The Best and Worst Wine Gifts

A wine lover's guide to Black Friday


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The Best and Worst Wine Gifts Not too many years ago, I had what is still referred to in my family as the "Christmas of the Rack" -- an entire holiday season where I inexplicably received a ton of very odd wine storage units. There were racks shaped like stars and guitars, racks meant for hanging and stacking, racks so bizarre and forcibly whimsical they could only have been created for the SkyMall catalog. Each gift-giver meant well, of course, but the Parade of Strange Racks taught me one thing: People love to give wine geeks some very weird gear.

In honor of the gnarliest shopping day of the year being tomorrow, we've gathered some of the worst wine-related gifts, and have balanced them out with some never-fail replacements. If you're a Black Friday gladiator, headed to bed before sunset so you can get in line before sunrise, take note -- with this list, you can find the right gifts (and avoid the wrong ones) for every wine lover in your life. Bonus: You can snag most of these items in the kitchen and housewares departments while your fellow hardcore shoppers throw down over the last of the discounted televisions.

Better yet, all of these gifts can be sourced online. Break out the remaining turkey and get a jump on your Christmas chores without risking a fistfight in the parking lot of a Bed, Bath & Beyond.

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Comments

  • What about the items which could appear in either category? Corkscrews, for example, range from the good (Screwpull?) to the bad (that strange device which pumps air into the wine and forces the cork out) and the downright ugly. Never ask for "a corkscrew" - your giver will probably screw it up!

    Nov 26, 2010 at 4:19 AM


  • Normally I would say no to Marilyn Merlot. But when I take a $10 bottle, given to me as a gift, and sell it years later for hundreds of dollars (allowing me to buy "real" wine), then it's kind of hard to say no.

    Nov 26, 2010 at 7:06 AM


  • Last year I cut up a 7-gal barrel and made about 8 serving platters. I screwed corks onto the underside for feet to stabilize it. It sounds a little weird but my wine-loving friends liked them. I included some cheeses, flatbreads, and a tea candle.

    Nov 27, 2010 at 3:24 PM


  • Has anyone received one of those wine saving systems? Winebar is one company. I have always wondered about those and if they really worked. Was thinking about asking for it for the holidays.

    Nov 28, 2010 at 8:25 AM


  • Does anyone know of a good wine cooler that holds 12-18 bottles of wine? Mine just broke after four months.

    Nov 28, 2010 at 11:17 AM


  • I am a collector of Marilyn Melots or any Marilyn Monoe wines, I have over 30 different bottles. A couple are worth $500.00 each, and I received most of them as "GIFTS". Luv it!!~!! ;)

    Dec 06, 2010 at 2:40 PM


  • Snooth User: All You Need Is Wine
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    600816 22

    Great wine gift for the wine lover is a wine game...check out All You Need Is Wine, a blind wine tasting party game. http://www.allyouneediswine.com

    Dec 08, 2010 at 1:22 AM


  • could someone please tell me the brand of decanter in slide 6?

    Dec 14, 2010 at 12:28 AM


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