The Wino Gift Guide has Arrived!

Thanksgiving has come and gone and the jolliest time of the year is here (especially for our fellow winos)!  While ’tis the season for popping bottles, opening up those big reds you’ve been holding onto for a while and overdoing it on the brie and gouda, it is also the season for gift giving!  Whether you celebrate Christmas, Chanukah, Festivus (for the rest of us), Kwanza, or all of the above, your resident Virginia Winos have got you covered this holiday season with our top holiday gifts picks for your wine-loving friends!  So pour yourself a glass and cozy up to the fireplace with your Amazon account, it’s time to do some damage!

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Wine Experiences:

1. The Winter Wine Retreat at Stone Tower Winery is the perfect gift for your spouse/significant other/parents/bestie.  Stone Tower Winery in Leesburg, Virginia is hosting its first weekend wine camp this February.  A full weekend of tasting, learning, eating, and enhancing your knowledge of viticulture, plus luxurious accommodations at Landsdowne Resort and Spa, this would be an unforgettable gift for the wine enthusiast in your life.  The weekend program offers wine pairing meals, education sessions on topics like crafting Bordeaux-style blends and perfecting the cheese plate (sign us up!), and an opportunity to truly understand what life is like in Virginia wine country.

Cost: $1250/person for the 3 day/2 night experience February 24-27 (inclusive of resort accommodations).  Event is limited to 25 people and will sell out.  To register, contact lacey@stonetowerwinery.com.

2. A Tasting and Tour at RdV Vineyards is one of the most intricate and educational Virginia wine tasting experiences in the state.  A visit to the beautiful RdV Vineyards in Delaplane includes a detailed history of the property, vineyard and winery.  You’ll be greeted with sparkling wine before heading out on a tour of the exceptional facilities including the production area, wine cellar, a unique look at the soil beneath the surface of the vines, and the blending and bottling facilities.  Following the tour, you’ll be invited to enjoy a tasting of their current vintages– two exemplary Bordeaux-style wines (the Lost Mountain and the Rendezvous) paired with a locally sourced charcuterie board.  You’ll enjoy all of this while gaining a deeper understanding of the hard work and passion that goes into each and every bottle produced.

Cost: $50/person.  RdV is open Thursday-Sunday and reservations must be made.  Adults only, limited to groups of 4.

3. A Weekend in Wine Country can make a great gift for a loved one.  Our favorite place to getaway for a weekend of wine-ing and dining is Charlottesville.  The Monticello AVA is home to some of the best wineries in Virginia, not to mention an emerging food and craft beer scene.  Plan a weekend away this holiday season with a stay at a local inn– The Clifton Inn, The Townsman Hotel, or The Farmhouse at Veritas all offer amazing options for a weekend getaway.  During your weekend pay a visit to a few of our favorite local wineries and breweries to enjoy a tasting.  We recommend Stinson Vineyard, Valley Road Vineyards, Pollak Vineyards, Moss Vineyards and Veritas Winery.  If you’re into craft beer, check out Three Notch’d Brewing or Starr Hill Brewery for some hoppy bevs!  Need dinner recs?  The Alley Light, Red Pump Kitchen and Oakhart Social each offer great atmosphere and a great taste of the foodie culture in Cville!

Cost: Accommodations, tastings and meal pricing varies but winter is a pretty great time to visit the Charlottesville region!

4. Want to give the gift that keeps on giving?  Think about giving your loved ones a Wine Club Membership this year!  Wine Clubs are a fantastic gift– they offer several benefits including wine shipments or pick-ups throughout the year, complimentary tastings, discounts on purchases, pick-up parties, extended hours and more!  Do your research before joining and make sure you know what you are committing to!  Check out our blog post, “Thinking of Joining a Wine Club” for some tips.

Cost: All wine clubs differ– some have set fees for quarterly charges while others simply charge you for the price of the wine.  Most require a commitment of one year.  Do your research and choose one that works for you!

Wino Accessories:

1. The Wine Bag is a must-have for any official wino.  If you’re heading out of town for a weekend away you absolutely need a two, three or let’s be realistic, six-bottle wine tote to carefully pack up the goods.  Wine Enthusiast Magazine features an unbelievable selection of wine bags, travel totes and picnic sets.  Our choice for a great holiday gift is Wine Enthusiast’s combination gift set featuring the 3-Bottle BYO and 6-Bottle Weekender Leather Wine Bag Set.  This is sure to get you planning your next weekend away!

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Cost: 3-Bottle BYO & 6-Bottle Weekender Leather Wine Bag Set from Wine Enthusiast; currently on sale for $499.

2. What time is it? Wine time!  We recently discovered an awesome watchmaker, Original Grain.  OG makes Handcrafted Wood and Steel Watches from a variety of sustainably sourced exotic hardwood from around the world, including whiskey and wine barrels!  The watches are a beautiful, elegant and practical gift for anyone who’s constantly running late to happy hour!  Another reason to love this company? For every watch purchased, 10 trees are planted!  Love this!

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Cost: Watches begin at $75.  Something for every price range.

3. A Portable Cheese Board & Tool Set is a great gift for your winery hopping buddies!  We can’t tell you how many times this set has come in handy on our winery adventures.  It’s cute, portable and practical.  Don’t break the bank on this one, there is a great selection of kits available online.  Check out these simple options from Target or Bed, Bath & Beyond!

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Cost: You can find a great set for under $20!  

4. Let your wine breathe!  No wino household is complete without a Wine Decanter.  A decanter is used to aerate the wine and in some cases separate older wines from sediment left in the bottle.  Aerating the wine allows oxygen to come into contact with the vintage, fully releasing the aromas and smoothing more tannic, harsher wines.  Decanters come in all shapes and sizes so you can get a little creative with this gift.  Amazon offers a great selection of wine decanters so put that Prime membership to use!

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Cost: Decanters range from $20-$100.  Something for every price range.

5. It’s not a holiday without something monogrammed!  A picnic blanket makes for the perfect monogrammed wino gift!  Wineries can get a bit crowded on the weekends so keep this cute, not to mention super practical, blanket in the car for the next time that you want to distance yourself from the crowd.  Our pick is this classic black and white checkered Monogram Fold-Up Picnic Blanket available at Nordstrom.

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Cost: Blankets from from $49-$54.

6. Let’s be honest here, winery fashion is a pretty high priority for some of us winos.  From the hair down to the boots, you’ve got to look good when making the winery rounds–or enjoying your favorite glass next to a roaring fire.  Thankfully, these Wine Themed Socks can you have looking like a pro in no time! Wine Enthusiast has some great options to keep your sock game on fleek this holiday season.

Cost: $20

So there you have it– some great gifts for the winos in your life this holiday season!  Happy shopping and cheers to a great 2017!

-Alli & Amy (The Virginia Winos)

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