Classic Glassware Gifts for Wine Geeks

The search to find just the right gift for a wine lover can be daunting. As someone who works in the wine industry, I offer  this round up of some classic glassware for wine geeks that I recommend in the hope to make it easier. In fact, these glasses are part of my personal arsenal.

In case you missed it, allow plenty of time for shipments to arrive this year. Inundated carriers and supply chains with challenges are ongoing themes. At the time of publication items were in stock. Just click on the images to order and get more details.

Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. When these links are directly used to purchase an item I may receive a small commission and do cartwheels at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support!

Classic Glassware

Riedel Veritas Tasting Glasses

A set of proper stemware is a wine geek’s dream come true! This line of leaded crystal glass has an elegant presence partly attributed to the thin stems that give them an ultra-luxe feel, yet is dishwasher safe. Honest – I haven’t hand washed a wine glass in years.

Riedel Champagne Flutes

We use Champagne glasses at VinoSocial HQ every week because we’re firm believers that a special occasion isn’t required to pop the cork on a bottle of bubbly! In fact, we’ve been known to indulge in nachos and sparkling wine.

Wine Decanter

In our house we have three decanters, all used regularly, sometimes even simultaneously when we conduct taste comparisons. So if a wine lover you know already has a decanter, they could probably still use another! This one has a nice design that’s easy to hold and pour from.



If you want to add a little something extra to your gift of classic glassware for wine geeks, every aficionado appreciates a bottle of something special or different. Browse the selection at  Wine Gifts | Carefully chosen for every occasion. While you’re there, check out the Riedel polishing cloth and Repour Wine Saver along with other great wine glass options, and a variety of wonderful Champagne selections. As a special thank you save 10% off your order of $150 or more when you use code JOY150. Offer valid through 12/12/21.

Why a glass polishing cloth? A professional photographer taught me that it’s imperative to carry around a good polishing cloth if you’re going to take pictures of wine glasses and bottles. This is especially true for bloggers who want to post quality images to the Gram!

As for Repour, with the number of wines I evaluate and write about, it’s handy to be able to taste a bottle over several days. This wine preserver is an easy and cost-effective tool that allows me to do so. Wine students and other industry folks can benefit from this tool.

Happy shopping and happy holidays!



How Writing Plays a Role in Wine Competitions

Guest author Dana Van Nest shares a behind the scenes look into the Great Northwest Wine competitions.

“Intriguing nose of cherries jubilee, sweet herbs, and chocolate-covered blueberries,” I noted about the 2017 Siren’s Reserve Beijo Red Wine from Siren Song Wines. “Juicy red berries and plum greet you in this smooth and very drinkable blend, and later give way to chocolate and hints of tobacco.”

The Columbia Gorge Hotel where the Great Northwest Invitational takes place

At the Great Northwest Wine Invitational, held this past October at the Columbia Gorge Hotel, I tasted 67 Gold medal-winning wines and wrote tasting notes for each in less than two days. Eric Degerman, journalist and owner of Great Northwest Wine, had invited me to return for a second time as a Chief Judge for this competition (I also served as a Chief Judge at the Cascadia International Wine Competition last May).

With approximately 800 wines entered in this invitation-only competition, we start early with the panels of wine judges receiving their first flights at 8:30 am. The panel is comprised of a number of the region’s most respected wine buyers and merchants. They are a knowledgeable and generous crowd with whom I seriously enjoy getting to work, eat, and drink with for two days. After the panels have chosen the Golds for each flight, the Chief Judges (typically two or three of us) get to work.

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Let’s Talk About Slow Wine

Are you familiar with Slow Wine? We’re not talking “all natural,” or “clean,” wine which are basically marketing gimmicks anyway. Some might use the term sustainable, but even winemakers can’t seem to agree on what that means. So, let’s talk about Slow Wine and touch on what it really means and why it matters. Then, I’ll reveal a dozen wineries in Washington where you can find Slow Wine and, lastly, provide additional resources for those who wish to take a deeper dive.

Bob and Joel tend the land at Horsepower Vineyards

What is Slow Wine?

My summer was dedicated to visiting and interviewing Washington wineries and tasting wines for The Slow Wine Guide USA 2022. In this quest I’ve encountered properties where draft horses work the vineyards, marmots help fertilize the vines, and exciting varieties like Madeleine Angevine, Gruner Veltliner, and Sagrantino grow. While words like “lively” and “vibrant” permeate my tasting notes, there are also comments such as, “More please!” and, “Savory for days.” In other words, these are delectable wines.

Wilridge Vineyards in Naches Heights AVA grows varieties including Nebbiolo and Zweigelt

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Washington Syrah Challenge Mid-Year Check In

It’s time to conduct a Washington Syrah challenge mid-year check in! Perhaps this will offer inspiration if you’re wondering which Syrahs to explore in the remaining months of the challenge. If not, it will serve as a reminder for me, since it’s already a struggle to recall some of my choices earlier this year!

Two Syrahs from Boushey

Pro Tip:
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Ten Top Tips on Pairing Cava with Food

If you think sparkling wines are only for special occasions, think again! Ray Isle of Food and Wine Magazine recently conducted a virtual tasting featuring sparkling wines of Cava DOC. From that Cava in the Kitchen event, here are ten top tips on pairing Cava with food any day of the week. Ray swears it’s sure to improve your life immensely!

Now, before we dive in, keep in mind that Cava is a remarkable bargain in a lot of cases. The samples I received of six sparklers featured in the online event ranged from a mere $12.99 to $22.99.

Ten Top Tips on Pairing Cava with Food

Pro Tips from Ray Isle

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