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Christmas Gifts for the Wine Lover

Christmas Gifts for the Wine Lover this year offer many options from essential items, to fun items, to the ultimate luxury decanter. Chances are if you need to purchase Christmas Gifts for the wine lover, you will find yourself having fun as the giver because of the variance and uniqueness of gifts this year. Where the saying may be true it is better to give than receive, shopping for Christmas gifts for the wine lover will also be rewarding and definitely fun for the purchaser this year.

One of the most exquisite Christmas gifts for the wine lover and an excellent choice is the Orbital Decanter from Sur La Table Online. The Orbital Decanter is the perfect vessel for new and old wines, as it will allow one to enjoy an older wine without the sediment. Uniquely designed and sitting in a metal stand, the Italian 2-quart Orbital Decanter retails for approximately $79.95.

The next choice of Christmas gifts for the wine lover is the professionally styled set of Wine Essentials available from Sur La Table. The Wine Essentials set is not only professionally styled but also professionally weighted, is made from 18/8 stainless steel and conveniently is dishwasher safe. The Sur La Table Wine Essential Set contains a Foil Cutter, Pourer/Stopper, Wine Funnel, Walter’s Corkscrew, and a Wine Collar all for $69.95. This is definitely one of the top Christmas gifts for the wine lover and gives him or her a fresh new collection of essentials, which one can always use.

When wine lovers get together, conversation, expertise and fun is in the air. Why not give one of the top Christmas gifts for the wine lover that will enjoy him or her and all of the guests to see exactly how well versed the wine lovers actually are with the Wine Smarts Game. Designed for new wine lovers as well as the connoisseur, Wine Smarts is a game designed to increase you knowledge of the art and love of wine. The Wine Smarts Game covers topics such as regions, history, aroma, flavor and more and includes a booklet and score pad as well as a few excellent wine tips. The Wine Smarts Game definitely one of the top Christmas gifts for the wine lover retails for approximately $16.95.

If you have wine parties, you and your guests will enjoy the Wine Party Wine Tasting Kit. One of the top Christmas gifts for the wine lover, this unique kit consists of bottle wrappers to disguise the wine bottles, stem tags, a tasting note pad and book of wine tips, and guides to aroma and flavor. This unique Christmas gift for the wine lover retails for only $24.95 from Sur La Table.

All of the mentioned Christmas Gifts for the wine lover are excellent choices. Consider the knowledge of the wine lover when purchasing the kit, though most wine lovers will enjoy having fun and educating other wine lovers who are not as knowledgeable about wine.

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Winter Seasonal Beers - A Look at 6 Annual Favorites

Winter Seasonal Beers – A Look at 6 Annual Favorites

For many beer lovers, the most anticipated of the four seasons is winter. From heavily spiced winter warmers to heavily boozed barley wines, many breweries release their most sought-after beers in the months leading up to and during winter. Let’s take a closer look at 6 favorites:

Deschutes Abyss

In December of 2006, this robust Russian imperial stout became Deschutes Brewery’s second release in its recently launched “reserve series.” The Abyss was so well received by beer aficionado’s around the world, that the brewery decided to change its plans of creating just one vintage. The 2007 release of this beer is scheduled for release on January 14th, 2008. Online beer purveyor liquidsolutions.biz recently put this beer up for pre-sale, and sold their allotment a short while later.

So what’s all the fuss about?

Simply put, this beer is a work of liquid art. A stout lover’s dream beer. Aged in oak barrels for several months, this beer’s complexity is rivaled by few. Layers upon layers of chocolate, molasses, fig, raisins, oak, and licorice show just how fitting its namesake really is. The luscious texture of this beer acts as a tongue massager, while the 11% ABV acts as a liver tester. Make no mistake about it, this beer is a sipper. If you can get your hands on some, be sure to purchase as many bottles as you can afford. You won’t regret it.

Hair of the Dog Doggie Claws

Hair of the Dog Brewing is the pride and joy of Portland, OR beer lovers. Doggie Claws is their take on the barley wine style, and if you ask me, undeniably among the very best offerings within that category.

100% organic and bottle conditioned, this beer is of the highest quality and worth the premium price of $3.49 per 12 ounce bottle. In fact, many beer connoisseurs feel as though that price is a downright bargain, and happily purchase this beer by the case, despite the triple digit price tag. The most recent vintage was released at a dock sale at the brewery on November 10th, 2007.

Alesmith Winter Yulesmith

The more heavily malted cousin to the summer Yulesmith of the same brewery, the winter Yulesmith is an imperial red ale of incredible balance and flavor. The heavy dose of both hops and malt make this beer a decadent treat that will ruin the palate of those who over-imbibe. So find a friend to split your 22 ounce bottle with, and you can both marvel at its greatness without pounding your taste buds into submission in the process. This is a must-have beer every year.

Anchor Our Special Ale

This beer is has been around for so long, that I think many people take it for granted. It truly is one of the very best winter warmers on the market. Using a different recipe for every vintage of this beer, Anchor keeps you guessing but never let’s you down. Always heavily spiced and incredibly drinkable, Our Special Ale is a must-have for every beer lover come holiday season.

Our Special Ale comes in both 12 ounce bottles for immediate enjoyment, and 50.7 ounce magnum bottles for long term cellaring. And yes, despite the fact that this beer clocks in at just 5.5 ABV, it will withstand the test of time and actually improve with extended cellaring by achieving a deeper complexity.

Sierra Nevada Bigfoot

As the grandfather of American barley wines, this beer commands respect. With an IBU count rivaling that of even the most heavily hopped imperial IPA’s, many people wouldn’t even know this was a barley wine until you told them. But put a few years behind a particular vintage, and watch those hops fade and the malt character step forward to reveal a beer that is incredibly complex, and yes, very big. Perhaps the most appealing aspect of this beer is its price. At just $9.99 per six-pack, this is one of the best values you can find in the world of craft beer.

Stone Old Guardian

Yes, ’tis the season for barley wines. No doubt about it, Stone’s Old Guardian is among the most sought after come January of each year. Leaning more on the sweetly malty side than the aforementioned Doggie Claws and Bigfoot, Old Guardian is an excellent example of the barley wine style. At 11.26 ABV, this beer almost needs to be cellared for a few years before it can be truly enjoyed. But the wait is well worth it, as all that boozy alcohol, sweet malt, and hop bitterness meld together to form a thing of beauty.

All 5 of these beers are limited releases that can only be purchased in the winter months. The Abyss and Doggie Claws are especially rare, so see if you can’t find out who’s selling them in advance and reserve some. If you live anywhere other than the west-coast of the United States, you’re probably out of luck unless you can find them on the internet.


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