6 Last-Minute Online Wine Gifts

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Man, you like to cut it close, don’t you? Waiting till the last minute can net you some great discounts, but it can also leave you holding the bag. And that bag is empty, my friend. Well, don’t fret, we’re not going to let your holiday end with a whimper. Make sure you give some banging gifts, even if they’re destined to be virtual at this point.

Surprisingly, you have plenty of last-minute options for virtual salvation. Here are six great ideas for some last-minute gifts for your favorite wine lover!

Pre-arrival wine

Here’s a great trick to help deflect the lameness of a last-minute wine gift purchase. Buy pre-arrival wines. No matter when you’ve bought the wines, today or a month ago, they still wouldn’t have been delivered by now! The easiest pre-arrival wines are Bordeaux futures, though it’s becoming increasingly easy to buy pre-arrival wines, both current release and cellar selections, from a number of retailers.

Some retailers with good futures or pre-arrival programs worth exploring include:

The Chicago Wine Company, IL

Wine Exchange, CA

Chambers Street Wines, NY

Woodland Hills Wine Company, CA

Wine gift cards
Many major retailers now offer gift cards for wines. The best can accept the cards over the internet, making them super-easy to use. It’s a thoughtful gift that allows the recipient to choose his or or her own present without feeling totally dissed.

Some of my favorite retailers that offer gift cards include:

Astor Wines & Spirits, NY

K & L Wine Merchants, CA

Gary’s Wine & Marketplace, NJ

Binny’s, IL

Wine clubs
Don’t want to leave the decision making up to your giftee, yet don’t feel entirely comfortable making the choice yourself? Why not opt for a wine club? There are so many options here; wine clubs come in all shapes and sizes from retail options to dedicated wine clubs to the wine clubs offered by wineries. I would opt for a wine club offered by a winery you are sure your giftee is a fan of, or else a retailer close to home, so in case there are in issues, or a return is required, everything can be handled quickly and easily.

With the advent of e-Readers it’s fast and easy to give someone the gift of knowledge. Wine geeks love reference guides. They actually love all sorts of books as long as wine is mentioned, but they might  get the most use out of reference books. So, if you can find one that’s available for download you’re sure to make someone happy. If not, these latest releases that tell the stories of wines and spirits make for great reading.

Some of my favorite e-books available for download include:

Boozehound: On the Trail of the Rare, the Obscure, and the Overrated in Spirits, by Jason Wilson

Secrets of the Sommeliers: How to Think and Drink Like the World's Top Wine Professionals, by Rajat Parr and Jordan MacKay

Chasing the White Dog: An Amateur Outlaw's Adventures in Moonshine, by Max Watman  

Subscriptions to wine sites
Here’s an easy gift to buy today. A subscription to one of the great wine review sites could make a great gift to your dear wine lover. You can give them their log-in credentials in a nice card. It’s not that impressive as far as presentation goes, but it is the kind of gift that any wine lover will use again and again.

Some sites I recommend:

For Burgundy: Allen Meadow’s Burghound

For Burgundy, Piedmont, and older wine in general: John Gilman’s View from the Cellar

For a great overview of the world of wine: Jancis Robinson’s Purple Pages

Wine accessories
Yes, it’s not to late to buy your favorite wine lover their most desired wine accessory. It’s just too late to actually give them it in time for Christmas. But don’t worry, who hasn’t given a cutout in a card? Like, for example that iPhone I was supposed to buy, this paper representation of the gift that is coming is just as good as the real thing. Right? Hello? Nobody? OK, you might want to skip this one, but if you’re in a pinch it’s got to better than nothing! If you’re interested in exploring this option I can suggest taking a peak at the IWA site.

To view the photos for this article, go to Last-Minute Gifts for Wine Lovers.

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