Tag Archives: wine gifts

Holiday wine gift guide 2020

holiday wine 2020The Wine Curmudgeon holiday wine gift guide 2020, and even a couple of things that aren’t wine

The big trend in wine gifts this year? Non-alcoholic products, if the mail in my inbox is any indication. Or — shudder — a $426 decanter. We can do much better than that; after all, why else does the blog exist? Keep in our wine gift buying guidelines in mind, as well.

Consider:

Joe Roberts’ “Wine Taster’s Guide” ($14.99, Rockridge Press) is neither pretentious nor expensive — which is why it’s on this list. Joe, who I’ve known almost since I started the blog, is passionate about the failings of post-modern wine writing, and especially that we buy wine we may not like because the process is so intimidating.

• The Benziger de Coelo Quintus Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016 ($68, sample, 14.1%) is a gorgeous, structured — albeit not especially subtle — Sonoma Coast pinot noir. It’s full of dark fruit, maybe even some tea, and the soft tannins that used to be common in California pinot. Not quite sure how I got a sample, but very glad I did. Highly recommended.

• The Wine Curmudgeon has a drawer full of wine-stained tablecloths, mostly from dripping wine bottles. Hence, the marble wine coaster ($19.95), which not only would have saved many of my tablecloths but looks good, too.

Ice wine is one of the great joys of the wine world, but is increasingly difficult to find and increasingly expensive. And it wasn’t easily available or cheap to begin with. So when a winemaker reader tipped me to the Kiona Vineyards Chenin Blanc Ice Wine 2018 ($50/375 ml bottle, sample, 9%), I asked for a sample — something I rarely do. And I was not disappointed. This is ice wine in all its glory — lusciously sweet, but balanced, with pineapple and tropical fruit and refreshing crispness. Highly recommended.

More holiday wine gift guides:
Holiday wine gift guide 2019
• Holiday wine gift guide 2018
• Holiday wine gift guide 2017

Tuesday Birthday Week 2020 giveaway: Wine Not women’s slippers

slippersWin a pair of Wine Not women’s slippers — because, Wine Not?

And the winner is: Doug, who selected 442; the winning number was 437 (screen shot below).  Thanks to everyone who participated. Tomorrow’s giveaway is a $100 Wine.com gift card from one of the blog’s long-time supporters. That will be the third of five daily giveaways; check out this post to see the prizes for the rest of the week.


Today, to celebrate the blog’s 13th anniversary, we’re giving away a pair of Wine Not women’s slippers — because, wine not? (Sorry.) This is the second of five daily giveaways; check out this post to see the other prizes.

Complete contest rules are here. Pick a number between 1 and 1,000 and leave it in the comment section of this post. You can’t pick a number someone else has picked, and you need to leave your guess in the comments section of this post — no email entries or entries on other posts. Unless the number is in the comments section of this post, the entry won’t count.

If you get the blog via email or RSS, you need to go to this exact post on the website to enter (click the link to get there). At about 5 p.m. central today, I’ll go to random.org and generate the winning number. The person whose entry is closest to that number gets the slippers.

Birthday Week 2020 starts Monday

birthday weekThe blog’s 13th annual Birthday Week starts Monday, with our usual assortment of terrific prizes

Birthday Week 2020, the 13th annual, begins on Monday with five days of prizes for the blog’s readers. The daily giveaways are the Wine Curmudgeon’s annual thank you to everyone who reads the blog and visits the site, since none of this would happen without you. And who wouldn’t enjoy a  prize or two in the middle of a pandemic and recession?

Contest rules are here. Those of you who get the blog via email or RSS will need to go to winecurmudgeon.com and click on that day’s prize post to enter.

Each day next week, a prize post will run in addition to the regular post. Pick a number between 1 and 1,000 and leave it in the comment section of the prize post. You can’t pick a number someone else has picked, and you need to leave your guess in the comments section of the post — no email entries or entries on other posts, like this one. Unless the number is in the comments section of the prize post, the entry won’t count.

This year’s prize schedule:

• Monday: An autographed copy of Jessica Dupuy’s “The Wines of Southwwest USA.

• Tuesday: Wine Not women’s slippers, which keeps your feet warm and is funny.

• Wednesday: A $100 gift card from Wine.com. Thanks to Wine.com, a long-time supporter of the blog and what we do here.

• Thursday: Four Schott Zweisel wine glasses, just like the ones the Wine Curmudgeon uses.

• Friday: Three autographed copies of the cheap wine book, just in time for the holidays.

Besides the prize giveaways, I’ll recap the past year on the blog — the top posts and the least liked on Monday, as well as my always insightful analysis about what it all means and the future of the wine business on Thursday. The blog’s Thanksgiving wine suggestions will post on Friday..

Picture courtesy of Comedy Card Company, using a Creative Commons license

The blog’s year end, holiday, and 2021 $10 Hall of Fame schedule

schedule
“Damn. I’d better clean this mess off so I can keep up with the WC’s holiday schedule.”

Get ready: The next couple of months of blog excitement include the 13th annual Birthday Week and giveaways, lots of holiday wine and gift suggestions, and the 2021 $10 Hall of Fame and Cheap Wine of the Year

• Birthday Week, celebrating 13 years of cheap wine enthusiasm, begins Nov. 16. Included among the giveaways is a $100 gift card from Wine.com, as well as wine glasses, wine books, and who knows what else?

• Our Thanksgiving wine suggestions will appear Nov. 20, with Christmas and New Year’s wine ideas on Dec. 21 and Dec. 28.

• The always popular Do it Yourself wine resolutions is set for Jan. 4.

• The 2021 $10 Hall of Fame will make its 14th appearance on Jan. 8, and the 2020 Cheap Wine of the Year will post on Jan. 7. As always, you can email me with suggestions for either or leave them in the comments. So far, prices and quality haven’t been quite as bad as I feared, which is impressive given the 25 percent wine tariff, the last death struggles of premiumization, and the pandemic. As always, your suggestions are much appreciated. You can check out the eligibility rules here. Keep in mind the wine should cost less than $12 or $13, should be generally available, and can’t be a private label sold exclusively by one retailer.

Photo: “2012-08-15 08.25.57” by KRoark is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

A blog holiday update, plus the 2020 $10 Hall of Fame schedule

The Christmas and New Year’s wine of the weeks will post on the Monday before the holiday

• The Christmas and New Year’s wines of the week will post on the Monday before each holiday, since the blog will be off on both Wednesdays. Plus, our New Year’s wine suggestions will appear on Dec. 26.

• The always popular Do it Yourself wine resolutions is set for Jan. 2.

• The 2020 $10 Hall of Fame will make its 13th appearance on Jan. 10, with the 2020 Cheap Wine of the Year on Jan. 9. You can check out eligibility rules here; remember, no private label wine or wine only available at one retailer. As always, you can email me with suggestions.

Holiday wine gift guide 2019

holiday wine gift guide 2019
No, the Wine Curmudgeon is not suggesting anyone buy this wine workout Christmas tree ornament.

The Wine Curmudgeon holiday wine gift guide 2019 — great wine and even a wine coloring book

• Holiday wine trends 2019

The Wine Curmudgeon’s holiday wine gift guide 2019 offers practical, value-oriented, yet still fun gifts. What else would you expect after all these years?

Consider:

• This year’s collection of wine books was, sadly, a bit pretentious for the blog. But never fear: How about a wine coloring book? When Life Gets Complicated, I Wine ($13), with 12 colored pencils. Take that, wine snobs.

• The Edmunds St. John Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir 2018 ($29) is the current vintage of one of the best wines I have tasted in almost three decades of doing this. It’s a California wine made with the gamay grape in a region far, far off the tourist track. There usually isn’t much of it, so when I saw it on wine.com, it moved to the top of the holiday wish list. Highly recommended, and marvel at how this wine reflects the berry fruit of the gamay, as well as its terroir.

• Italy’s white wines are too often overlooked, and especially those made with the arneis grape. The Vetti Roero Arneis 2018 ($22) is one such example — almost nutty, with wonderful floral aromas and the soft, citrusy flavors. Drink it on its own, or with holiday seafood or poultry. Highly recommended.

• The Repour Wine Saver ($9 for a 4-pack) is a single-use stopper that preserves leftover wine one bottle at a time. In this, I was surprised at how well it works, and it’s not as expensive as more complicated systems like the VacuVin.

Wine-Opoly ($21), because why shouldn’t we try to take over the wine world just like Big Wine? No dog or iron playing pieces in this wine-centric version of Monopolyl rather, they are wine bottles.

More holiday wine gift guides:
• Holiday wine gift guide 2018
• Holiday wine gift guide 2017
• Holiday wine gift guide 2016

Tuesday Birthday Week 2019 giveaway: Letter-shaped wine cork holder

Win a letter-shaped wine cork holder — perhaps the best use ever for corks

And the winner is: Clifford, who selected 31; the winning number was 21 (screen shot to the left).  Thanks to everyone who participated. Tomorrow’s giveaway the $100 Wine.com gift card. Thanks to wine.com, a long-time supporter of the blog. This is the second of five daily giveaways; check out this post to see the prizes for the rest of the week.


Today, to celebrate the blog’s 12th anniversary, we’re giving away  a letter-shaped cork holder. Choose a letter from A to Z, and use up the wine corks cluttering the house. This is the the second of five daily giveaways; check out this post to see the other prizes.

Complete contest rules are here. Pick a number between 1 and 1,000 and leave it in the comment section of this post. You can’t pick a number someone else has picked, and you need to leave your guess in the comments section of this post — no email entries or entries on other posts. Unless the number is in the comments section of this post, the entry won’t count.

If you get the blog via email or RSS, you need to go to this exact post on the website to enter (click the link to get there). At about 5 p.m. central today, I’ll go to random.org and generate the winning number. The person whose entry is closest to that number gets the wine cork holder.