Unique Gifts for the Wine Lover on Your List
Holiday gift giving time has arrived and wine makes a perfect gift because it’s versatile and easy. Even if your recipient isn’t a connoisseur of wines, it’s great to have on hand for guests, to enjoy with friends, and even if they regift it to a host or hostess, they will surely be appreciative and happy to receive it. Even better, you can feel good about supporting these companies because of the commendable environmental and humanitarian philosophies they stand behind.
Below are a few uncommon and expressive wine gifting options suitable for a variety of recipients on your list, whether they are an art lover, a gourmand, or a giver themselves with a philanthropic heart.
For the Art Lover
There’s a very special winery called VIK in the Millahue Valley in Chile, an area whose meaning translates to “Place of Gold.” The winery is not only stunningly beautiful from the outside, it is just as beautiful on the inside. Sustainable development is a fundamental pillar of the winery and they make a conscious effort to recover, mitigate, and improve the land where the grapes are grown to make their exceptional wines. Luckily, you don’t have to travel all the way to Chile to make a purchase, they offer easy online ordering.
Some of the environmentally sound practices at VIK include using reclaimed water to irrigate the vineyard, maintaining the natural forest and making a commitment to plant 590 new trees, and the state-of-the-art winery uses free cooling, solar energy, and natural insulation. There’s an apparent respect for nature that carries over when producing these holistic wines.
The Millahue Valley has the perfect weather conditions for growing because of warm days and cool nights. These grapes are harvested by hand to produce high-quality wines which are a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Carménère, Syrah, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc. Each varietal and vintage they offer varies on the percentage, with Cabernet Sauvignon and Carménère being the dominant grapes.
Art and architecture are also of importance at the winery. Any art lover on your list would appreciate their newly released La Piu Belle 2011. The handcrafted bottles, which just became available in the U.S. in limited quantities, were made to recognize the arts and the wine inside is a celebration of the art of winemaking. The bottle is so eye-catching that even if your recipient isn’t a wine-lover, they’ll love it just for the bottle alone to have on display.
The aromatic La Piu Belle is medium to full-bodied with a rich ruby hue and flavors of berries, wildflowers, and spices, There’s a touch of oak from barrel aging and well-balanced tannins bring everything together for an exceptionally elegant wine.
The bottle is available for $75 inclusive of shipping. Other wines on their website for gift giving include VIK 2009, 2010, and 2011 vintages and Milla Calla 2011. For more information or to purchase, visit www.vikwine.com.
For the Cook
If you have a gourmand and wine lover on your holiday list, HelloFresh has you covered. HelloFresh is a meal kit service that delivers perfectly-portioned farm-fresh ingredients right to your door with recipes included, making meal time a not only delicious, but home cooked and easy to do.
They now have a wine pairing option that you can add to a monthly meal plan subscription or simple gift their Wine Club subscription by itself. Choose from six bottles of all red wines, white wines, or a combination of both. And best of all, they do the easy part and have sommeliers on hand to expertly pick bottles that will please nearly every palate.
The Wine Club subscription is also a perfect gift for you if you find yourself entertaining a lot, especially over the holidays. There are no delivery costs and you get the convenience of not having to haul heavy wine bottles home. There’s also an array of wine accessories and gifts cards, which are available for holiday (or anytime) gift giving.
Hellofresh also makes a concentrated effort on sustainability and reducing its carbon footprint by sourcing local ingredients. Through their delivery practices, they can transport meals for 50 customers a week with strategic routes, traveling the shortest distances. This is a significant reduction in emissions than what the same amount of individual shopping trips would release into the environment.
Wine Club subscriptions are $89 per month inclusive of shipping and may be canceled after one box for a one-time only gift for you or your recipient. Visit www.hellofresh.com/wine for more information or to purchase.
For the Giver
In the recent past, we learned of the inextinguishable wildfires in Northern California affecting the renowned wine regions including Sonoma and Napa Valley. While some areas were left unscathed, some of the wineries were completely wiped out and many residents and winery employees lost everything.
To support our U.S. neighbors in California, one way you can help is by drinking (and buying) wines from these regions, and if you are fortunate enough to do so, plan a visit to this beautiful part of the country. The area is safe to visit and tourism is encouraged to help the local economy bounce back.
A notable producer in the area is Jordan Winery located in Sonoma County. They make exquisite Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay in the French-style of winemaking. The Cabernet is like Bordeaux where you’ll taste more of the terrior lending depth, minerality, and elegance quintessential of old-world style wines. The Chardonnay also has French characteristics of minerality, vibrant fruit, and well-balanced acidity, much like white Burgundy.
To show some support this holiday season, Jordan offers some fantastic holiday gifts that most anyone on your list would be thrilled to receive. A simple yet elegant choice is their Wooden Wine Gift Sets packed in a beautifully-crafted wooden box your recipient will want to keep for display or to repurpose. These sets are offered with special vintages selected by their winemaker and are only available at the winery in Sonoma or online.
Choose the 2015 Chardonnay & 2013 Cabernet set, which includes both bottles for $97, or for strictly red lovers, the 2009 & 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon set for $139 is a great option.
Additional varieties and build-your-own gift sets may be found under their shop section on their website, www.jordanwinery.com.
This is a purchase you can feel good about because Jordan is redirecting revenue to fire relief efforts and local charities helping the entire community. Along with this kind gesture, all throughout the year, a significant portion of Jordan Winery profits fund The John Jordan Foundation’s philanthropy. The foundation was created to provide disadvantaged youth and young adults with the tools needed to succeed educationally and professionally, from “cradle to career.” They do this by supporting education, after-school enrichment, and health programs.
Alternatively, or coinciding with tangible gifts, you can donate to the following recommended charities, which include Redwood Credit Union’s Fire Relief Fund, Redwood Empire Food Bank, United Way of Wine Country, Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue, and Sonoma County Humane Society.
Wishing you happy holidays and easy stress-free shopping this season.