Cool gifts for wine geeks

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Check out some cool gifts
on our wish list for wineaux
and wine geeks like us.

Here’s the latest on the list…

Wine Wars Trivia Game

You can’t get much geekier than playing trivia games with your friends. Make it a trivia game about nothing but wine, and you’ll keep your happy little wine geeks entertained for hours.

We love the Wine Wars Trivia Game not only because it helps us keep up on our wine trivia, but the questions are varied enough for aspiring wine geeks and novices to join in the fun too. In fact, we have two sets so we’re prepared for our wine-tasting parties.

The game has questions like: What French painter decanted Veuve Clicquot to get rid of the bubbles at a party? How many different smells can the human body detect? What soils are best suited to white wines? Sounds fun, right?

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In lieu of earning wedges for a pie (as in other trivia games), the goal is to be the first to collect all of these cute little wine bottle playing pieces by correctly answering the questions.

There are five different categories of questions each focusing on aspects of producing wine and grape growing, geography, grape varieties and types of wine, tasting, wine and food, and notable wine culture trivia.

After a roll of the die, a question is read from one category. If answered correctly, it’s on to the next roll and question until you win. Obviously, we highly recommend giving the winner a bottle of wine. A nice Napa Cabernet perhaps?

The Wine Wars Trivia Game retails for $19.95 (wine not included) and can be found at many brick and mortar and online retail establishments from Nordies to cooking supply shops and bookstores to Amazon. If you like this game, also check out the sister game called, Foodie Fight. Great host/hostess gift!

Wineopolis Books

Okay, so this is a shameless plug for our very own books. If you can’t give your wine-loving friends an all-expenses-paid trip to wine country, then get them the next best thing: A Wineopolis Wine Travel Guide.

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THE travel guide for wine lovers. Get the scoop on Napa, Sonoma, Oregon and Temecula wine country in this book series. Packed with winery reviews, wine-tasting tips, wine journal and loads of info on restaurants, activities and local wine history. Features the best of wine country, hand-picked by author Heidi Butzine.

Books retail for Just under $13 to $17 and are available at Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble. Great stocking stuffer too!

Wine Making Kit

We love gifts that inspire others to try something new. A wine maker kit will surely get your beloved wine wonk involved in their very own winemaking adventure at home. Someone near and dear to the Wineopolis crew got us this kit to try out earlier this summer and we loved it so much we chronicled the experience. [Check it out here.]

Unless you have a brew supply or wine maker’s store nearby where you can get your hands on a kit, you’ll probably need to buy one online. Two of our favorite places to check out are the Wine Maker’s Depot and EC Kraus. Both offer a wide range of starter kits at different price points.

Most kits include all the basics needed to get your wine on such as fermenter containers, hydrometers, yeast, adjuncts, and wine making juice. Bottling tools and corks are typically part of the starter kits, but wine bottles are sold separately. [You could be a great friend and buy ‘em some or offer to help out by washing their used wine bottles for reuse.]

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Wine wonks will love this gift. But your science geek friends may even get a kick out of getting a winemaking kit too. Just make sure that the recipient will enjoy using the kit as making wine requires some work and a little TLC. The cool thing is that you’ll probably get a bottle of wine out of it.

Starter kits retail around $120 to $200 based on what type of wine it is as well as the equipment and tools included in the kit. Here are links to some of the stores where we have shopped at and we recommend for kits and supplies: EC Kraus.com and Wine Makers Depot.com.

Get the beloved wine geek in your family a winemaking kit. Then tell them to visit us at Wineopolis and tell us about their winemaking fun. We’d love to hear about it.

Wine Monkey

Okay so this gift is cute, funny and totally speaks to our inner child. Meet the Wine Monkey. A take on the popular sock money you may have heard your grandma talking about making back in the 50s or maybe you had one as a kid. This little monkey is a cheeky way to bring a bottle of wine to a party.

It may sound a little weird to give your friend a nice bottle of wine in a sock, but it’s much more entertaining than a gift bag. And just think of all the monkey jokes that your gift will inspire.

Here at Wineopolis headquarters, our Wine Monkey’s name is Earl. He loves both red and white wines and fits fine on our favorite 750mL bottles. We tried to fit Earl on a bottle of champagne which did not make him happy because it made him look fat. And nobody wants a sad little monkey.

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At our last soiree, Earl was the life of the party. We captured him hamming it up for the camera which we’ve shared in this post. We love playing with our Wine Monkey. It’s definitely a gift that will put a smile on faces.

The Wine Monkey retails for about $10. We found our Wine Monkey at Sur La Table, but you can also find them at Amazon.com.

Cork Sleeves for Gadgets

For years my laptops and cell phones have been protected in those boring basic black corporatey-type cases. I never really found quite the right accessories for my poor gadgets to wear until I found these cool cork sleeves last month online. So we had to put them on the wine geek gift list.

Tailored for your iPad, iPhone and laptop (PC & Mac) as well as Blackberry, Smartphones, Kindles, cameras and business cards, the cork-sporting sleeves come ready-to-wear and look great.

The designer behind this product line is London-based Ryan Frank. Known as a leading designer in sustainability, Frank designed the very bespoke protective sleeves for a UK music label. Pretty cool huh?

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Wine geeks will surely get a kick out of these accessories and so will your friends who are Eco because they are FSC approved. This means that the cork used to accessorize your gear is sustainably sourced from woodlands certified by the global Forest Stewardship Council. Even more cool, right?

The durable cork pouch will keep your prized iPad or Smartphone from getting knocked around or scratched. We like these because they are tactile and there’s just something neat about having an age-old product like cork protecting our hi-tech toys.

The Cork Sleeves are sold through Tape Gear and ship out of the UK so they will cost about $30 to $50 US depending on the size/type of sleeve. For more info, visit www.tapegear.com.

Corkcicle Wine Chiller

A cool way to chill your wine sans ice bucket, the corkcicle will surely get some attention at your next party. I first saw this nifty gadget at a friend’s wine meetup and had to get my hands on one.

Looking like a freshly-plucked icicle from the arctic, this cork-topped tube is used to chill wine from inside the bottle.

The corkcicle is kept in your freezer. When you are ready to serve your next bottle of wine, you insert the corkcicle into the bottle to lower the temperature or to keep your wine chilled while you’re partying.

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The cork is attached to the cold icicle inside so you need to remove it from the bottle when you pour. At first this takes some getting used to, but after you and your guests have poured a few, you’ll still be talking about the coolness of this product.

We like the corkcicle because it saves your wine from swimming in drippy ice buckets and it keeps guests interested in your wine at a party. We also think that a few corkcicles would look pretty cool hanging on the Christmas tree this year.

The corkcicle retails for under $30. For more info, visit corkcicle.com

What do you get for the wine geek who has everything?
Any one of these items would be much loved.

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