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Wine gifts galore for the holidays

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT
(MCT News Service)
Duck Commander Wines – the moscato, red and chardonnay shown here – are sold and marketed by family-owned Trinchero Family Estates, Napa Valley vintners since 1948.
(MCT News Service)
After aging Central Coast wines, wine barrels take on a second life as special edition sunglasses. Inspired by the sun-drenched vineyards, Robert Mondavi teamed up with Woodzee, an up-and-coming Chico, Calif.-based eyewear designer, to transform used oak barrels into new, must-have accessories.

You know the type: He or she already has a 1,000-bottle wine cellar, 65 corkscrews, a dozen too-cute wine posters (“Wine a little; you’ll feel better”) and subscriptions to wine magazines from seven continents. So what do you get this person for Christmas?

I have struggled mightily to put together a list of wine gifts so unusual, they probably don’t have them after all. You’re welcome.

Keep in mind I have not tried these products, so it’s buyer beware.

Duck Dynasty wines: Down for all things ducky? You can gift your reality-show-loving friends with a three-pack of Duck Dynasty wines. The bearded, rollicking Robertson family has gone in with California’s Trinchero Family Estates winery – the folks who brought us white zinfandel – to make a red, a rosé and a white. They’re under $10 each at Walmart.

CatSip Feline Wine: Don’t like to drink alone? A Japanese company has come out with “Nyan Nyan Nouveau” (nyan is Japanese for meow), a wine for cats. No alcohol, but rather cabernet grape juice, catnip and vitamin C. Sadly, you have to go to Japan to buy it, says www.greatwinenews.com.

Paper wine bottle? That’s right. A standard-shape, round wine bottle of recycled cardboard whose makers say it can hold wine, even stand up to 3 hours in an ice bucket. They say it will save the planet by weighing 70 percent less than glass for shipping purposes. PaperBoy makes a $14 Mendocino Chardonnay and a $15 red blend from Paso Robles. Order them at info@paperboywines.com.

Wine sentinel: Heading out of town and afraid your underage son or daughter might raid your wine cellar or liquor cabinet? Simply install an Elertus Wine Protection System. If the kid opens the door, the system will alert you nationwide via your iPhone, iPad or Android. It’ll also warn you of changes in light or temperature. It’s $199 at www.elertus.com/wine.

Reindeer games: If you’re a bit bah, humbug about the holidays, you can buy the Blitzen Gift Set – a reindeer-antler-shaped bottle stopper and a bar towel with a drawing of Santa’s “Blitzen” with eyes Xed out, looking a bit blitzed him(her?)self. The set is $23, at www.CorkPops.com.

Davy Jones’ wine locker: Serious wine connoisseurs are very picky about the conditions under which their prized bottles mature. So Mira Winery of Napa Valley has aged a few bottles of its 2009 cabernet sauvignon 60 feet under the surface of Charleston Harbor in South Carolina for 3 months – at ocean temperatures and pressure, in total darkness. You can buy a bottle of the ocean-aged wine, called Aquaoir, and another bottle of the same wine aged on land, for $500. It’s at www.aquaoir.com.

Cool shades: Too sexy for your shirt? Maybe, but are you sexy enough for these sunglasses made of used wine barrels from the Robert Mondavi Private Selection (the frames are wood, not the lenses)? The idea is you should wear them at night while sipping the wines. They’re $120 at www.woodzee.com.

Corkscrew no more: Want to try a glass of wine from a bottle but not finish the rest for up to 10 years, allegedly with no loss of quality? Try the Coravin “wine access system” developed by Greg Lambrecht, a young, MIT-trained nuclear engineer. He inserts a long, thin needle through the cork, draws out some wine and injects inert argon gas without ever pulling the cork. It’s $295, plus $29.99 for a three-pack of argon at www.coravin.com.

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