For the red wine lover:
I love this little guy. Vinturi makes some awesome, fancy wine aerator towers that look they are a rejected prop from a sci-fi movie, but this compact little guy wins my heart--and fits in most budgets. I personally own this one and use it to aerate every glass of red I drink. Patience is not my strong suit, so I love a little help getting reds to open up without it needing to sit for an hour. Plus: the sound it makes when wooshing through the aerator is strangely satisfying. I have done a taste test and can vouch that aerating does, in fact, make a difference.
For that friend or loved one who has a really hard time opening a bottle of wine:
I have the the Waring Pro Wine Opener and love it. Like I mentioned above, I am not the most patient in the world, and love the ease of opening a bottle in a few seconds. This is also great if you know someone who keeps a lot of older wines in their collection--the ease with which it opens wine would reduce the chance that an older cork would split and crumble into the bottle.
Stocking Stuffer or Secret Santa Gift:
This is a great little stocking stuffer. This is the wine preserver I usually use, and it keeps it fresh for the next day (I don't usually want too much longer than a day or two).
Books for the Wine Nerd:
Oz Clarke, Grapes & Wine: This is a comprehensive guide to pretty much every varietal. The wine lover will learn something and use this as a reference guide, but those who are thirsty to learn more would really benefit from this book. It's like a great crash course in wine, and I can't recommend it enough.
Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg, What to Drink with What You Eat and The Food Lover's Guide to Wine.
I can't say enough about these two tomes. Indispensable research guides for foodies. They offer wonderful and unexpected pairings in an unpretentious manner. Love, love, love.
The Crafty Gift:
Thank goodness for Pinterest!
After a quick search for wine cork crafts, I saw an ornament idea that seemed too easy--I was sold. I painted the ends with glittery nail polish--though I'm sure some clear nailpolish and actual glitter would work, too--and then glue gunned the corks into a tree shape. (Before I glued them all together, I screwed into one cork a teeny hook I'd found at Michael's when I made pasta ornaments last year.) Glued on a bow, and voila! This took me less than an hour and all with things I already had, although if you need to run out for those hooks, they don't really break the bank. Disclaimer: I am terribly not crafty. I'm creative, but crafts usually take me forever, and I make a mess, and something always goes wrong. This project, however, was TRULY foolproof, even for me.
So: stay tuned for some wine and food gifts you can give, as well as some wines to go with your holiday feast!