Leslie Sbrocco, founder of Thirsty Girl and author of "The Simple Savvy Wine Guide," suggests the best gifts for the wine aficionado in your life.
If you're one of those holiday shoppers who hasn't checked everyone off your list yet, here are a few last-minute suggestions for the drink appreciators in your life.
Five sips under $50
Yellowtail Bubbles, Australia $9
On a budget and want to give bubbly that still tastes and looks good? This sparkler from well-known yellow tail is one to try. Light, fruity and refreshing, it works alone or with orange juice for brunch cocktails. It comes with a unique resealable closure, too, making it easy to drink the whole bottle or save some for Santa.
2010 Robert Mondavi Fume Blanc, Napa Valley, California $18
A California classic, Robert Mondavi was the man who dubbed his oak-aged Sauvignon Blanc "fume blanc" after the famous French wine region of Pouilly-Fume (home to Sauvignon Blanc grapes) and it's still the benchmark for the style. This wine pairs beautifully with cheeses, holiday seafood dishes and more.
2009 Mirafiore Barbera d’Alba, Italy $24
Occasionally you taste a wine that blows you away with its combination of price and quality. This is one of those wines. Layered, complex and packaged beautifully, the bottle alone might fool you into thinking it is twice the price. It hails from the Piedmonte region of northern Italy, which is also the home of famous Barolo, the wine is made with Barbera grapes. Its deep purple hue is an indication that the red is intense and lush, but it also sports vibrancy making it ideal for food.
2009 Melville Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills, California $32
Perfect for the wine lovers who know their stuff, this sexy wine ranks among California's best producers of the variety. Melville is located in a cool climate growing area outside Santa Barbara and crafts alluring wines that will impress the novice or the expert.
Casa Noble Reposado Tequila, Mexico (co-owned by Carlos Santana) $45
One of the hottest trends in spirits is artisanal tequila that you sip (not shoot) and this organic one is ideal for the spirits/whiskey drinkers on your list. It's triple-distilled and aged in French oak barrels, making it sultry and smooth. A great gift item for Tequila or music lovers!
A fun gift that chills wine quickly. Freeze the reusable plastic icicle topped by a cork and insert into a bottle of wine (remove a bit of the wine first so the bottle doesn't overflow). It chills down whites in around 15 minutes and keeps the temperature cool until you finish the bottle.
True Fabrications Slate cheese board $15
Use this slate slab to display cheeses or flights of wine and write the names of the items in chalk. Easy to clean and reuse.
Menu Norm "Wine Breather" breathable decanter $49
This ingenious decanter has a spout that allows you to overturn a bottle of wine on top and let it drip down to aerate in the decanter. Once it's aerated, you can turn it over without spilling and pour back into the bottle to serve. It also comes with a top to seal the decanter in case you don't finish the bottle.
Leslie Sbrocco is the author of "The Simple & Savvy Wine Guide" and founder of ThirstyGirl.com.
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