The holidays and time spent with family and friends is reason to celebrate. Why not add a little fun to the party with a special bottle of wine?
Vino and wine-related accessories also make great gifts, whether it’s for a hostess or simply for the holidays.
Allison Helfen, who owns The Wine Alley with her husband Scott, said one hot item is their decorative wine barrel cork holder.
“A lot of people collect corks for trivets and other craft projects,” she said. Some people simply use corks for mulch in their gardens instead of bark, she said.
Wine openers, especially the rechargeable, automatic variety are popular gifts, as are the vinturi, a wine aerator.
For a more substantial gift, a membership to their wine club, which specializes in Northwest wines makes a great gift. Or, go big with a 1.5 liter Magnum bottle, or gift certificate.
Cougar fans might enjoy a WSU Magnum bottle. Half the proceeds of the $250 bottle support WSU programs.
Prices at The Wine Alley range from $7.99 to about $100 (and then up to the $250 Magnum bottles).
Lise Kaneshiro, manager of , suggests a gift certificate, which is available in any denomination. But if you’re out to buy wine as a gift, she recommends Pinot Noir, Rose, or Champagne.
“Pinot Noir works great because it works well with lots of different kinds of meat,” she said, adding that it can also be enjoyed with a fish entrée in a pinch.
Rose got a bad wrap in the 70s and 80s as a cheap, sweet wine, she said, but it has since gained more attention from winemakers and drinkers, alike.
“It’s changed in the last couple of years,” she said. Better grapes are now used and the wine now tastes more similar to a Pinot Gris, making it an excellent choice as a gift.
Kaneshiro also recommended Champagne and bubbly varietals as a festive gift idea. It is the holiday season after all!
The celebratory drink is available in the classic form, in a rose, red, and numerous other varietals.
Gift-givers may chose from wine off the shelf priced from $15 all the way up to $250, although most shoppers stick in the $20-$45 range, she said.
offers wine ranging from $11 to $300 per bottle, and gift cards in any denomination. Owner Rick McMaster and his staff have put together a holiday wine list to help customers pick out a sure-fire winner for the holidays. View the list by clicking the pdf image to the right.
Vino also offers a wine club membership that can be purchased in person or online.
In addition to being enjoyed with appetizers and dinner, wine makes a great hostess gift, said Heather Nasarow, who founded with her husband Micah.
If ‘local’ and ‘wine’ top your wish list, then Cedar River Cellars — Renton’s only winery — can deliver. Literally. The Nasarows are currently offering the 2009 Ava’s Crush Cabernet, which won double gold at the Seattle Wine Awards, and Bella Bella Syrah, which took home silver.
During the holidays, Cedar River Cellars will take 10 percent off the purchase of 6 bottles, or 15 percent off the purchase of a case. Wine may be ordered over the phone (206-240-9394), or online. All forms of payment are accepted.
Interested in a private tasting? Call ahead and schedule one; Cedar River Cellars would love to have you.
Other options for a special bottle of wine are in downtown Renton or in the Renton Highlands.