If you have a friend or family member who is dreaming of a white — or red — Christmas, businesses are coming up with creative ideas to give that person who loves to drink.
According to the National Retail Federation, Americans plan to spend less this holiday season. Each person plans to spend about $997.79 — or about $50 less — on “gifts, holiday items like food and decorations, and additional ‘non-gift’ purchases for themselves and their families this year.”
Regardless of what holiday you celebrate, having a special drink to cheers with helps ring in the season with an extra unique flare. But what to buy when you’re on a budget and 72% of millennials would rather have experiences than gifts?
Here are some of our top picks:
1. Drinkworks Home Bar
If the person you’re gifting to loves their Keurig cup of coffee in the morning, get them the Drinkworks Home Bar for their after-work cocktail. The machine dispenses the spirits from a pod – similar to a K-cup – water, carbonation, and other ingredients at the same time. The ingredients mix as they flow into the glass. Choose between a mojito, Moscow Mule, Long Island Iced Tea, White Russian, and more. The machine even recognizes what kind of pod you put in and knows exactly how much water or carbonation the cocktail needs. Buy this at-home-bartender for $299.99 and the first set of pods for $17.99.
2. Virtual Wine Tasting Kit
Your loved one doesn’t have to travel to a vineyard to learn about wine. Send them a virtual wine tasting kit so they can start learning about wine at home. The wines arrive wrapped, so the tasting is blind. Those tasting can guess what they taste and smell, take notes, and learn as they go. You can choose to send all whites, all reds, or a mix. You can also select to send two, three, or four bottles. This kit ranges from $100 to $150, depending on how many bottles you choose.
3. Rapid Beverage Chiller
Yes, it’s still cold outside, but come summer, nothing tastes better than a cold glass of Sauvignon Blanc. Buy your loved one a Rapid Beverage Chiller. This single-bottle machine spins the bottle around in ice and water, rapidly chilling the wine to 50 degrees in less than four minutes. The bottle chiller also works for cans or bottles of juice, beer, soda, carbonated drinks, and champagne. It will feel like magic. Buy this Rapid Beverage Chiller for $89.99.
4. Whiskey Wedge
Your brother who loves Whiskey but hates ice will thank you for Corkcicle’s Whiskey Wedge. When placed in the freezer, this glass forms an iced-shaped wedge on one side of the glass. When you pour a drink, the wedge melts slowly to help retain your drink’s full flavor. Buy this fancy glass for $13.95.
5. Electric Blue Omega All-In-One Wine Opener, Preserver, And Dispenser
For your loved one who considers themselves a wine snob but also likes to drink alone, Electric Blue Omega’s All-In-One Wine Dispenser opens the bottle, preserves it for later with a vacuum feature, and dispenses the wine into a glass. The gadget also features an aerator, foil cutter, two vacuum stoppers, charging base, and USB cord. Buy this fancy gadget for $149.00.
6. Red Wine Lover’s Collection from Murray’s Cheese
Re-create those wine and cheese dates you used to have pre-pandemic with your partner. Experience gifts are all the rage, and this one is delicious. Murray’s Cheese offers a Red Wine Lover’s Collection. The box includes Murray’s Young Manchego, Bayley Hazen Blue, Piedras de Chocolate, Murray’s Membrillo, Rustic Bakery Olive Oil and Sei Gris Flatbread, and Kalamata Olives. The box features about 1.1 pounds of cheese, which can feed 5 to 7 oenophiles. The package costs $95. Pick up a bottle of your favorite red wine to complete the gift.
7. Double Wall Insulated Freezer Tumbler Set
The safest way to gather these days is outside, and while there is promising vaccine news, most of us will probably need to drink our wine outside this summer to stay safe. Get ready for the hot summer days with a HOST Freeze Cooling Cup, set of 2 Double Wall Insulated Freezer Chilling Tumbler with Gel. These glasses hold 8.5 ounces and work great for white or red wines. Freeze the cup to get wine to 45º F, or refrigerate it to get wine to 60º F. Buy this set for $16.79.
8. Virtual Wine Tasting
Inspire your entire family or group of friends to ditch gifts this year and have everyone participate in a virtual wine tasting run by the pros. Wineries such as Charles Krug, Wolffer Estate, and many more offer private, virtual wine tastings. The wine will be shipped to everyone’s individual location, and then you can all join a Zoom call and learn together. It’s a great way to share an experience together, even while apart. The cost will vary by the winery and how many bottles you select.
9. Deliver Some Wine to Their Front Door
If you’re spending the holidays away from your chardonnay-loving mother, send a few bottles of her favorite California white right to her front door. Wine.com allows you to select well-known wine brands and ship them to many states (those that allow wine to be shipped). Build your own box of wines or select a pre-picked set to send mom. The price will vary based on selection.
10. A Very 2020 Wine Glass
Drinking alone sometimes can be seen as taboo, but not in 2020! Buy the perfect glass for your friend who likes to open a bottle and watch Grey’s Anatomy alone: “I’m not drinking alone, I’m social distancing.” This stemless glass costs $14.99