Wine for Christmas
By now, it's likely most holiday gifts have been bought and wrapped, but I've thought of some great ideas! I'm not an ultra-sophisticated wine drinker, but I do enjoy a glass of vino with a meal. One of the basic attributes that wine has above all other alcoholic beverages is the ability to elevate a simple meal into a memorable one. While drinking a glass of wine with dinner tonight, I thought about space-saving gifts for wine aficionados.
Surely, there isn't much room for a wine refrigerator in a space-starved urban apartment or tiny cottage. It's hard to fit one into most kitchen remodels, to be honest. As a kitchen designer, I often struggle to find the optimum spot for a 100-bottle wine chiller for couples that have their hearts set on it. There are under-the-counter models in abundance, but I went on a search for options that are much smaller. I found a couple of extremely space-conscious options from industry standard-bearer Frigidaire. One model holds 18 bottles and is 37.25 inches tall, 9.88 inches wide and 20 inches deep. You could keep it at the end of a peninsula or a run of cabinets. Another option is a countertop model that's smaller than a microwave at just 10.9 inches tall, 16.25 inches wide and 20.75 inches deep. This little cooler features a digital temperature control and sliding chrome shelves for quick access to stored bottles. It sells for around $100 and would make lots of millennials very happy this year.
Besides a wine refrigerator, another way to go is a space-saving wine rack. I've observed that wine holders that expand are gaining in popularity. My daughter-in-law installed one in her dining room. The French-influenced 16-bottle Anjou Wall Rack is an example of the basic style. This particular one is just 28 inches wide and 51 inches high. It is made in a Malibu wood finish with antique iron finish racks. Metal holders and bottles included, it extends a mere 6 inches from the wall. It could even be hung in a hallway, dining room or kitchen instead of a traditional piece of art. It's creative and practical at the same time and sells for just over $100.
You could also seek vintage wine poster art. The options are elegant and international. Prices range from $20 to $50 for prints. Framing is always the most expensive part, so be prepared to pay much more for a frame than the cost of the poster. At this late date in December, a print might not be ready to present for the holidays. But you could print an image of the poster you buy and include it in a card with money for a frame. Perhaps my all-time favorite idea involves framing wine labels, for they include some of the most distinctive graphic art made for products anywhere. Of course, this involves some anticipation and collecting favorite bottle labels ahead of time. If it's too late to do this year, start a collection now for next holiday season.
There is said to be a return to the handmade Christmas gift this year. I'm not a huge fan of cork art in general, but you can certainly search Buzzfeed or Pinterest for creative ways to use these natural bottle stoppers. Cork is an organic material, and as such, it holds a kind of fascination for many people. If you have good supplies, consider creating a large letter initial out of corks and mounting it on a canvas or framing it. I've seen other items, like Christmas wreaths and bath mats, made of cork. An even simpler idea is to get a huge glass vase and fill it with corks for a conversation piece that won't take up a lot of room.
Photo Credit: Tamara Menzi