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

Ninja’s Hot & Cold Brewed System Is the Only Coffee Maker You’ll Ever Need

Amazon
Amazon

Update: The Ninja Hot & Cold Brewed System is on sale for $120 ($40 off) for Sam's Club members until May 19.

For people who just want a cup of joe to help them get out the door in the morning, the French presses, Chemexes, Aeropresses, Moka pots, and other specialized devices that coffee aficionados swear by probably seem more overwhelming than appealing. Ditto the fancy cappuccino machines at local cafes. That’s where Ninja’s new Hot & Cold Brewed System comes in: It was created to give coffee addicts a myriad of options with minimal fuss, not to mention minimal equipment. And it makes tea, too!

“Coffeehouses are known for having an endless selection, but current at-home brewers haven't given users the vast variety of choice we thought possible, and certainly not all in one product," Mark Rosenzweig, CEO of SharkNinja, said in a press release. "The Ninja Hot & Cold Brewed System changes the category entirely. This innovative system is more than just a machine you use in the morning; it's your all-day brewing partner.”

The Hot & Cold Brewed System comes with two baskets: one for coffee and one for tea. It knows what you're making to make based on the basket you insert, and the available options for that basket will light up. The machine allows the user to make six different sizes of coffee or tea, from a single cup all the way up to a full 50-ounce (10-cup) carafe.

And of course, as the name suggests, the system can make both hot and iced beverages. For coffee, it has five brew options: classic, rich, over ice, cold brew, and specialty (a concentrated brew for milky drinks like cappuccinos). If you’re making tea, you can choose between hot and cold brews optimized for herbal, black, oolong, white, or green tea.

When you select an over ice or cold brew, the machine automatically doubles the strength of your beverage so it doesn't get overly diluted by the ice cubes in the carafe. Even better, the Ninja can make cold brew in just 10 to 15 minutes, whereas other systems and methods typically take hours. (Hot coffee is brewed at 205°F, while the cold brew is made at 101°F.) And the system has a hot and cold frother that folds into the side so you can make barista-level lattes, too.

These bells and whistles sound impressive on paper, but how do they perform in real life? Ninja sent me Hot & Cold Brewed System to test for myself.

Ease of Use

Though it might look like something developed by NASA, the Hot & Cold Brewed System is designed to easily work with the twist of a dial and the push of a button, and it delivers. From loading in the correct amount of grounds with the system’s “smart scoop” to picking what type of brew you’d like, it’s simple enough to use even while bleary-eyed in the morning. It’s also easy to schedule a delayed brew so you can do the rest of your morning routine while your coffee brews. (Here’s the only drawback I can think of about this machine: When it starts brewing, it’s kind of noisy—loud enough to make my cats jump. It’s not a dealbreaker, but if you live in a small apartment and plan to brew coffee so that it’s ready right when you wake up, it might be something to consider.)

The system even tells you when it needs to be descaled. The “clean” button will light up, at which point you simply fill the water reservoir with descaling solution and water and press the clean button. A countdown lets you know how much longer the clean cycle will last.

Taste and Flavor

I swapped out an old, cheap coffee maker for the Hot & Cold Brewed System, and the difference was immediately noticeable. Whether hot or cold, the coffee made by the H&CBS was a better, smoother cup of joe. That’s due to what Ninja has dubbed Thermal Flavor Extraction automated brewing technology, which, according to a press release, “knows the precise temperatures, correct bloom times, and proper levels of saturation for every possible beverage combination to ensure a great taste every time.”

Whatever tech they use, it works. The coffee I make in this machine is consistently tasty. The rich brew setting works exactly as advertised, too, providing a richer, bolder flavor than the classic brew.

Features and Accessories

One of the best things about the H&CBS is the fact that it cuts down on waste significantly. Unlike other machines, it doesn't require any plastic pods or paper filters. Instead, it comes with two permanent filters, one for coffee and one for tea.

And the cold brew function is a game changer if you prefer iced coffee to hot. Not only does it brew quickly, but it eliminates the messy cleanup that comes with making cold brew yourself.

Typically priced at $230 for the thermal carafe version (or $200 for the glass carafe), the Hot & Cold Brewed System is significantly more expensive than a simpler drip coffee machine. But if you’re a cold brew addict looking to treat yourself, it’s worth it. Consider springing for the slightly more expensive thermal carafe model, which will keep your java hot or cold for hours. (I’ve left ice in it overnight and found cubes the next morning.)

You can get the Hot & Cold Brewed System on Amazon, Walmart, Macy's, Sam's Club, or directly on Ninja’s website starting at $160.

Attention Aspiring Astronauts: Arlo Skye Now Has Space-Themed Luggage

Arlo Skye
Arlo Skye

While some travelers are preoccupied with getting their luggage through airport security, the designers at Arlo Skye are thinking bigger. As Condé Nast Traveler reports, the brand's new line of suitcases is inspired by space travel, with high tech features and a sleek, futuristic look.

Arlo Skye was founded in 2016 by alumni from Louis Vuitton and Tumi Inc. They set out to create luggage that emphasized design, with luxury polycarbonate suitcases available in trendy colors like rose gold and custom monogramming.

The company's Space Collection may be its most stylized line yet. It comes with a removable, 10,050-milliamp-hour charger with USB C and A ports for charging phones and other devices. The chrome-colored case is 22 inches tall, 9 inches deep, and 14 inches wide and weighs 8.5 pounds empty.

Space Collection suitcase from Arlo Skye
Arlo Skye

Depending on what type of space traveler you are, you can get one of three designs laser-etched on the bottom of your luggage. There's Moon Shot, Team Human, and Occupy Mars; each engraving comes with a short ode to space and a small picture of its respective celestial body. Like other suitcases made by Arlo Skye, these bags are zipper-free and made from polycarbonate with an aluminum frame.

Whether you're a globetrotter or an aspiring astronaut, the Space Collection from Arlo Skye makes a great travel companion.

Buy it from Arlo Skye for $450.

[h/t Condé Nast Traveler]

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