Gifts, gifts, gifts! What to give the Wein lover in your life — or yourself? We gathered pro tips from TRINK writers and staff and other experts to offer you a singular selection in our very first gift guide.
Recommended by our Hamburg-based trend guru Nils Kevin Puls, these cult winemaker shirts and hoodies are a super fun way to flaunt your umlaut IYKYK. This dope pick would make your Burgenland-obsessed bestie’s day.
Only a handful of wine lovers will ever make it to the rarefied circle of Masters of Wine. But thanks to iconic Swiss pocket knife maker Victorinox, we can all be Wine Masters. This walnut-handled, six-function pocket knife has its priorities straight: get the bottle open and do it in style. A deluxe stocking stuffer best paired with an equally extravagant Pinot Noir or Chardonnay from Swiss cult producers Daniel and Martha Gantenbein.
We swear by the handmade Josepheninhütte Universal No. 2 glass. It’s ethereal, sculptural and there is nothing like it for accentuating the details of a crystalline Riesling. (Improbably, it is also the most durable stem we’ve ever owned.) Feeling über-generous? Spring for the award-winning, sixth-generation Austrian designer Kurt Josef Zalto’s Starter Set. It includes six stems (two each for red, white, and sparkling) plus polishing cloth and brush.
Of course, there are more traditional ways to drink, too. Are you even “Trolling” if
you aren’t drinking your Trollinger from the OG Swabian red wine mug? Grab one or a set, then invite your friends, whip up this edible mood board, and let the fun take care of itself.
One of the million reasons we adore German-speaking wine countries is their resolute rejection of that American carbonated beverage we’ll just say rhymes with Tight Maw. Instead, the Austrians show their flair for the lighter side of life with Sturm and Spritz. Make sure your lo/no friends and fam drink their spritzers in authentic rustic style with these purpose-built quarter– or (hey-O!) half-liter tankards.
The moment we saw these killer Austrian Lederhosen wine chillers on the Alpine Wine Society’s ace gift list and we knew we needed them on ours. Kitsch oder couture? Depends if your recipient’s been naughty or nice.
Speaking of couture, no holiday look is complete without our signature TRINK logo caps. This merch is available exclusively to readers who sign up as Patreon “GG” Tier annual subscribers. It’s a screaming deal when you think of it: 10% off the monthly subscription rate, a sharp lid, and a clean conscience all in one. On a budget? Sign up yourself, a family member, or friend for the Patreon “Landwein” Tier at just five bucks a month, pay as you go.
Let’s face it, even pros need prompting when asked to pick out the Kocher-Jochst-Tauber region on a wine map. Never get your Anbaugebiete mixed up again with this handsome, up-to-date, face-saving edition.
Obviously, there’s no better way to put your German into practice than to get out among the vines and winemakers themselves. Our favorite bespoke wine tour leader is Bottlestops. Make 2023 the year you and your crew finally get to the source of your favorite bottles with a knowledgeable local guide and stops at both acclaimed and under-the-radar estates customized to your tastes. Gift vouchers make giving an unforgettable experience a snap.
You’ll definitely want this Soilpimp-approved wine suitcase for carrying home your vinous treasures. “I have had several and this is by far the best,” the Riesling-totting globetrotter avows. While you’re at it, stock up on these handy infrared pocket wine thermometers, too. “One of the things I preach is that Riesling must be served at the proper temperature so that the acid and sugar are in balance,” he says. “I love these and use them all the time.”
Looking for the ideal host gift to bring to a holiday party? Nothing beats a superb bottle of Carnuntum red, vivid Vernatsch, or linear Blaufränkisch paired with sweet-spicy Lebkuchen. It might be heretical to say, but — at least on the American side of the pond — we think the best of the best come from Leckerlee in Boulder, Colorado. We’re especially fond of their signature tins filled with a full pound of assorted, classic, or chocolate varieties. For our European readers, nothing beats the unlikely named Tres Aromas for an unforgettable gustatory delight.
Did you know Austria’s oldest winery not only produces spellbinding biodynamic wines, but small-batch jams, oils, and vinegars from their gardens as well? Our favorite are these delectable apricot preserves.
Advent, advent, ein Lichtlein brennt. Well, you’ll be reading this a few days after the candles started burning, but that just means you or your friends won’t have to wait to start tasting through the offerings in this brilliant wine advent calendar. It features 24 of Germany’s rising star talents, with a 100ml sample of his or her work hiding behind each little door.
Young wines need air to express themselves the way teens need TikTok to let their
ya-yas out. Our own senior correspondent Christoph Raffelt says this sleek oxygenating decanter is his go-to for rambunctious wines in need of a double decant.
Books make the best gifts! It was tough to narrow our selection, but we think these recent publications will inspire on many levels.
Wine Hiking Switzerland
Get out on the Alpine trail with this expert guide that puts one hike, one winery, and one wine in focus. The book features 50 hikes spanning all six of Switzerland’s wine regions with plenty of coverage of the German-speaking parts. There are walks to cult producers like Tom Litwan for a taste of his coveted, long-aging Pinot Noirs and to the sky-high Jodenkellerei for a glimpse of the Matterhorn and a glass of Heida, high-elevation grape par excellence, and plenty in between.
We Don’t Want Any Crap in Our Wine
Swedish author Camille Gjerde crisscrossed Europe by train and bicycle to find and interview the most compelling women winemakers in the natural wine world and beautifully documented their work and wines. Austrian luminaries Jutta Ambrositch and the Rennersistas star. (Check out the exclusive TRINK excerpt here) .
Lars Carlberg, et al.
For the Mosel nerd in your life, a fresh translation of a detailed first-hand account of the Golden Age of Mosel Riesling. As Valerie noted in her review, it’s chockablock with primary source nuggets, context, and insights found nowhere else.
Sparkling Wine for Modern Times
U.S. author Zachary Sussman’s global guide came out last year, but we can’t help pointing readers to its terrific chapter on German and Austrian bubbles. Wine tips for bottles available in the U.S. are spot on. For German readers, Daniela Dejnega’s 111 Schaumweine aus Aller Welt die Man Getrunken Haben Muss (excerpted in English here) would make a great gift as would a subscription to Nicole Wolber’s extremely insightful Schaumweinmagazin (get a taste of in English here.)
Anyone Can Taste Wine
Cees van Casteren, MW
Don’t read on if you’re a personal friend of Valerie’s because she’s probably going to gift you this book herself. Dutch Master of Wine Cees van Casteren has distilled the unpindownable of wine tasting to its essence in this ingenious and accessible guide. Anyone who trains his or her lens on Austrian Gelber Muskateller, the grand cru Pinot Grigios of Alto Adige, German Spätburgunder, and an extended examination of Riesling right down to its newest no-alcohol form is right by us. Pro tip: Read this charming and essential review by the inimitable Tamlyn Currin (with barefoot cameo from Paula).
Wines of Germany
Anne Krebiehl, MW
An instant classic, German-born, London-bound Master of Wine Anne Krebiehl applies her irrepressible ebullience and keen understanding of all facets of wine growing, making and enjoyment to a subject in dire need of such sensitivity and sensuality. Published in 2019, but still admirably current. Its deceptive slimness belies a universe of information and intelligence.
Drinking with the Valkyries
Possibly even more thrilling than a bottle of old Riesling for us is the dizzying power of considered language. Not for nothing did we debut the first ever literary edition of a wine magazine. And to honor those roots, we present a near-perfect assemblage of artistry, experience, inspiration, and truth in Andrew Jefford’s recently published essay collection. A heartbreaking work of staggering genius (to channel Dave Eggers) that elevates the art of fine wine writing to fine writing period. If it is possible to become intoxicated from language alone, this is the ultimate indulgence.
Last but definitely not least, consider the gift of donating to a cause that helps keep the cool in cool climate, mentoring or supporting a new-to-wine professional, uplifting your favorite wine bar or restaurant by giving gift certificates, or lending a helping hand to a worthy vineyard reclamation project.