“Wine-Inspired” Gifts

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Need a gift for a vinophile, but would prefer to give something more unusual than a wine shop gift certificate or the latest wine accessory? If so, here are some different wine-inspired possibilities that might do the trick.

Wine-Flavored Foods
Why just drink wine when you can “eat” it too? For the wine lover with a sweet tooth, there are a variety of options produced by both small artisanal candy makers, such as Choclatique and Lollyphile, and large companies with a multinational presence, such as Lindt and Godiva. Chocolate options include chocolate-covered wine grapes, champagne truffles, and chocolates designed to pair with specific wine varietals ($15 and up). For those who prefer lollipops and gummy candies, they are available in wine flavors including Chardonnay, Blackberry Merlot, Pink Champagne, and Cabernet Sauvignon ($10 and up). Shopping for a jelly bean fan? The “Jelly Bean Wine Bar” kit, by Wine X, may be the perfect option. Each kit contains a set of fruit-flavored jelly beans that represent the “indigenous fruit characteristics” associated with a particular varietal/style of wine. Just combine the fruit-flavored jelly beans as directed, chew them together, and reportedly, you will experience the flavor associated with a specific wine. Starting at $20, kits are available for over forty different varietals/styles.

If salty snacks are preferred, wine-flavored popcorn, sold by artisanal makers such as Populence and Vin de Maiz, may be the right gift. Flavors available include Merlot, Pinot Grigio, Zinfandel, Chardonnay, Cabernet, Vignoles, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir ($6 and up). Cheese-loving wine aficionados might enjoy port wine cheese, an old favorite, which is widely available.

Home Furnishings and Accessories
Those who would like to incorporate their love of wine into their home décor might enjoy receiving home furnishings and accessories made from wine bottles and corks. Lighting options, which include lamps and chandeliers fashioned from wine bottles, are available from both artisans and well-known companies, such as Pottery Barn (lamps $15 and up, chandeliers $200 and up; do-it-yourself kits for wine bottle lamps/chandeliers $10 and up). Wine lovers who enjoy entertaining might appreciate a cheeseboard or platter fashioned from a melted, flattened wine bottle ($15 and up) or a set of drinking glasses made from recycled wine bottles ($25 and up/set). Small artisans produce many other gift options including wreaths made from wine corks ($20 and up), wine-scented candles ($5 and up) and wind chimes made from wine bottles ($20 and up). Does the wine lover you are shopping for have a green thumb? If so, a planter made from a recycled wine bottle might be a good option ($20 and up).

Spa Treatments, Skincare Products and Perfume
A vinotherapy treatment may be the perfect gift for the vinophile who enjoys the spa. Although many dermatologists remain skeptical, vinotherapy advocates claim that when the antioxidants found in grapes, grape seeds and grape vines are applied to the skin, they can reduce wrinkles, improve cellulite and make one feel reinvigorated. Typical spa treatments offered include body wraps containing wine extracts, wine hydro-massages, wine baths, and various massages, facials, skin peels and exfoliation treatments incorporating wine extracts, crushed grapes, grape vine extracts, grape seeds or grape seed oil; prices vary by spa and treatment.

Think your wine-loving gift recipient would enjoy having the spa experience at home? There are soaps, creams, scrubs, oils, moisturizers and bathing products which incorporate wine extracts, grape extracts or grape seed oil from makers including Caudalíe, The Grapeseed Company and Apivita ($10 and up). Shopping for someone who enjoys perfume? Then perhaps a perfume or cologne which “captures” the notes of a wine varietal would be appreciated. Starting at $20, makers Kelly & Jones and Demeter offer a variety of scents including Champagne, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Cabernet, Merlot and Chardonnay.

The good news is whomever you are shopping for (even if it’s yourself), there are a lot of wine-inspired options to choose from. Cheers!

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