White wine gift above and beyond the ordinary
October 1, 2012 6:10 PM   Subscribe

What do you get a super white wine connoisseur that's more special than a really great bottle of wine?

I would love to get something super special for somebody that was nice enough to act as my deputy at my wedding. He wants white wine and is very fancy but I would like to go above and beyond and maybe get a great bottle and maybe something to help his other bottles breath, or some accoutrement wine people love. I know nothing about wine. Thanks!
posted by JJkiss to Food & Drink (21 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
This video shows some good things to accessorize white wines.
posted by xingcat at 6:22 PM on October 1, 2012

Maybe some nice cheeses and other things that go with wine? If he's that into wines, he likely doesn't need the random doodad gadget you picked out for him, though I'm sure he'll appreciate the gesture.
posted by zachlipton at 6:28 PM on October 1, 2012

you say he likes white wine - but what white wines? Grand Cru Burgundy? German Riesling? Old Savennieres? What is his drink?

Helping something breathe? So a really nice decanter then I guess? White are generally not decanted the way reds are - partially because they don't throw sediment.
posted by JPD at 6:31 PM on October 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

Are there any wineries in your area? Could you whisk him away for a wine tasting tour?
posted by troika at 6:40 PM on October 1, 2012

My dad is a wine snob and he is really into his Vinturi.
posted by radioamy at 6:49 PM on October 1, 2012

How about special wine glasses for whatever type is his favorite?
A quick search turns up some specialized glasses at places like Williams Sonoma - not sure if that is up to his level?
posted by LobsterMitten at 6:59 PM on October 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

If he loves wine, move away from that because ... you may never be able to meet his expectation.

I would recommend some time browsing American Science and Surplus for fun, geeky things because they will provide a delight and you will not be stepping into an area that he will be very attached to.
posted by msamye at 7:11 PM on October 1, 2012

I usually don't care for sweet wines, but OMG a good, real Ice Wine is unbelievably amazing.
posted by lalalana at 7:36 PM on October 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

Riedel carries some very whimsical and unusual crystal decanters as well as top-of-the-line varietal-specific glasses. If he's into sweet wine, you could never go wrong with a bottle of 2007 Yquem.
posted by doreur at 8:00 PM on October 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

a gift card to a local restaurant known for having excellent wines
posted by quodlibet at 8:24 PM on October 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

How about dinner and/or tour at a local vineyard? Wine people often have lots of wine gadgets. They like experiences too.
posted by barnone at 8:43 PM on October 1, 2012

Seems like if he's into wine he probably has all the wine accoutrements he needs. I vote for dinner at a place with a wonderful wine list (and good food!).
posted by oneirodynia at 8:53 PM on October 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

You know, lalalana's suggestion is great. A good icewine is a sweet treat for a wine lover, and something they may not be likely to buy for themselves.
posted by HuronBob at 9:15 PM on October 1, 2012

does he have an electric wine chiller? is it in your budget? Whites don't need to be decanted, but they are best at lower temperatures.
posted by itesser at 10:12 PM on October 1, 2012

Get a bottle of his very favorite white. Add some red food coloring. Ask him to try it, and record his reaction. Give him the tape.
posted by kafziel at 10:51 PM on October 1, 2012

At the LA County Fair, I tried a Gold Medal winning riesling that was AMAZING. It was so good, I didn't even want to sample any of the others (limited budget).
Other Gold Medal winners this year in Rieslings (because I like rieslings):
Black Box Wines
Chateau Lafayette Reneau - the 2010 semi-dry and dry estate wines.
Francis Ford Coppola Winery - 2010

In Ice Wines, the G. Marquis riesling ice wine has won Best of Class gold for the last two years, and the runner-up, Inniskillin Vidal Ice Wine, was Best of Class gold the couple of years prior.

In late harvests, (again, specific to rieslings), you can't go wrong with either Chateau Ste. Jean or Chateau Ste. Michelle. My dad has been buying one of each, every year, since I was in grade school, and they're terrific.

Here's the full list of winners, sorted by variety.

Note: The tastings happen during the fair, but the competition is actually the Los Angeles International Wine & Spirits Competition.
posted by ApathyGirl at 1:17 AM on October 2, 2012

2nd the suggestion of Riedel stemware. You could also opt for a Laguiole corkscrew, or perhaps an antique corkscrew. Other gadgets are dicey - as has been mentioned, you don't generally decant white wines, and many wine geeks consider things like the vinturi silly gimmicks.

As for actual wine, it would be helpful to know something about what he usually drinks, and where in the world he lives - and your budget. Then you could find a wine that might appeal to him but which he wouldn't ordinarily encounter.
posted by mr vino at 5:23 AM on October 2, 2012

If your friend is really into wine and he's a white wine guy you might want to look into something like a Sauternes or a Tokai. If someone got me a half bottle of Ch√Ęteau d'Yquem (Sauternes) I'd be pretty impressed.

White wines tend not to require much in the way of aeration so I wouldn't go with a Vinturi or anything like that.

I'd been wanting an "ah-so" cork puller for a while and last month while in Spain I picked one up for just a few euro. OMG, I'm so bummed I didn't spend the $20+ to buy myself one before this. If I can avoid it I'm never using a corkscrew again. He'll especially appreciate it if he's like me and he saves his wine corks. Get him the real thing though - the German Monopol 2 Prong Cork Puller.

Does he tour wine regions or bring back/ship back wine from his travels? If so you might consider The Wine Check. It's a suitcase for wine shipper boxes - the kind with styrofoam inserts which are required these days by most airlines. Again, in Spain - this was a life saver. Instead of having to lug around a card board box to each of the hotels we stayed in or to the airport I simply rolled the Wine Check.

If he has a cellar but it's not very organized he might enjoy a gift of bottle tags. If his cellar is extensive he might appreciate a scanner and bar code system so he can easily catalog his wines.

I am a big fan of maps. Always have been, even before I got into wine, but now more than ever. I think a gift of a nicely framed wine map of his favorite region/s would be an awesome gift.

If money isn't an issue you might consider a serving/preservation system. The Enomatic systems are the high end options but there are less expensive ones out there.

Lastly, subscriptions to wine mags (Spectator, Enthusiast, etc.) or to online services (CellarTracker.com, eRobertParker.com, etc) might be nice too.
posted by FlamingBore at 8:44 AM on October 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

Yeah one of the great advantages of him drinking whites is that even the most famous whites don't price into the stratosphere excepting some White Burgundy, and even then compared to Red Burgundy it is an order of magnitude cheaper.

For example you can get a 1947 Huet Vouvray - considered one of the single greatest sweet wines ever - for like $700. Some Grand Cru Red Burgundy price like that on release and then need to be cellared for 20 years.
posted by JPD at 8:49 AM on October 2, 2012

There is no accoutrement that wine people universally love. In fact, we often cringe inside while pasting on a smile when seeing the gadgets that people buy for us. We all have plenty of decanters that we personally chose, plenty of corkscrews, etc. What we like is wine. Sorry.

However, I think I have the answer to your question. The Riedel Sommelier series glasses are extremely fragile, extremely expensive, and I doubt anyone who's not a millionaire can ever have enough of them. This glass is for white Burgundy and similar chardonnays. Depending on what he drinks, there's another one that's called "Chablis-Chardonnay" that's for lighter wines. There's also one for the Loire, Champagne, and Sauternes.

But really, go get some wine to his taste. Any decent wine shop will be able to recommend a selection based on one or two names that you can provide. In LA, Hi-Time Wine Cellars has high prices but an excellent selection, and I've heard good things about their staff on the Internets. Or, post on Metafilter!
posted by wnissen at 9:42 AM on October 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

I like the cheese idea -- several places like William Sonoma (or Dean and Deluca, even better!) have monthly cheese clubs -- or cheese and salami options too -- and you could get him 6 months to cover all his wine complementing needs.

I agree with wnissen that most oenophiles have their favorite gadgets already, but there's almost certainly a limit on that too -- that is, nobody I know has a nitrogen case for storing open bottles, and I can't imagine many that would actually sniff at one, but that's running into more bucks than a good bottle would. Just throwing it out there since you didn't really define "above and beyond." (The longer-term cheese clubs are nontrivial as well.)

Would love to know what you choose!
posted by acm at 9:49 AM on October 2, 2012

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