Christmas gimmicks for the wine lover who has everything
Dec. 12, 2001
If I remember the musical "Gypsy" well enough, one of its featured songs performed by three stripteasers was "You've Got To Have A Gimmick."
Gimmicks are not restricted to those who sell peeks at their physical assets. The wine trade is full of them. Here are a few taken from the Christmas catalog mailed by International Wine Accessories.
Some gift ideas are practical. Some are cute. Some are garish. Some are handsome. But for the wine lover who has everything, these might spark an idea or two.
La Dolce Vita Wine Plaques: IWA says one of these will show one's love of wine. The plaques are reproductions, handcast in resin and marble. The inscription is "Vive Bene, Spesso L'Amore, Di Risata Molto," which, we are told, translates into "Live Well, Love Much, Laugh Often." Price $39.95. No thanks. I find the motto rather handy at my age but not the plaque.
A professional wine tasting spittoon: Unless you've come to our wine tastings, you probably didn't know there was such a thing. At the tastings, we call them "dump buckets." They are placed in the middle of the tables. If a wine is not of the taster's choice, they can pour it out. Ours are rather plain. The one pictured in the catalog is very fancy, made by the well known wine glass creator Spiegelau out of crystal in cobalt blue color and imported from Germany. Price $79.95. Sorry. My house is equipped with sinks which work just as well.
The world's largest wine glass: This can be used as a table decoration. Standing about two-feet tall, it is made of lead crystal. IWA suggests it would make a nice centerpiece or even a goldfish bowl. You have a choice of shapes, Burgundy, Bordeaux or champagne. They sell for $95 each or $249 for all three.
The catalog quotes the president of the company as saying: "When my doctor recommended one glass of wine per day, I discovered these glasses." If my doctor ever tells me that, I know exactly what to do. First, of course, I'll have to remove the goldfish.
Skipping ahead, we see a vintage wine door mat for $24.95. The inscription is: "We Serve Only The Finest Wines … Did You Bring Any?" They say it is guaranteed to put a smile on your guests faces as they arrive. Cute but no thanks. My guests smile a lot when they're leaving.
Another offering is a grape accent lamp priced at $34.95. It is a glass cluster of grapes complete with a leaf and stem. The sales pitch reads: "Keep your love of wine burning bright. Our unique lamp is the perfect lighting accent for the wine connoisseur. When lit, the opaque purple grapes will shed a soft glow on any room you choose." You do remember I said some things were "garish"? This qualifies.
If you're a dog lover, you will surely want a bottle stopper featuring a stone resin canine figure atop a genuine pewter base attached to a cork. These are $19.95 and 200 different breeds of dogs are available. In the description is this never-to-be-forgotten line: "Each also comes with its own velvet drawstring pouch to keep your new pet' cozy and clean." So help me! Would I make up something like that?
Something for everyone
The catalog also features pages and pages of refrigerated units for storing wine at the proper temperature and humidity, some of them very attractive. It also offers precut shelving for wine racks and most of that is easy to assemble and very attractive.
There are, of course, additional trinkets (or should we call them "gimmicks") to the ones mentioned above. Forty pages of the unique and the routine.
If anything fits the description of "what to buy for the man or woman who has everything," have at it. IWA sends those catalogs out four or five times a year and you can get on their mailing list if you wish. The address is 10246 Miller Road, Dallas TX 75238-1206. The internet address is www.iwawine.com.
Stan Torgerson, a longtime resident of Meridian, writes a weekly wine column for The Meridian Star.