even the serious wine lover in your life may not yet have is Wine-Opoly.

Just like the classic Monopoly board game, this version brings all the fun while imparting interesting facts about wine. It can be played in the traditional style or in a one hour version.

Click Here to Read More About Wine-Opoly


11. Wine Barrel Cork Cage

On our honeymoon my wife and I bought this metal Wine Barrel Cork Cage at a local winery and have been saving all of our wine corks since. We write down the date on each cork so that we can go back and reminisce about all of our wine experiences since being married.

This cork cage is a fun memento and provides a great show piece to start up conversations about your wine hobby.

Click Here to Read More About The Cork Cage


Do You have a favorite gift for wine lovers? Share it in the comments below.

Three Gifts that the Beer Nerd In Your Life Will Love

Is there a beer nerd in your life? Not even necessarily a home brewer, but somebody who just really likes beer and can tell you anything you would ever want to know about each style of beer? When you are looking for a gift for a beer nerd (maybe even for yourself!) what should you get them?

Beer Glasses

The beer geek can not have too many different styles of beer glasses. There are different glass designs for varying styles of beer, there are come glasses that are made to enhance the flavor of beer, there are some glasses that insulate the beer from warming up in your hands, and there are beer glasses that just look cool!

Periodic Table of Beer

There are many different poster designs for a “Periodic Table of Beer,” like This One. What beer geek’s collection would be complete without one?

Growlers


Craft beer nerds love growlers! I personally have over a dozen of them (no kidding). If you love craft beer and microbreweries a growler might be the only way you can drink their beer at home (smaller microbreweries only do growler-fills, they don’t bottle the beer for sale). These fancy growlers above will let everybody know that you are a serious beer connoisseur!

Top 5 Gifts for Home Brewing Geeks

When you are looking for a gift for a home brewer there are many ways you can go – basic supplies, equipment upgrades, ingredient kits. Sometimes the person you are shopping for is a true home brewing geek, though. The type of person who wants to know the mineral composition of the water they are using and the Beta acid percentages in their hops. What kind of gifts do you get a home brewing geek like this?

Refractometer 


Want to know the alcohol content of your beer and determine whether fermentation has completed using only two or three drops of liquid (rather than a whole test tube full)? A refractometer will do the job, and it will do so with accuracy for only about $30.

Water Testing Kit


Water is super important to beer making – come on, it’s the main ingredient! Having good water is essential to making great beer, but how do you know how great your water is? With a water testing kit! You can find a regular version for about $100 and an even more advanced version, which will additionally test pH electronically, for around $170.

Oxygenation Kit

Dissolved oxygen in wort makes yeast much happier, increasing the speed of fermentation and the health of the yeast as well as improving the degree to which the fermentation takes place. An oxygenation kit will get that dissolved oxygen into your fermenting beer and improve the finished product for about $50.  An oxygenation kit also requires a disposable oxygen tank from your local hardware store.

Hops Book


The key to designing great beers is to have great command over each ingredient’s characteristics and how it is used in the beer. Altering the type and amount of hops in a beer will change the flavor greatly, so help the home brewer in your life understand hops better with this book by one of the masters of great beer brewing, Stan Hieronymus!

Burner


Release a home brewer from his or her dependence on the kitchen stove! A floor burner allows you to brew outside so that the house doesn’t heat up and then smell like wort for three days after brewing. These burners are highly efficient and will speed up the time required to brew beer.

Home Brewing Log Books

Home brewing supply stores usually offer  any type of beer brewing or wine making equipment that you would ever need. The books that they offer can be pretty limited, though.

Sometimes home brewing and wine making supply shops will have basic books on the how-to’s of beer brewing and wine making. Sometimes they will even have books about making cheese, cider or mead. Beyond that, though. You might not find much.

When I first started brewing beer I looked around for a good book that I could use to record all of the details about each batch of beer that I brewed. I like to keep detailed notes about the ingredients, the brewing process, and the fermenting process so that I can repeat a beer exactly in the future if I wish, or so that I can pinpoint where something might have gone wrong in a batch and improve it the next time I brew.

For a while I kept a log book using just a blank tablet of graph paper. Ittook forever to write out my notes on the blank paper each time, and if I wasn’t careful to format each page the same it would take me a long time to find the notes I wanted when scanning back through previous brews.

The books that were available online were pretty generalized. They said “home brewing log” or “journal” on the cover, but they were just lined pages inside. Not really a step up from the graph paper.

Finally I sat down one day and created my own brewing log format on my computer. I put together a journal that I liked and which helped me to take notes as efficiently as possible, and then I printed it out and started to use it. I liked it a lot.

Some of my friends liked the idea and wanted my log book as well. Eventually I figured that this journal design would be useful to a lot of people, so I made it available in a book format online. It took a little bit of tweaking, but I eventually worked it out so that the margins were wide enough to allow easy writing in the book but the size of the book was small enough to keep it affordable.

If you think that you or a brewer you know would benefit from quickly and accurately recording notes about their brewing experiments it might be worth your while to check out the Home Brewing Journal.

Journal Cover

The Home Brewing Journal is available in soft cover format on Amazon, Here, and in an extra-large hard cover format on Lulu, Here.

What do you use to record the details of your home brewing and wine making? Let us know in the comments below!

Four Unique Gifts for Beer Lovers

A couple of weeks ago I posted my ideas for gifts that would be great for home brewers. They are all gifts that I have given or received, and I think that they are great gifts. Look around the internet, though, and you will see that pretty much every home brewing blog and web site suggests the same gifts. For something different, here are four more gift suggestions that you might not have thought about right away:

1. Hop Candy ($4.99)
A great stocking stuffer, and something you might not see in too many places. I bought some Hop Candy at Northern Brewer and my wife loves it (she’s the true hophead in our household). This stuff packs a PUNCH! Be ready for some bitterness and true hop flavor with this candy.

2. Unique Beer Glasses ($6.95 – $11.95)
A simple yet fun gift is a crazy beer glass. Drinking beer out of a glass is always preferable over a bottle or a can, so why not have a variety of fun glasses? My personal favorites are the Hopped Up Beer Glass and the Tulip Glass.

3. Home Brewing Journal ($14.99 – $42.49)
Something that I spent a lot of time trying to perfect when I started home brewing by myself was my record-keeping system. I am fastidious about keeping detailed, repeatable recipes and procedures so that I can improve my brewing in the future. I couldn’t find any templates that I completely liked so I designed my own and self-published it as a book, allowing me to get hard copies that I can write in and look through easily. If you are interested in one, you can choose from the Hardcover (fanciest, a keepsake)or Softcover  (most affordable) versions.

Another option is to find an app that will record your brewing. This is a very viable option, but I am hesitant to recommend any specific app since I haven’t ever used one. I personally prefer written record over digital, and a app is difficult to find a gift bag for.

4.Custom Beer Bottle Labels ($24.00)
This is a product that I have not tried out, but I think it would be really cool. This site allows you to submit your own artwork and they will create reusable labels for your home brew beer bottles. This could be the first step in branding your future brewery!

What gifts are you giving the home brewer in your life (or yourself!) for their next gift?

The Top 5 Gifts for Home Brewers

Doing some shopping for the home brewer in your life? Whether it’s Christmas, Father’s day, or a birthday, home brewing equipment makes a great gift. Assuming the brewer in your life already have the basic home brewing setup (like an Ale Pail, a large brew kettle, etc.) these are my top five gifts for home brewers.

1. A Beer Kit

For beginning home brewers the best way to learn the ins and outs of home brewing is to brew a lot of beer, so what better way to fund the hobby than to give them beer to brew? I like to give beer kits that the person might not otherwise invest in. For example, I got my father-in-law a Bourbon Barrel Porter for Christmas last year, which takes a long time to ferment and requires some extra equipment.

2. Yeast Starter Kit

Stronger beers that will have a higher alcohol content usually require a yeast starter. A yeast starter is a small batch of basic beer made ahead of time that allows a culture of yeast to strengthen and multiply so that it can handle the shock of a strong beer. I purchased a Yeast Starter Kit for my father-in-law so that he could brew his Bourbon Barrel Porter and all of the IPA’s that he really likes.


3. Wort Chiller

One of the most useful gifts I’ve ever been given was a Wort Chiller, which is a coil of copper tubing that you run cold water through to cool a batch of beer much faster than any ice bath ever could. This saves a lot of time, effort, and the coordination of having ice in the house just as the wort finishes boiling during the brew.

4. Glass Carboy

Using a plastic Ale Pail to ferment your beer is fine, but using a Glass Carboy is even better. You don’t have to worry about scratching the interior (allowing bacteria to get caught inside the pail to ruin future batches of beer), they are much easier to clean than the plastic, and you can see the beer fermenting inside of them. Pretty cool, eh?  You will probably want to also pick up a drilled rubber stopper and an airlock with the carboy, as these will be necessary for using it. To make the carboy easier to transport around you might consider a Carboy Carrier for it as well.

5. Home Brewing Books

It’s always fun to learn more about your hobby and to come up with creative new beers to brew. Home brewing books help to spark that creativity and equip home brewers with the knowledge they need to improve their beers. My favorite books are the basic How to Brew by John J. Palmer, the fun Designing Great Beers by Ray Daniels, and the insightful Radical Brewing  by Randy Mosher. If the beer lover in your life is working on becoming an expert beer taster, you might also consider giving them our very own Beer Tasting Log Book so that they can take notes and keep a record of all the beers they try. Last but not least, don’t forget about our Home Brewing Journal to keep track of all their greatest recipes.

Those are my top five. What are your favorite home brewing gifts to give (or receive)?