At Thermador, I’m known as the wine sommelier, so my coworkers always come to me for recommendations whether they’re looking for a full-bodied Zinfandel or a sweet Riesling.

Being an avid entertainer, my gatherings tend to revolve around wine—it’s the “thank you” my friends bring me for hosting, the surprise we leave in guest rooms for those who stay overnight at our home, and an absolute staple at family parties. I hope you enjoy my wine gift guide!

1. Holiday Hosting
Spending time together is often how my girlfriends and I celebrate the holidays. I like to gift them with a fun experience at my home such as a blind wine tasting party. I go all out, wrapping each bottle in pretty fabric to hide the labels, offering a new glass for each pour to assure flavors don’t mix, and providing coffee beans at each place setting for guests to smell between sips to help reset senses before the next glass. My friends always have so much fun guessing the wines and where they originated from. Another idea is to award the winner your favorite bottle of wine or an accessory such as a personalized bottle stopper or automatic bottle opener.

2. Chilled To Perfection  
Earlier this year, my husband surprised me with the item on the top of my wish list—the Under Counter Wine Reserve. The unit has adjustable temperature zones and I love this feature. As I’ve learned more about wine, I realize how important it is to store certain kinds at specific temperatures for the best taste.

3. A Year of Wine
My husband also loves wine so last year I surprised him with a bottle from the year we got married. This gift idea can work for any special date—a birth year, an anniversary, the year you met your friend, or any other memorable life event.

4. Relax & Retreat
If a vineyard or winery is nearby, plan a day or weekend tour for a relaxing getaway. This is the gift that keeps on giving since you can typically purchase wine at the end of the tour. I like to buy a few bottles and create wine gift boxes to give as presents, while also stocking up my own wine column with reds and whites. The Thermador Built In Wine Preservation Column stores all the bottles we bring home at the optimum temperature so we can enjoy them all year long.

5. A Sommelier Space
Aeration is crucial for red wine as it greatly improves the taste. I attended a wine tasting in Sonoma years ago and sampled two wines—one decanted, one not—and the difference in aroma and flavor was undeniable. Now decanters are the first thing I purchase for wine lovers. Glass or crystal decanters are my favorite options because they both look great in every kitchen design.

How will you surprise the sommelier in your life? Share your thoughts with us in the comments or on our social channels: and @Thermador.

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