11 Brilliant Gifts for the Wine Enthusiast in Your Life

amazon / istock
amazon / istock

Drink in these options, from classy to quirky, for the wine enthusiast in your life.

1. DECANTER; $30 - $50

The topsy turvy twists in this glass wine decanter aren't just for decoration. The design creates a double aerating effect—once when you pour the wine into the decanter, and once when you pour from the decanter into your glass. The twists and turns allow for extra aeration, so it makes for a great bar accessory as well as a simple, useful centerpiece.

Find It: UncommonGoods

2. WINE TASTING FLIGHT; $59

For the aspiring sommelier on your list, this stylish wine flight is ideal for hosting a DIY wine-tasting. The flight comes equipped with four miniature carafes that can hold 4 ounces of wine displayed on an elegant wooden platform made from a repurposed French oak wine barrel stave. It's a gift that’s both elegant and eco-friendly.

Find It: Uncommon Goods

3. BUT FIRST, CHAMPAGNE: A MODERN GUIDE TO THE WORLD'S FAVORITE WINE; $18

Packed with facts about champagne’s history and present-day production trends, But First, Champagne will give the wine-lover in your life a new appreciation for the drink usually—and unfairly—relegated to celebratory sips. Food and Wine called it “a comprehensive, smartly-written guide” and your grateful friends will likely call it “an excuse to drink champagne after New Year’s Eve."

Find It: Amazon

4. MAJOR SCALE MUSICAL WINE GLASSES; $65 FOR 2

Upgrade their dinner parties with these wine glasses that double as a musical instrument. To create music, fill each glass to the desired note (marked on each glass to make a full A scale), before slightly wetting your finger and running it along the glass’s rim.

Find It: UncommonGoods

5. CORAVIN MODEL TWO PLUS PACK; $350

Ideal for those who enjoy sampling and collecting different wines, this top-of-the-line wine “system” is a must-have for the serious wine enthusiasts on your list. With its specially engineered argon gas capsules and airtight trigger system, the Coravin system allows you to enjoy a glass of wine without committing to finishing the whole bottle before it goes bad.

Find It: Amazon

6. GOVERRE PORTABLE WINE GLASS; $24

The Goverre, available in a variety of colors, features a stemless design, non-stick silicone sleeve and spill-proof lid that can hold up to 17 ounces, allowing your giftee's wine to go wherever they go.

Find It: Goverre

7. THE WINE DECK; $16

For those wishing to study up on their wine knowledge, look no further than the Wine Deck. These grown-up flashcards can be used to test knowledge of wine variations, regions, pairings, and more.

Find It: UncommonGoods

8. WINE PRESERVER BOTTLE; $50

If you know someone who likes to savor their wine, get them the gift of quality time—that is, quality time with their favorite bottle. This BPA-free glass vessel provides a spill-proof, airtight environment that extends the life of a bottle up to a week after uncorking.

Find It: UncommonGoods

9. BEANIE WINE STOPPER; $17

These quirky, cute wine stoppers come in a pack of two contrasting colors to provide a wintry accessory for your loved one's favorite bottle, while the stopper's airtight silicone design keeps the wine fresh after opening.

Find It: Amazon

10. QUOTABLE WINE TOWELS; $45

Did you know that Benjamin Franklin once said, “There can not be good living where there is not good drinking”? Give your friends the gift of good living and drinking with this set of four cotton wine towels, emblazoned with witty quotes about wine from some of history’s greatest minds, including Benjamin Franklin, Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway, and Winston Churchill.

Find It: UncommonGoods

11. WINC MEMBERSHIP; $50 PER MONTH

Whether that tricky person on your list is obsessed with wine or a novice looking to discover more about it, they’ll be pleased with a Membership from Winc. Subscribers share their unique flavor preferences by answering questions like, “How do you take your coffee?” or “Do you like salt?”, then Winc takes it from there, shipping the personalized recommendations in each box.

Find It: Winc

25 Back-to-School Products That Earn High Marks

iStock
iStock

New school style: Whether you're starting college, shopping for the kids, or just want an excuse to treat yourself to new office gear, Mental Floss has you covered. Equip yourself or a loved one with these stylish and functional school supplies.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

1. COFFEE AND DOUGHNUT POST-ITS; $13

coffee and doughnut Post-its
Courtesy of Post-it

Add some flavor to your notes with the two-pack set of coffee and doughnut Post-its. Each of the 60 sheets is 3.20-by-3 inches.

Find It: Amazon

2. PACKIT FREEZABLE HAMPTON LUNCH BAG; $16

PackIt Freezable Hampton Lunch Bag, Blanket Stripe
Amazon

This spacious lunch bag is designed with a freezable lining, so it can be folded and placed in the freezer. When you're ready to take it on the go, it'll be ready to chill your food for hours. Bonus: It's also lead- and BPA-free.

Find It: Amazon

3. MONSTER REUSABLE SANDWICH BAGS; $11

Orange Monster Reusable Sandwich Lunch Bags
Amazon

Save the Earth and amuse little students with these reusable, dishwasher-safe bags. Each set of four includes two sandwich bags and two snack bags—all with an easy-to-grip opening.

Find It: Amazon

4. BENTO BOX FOR KIDS; $40

OmieBox Bento Lunch Box With Insulated Thermos For Kids
Amazon

This three-compartment bento box is roomy enough to fit a hearty, healthy lunch. The BPA-free container—available in five bright colors—is leak-proof, easy to open, and comes with a built-in thermos.

Find It: Amazon

5. LARGE MONTHLY PLANNER; $15

Large Personal Monthly Planner
Amazon

JStory's minimalist planner is made of thicker-than-average paper and includes a column for notes. And the blank design offers flexibility: You fill in the dates yourself.

Find It: Amazon

6. ORANGE LINED NOTEBOOK; $9

Rhodia Staplebound Orange Lined Notebook
Amazon

French brand Rhodia earned a strong following among artists and designers for its high-quality paper that's unbelievably smooth. The cover is sturdy so you can take notes anywhere.

Find It: Amazon

7. HONEYSTICKS BEESWAX CRAYONS; $23

crayons
Amazon

These sustainable crayons are made of 100 percent beeswax from New Zealand. (They smell like honey, too!) The thick shape is perfect for toddlers to hold.

Find It: Amazon

8. MOPHIE POWERSTATION XL; $66

external battery
Amazon

An external battery is a must for days when shuttling around campus from classes to clubs to rehearsals is unavoidable. This slim rose gold option has two USB ports and is compatible with both smartphones and tablets.

Find It: Amazon

9. CABLEKEEP; $13

Nice GLD-02 Goldie CableKeep
Amazon

This helpful gadget for iPhones holds both your power adapter and USB cable while keeping them tangle-free. It also functions as a stand for your phone when the Cablekeep is plugged into the wall.

Find It: Amazon

10. PARKLAND BAYSIDE KIDS' BACKPACK; $28

Parkland Bayside Kids Backpack
Amazon

Tote books in style with this eco-friendly backpack, featuring a polyester exterior made from recycled water bottles.

Find It: Amazon

11. LEGO BRICK BACKPACK; $50

LEGO Brick Backpack
Amazon

This whimsical statement backpack from LEGO features a padded handle and shoulder straps, so it's as comfortable as it is cool.

Find It: Amazon

12. HERSHEL NOVEL DUFFEL; $81

Herschel Supply Co. duffel
Amazon

Class up your gear with this stylish duffel from Herschel. It features a padded shoulder strap and a special compartment for those dirty cleats.

Find It: Amazon

13. ANTIQUE BRASS PHARMACY FLOOR LAMP; $50

Dawson Antique Brass Pharmacy Floor Lamp
Amazon

Overpower dim dorm room lighting with this brass floor lamp. Its height can be adjusted from 33 inches to a maximum of 55 inches, while the arm can be adapted to shine light at a variety of angles.

Find It: Amazon

14. EGYPTIAN COTTON TOWEL SET; $24

bathroom with towels
Amazon

This set of soft Egyptian cotton towels from Amazon's Pinzon brand includes two hand towels, two washcloths, and two bath towels—all listed as 100 percent cotton and at an affordable price.

Find It: Amazon

15. WHITE MARBLE MACBOOK KEYBOARD SKIN; $12

White Marble MacBook Keyboard Skin
Nordstrom

Protect your keyboard while adding a little luxury to your Macbook with this white marble keyboard skin.

Find It: Nordstrom

16. MAGNETIC CHALK BOARD; $18

chalkboard
Amazon

Get organized with this wood-framed chalk board, which comes with chalk and two vintage-style magnets.

Find It: Amazon

17. COFFEEBOXX SINGLE SERVE COFFEE MAKER; $230

portable coffee maker
Amazon

This ultra-durable single-serve coffee maker is great for the dorm as well as the campground. It's water- and dust-resistant and works with K-cups.

Find It: Amazon

18. TRAVEL MUG; $25

 Zojirushi SM-SA48-BA Stainless Steel Mug
Amazon

If you need java to survive, pick up this sleek vacuum-insulated travel mug, which features a splatter-free push-button lid. It's also lockable, so you won't be that person who spills coffee in class.

Find It: Amazon

19. SIX-PACK OF STACKING DRAWERS; $32

stacking drawers
Amazon

Stack these versatile transparent drawers to create a dresser so you can fit your huge wardrobe in your dorm room.

Find It: Amazon

20. FACETED TAPE DISPENSER; $7

gem tape dispenser
Amazon

This elegant copper tape dispenser will give your desk some class. It's also weighted, so you can grab with ease. (Roll of Scotch tape included.)

Find It: Amazon

21. COUNTERTOP MICROWAVE; $84

microwave
Amazon

Master the art of dorm room microwave cooking with this 1000-Watt model, featuring that all-important popcorn setting.

Find It: Amazon

22. SATEEN SHEETS; $18 AND UP

sheet set
Bed Bath & Beyond

These 400-thread-count sateen sheets feel silky to the touch: They're a simple way to make your dorm room feel luxurious.

Find It: Bed Bath & Beyond

23. TOUCHSCREEN MIST CLEANER; $10

Two-In-One Spray and Microfiber Cloth
Amazon

Use this screen-safe spray to remove dirt and fingerprints from your phone. It comes in a bottle that's coated with microfiber cloth so you can spritz and wipe all in one.

Find It: Amazon

24. MESH SHOWER BAG; $13

 Saltwater Canvas, LLC Zip Top Mesh Shower Bag
Amazon

No more feeling around outside the shower curtain for your shampoo. Take this quick-drying mesh shower caddy right into the stall with you.

Find It: Amazon

25. MINI FRIDGE WITH DRY ERASE BOARD; $250

 Igloo FR326M-D-BLACK Erase Board Refrigerator with Neon Markers
Amazon

Make your dorm room unique with this fun fridge that has a dry erase exterior and comes with neon markers so you can write notes directly on it. No paper and magnets needed. It also includes a freezer unit and ice cube tray.

Find It: Amazon

The Brilliant $20 Gadget That Will Keep Your Beach Umbrella Firmly Anchored in the Sand

iStock
iStock

Failing to properly secure your beach umbrella is more dangerous than you think. Tumbling, airborne umbrellas can be a safety hazard, with the potential to collide with beach-goers. Recently, a woman in Maryland was struck in the chest by one that was carried away by high winds.

Usually, it’s simply a matter of inconvenience—chasing a rogue umbrella is not how anyone wants to spend their day. Today recently broke down some preventative measures to help keep umbrellas secured, including using a rocking motion to bury it in the sand and making sure at least one-third of it is underground. You also want to tilt it into the wind so the gusts help keep it secured. 

The best way to avoid umbrella-related mishaps, though, is to opt for a sand anchor. These cheap-but-effective devices are like giant screws that bite into the sand for a much more secure fit. You then place the umbrella pole in the anchor. You can find the Beachr Beach Umbrella Sand Anchor, which fits all sizes of umbrella, for $19.97 on Amazon.

Experts like beach superintendents also advise you to consider taking down umbrellas if it's too windy and never, ever bringing a patio umbrella to the beach. With a larger surface area to catch wind, they can be extremely dangerous.

[h/t Today]

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