By Lindsay Trivers
December, 11 2017
Christmas is nearly here and the pressure to find that perfect gift is building. In fact, you only have to glance in any mall or shop across the land to see that the present buying frenzy is well and truly underway, or possibly a small riot has just broken out.
Luckily the failsafe gift for any wine lover is, of course, a bottle, though even this can be a minefield (for more guidance check out our guide to buying the perfect Christmas bottle
.) But what if you want to take that wine-related present to the next level? If so, here are some of the best wine-related gifts and gadgets for the die-hard grape geek in your life.
1) A Decanter
As well as ensuring that their wine is perfectly aerated, a decanter makes for a wonderful present, with Austrian glass-masters Riedel producing some of the most beautiful around. Our personal favourites are the Eve, with a shape reminiscent of a snake, and the Amadeus with a super-long snout ideal for pouring across a crowded table. The Tasting Class can even order ones for you that aren’t generally available in the UAE. Prices range from 150 - 4,500 AED depending on how big and glorious you want to go. Contact cheers@ thetastingclass.com for more details.
2) A Sabrage Knife
Sabrage is the dramatic art of opening a bottle of Champagne by decapitating it with an snazzy sword that looks as though it were stolen from a pirate. www.desertcart.ae offers a range of beautiful sabres, perfect for a truly unique present. Prices start from 350 AED, however before buying it’s well worth pondering the state of your relationship and whether you trust them with a small sword.
3) Le Nez du Vin Aroma Selection
Comprised of 6 to 54 different essential oils, these clever kits isolate the complex aromas found in a glass of wine - coffee, oak, cherry, freshly cut hay - even common wine faults, helping you develop the ability to pick them out. They’re available from the Lighthouse in D3 - 54 aromas will set you back AED 1,800 and for AED 950 you'll get 24 (you'll need to hurry, at the time of writing they'd already run out of the 24 pack).
4) Air Cork
This handy inflatable cork seals an opened bottle of wine, preserving those wonderful flavours and aromas for longer. Simply lower the balloon until it reaches the surface and then pump to create an airtight seal. When you’re ready for another glass simply open the valve, deflate and pour.
They cost around 110 AED from aircork.com.
5) Wine Cradle
Imagine living in a country where wine is expensive but that’s conveniently connected to over 300 destinations worldwide (sound familiar?). Tricky, I know, however with this inflatable and reusable wine protector you can pack bottles of your favourite drop in your suitcase without fear of them smashing on the trip back to the UAE. It can even safely hold magnums!
They cost around 60 AED at lazenne.com
Potentially the invention that the UAE has been waiting for. Simply place the Corksickle in the freezer for when you want to chill a bottle fast, or keep it cold for longer, simply insert it in place of the regular cork. Best of all when you’re done just pop it back in the freezer for next time.
Around 65 AED.
7) Wine Books
Described by The Washington Post as, ‘The best introductory book on wine to come along in years,’ Wine Folly - the Essential Guide to Wine
by Madeleine Puckette is based on her hugely successful blog and offers a thoroughly entertaining look at the world of wine. For something really unique check out The Essential Scratch and Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert
, by Master Sommelier Richard Betts.
8) The Corovin
Possibly the most geeky and awesome wine gift around, The Corovin inserts a surgical grade needle through the cork, allowing you to extract some of the contents, before an injection of inert gas reseals it as if its never been touched. What's more, no oxygen reaches the wine, you don’t have to commit to the entire bottle and can just drink a glass or even a taste without worrying about spoilage. Available at MMI, Barracuda, and Le Clos, prices range from 950 to 1620 AED depending on the model, with gas cartridge refills available for 90 AED for a two pack.
9) The Riedel Tasting Set
Another Riedal gift idea, we know. But we've kinda got a wine crush on these master glass merchants. Worthy of breaking out for a tasting with Santa himself, these tasting sets have four different glasses that are designed to highlight the characteristics of popular grape varieties like Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet and Riesling. Perfect for your own home tastings. At AED 320 plus p/p, these beauties will go fast. Get in touch
to find out how to get your hands on a set.
And finally -
10) Give them the gift of knowledge
For those in the UAE with a real love of wine there’s previously not been an easy way to take that passion to the next level. However, the internationally recognised Wine & Spirit Education Trust course – the global standard for wine lovers - has recently come to Dubai. The one-day WSET Level 1 explores the main wine styles and grape varieties around the world and teaches participants how to taste like a pro, whilst the more advanced WSET Level 2 lets them explore and taste forty wines over three days - the perfect way to prove that they are indeed a true wine nerd, with the certificate and lapel pin to back it up.
Get more info at www.hospotraining.com. And if you think WSET isn't quite right, book a private home tasting with us
. It's fun, we promise!
Merry Christmas from The Tasting Class
The Wines we tasted