Every year around this time I read gift guide summations that assume I have a lot of money to spend on wine gifts. I do not have a lot of money to spend. So, with that in mind, here are my top recommendations for holiday gift giving on the cheap, for your favorite wine guy or gal.
1. A Pulltap's Double Hinged Corkscrew. Seriously. They work great. Why pay a ton more for something else?
2. A Flashlight App for iPhone, instead of a decanting candle. A friend suggested this to me recently, and you know what? Awesome result. Just load up that free Flashlight App and put your phone underneath the bottle. Yahtzee!
3. Tell someone about winesearcher.com Basically every single day I meet someone who doesn't know that you can search for wines on winesearcher. How do these people live? It is ridiculous to "call around" looking for your favorite wine. Even worse to actually take the time to travel to a shop on the off chance they might have what you want. Winesearcher is the answer, people.
4. Purchase rose in the winter. Do you know how cheap rose is in the winter? Cheap.
5. Use a flower vase instead of a decanter. Think about it. Do you know how inexpensive it is to buy an unused, cheap flower vase? Cheap! Do you know how expensive it is to buy a "cheap" decanter? Not cheap. Flower people aren't dumb. They don't spend a ton of dough on a piece of glass. You can get a flower vase for like one dollar. That's it. A buck. Uno. Wine people should be so smart.
7. Used bookstores have a ton of wine books. That they are just hoping to sell to somebody. For cheap.
8. Muscadet instead of Sancerre. It is as simple as that. See also: Dolcetto instead of Barolo.
9. Always buy a mixed case, instead of a couple of bottles. Mixed cases are always cheaper in the long run.
Sorry, that's it. No 10th recommendation. I'm feeling cheap.