There are people who love Italian wine.
And then, there are sommeliers.
These amazing professionals practically absorb themselves into the world of wine. They learn everything they can about wines from all over the world, becoming respected experts in the subject. Becoming a sommelier takes years of studying and practice. However, reaching this distinction means the individual’s opinion is so respected that they are often hired by high-end restaurants and similar organizations to help them find the very best wines.
A sommelier is a true master of wine. An aspiring sommelier is on their way to that lofty perch.
You may already know this.
You might have a friend who is working towards becoming a sommelier as we speak. And if you do, your natural inclination whenever a birthday or Christmas comes around is to buy this person a gift relating to Italian wine.
And therein lies the challenge.
After all, what can you get somebody who knows everything (and likely has everything) related to Italian wine? If you have an aspiring sommelier in your life, what can you buy for them that they don’t already have?
We can’t say we have the definitive answers.
However, we do have a few ideas that may just help you land a nice surprise on an aspiring sommelier.
Idea #1 – Several Bottles of Inexpensive Champagne
Why would a sommelier ever want to have a bunch of bottles of cheaper Champagne lying around? These people are interested in the best quality wines so surely they wouldn’t be interested in any old bottle.
But that may not be the case, especially for an aspiring sommelier.
Part of a sommelier’s studies involves learning how to properly serve wine. For Italian red wines, that means understanding how to properly decant all sorts of different vintages. But when it comes to Champagne, the sommelier needs to know exactly how to open the bottle perfectly when presenting it to a customer.
That takes practice.
And every practice bottle requires an investment from the sommelier. So, by buying them a few bottles of Champagne, you relieve the cost burden of their studies while allowing them to practice their skills. And if you’re really lucky, they may just invite you for a tasting or two when they’re honing their skills.
Idea #2 – A Coravin
Again, studying is the focus of this gift.
A Coravin is a clever wine preservation system that prevents oxygen from reaching a wine when the bottle is opened. How? It allows you to get to the wine without opening the bottle! The device is essentially a needle that the aspiring sommelier can use to pierce the cork. They then extract the wine they need, with the device also injecting inert Argon gas into the bottle to prevent oxygen from reaching the wine.
Why would an aspiring sommelier want this device?
It’s tough to truly study a bottle of Italian wine when you know you only have a few days before it loses its quality. A Coravin allows the aspiring sommelier to preserve their bottles of wine for longer, which is really useful when studying the notes and changes that occur to specific vintages. It basically gives the individual more control over their study time, allowing them to get more information out of each wine purchase.
Idea #3 – A Gift Card to the Children’s Atlas of Wine
The Children’s Atlas of Wine is an interesting concept. It offers various classes and merchandise, which may not interest your aspiring sommelier friend given that they’re already studying plenty as it is.
But then, there are the maps.
The person behind the concept creates beautiful hand-drawn maps of several wine regions from all around the world. These maps are perfect for a sommelier’s study. They’re also fairly unique, meaning it’s unlikely your sommelier friend has one. You can find the maps by following this link – Children’s Atlas of Wine.
Idea #4 – A Vacuum Pump
Coming from the same school of thought as the Coravin, we have vacuum pumps. These clever devices work by being placed over the neck of an open bottle of wine. The pump then eliminates the air from the wine bottle before creating a seal to ensure no more air can get in.
Like the Coravin, a vacuum pump is ideal for the aspiring sommelier who needs to study a particular vintage. They can pop the cork, pour a glass to aerate, and use the pump to seal the bottle again so the next glass is also fresh. It just gives the studier a few more days of study, meaning they get to spend less on Italian wine.
Idea #5 – Their Choice of Italian Wine
Let’s face it.
Unless you’re a sommelier yourself, you’re not going to know as much about Italian wine as somebody who is studying for the role. As a result, any gift of wine that you give is always going to be the subject of doubt. You’ll question whether the wine is good enough for the recipient, whether they have it, and if you’re wasting your money.
So, make the whole thing simpler.
Ask them what they want and get that. Tell your aspiring sommelier friend that you want to get them a bottle of wine and give them a budget to work with. They’ll be able to tell you exactly what they want. You could even consider this a little test of their knowledge. Ask questions about the wine they choose and you give them a chance to refresh their memories about the wine before gifting it to them.
The Final Word
Even an aspiring sommelier doesn’t have everything available in the world of wine. And when it comes to accessories, most are surely going to be happy with getting a few more.
The gift ideas presented here should keep any sommelier happy. What’s more, several of them are available on Xtrawine, including the Pulltex vacuum pump. Check out our collection today. Or better yet, have your aspiring sommelier do it so they can choose the perfect Italian wine for themselves.
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