Serious wine and spirits people can get set in their ways—this year give them something to spice up their routine. We’ve sussed out some of the year’s most interesting libations, plus glassware and accessories that will excite the most staid drinkers. From Vietnamese gin to the season’s most viral bottled cocktail (Negroni Sbagliato, anyone?) there’s something here to surprise and delight all the imbibers in your life.
The martini-lover in your life is in for a dose of contemporary design with a nod to the gilded age. Sophie Lou Jacobsen’s hand-blown glassware is the perfect offering for the cocktail lover in your life, arriving in a purposefully mismatched set of two, complete with metal cocktail picks.
Scotch drinkers are notoriously particular, from the style of their favorite spirit to the eternal question of “water or no water?” when drinking it. Please their palates with a perennial favorite. The Famous Grouse has been crafting their family whisky since the 1800s, and it remains a favorite in Scotland and beyond.
Vodka drinkers are looking to local distillers more than ever, and Tenmile’s Sinpatch vodka should be at the top of their list. Hailing from the Hudson Valley, it’s distilled from wheat grown in New York, especially for Tenmile, and filtered through activated charcoal sourced from the distillery’s own used oak whisky barrels (their single-malt whisky is also a worthy sipper). It’s pleasing on its own, or mixed into a vodka-forward cocktail like a vesper.
Serious wine drinkers and newly minted oenophiles will equally enjoy the benefits of Coravin’s preservation system, allowing drinkers to open their favorite bottles and keep the contents fresh for months at a time (or even years). The newly released artists addition featuring the art of Keith Haring will bring contemporary vibes to any bar, no matter how dusty the bottles.
This bottle from Vietnam’s first gin distillery is a unique gift for the discerning gin drinker in your life. But Song Cai’s newest release is also perfect for the holidays, bringing warm spice and berry notes redolent of Vietnam’s traditional fruit liqueurs, inspired by the red soils of the country’s central highlands.
A sunny, citrus-forward aperitif is a great gift for drinkers who prefer a low-ABV sip. Oregon-based Straightaway Cocktails has a line of vermouth and aperitivos that are bursting with fresh botanicals. Mari Gold brings together seville orange peel, orange blossom, citrus peel, and gentian root for a bright sipper that's great on its own, or topped with a splash of sparkling wine.
Rosé is great in summer, but it’s also great all year round. Make sure your rosé-loving friend is well-supplied over the holidays with a juicy bottle of Flamingo Estate Pink Moon. Winemaker Kamee Knutson has magicked a blend of tempranillo, grenache, cabernet sauvignon, and syrah grown on the coast of San Luis Obispo, California. This bottle is perfect for celebrating anything and everything.
Sweaty drinks won’t stand a chance against these fun resin coasters that provide playful vibes in a variety of colors. We love them all, from pink to orange to a sassy on-trend green. Give a set as a host gift paired with a bottle of their favorite spirit.
Wine lovers in your life will delight in this compact, eight-bottle wine fridge that keeps your bottles at the temperature of your choosing (well, from 39–68 degrees Fahrenheit). Its small footprint makes it easy to fit into any space, and a thermoelectric cooling system ensures quiet, energy-efficient operation.
Michelin-starred restaurants are big on the details, which is why restaurants like Gabriel Kreuther (two stars) and Oiji Mi (one star) are adorning their tables with delicate Glasvin stemware. All of their glassware is impossibly delicate and thin, but the Champagne glasses are a particularly elegant gift for a lover of bubbles. Their hand-blown wine glasses are meant to be used—they're even dishwasher-safe—and are priced affordably, compared to other big-name glassware companies.
A Viral Cocktail in a Bottle
We love a bottled cocktail, and of course, we love a Negroni Sbagliato. The cocktail, also called a “broken Negroni” since it’s made with prosecco instead of gin, recently went viral, giving Brooklyn-based St. Agrestis the perfect opportunity to launch a product they’d been longing to produce—demand just wasn’t there until now. Pre-order an eight-pack of these bitter, bubbly treats that are made with St. Agrestis’ own Inferno Bitter Aperitivo and Torino-style vermouth, plus prosecco from the Veneto region of Italy. It’s a real gem when poured over ice and served with an orange twist.
A Winemakers Vision Come to Life
Berkeley’s Broc Cellars is a darling of the natural wine world (and a personal favorite) but this year we’re going gaga over their handblown set of two or four wine glasses and matching decanter. The wine glasses hold three to four ounces, the perfect amount for sipping over a long dinner with friends, and just low profile enough to avoid being toppled by errant wild gestures (and nearby children or pets). Broc Cellars winemaker Chris Brockway and partner Bridget Leary came up with the concept during the pandemic, when drinking at home needed a little extra sparkle—each piece is unique, designed with Rafi Ajl of The Long Confidence and hand-blown by local Oakland, California artisan, Glow Glass Studios.
Yes, this year you can give someone the gift of sunshine in a bottle. Hues is the new wine from Marquis Williams, founder of NYC wine club Highly Recommended, and it's delivering fresh, light tropical notes that will brighten anyone's day. The blend is mostly Gewurztraminer with a "touch" of Riesling that's unfined and unfiltered in Alsace, France. The gorgeous orange hue comes from six weeks of skin contact in stainless steel for a crisp, balanced wine that's almost too easy to drink—which is why we recommend buying more than one.
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