Dracaena Wines

Random Thoughts

From Stocking Stuffers to Open This Last; A Wine Christmas

It's the most wonderful time of the year!Click To Tweet There’ll be parties for hosting and there’ll be much mistletoeing and you know you want to have the best gifts going!  I must admit, I love Christmas. The tinsel on the tree, the shiny Christmas balls and all the smiles as the presents are opened.  

I am sure there will be loads of posts with gift suggestions for the winelover in your life, but I hope you have time to read another. I’m breaking down my suggestions into stocking stuffers (personally, I think is the hardest part gifts to find for Christmas), Under the Tree options and the ultimate “Open This Last” present, the one with the biggest wow factor!

 

Repour Wine Saver (SRP: $2.49)

How many times have you opened a bottle of wine and over the days it becomes too oxidized to enjoy? Or, have you really wanted to open a bottle, but since you were alone, you chose not to open and enjoy because you didn’t want it to go bad? Well, here is a great solution that is so affordable, you won’t think twice about opening another bottle. 

Repour is an Oxygen adsorbing tool. They began as a Kickstarter

Dracaena Wines

courtesy of repour.com

campaign. Being the science geek that I am, I was attracted to this product immediately. Think about those desiccators that you find in shoe boxes or clothes bags. Their objective is to pull the moisture out of the container. This premise is basically the same, except instead of absorbing moisture it is adsorbing oxygen molecules. 

If you are a winelover, you know that a little bit of oxygen can do wonders for wine, but too much is not a good thing. The wine oxidizes, changes color and the flavors are impaired, basically making the wine unpleasant. Here’s a little science lesson for you. Back in 1803 William Henry created several scientific laws related to how gases react in nature. He stated; “At a constant temperature, the amount of a given gas that dissolves in a given type and volume of liquid is directly proportional to the partial pressure of that gas in equilibrium with that liquid.” Repour using the this science to preserve your wine. By continuously decreasing the amount of oxygen in the bottle, it can preserve your wine allowing you to enjoy each glass when you are ready. 

CapaBubbles (SRP: $9.95)

A Wine Christmas

courtesy CapaBunga.com

I am in love with this product.  I adore bubbles; Mike does not. I know, there must be something wired wrong in him that he doesn’t partake in the joy of sparkling wine, but to each their own. In reality, I guess it is a good thing, since it means there are more bubbles for me. But it does typically pose a problem. Opening a bottle for just myself. Ok, I have been known to sip an entire bottle- come on give me a break, it typically is lower in alcohol, and I savor it throughout the night. Part of the necessity to finish the bottle is because I don’t want to waste a precious drop. And we all know that bubbles dissipate after a while, especially overnight. 

There is the so-called spoon trick. Stick a spoon in your bottle to preserve the fizz. Whether this is fact or fiction, logistically it is pretty darn tough to enjoy a few glasses and still let the spoon touch the liquid so what is the rationale behind even attempting that? 

The owners, a husband and wife team, were looking for an innovative package for their own wine brand. They thought about bungs (silicone corks for oak barrels) and CapaBunga was born. They expanded their line to include CapaBubbles. The champagne stopper is constructed as a two piece unit. By converting the top of the bottle into a screwcap that is then covered with the unique silicon topper, the bubbles remain fizzy for days. It is so simple to use, and since it doesn’t add height to the bottle, there is no problem storing the now opened bottle in the refrigerator.  The one and only downfall- you can’t saber!  😆 But two major positives: your sparkling wine is preserved and 100% of the proceeds will be donated to support the victims of the recent fires in Sonoma County.

Dracaena Wines

Wine Nots (SRP: $12.99 for 12)

courtesy of TheWineStalker.net

We all have been there. We enjoyed a marvelous day of wine tasting and are in a great mood. Then it happens. We look in the mirror and see our teeth! UGH! It’s the winelover’s equivalent to having a piece of spinach stuck in your teeth while giving a presentation.  Your teeth are as purple as the Malbec, Zinfandel and Syrah you just purchased. 

Let Wine Nots come to the rescue. You may have used the wipes that

From Stocking Stuffers to Open this last

courtesy of Wine Nots

came out a few years ago, but this is different. These are not wipes, instead they are effervescent tablets.  Yep, Plop, Plop, Fizz, Fizz, Get rid of the purple teeth like a wiz! (ok, that may not roll off of the tongue like Alka Seltzer, but you get the gist.) The thing I like about this is that you don’t have to hide in your car or in a corner wiping your teeth. Simply place the lemon/lime flavored tablet on your tongue and let it dissolve. It will take about a minute or two, but viola, your teeth and lips are freed from the embarrassing purple tint.

Since they are a mouth cleanser, you can even take them prior to tasting to cleanse your palate and they don’t alter your palate, so you can pop one on the drive to the next winery.  

Adventures with Old Vines (SRP: $24.86)

For the winelovers on your list that are also book nerds I have the perfect gift solution. Adventures with Old Vines; A Beginner’s Guide to Being a Wine Connoisseur by Richard L. Chilton Jr. checks off all the boxes.  Richard Chilton co-owns Hourglass Vineyard in Napa, CA. He is the founder of Chilton Investment Company as well as a trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Classic American Homes Preservation Trust. 

A Wine Christmas

courtesy of Rowman & Littlefield

Originally from Ho-Ho-Kus, New Jersey, a quaint little town not far from where I grew up, Richard’s love of wine began when he convinced his father to convert their useless bomb shelter into a wine cellar. Thanks to a generous employee discount at the local wine shop he and his brother worked at, they were able to fill the cellar with wines from around the globe. 

His writing immediately engages you and inspires you to turn the page to find out more. He covers buying strategies, wine making basics as well as historical aspects to the wine industry.  His goal of making the often intimidating wine world less scary for the beginner. He discusses how to break down a wine list at a restaurant, so it is not so overwhelming and his passion for wine shines through each and every page. 

Throughout the book, Chilton has some “wine-life altering” statements. First, very early on in the book, but is mentioned multiple times is a statement that I believe in the deepest of my heart and have spoken about in several blog posts, but have never voiced as eloquently as he does, “The most expensive wine in your cellar is not the wine that costs the most, but the wine that goes bad.” Another truthful statement that is simple, but difficult for many to grasp is “The number-one priority for wine collectors is pulling the cork and tasting the wine.” Together, these two statements are the basis for anyone’s wine education.  

The bulk of the book involves Vineyard profiles, a full-color reference section on a select group of vineyards from all over the world. He provides information on vineyards, wineries, wines and vintages to pay attention to. There are photos of bottles, buildings, and vineyards as well as an “At a Glance” informative chart for each. At the end, there is an easy to read chart that summarizes great vintages and vintages to avoid which is extremely helpful (I can never remember them, but get asked often.) This book has it all and although the title states “Beginner’s Guide,” I truly believe whatever your level of knowledge is, from the beginner to the experienced collector can benefit from this book. I believe it will become a book that you reference over and over again. 

Do you know someone who would love this book? I have been provided with two copies to offer as giveaways. In order to be in the running, all you need to do is leave a comment on this post. The giveaway will be run on my Instagram and Twitter feed also, so keep an eye out. The more comments you leave, the more entries you’ll have. (open to US residents only) If you are not a winner, you can order your own copy on Amazon

Open This Last

NewAir Small Black Stainless Steel Wine Cooler – 29-Bottle Dual Zone with Easy-to-Clean Surface (SRP: $829.95)

This @NewAirUSA wine cooler is the item that screams 'I LOVE YOU!' or 'YES, I'M WORTH IT! Click To TweetThe NewAir AWR-290DB-B Compact 29-Bottle Compressor Wine Cooler in Black Stainless Steel Cooler is one amazing product.  Not only is it compact (22.50″L x 14.81″W x 33.63″H) and functional, but it is also beautiful. You will be the envy of all your friends. The sleek black stainless steel is modern and unobtrusive and the unit can hold 29 bottles. This is perfect for for wine enthusiasts in apartments that are limited in space  or for those with a larger collection in their basement but would prefer to not have to trek downstairs every time they want a weeknight wine. These built in wine coolers fit under the counter. For those that are concerned about maintenance, it is a breeze to clean; just wipe it down with warm, soapy water and dry with a microfiber cloth.

With its compact design, you may think it is limited in its temperature control. I was shocked to find that it has dual temperature functionality. It allows for two cooling zones so you can choose the perfect temperature. With a range from 40 to 66 degrees, you can store both your go-to whites and reds. Did I mention the ultra cool blue/purple LED lights? I don’t ever want to shut them off. They provide a futuristic look to the wine cooler and will make your (or the lucky person you purchased this for) friends tremendously jealous!

Both Mike and I are environmentally conscious and this wine cooler fits the bill. At a cost of only .30 cents per day to run, this cooler isn’t going to put a hurting on your electric bill. Additionally, it is so quiet, you’ll never know it is running. The compressor turns on and off seamlessly without the loud clicking that many other coolers have. 

NewAir has thought of everything. We all know that sunlight can damage our precious wines. This cooler has a triple-paned, tinted glass door that limits UV penetration and shields your wine and they offer a one year limited manufactured warranty, so you can feel secure with your purchase. They also provide two keys to lock up your precious belongings, so your baby sitter can’t enjoy herself. (not that I ever did that!) 

The removable craftsman beech wood shelves add not only quality, but a bit of customization to the unit.  Both Rhone and Bordeaux bottles can fit in the unit. Alternating the storage of the bottles, one outwards one inwards, allows you to reach the cooler’s storage capacity. If you are looking for a little more storage they also offer the Black Stainless Steel Cooler in a 46 bottle version which is still extremely compact at 23.50″L x 22.40″W x 32.20″H for just an additional $150 (NewAir AWR-460DB-B.) And the best gift of all; for my readers, they have set up a very merry deal! Use promo code “DRACAENA” for 15% off either of the coolers.  Order now; they will deliver before Christmas!  

So get those fingers tapping and head to these websites because time is ticking because it is the most wonderful time of the year and these presents will get the loved ones in your life’s hearts glowing. 

~Sláinte! 

All products were received as samples for review. This had no affect on my opinion or decision to include the product in this post.