Gift guide 2022

Red wine glasses lit by holiday lights

Our team offers an extensive list of gift ideas for the wine lover.

If that holiday-shopping panic has begun to set in, do not fear: not only is there a wealth of options right here on this site, but we’ve also asked our team what they’d like to receive this year. The resulting list has something for everyone, from the pragmatist to the dreamer, the wine dabbler to the fanatic, and at every price point.

The gift of expert knowledge

The simplest option of course might be a gift subscription to, and it’s available now until 3 Jan at 20% off. A one-year subscription includes access to over 14,000 articles and 200,000 tasting notes, not to mention access to our forum, to the most up-to-date version of The Oxford Companion to Wine as well as the complete maps from the latest, 8th edition of The World Atlas of Wine. Members who buy a gift subscription for someone else will also receive 10% off next time they renew. Just go here to find out more.

Any of the books that Tam has reviewed in the last weeks would make fine gifts, or any of Jancis’s many, many books as well. And BBC Maestro is offering a seasonal discount of 40% off all their online courses, including Jancis’s six-hour wine course.

But if you’re looking for something you can hold in your hand, hang on your wall, or place under the tree, read on.

Tips from our experts

Jancis RobinsonI’d like even more champagne stoppers than I already have – preferably the ones sold by The Finest Bubble, online specialists in sparkling wines here in London, which really do retain the fizz much more effectively than any other.

I’m lucky enough to be sent many a bottle of fizz to taste and can’t possibly finish every one. I’m from the north of England where we are notoriously thrifty, and it would go against the grain to pour 70 cl of carefully made champagne or sparkling wine down the sink. Fortunately, our two daughters love champagne (one of them is also a Prosecco fan while the other, married to a Frenchman, is pretty picky about non-champagne sparkling wines). So they readily volunteer to finish up the bottles I taste from – which means that my champagne stoppers regularly end up where they live rather than where I do. So, more champagne stoppers, please. And if that seems too modest a gift, I can tell you that when we used to ask my mother what she wanted for Christmas, she always asked for a packet of needles.

The Durand has a worm as well as two prongs to handle even crumbly corks.

Julia Harding MWI have coveted Jancis’s Durand corkscrew for about 10 years and could never quite bring myself to buy one because of the price but earlier this year I decided I was going to open a bottle of late 1950s Georgian red wine (not sure of the exact date as the label was mostly worn away) that my dear friend Tina Kezeli hand-carried from Tbilisi to London for my 60th birthday. I knew the cork would be a problem. The Durand’s combination of two outer prongs that go down the sides of the cork (like an Ah-So cork puller) and the extra-fine worm in the centre seems to deal with even the crumbliest and softest of corks. I chickened out of using it myself on the first outing but the friends who were going to share this bottle with me included Neil Beckett, editor of The World of Fine Wine, and he gamely agreed to christen it. We held our collective breath as he and the Durand removed the cork perfectly and revealed an extremely mature but absolutely delicious wine. 

Tim Jackson MWFor the last few years, I’ve asked for Coravin capsules. Obviously, that requires one to have a Coravin in the first place (which would be a great wine lover’s gift)! This year, some replacement Coravin screwcap attachments and maybe a set of new needles are on the cards. All quite prosaic, but definitely will be used!

Brian Hirst glass wine decanter

Max AllenOn my wine-related Christmas wish-list this year is one of the beautifully chunky, one-off, hand-moulded, individually signed decanters from Sydney glass artist Brian Hirst: gorgeously tactile and a joy to pour from.

Ali Cooper MW: Like many of us (I should imagine) I like to open and decant some special bottles at Christmas. My suggestion for a wine lovers’ gift is a cheap and simple decanting accessory. It is inspired by an unfortunate mishap that occurred many years ago that still haunts me to this day. A group of friends were holding a 1982-themed Bordeaux wine dinner and I was promptly placed in charge of decanting duties. All was going swimmingly, bar the odd stubborn cork (needed a Durand!) until I decanted the 1982 Léoville-Barton. The wine that had tasted glorious on pre-decant check was suddenly rendered horrifically tainted when tasted from the decanter. It was finally deduced that an unwitting (lazy?) individual had cleaned the decanter with some form of bleach-based cleaning product. Yes, I had also failed to check the decanter, so the blame was firmly laid on my shoulders. So, to prevent any such disaster from ever occurring again I vowed to always to clean my decanters with bottle-cleaner beads. If I can prevent just one person from ever experiencing such trauma it will be worth it. They are cheap, effective and also look a little bit like tiny little Christmas baubles. I have Riedel ones, but others are also available. 

Smythoson leather-bound cellar book

Matthew Hayes: I was given a very nice cellar book when I was 21. It fell apart in the end in my damp cellar, but the idea is nice, especially the spaces for with whom wines were shared. The Stamford Notebook Company makes a fine leather-bound option, but if you want to go really mad, Smythson make a lovely hardcover version.

Otherwise, I am still missing a nice decanting funnel (Georgian if possible, please)… so soothing watching that juicy goodness flow down the sides of the decanter.

Samantha Cole Johnson: 12 of Jancis's glasses. Or the Gabriel-Glas StandArt. Why 12? Because MW exam flights come in sets of 12 wines. On a less personal note, if a friend already has a nice set of glasses, peep the maker, and get them six more of the exact same. High-quality matched glasses are one of those things that nobody has enough of.

Richard Hemming MWThe most useful wine accessory I never knew I needed until I was given one is a large microfibre cloth for drying/polishing glasses. You might think any such cloth would do, but there are several important factors to consider. Firstly, the sheet must be large enough to cover one hand that holds the outside of the bowl while the other polishes the inside. Secondly, the microfibre itself needs to be particularly fine – in my experience, supermarket versions are rarely up to scratch, so to speak. The one I was given costs £15 and lasted me over ten years. However, the one that the sommelier team at 67 Pall Mall swear by (and they should know) is made by Final Touch.

Code 38 corkscrew

Alder YarrowI think one of the best things to request for the holiday season is something that you can’t quite bring yourself to buy because, really, you don’t need it, but you definitely covet it. For me, that’s one of the stunningly designed and beautifully manufactured Code 38 corkscrews. They are outrageously expensive but, like a Maserati, it’s not really about the price now, is it? It’s simply about wanting the most highly engineered, precision-made corkscrews in the world. It’s stronger and sharper than anything on the market, made of machined aerospace-grade titanium with double the strength to weight ratio of other metals, a 440 carbon-steel knife blade, powdered PVD titanium coating on the helix... Sort of makes me quiver with delight.

Andy Howard MWA cheap option, and very simple but, I find, totally effective and satisfying, is a drip stopper, which makes pouring wine much more precise (and less stressful). I am told (by my wife) that she finds it remarkable that a Master of Wine can be so useless when it comes to pouring wine into a glass. I am clearly no sommelier. What makes it worse is she loves to use high-quality white tablecloths for big occasions. Why is it that it is always red wines that dribble? White wine never does! So I suggest a stock of these. No more dry-cleaning bills (or verbal abuse for the pourer)!

The Zalto Denk'Art 75 is slim enough to fit in the door of the fridge.

James Lawther MWLike Andy Howard, I would have chosen the DropStop non-drip wine pourer. It’s simple, efficient and inexpensive, can be personalised and is widely available at producer cellar doors (with estate colours and emblem) as a means of merchandising. But he got there first so instead I’ve selected a decanter – for decanting white wines. It’s not a regular practice but certain whites (I’m thinking quality Burgundy, Hermitage, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Sauternes, etc) benefit from a bit of aeration. The essence here is that the temperature also needs to be correct, so the ideal decanter is one with a slender form that fits into the slot on the fridge door. My preference is for the Zalto Denk’Art No 75 (available here in Europe and here in the US) but other glassware producers would have a similar form, including Jancis's water carafe or, with stopper, Jancis's mature-wine decanter. You can surprise your guests and the wine looks even more appealing on the table.

Tom Parker MW: Christmas is always chaos in our house despite – or perhaps due to – no children being present. Ten-plus people always moving rooms, putting glasses down and forgetting whose is whose. So, Penny, my wife, bought some wine charms that attach to the stemware. As long as everyone remembers their design, it saves me having to wash up/find new glasses mid service. And it’s a little more stylish than my suggestion we could number the glasses with liquid chalk, as I did for my exams… They’re available everywhere in a range of designs from lots of places at different prices and some will customise them with names and designs.

Tamlyn CurrinWhen the fridge is full to bursting over the holiday period so there is no room for wine bottles, and the house is overheated thanks to loads of people, woodburners, and cookers working overtime, the thing I would most love is a Vinotemp thermoelectric open wine cooler. A friend of mine has one, and it was a revelation for me. I have secretly coveted one ever since. Actually, I would like three! Two two-bottle coolers so I can have the white wines in one and the red wines in the other, and a champagne cooler. (You can get a four-bottle one as well.) They are also great if you’re tasting wine for work purposes when fridge temperature is too cold, room temperature too warm. They’re brilliant in summer if you’re feasting outside with friends/family on a very hot day. No faffing with cooling sleeves that warm up too quickly, melting ice or ice buckets needing repeated refills.

Handle-less French cider bowl from Flotsam and Fork in the US.

Paula SidoreComing from a small village nicknamed ‘apple town’ in the ‘granite state’ of New Hampshire, it was perhaps inevitable. The first job of every local teen growing up was picking drops from the orchard. The smell of cloudy, freshly pressed apple juice (what we called cider!) infuses my childhood memories far deeper than any madeleine. And so it was that I returned from a trip to France’s far-western Brittany this summer flush with wonder and outrage at why grapes get all the glory. Cider, the traditional product from heritage – and sometimes scavenged – apples, and all that goes with it, is front and centre on my 2022 holiday wish list. And while a stemmed glass, as is preferred in Normandy, might well better reveal the finer aromatics, there is truly nothing like the no-airs, grounding sensation of a stone Breton bolée (no handle) in one’s hands and a ‘scrumpy’ drink within. And, while we’re being honest, is there anything any of us want more during the holidays than the taste and feel of home? Most any teacup-sized stoneware will do, but if you’re looking to splurge on the apple of your eye, try L’Atelier des Créateurs, or, in the US, Flotsam and Fork (shown above).

Chianti Classico by Allessandro Masnaghetti

Walter SpellerFor years I wanted a system of subzones or villages in Chianti Classico, which finally came in June last year. Now, the ultimate in-depth guide to this famous wine region has just been published: Alessandro Masnaghetti’s Chianti Classico: The Complete Atlas of the UGA Vineyards(Available in the US here.) Masnaghetti leaves no stone unturned, no corner unscrutinised, while mapping Chianti Classico’s 7,000 ha in great detail, in literally hundreds of vineyard maps. It will be key in opening Chianti Classico to professionals as well as to wine lovers. It’s a stunning work, the depth and crystal clarity of the information presented promising that it will remain unchallenged for decades to come. (See Tamlyn's review of the book.)

Ferran CentellesWithin the hospitality industry, there is a brand of corkscrews that has become iconic: Laguiole. Their tools are functional, but they have the aura of a luxury object, of a jewel. If you have a waiter in the family, this will be a gift that will not fail. I remember my first Laguiole with immense affection. I think that a bottle opened with a Laguiole tastes better, or, if not, it is opened with more love. Wine rituals add value to the gastronomic experience and using this corkscrew elevates the service. In addition, it can be personalised with the name of the lucky recipient. However, be careful because there are many imitations that copy Laguiole’s characteristic bee-shaped logo.

Used corks standing on end

Tara Q Thomas: Having just moved to a place with an actual office space, I have an intense and immediate desire for something to put on my white walls. A set of Delong’s Wine Maps would work well, but for maximum impact I’d really love a print from David Sawyer. A former fashion photographer who worked as sommelier for Husk in Charleston, South Carolina, and Lilia in Brooklyn, NY, Sawyer turned his camera to food and wine to spectacular effect. In fact, a couple of his food close-ups would do wonders for the kitchen walls…

Nick LanderA new red foil-cutter such as this one. So easy to find.

But what I would really, really like is an end to war. Please arrange soonest.

Main image credit: MarkSwallow via Getty Images.