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Holiday wine gift guide 2013

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The Wine Curmudgeon didn’t think there was a need for this year’s holiday gift guide. After all, what else could anyone want to give other than the cheap wine book?

But when I asked around, I was stunned to find out that this was not the case. The consensus: “Jeff, there are more things in the wine world than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” Or something like that.

So, after the jump, gift suggestions, as well as the all-important gift guidelines:

Winebits 245: New York wine, corks, wine accessories

Spectator strikes again: Just when you thought that the Winestream Media had accepted regional wine, the Wine Spectator fired a shot over the bow reminding everyone just how inferior regional wine is and always will be. Which didn’t please regional wine advocates in New York’s Long Island region. Lenn Thompson at New York Cork Report sums it up nicely: “In short, there really isn’t anything new here and I’m left wondering what the point is, honestly. Been there, done that.” The point, of course, is that we can’t make any decisions about wine on our own without checking with the Spectator first.

Consumers care about wine, not closure: More than 9 out of 10 serious U.S. wine drinkers don’t really care whether their wine has a cork, screwcap or synthetic closure, reports a study done this spring. Instead, they’re more concerned with varietal, price and region. This should not surprise regular visitors here, given the Wine Curmudgeon’s focus on making wine easier to drink. Yes, the survey was commissioned by Nomacorc, the world’s largest producer of synthetic wine closures (and a sponsor at our recent DrinkLocalWine conference), but these numbers tally with others I’ve seen over the years. The other interesting thing about the study? One-half of respondents have experienced some type of problem with natural cork, either with it being difficult to remove or breaking when it’s opened. Which, of course, doesn’t happen with a screwcap.

Useless wine gadgets: The Drinks Business, the English liquor trade, comes up with a list of the 10 wine accessories no one really needs. The magazine is to be much applauded, since wine gadgets have always seemed like a way to get wine drinkers to spend money on something other than wine. My favorite in the slideshow is the wine rack robot, if for no other reason than I can’t believe anyone really thought of it.

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