The Best of the Web
Professor Ann Noble of the UC Davis Department of Viticulture and Oenology is a noted wine educator whose name will always be associated with the UC Davis Aroma Wheel that she developed. You can but it online as a plastic laminated version (a bargain $6 for US consumers, $7 international) or on a T-shirt ($25). Profits help support sensory research at the university.
Artisans on the Web
Artisans on the Web's Wine Accessories page offers a delicious array of wine-related tools and toys, including a variety of corkscrews - such as the wonderful and extravagant French Laguiole - wine and bar accessories and redwood wine racks. A selection of well-written wine articles add spice to the mix. I purchased a sleek leather "holster" for my Laguiole, and was impressed with the quick, friendly and competent service. Highly recommended.
Brizard & Co.
Brizard & Co. is located in York, England, and offers a wide range of high quality wine accessories. The online catalog is beautifully arranged, and ordering is quite simple and efficient. http://www.brizard.co.uk/
A sturdy but surprisingly functional plastic wine glass is widely available, made of a sturdy, clear and relatively odor-free plastic called Lexan. This glass unscrews at the base, permitting the stem end to be popped into the bowl to make a small, easily packed unit no larger than a coffee cup. One source for this glass is Campor, where a search for "wine glass" will bring up "Lexan Wine Glass, item number 73300, $4.99." (This is not an advertisement, but I report as a satisfied customer: My glass arrived in good condition only three days after I ordered it online.)
Cephas Picture Library
The Cephas Picture Library displays over 100,000 top quality pictures of wine related pictures from many wine regions around the world. The site is the exclusive representative of Mick Rock, and high quality prints are available at attractive prices. It's a fascinating site for arm chair travellers, and for those who are planning a trip to a new wine region. http://www.cephas.com
A number of contributors to the Wine Lovers' Discussion Group recommend the use of the Cool Tote insulated carrying cases. The system combines high performance insulation with reusable freezer packs. http://www.cooltote.com/
International Wine Accessories
Don't let the background music, moving headlines and busy graphics put you off: International Wine Accessories is one of the leading wine-accessory companies, offering everything from cellar units and racking systems to wine glasses and corkscrews.
Le Nez du Vin
Le Nez du Vin is a sophisticated instructive guide to the most common essences found in all types of wine, which was designed by Jean Lenoir. The cloth-bound kit includes a number of glass vials containing the essential wine scents, their illustrated information cards, and an instruction booklet. The master kit contains 54 scents, a smaller version contains 12 red, 12 white and one corked vial, and there are two even smaller versions, with either 12 red or 12 white vials. The series also includes a set of 12 vials containing some of the most important wine flaws. A number of sources including Artisans on the Web noted above. http://www.aoweb.com/wedu.html
Pascal Morabito has created an unusual piece of jewelry for a Champagne lover: "Each bottle of champagne has its own cork, which is kept in place by cork wiring that is kept tightly in place by four notches in the metal bottle top. This cork wiring is very much appreciated by collectors (known as “placomusophiles”) all over the world. Pascal Morabito has made this cork wiring into a jewel (which has been patented). When the champagne is bottled, the cork-wiring jewel is placed under the bottle top, becoming free when the bottle is opened. The cork-wiring jewel is gilded with fine 24-carat gold and, delicately hanging on a silk thread is to be worn around the neck like a pendant, commemorating the finesse and seduction of a moment of sharing and complicity." http://www.pascalmorabito.com/en/champagne.html
Wine & All That Jazz
Wine & All That Jazz is the third largest wine accessory catalog in the United States, and carries a wide range of wine related products. The company does business only by catalog and over the internet, is based in New York, and has been in business for over 14 years.
Wine Away is remarkably effective at removing red wine stains, and is said to be safe for kids and pets. The manufacturer claims it is biodegradeable, and recommends using while the stain is still wet. (This can be a negative for sensitive palates; it has a strong fruit odor all its own.) Generally available at wine retailers.
One of the nation's largest and most respected wine-accessory companies, Wine Enthusiast specializes in free-standing and built-in wine-cellar units as well as a host of other accessories. You can visit their Website or call them at 1-800-356-8466 in the U.S.
The Rest of the Web
Calvines.com is a wine and spirits accessory retailer in Rochester, N.Y. They stock a wide range of products, including a useful set of wine cards that describe types of wines and recipes for dishes that go well with each. http://www.calvines.com/
Here's an off beat idea when you have really run out of new ideas for a gift for a wine lover: OneShare.com will sell you one share of Mondavi in a pretty frame. And, it's a real share, so your recipient can earn dividends, get shareholder reports and learn about the wine business, and even vote at the annual meeting. http://www.oneshare.com/stock.asp?company_id=76&cat_id=1
Rent a Vine/Adopt a Barrel
From time to time, I'm asked about opportunities to rent a vine or a adopt a barrel, usually to give as a present to a friend or relative who loves wine. In Europe these plans are usually called Rent a Vine; in the US they are usually called Adopt a Barrel. In any of them, the rental or adoption entitles you to a certain amount of wine, sometimes at an additional cost. I've never actually tried any of these plans, but if you are interested, here are a few possibilities:
Kahn Winery (US)
Merritt Estate Winery (US)
Woodbury Vineyards (US)
Chateau Latuc (France)
Own a Vine (New Zealand)
Robin's Nest Jewelry
Have you ever confused your glass with someone else's at a party? Robin's Nest Jewelry offers an attractive solution. Simply offer these decorative loops to your guests to place on the stems of their glasses, and all evening they'll know which glass is theirs. Markers are sold in sets of six or eight, with a variety of color charms and beads and a satin drawstring pouch. http://www.intherobinsnest.com/idwine.htm
Chris's Stuff featurs "Wine Imprinted Merchandise for the Uncompromising!" T-Shirts, Doormats, Aprons, Baby Rompers ... well, you get the idea. Fun site! http://www.chrisstuff.com/
Styles Check Company
For Wine Lover imprinted checks (especially useful for paying for cult wines), try Styles Check Company. The company offers several versions of attractive checks and matching labels with wine themes.
In today's bright electric lights, it is no longer absolutely necessary to have a tastevin, but as a present to a winelover (who may of course be yourself), a tastevin may still be a pleasant necessity. http://www.wine-lovers-page.com/cgi-bin/quest/ga.cgi?q=40
Wine Appreciation Guild
The Wine Appreciation Guild located in San Francisco maintains an excellent online catalog of storage units, corkscrews, decanters, wine preservation devices, books, glassware, specialty items, and other wine related items. The New Product Focus page is especially interesting. http://www.wineappreciation.com/
Wine Rack Store Inc.
Located in Olympia, Washington, Wine Rack Store Inc. manufactures and retails wood and metal wine racks. It also handles an interesting group of wine accessories. http://www.winerackstore.com
I can't claim personal familiarity with this product, but Bill Happersett makes the case that his WINE-STAT device offers a "truly practical low-cost answer to the often-asked question about using refrigerators (and other cooling systems) for wine storage."
Zinfandel Aroma Wheel
ZAP and Professor Ann Noble have co-operated to create a Zinfandel Aroma Wheel. The online version is fun to play and learn with; a hard copy is $4.00 from ZAP. http://www.zinfandel.org/about_zin/aromawheel/