Wine Lovers: Stock Up on the Essentials This Holiday

Wine Lovers: Stock Up on the Essentials This Holiday

Holiday shopping is so fun — especially for the wine lovers in your life!

But before you reach for those cute, novelty items, make sure you and the wine lovers on your list have really good basics.

So here’s a holiday checklist to ensure the wine bar is properly stocked.

For Home

A Good Bottle Opener.

It may sound trite but so many wine lovers don’t invest in a good corkscrew.

A old school double-hinged waiter’s pulltab can cost you as little as $7 or closer to $150 so let your budget decide. But everyone is always looking for great corkscrew and its worth spending the money if you're opening wine bottles a lot.

And real wine lovers can never have enough corkscrews. Because you really should have keep one at the office and you should probably keep one in the car, for tailgating and…

Of course you have to properly learn how to use it. If you don’t want to work that hard though, the original Rabbit Lever Corkscrew at around $34 is still a must-have.

Good Wine Glasses.

Yes, they make a difference. Glasses made from fine, lead crystal enhance the wine. So consider stemware from Riedel or Bormioli.

Or splurge on Zalto’s, super high-quality glasses. Granted, they can be expensive, at around $45 each, but if you buy a few at a time, it’s not as painful. (They can go in the dishwasher if that makes you feel better?)

Just try to stay away from colored or etched glasses. We get that they’re fun but stock up on the good stuff first.

A Decanter.

We have talked about the importance of decanting before. Not only does it help the wine breath, the presentation is super pretty. So a decanter should be a staple in every wine lover’s cabinet.

The Riedel Decanter, which retails around $50, could be the perfect solution and a beautiful gift. The bottom of this decanter is not too big, so it’s easier to control and empty.

The Coravin.

If you can swing it, the Coravin has become a must-have.

It allows you to pour a glass of wine without uncorking the bottle. The magic happens when argon gas — which is odorless and nontoxic — is shot into the bottle through a pinhole needle that goes through the cork.  Then the wine is forced up through this needle without it ever being opened.

So if you just want to pour a glass or taste a bottle you are aging, you really want to consider this.

The most recent model will run you around $199, down from the original model’s price of $350.

For Travel

A Neoprene Wine Bottle Tote.

You need to be able to safely take your wine with you — whether its to a friend’s house or dinner party. The Built NY Neoprene bottle tote, which retails for about $12, is the perfect solution. You can even give one as a gift and fill it with your wine of choice.

Good Plastic Glasses and a Deflatable Bag.

If you tailgate, go to festivals or picnics, consider good plastic wear and an insulated tote that will collapse after the wine is gone.

We are big fans of the govino shatterproof stemless glasses but the Wine Glass Gift Set from GSI Outdoors is a great option too. It’s an insulated tote and two nesting glasses that were actually designed for camping. But the set will work great at any outdoor event and is super light to carry, especially when its empty.

So play the practical Santa this year. Your wine lovers will thank you.

Tracy Byrnes, former FOX Business Network anchor and host of “Wine with Me” for, is editor-in-chief and chief contributor of The Sip.

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