When in doubt, wine is usually a great gift for the person that seems to have everything. The problem is that everyone else has that idea, too. So how can you make your bottled gift stand out even more? As it usually is with wine, a good pairing is key. Coupling a great bottle with one of these must-have gifts will be sure to delight the wine lover in your life.
5 Exceptional Gifts For the Wine Lover in Your Life
Making Wine Drinking Sustainable
As you might have guessed, our focus when coming up with all beverage accessories is figuring out ways to remove single-use items by replacing them with durable, high-quality containers that will outlive even the fondest memories of a champagne brunch picnic. With that in mind, our suggestions all center around two factors: the “wow” factor of nailing a perfect companion gift for a wisely chosen bottle of wine, and, of course, sustainability.
But first, let’s start with some basics.
What Goes in a Typical Wine Gift Basket?
Wine is a pretty sweet gift all on its own. Its incredible versatility makes it fit in in almost any situation, whether it’s a lavish splurge dramatically unveiled at a fancy dinner, or a cheap bottle uncorked to be shared around a campfire on a long weekend. What elevates wine to an incredible gift? Items that help turn that bottle into an experience.
The old standards of putting together a wine gift basket include foods that pair well with it, like cheeses, crackers, nuts, chocolates, olives, or even packages of pasta–the idea is to set up an environment where the wine can be part of a greater event (otherwise you might as well just hand them the bottle). Popular foodstuffs for wine gift baskets also include dried fruits, jams and preserves, dressings and condiments, and dried and cured meats, like salami or prosciutto. You can also include food-related items in your wine gift basket, such as a list of sensibly paired meals that might work with your selected wines. You could even include a recipe. The beauty of making these baskets is their capacity for personalization.
How to Make it Sustainable: Shopping local is key–the less distance your food has to travel, the less fuel was used to get it into the basket. Outside of that, buying produce that comes from sustainable farms is a great way to put a sustainable twist on a gift basket. Try to buy from those focusing on recycling natural materials, supporting healthy soil with cover crops and composting, and regenerative methods that focus on carbon sequestration.
A wine gift basket with a few must-have basics will definitely stand out, especially if you are trying to impress your giftee. Now, if you are making a gift basket for a wine enthusiast, the chances are good that they might already own their own accessories, like corkscrews, drinking vessels, stoppers, charms, or aerators. But they’ll also be the first to tell you: You can never have enough! Bonus points are in order if you can find ways to personalize any of these items, such as with a tasteful engraving on a cheese board.
How to Make it Sustainable: Focus on reusability! Aim to have nothing in the basket that can’t be consumed, repurposed or, at worst, recycled. If you get a cheese knife, try to find one made from recycled steel. Leave single-use plastics out of the basket entirely. If you’re going to include any kind of drinking vessel, like a cup or a glass, focus on buying ones made from recycled materials and keep versatility in mind–aim for something they can use over and over again, and not just for wine. If something in your gift basket might head for the landfill, consider taking it out and replacing it with a sustainably made version.
By gifting someone a bottle of wine as part of a gift basket, you are, in a sense, helping them create a setting in which it could or should be enjoyed. So, double-down on setting the mood! Are you helping to create a low-key day at the beach with a fruit-forward white wine? Maybe some more summery-themed items are in order, like a book they’ve been hinting at, a cool personalized bookmark to go with it, and a quality beach towel would be good additions. Shooting for more of a traditional picnic theme? Then you can’t go wrong with some classic standbys like a picnic blanket and citronella candles. Those aiming for something more intimate might try including something more tried and true, like flowers, or something a little more catered to pampering your giftee–think lotions, bath bombs and salts, or perhaps some incense. You can even include smaller clothing items, like scarves, bandanas, warm gloves, or comfy socks, if the setting proposed by your wine gift basket has an appropriate vibe to match the apparel.
How to Make It Sustainable: No matter what theme or setting you are going for with your gift basket, you should try to keep in mind that you always have more sustainable options at your disposal. If you decide to include a garment with your wine gift, buy from a manufacturer who focuses on using recycled materials and sustainable production processes. For example, BisonShield (an exclusive United by Blue material) is used in the manufacture of sustainably made winter wear like socks and insulated jackets from bison fiber that would otherwise be discarded in the supply chain. No additional animals come to harm to make BisonShield’s materials–they simply stepped in to make use of what would otherwise be production waste. Another cool, sustainable idea: Include a plant! Garden mums, spider plants, peace lilies, and Boston ferns are among the most effective air purifying plants there are, according to NASA, and they’re relatively easy to care for, too.
The Basket Itself
Surprisingly often an afterthought in wine gift baskets, the actual container of all of the basket’s contents should also be something that serves more than one purpose. Decorative baskets are usually pretty popular–they might be a wicker picnic basket, a wooden crate, or some other attractive option that could easily serve as a dining table centerpiece, or for hand towels in the guest restroom. Regardless of if you pick something colorful, simple, natural-looking, or elegant, the idea should be that the basket can take on a new role once it’s done toting the wine and gifts over.
How to Make It Sustainable: Securing the bottle (or bottles) of wine and all the other gift goodies in the basket is probably where the most needless waste occurs. Wine gift baskets are hugely popular gifts, but rarely do people make their own–they order them from gift companies, which rely on huge amounts of paper scrap to create padding for the items to rest in. Or, even worse, low-quality companies will fluff their baskets using materials similar to that cheap plastic grass you see in kids’ Easter baskets. And then, to wrap it all up, these baskets usually get the plastic-wrap mummy treatment, creating landfill-destined plastic waste the second the gift basket is unwrapped.
Instead of plastic or paper padding inside of the basket, consider other gifts that themselves might be used as soft padding, such as a scarf or a dish towel. Pick a basket that is deep enough to keep your wine and other gifts from falling out without needing to be secured by plastic wrap. Get creative with how you put your basket together–you’ll be surprised at all the ways you can find to reduce your plastic waste.
So, which eco-friendly gifts can help protect the environment and impress wine lovers? Depending on what kind of activities your recipient likes, you’ve got some great options! Below, we’ve provided five ideas to help you put together a spectacular wine gift basket for the wine enthusiast close to your heart.
A standard bottle of wine is 25 ounces, and so, too, is the new Klean Kanteen Insulated Classic 25 oz with Pour Through Cap. Coincidence? Nope! You can recycle that glass bottle, transfer whichever tasty wine you picked into your perfectly sized Klean Kanteen, and take your beverage with you to the beach, the park, or anywhere else that glass bottles are typically not allowed. You’ll be removing the risk of broken glass in populated areas, giving yourself easier access to bottle recycling (places that ban glass usually do not have bins for bottles), and making sure your wine stays the temperature you want it to. If you’re planning on gifting a white wine, something sparkling, or a rosé, you’ll score major points with your gift recipient by helping them also remove the need to pack an ice cooler. And the new pour-through cap is designed to pour cleanly from all sides, lock in freshness, and prevent oxygenation and thermal loss, meaning that the wine poured from the bottle will be the same delicious quality it was when you filled it up.
And, of course, these new pour-through bottles have multiple uses, and since they’re made from high-quality stainless steel, they won’t retain flavors no matter which drinks you decide to use. These insulated bottles are perfect for homemade lemonade, hot chocolate, or any other family-friendly beverages, too.
If you’re trying to figure out which wines to give, we recommend choosing from the selection at Bonterra–they’ve got a wide range of organic and biodynamically farmed options. We’re huge fans of Bonterra at Klean Kanteen. Not only do they make outstanding wine, but are committed to climate-neutral practices, organic and biodynamic farming, and sustainability. In fact, they can proudly claim that they are the world’s first organically farmed, Climate-Neutral certified wine, making them America’s leading organic winery.
Fill your wine-lover’s gift basket with one or two affordable bottles like Bonterra’s chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, or pinot noir. Or, maybe you want to opt for something befitting a more special occasion, in which case we might suggest Bonterra’s “McNab” cabernet sauvignon, one of the original biodynamic vineyards in the U.S.
An amazing companion for picnics, camping, or even home use, these stainless steel cups are great for wine or even cocktails and will pair perfectly with any beverage you decide to gift. Even better, they can completely replace those inferior plastic cups forever, making for a present that any wine enthusiast can make infinite use of. They stack neatly, are extremely lightweight and portable, they’re durable, and they are designed to pair with our silicone Pint Ring, which makes it easy for clipping onto backpacks for any adventure–even if that adventure just involves some sunscreen, a beach towel, a book, and a bottle of wine. Paired with the new 25-oz. Pour Through bottle, these cups will set you up for an excursion that will let you bring the wine, while cutting the waste.
We are always on the lookout for companies who share similar values as ours when it comes to quality and sustainability, and United by Blue is a shining example of that. United by Blue is a certified B-Corp, organizes major waterway cleanups, and features half a dozen exclusively trademarked, sustainable materials in all of their manufacturing. Though they specialize in sustainable apparel, they also make some really cool, unique accessories, including hand-blown drinkware that makes a terrific addition to a wine-centric gift basket. Like us, they are committed to removing single-use plastics from the supply chain, and part of that mission includes the use of 100-percent recycled glass in this 6-piece set of small, elegant wine glasses, made by skilled artisans in Marrakech, Morocco.
A great complement to the more rough-and-tumble durability of a portable stainless steel drinking vessel, these glasses are a more refined option for wine lovers, whether they want to impress their guests over a bottle of wine at a dinner party, or simply admire the handiwork along with a glass of their favorite wine as a nightcap. Classy drinkware can be sustainable, too.
While you’re shopping around and checking out United by Blue, consider how perfectly this beautiful, elegant wine decanter would pair with the Moroccan glasses we just mentioned. As a complete set, the whole setup would not only help your gift recipient vastly step up their hosting aesthetic, but it would bring them one step closer to fully sustainable wine-drinking, right at home. Like the glass set, this decanter is made by hand in small batches in Morocco, and will bring a unique look to any kitchen or bar cart it ends up–no two units are exactly the same.
The wine gift basket endures as one of the most personalizable, versatile presents you can give to a wine enthusiast, whether it’s a true connoisseur or someone who simply enjoys a glass here and there on the weekend. By including these sustainable, eco-friendly gifts and focusing on building around the best wine in the basket, you can create a meaningful, memorable experience for that lucky someone.