Wine Gift Guide

Thinking about all of the holiday gifts that are needed to get can really make even just over a month seem like too short a time to get everything bought and wrapped. It is easy to check any wine lover off the gift list without ever needing to know their wine preferences though. A wine aerator or nice wine bags are good options. These are good gifts because they are not dependent on what type of wine they like but instead are focused on wine enjoyment in general.                 Wine gifts cover a large spectrum of possible gift receivers too. From the old time friend to the grown up child, they are just as much needed gifts as invitations to socialize. A new corkscrew set for an old friend could suggest that getting together to catch up, over a bottle of wine, would be nice.  These types of gifts make an extra special impact when they have a personal touch. So even if the gift receiver already has one of the wine related gift given, it has a little something to make it special. Initial engravings are an excellent example of personalizing a gift. In general, a wine related gift is eagerly accepted.


All in the Aftertaste

The tastes and smells that linger with the drinker after the sip of wine has left their mouth, either having been spit out or drank, if the most important factor in truly enjoying a good wine.  The aftertaste is also called the “finish” and expert wine reviewers pay extra attention to how long a wine’s finish lasts. This is because a quality wine will have a long and complex finish, often which includes tastes not even present in the initial sip.                 Wine with a good finish make a great part of wine gifts to those just starting to appreciate the subtleties of wine drinking. Paying extra attention to how long a wine leaves its impression on the palette is how to really taste the wine like a professional.  They take note of any taste that lingers in the mouth, or any taste that appears only in the aftertaste. All too often people will take a sip of wine and not wait patiently for the aftertaste to finish before taking a bite of food, or another sip of the wine. Not only is this an amateurish move to pull at a wine tasting, but also a way to get cheated out of a lot of the wine enjoying experience. Give thirty seconds between sips minimum to really take in a wine’s true flavors.

Wine Bags and Paper Bags

Wine should not be exposed to large amounts of sunlight, this is common knowledge. A little indirect sunlight is not going to ruin wine immediately, or else stores would have them in a cave; but if ever wine bags are not an option and sun is a danger there are more options than just hiding wine bottles from the sun. Say the wine cellar needs work done on it or a collection needs transported; instead of hoping there are enough wine bags around to store it all, try paper bags.  Either the ones from grocery stores or even lunch bags both block out the sunlight that could otherwise damage the bottles’ contents.                 While they cannot provide the controlled climate of a good insulated bag, paper bags are even okay from long term storage if the proper climate can be achieved but darkness cannot.  Just remember to label the bags because jostling the bottles too much can be just as damaging as the light. Labeled bags stop the need to check which bottles is what, similar to indicators on the top of the cork or the bottle’s neck. Protecting wine when first taking it home is just obvious, but protecting it in the home is just as important.

Essential Tools

Even the only occasional wine drinkers require a few wine accessories to enjoy a glass of wine. While a growing number of bottles are screwcaps, corks are still widely used; so at the very least a wine glass, corkscrew and stopper are needed.  Rather than think of these tools as a necessary evil, think of how they can enhance the experience of popping open a bottle of wine and relax.  Wine tools can make a huge difference in how enjoyable wine actually is. A good corkscrew makes opening a bottle less of a battle and more like opening any other bottle or jar in the kitchen. Find a corkscrew with a good handle to give the best grip.  Another good tool to have for a wine fan is a bottle stopper. It is illogical to expect a bottle of wine to not need put in the fridge; even with company there is always part of a bottle left when the night is over. This is where it is a good idea to have a stopper; otherwise any leftover wine at the end of the day is basically trash.  Don’t waste good wine, put a stopper in it.  This keeps the wine fresh longer in the refrigerator.  Appreciating wine tools just got easier.

In Memory of Patty Bogle

The wine world has been mourning this past week over the loss of Patty Bogle, an influential woman in the vintner world.  She was part of the team, and indeed the driving force, that turned a small family farm into one of California’s wine making superstars. Bogle vineyards has even been described by her son as a “second child” to Patty Bogle.  She transformed a couple acres of petite sirah and chenin blanc into one of the country’s top value-oriented brands with over a million cases sold annually.  But while Patty is responsible for many a happy wine lover taking home full two bottle wine totes, she has left the business to her family and joined her husband Chris Bogle.                  For many years Patty had been battling with acute myeloid leukemia and passed away on the 11th at the age of 59.  While a great loss for the wine world and her family alike, the Bogle Vineyards will carry on as a family business ran by her three children and eventually her nine grandchildren who all miss Patty and want to continue to see her vision through of making only the best wines with only the best grapes as the Bogle family has been doing since the Bogle brand was launched in 1979.