Sometimes, finding that special gift for someone who is a wine lover seems like a daunting challenge, so I’d like to devote this article to some suggestions for Christmas gift ideas.

First of all, though it’s a nice thought, don’t feel obliged to buy a bottle of wine for the wine lover on your list. But if you know of something that he or she enjoys, by all means go down that path.

If your recipient is someone who enjoys a glass of wine in the outdoors, you might pick up a litre or two of red or white wine sold in the tetra packs from the local wine store. There are French, Australian and Italian reds and whites to choose from, running about $16.00 a litre. They are lightweight, easy-to-open and very drinkable. It is a considerate gift to enhance a day of cross-country skiing or snowshoeing, winter camping, a bonfire on a frozen lake or the end of a day of snowmobiling.

In this town, there are a number of excellent places to find clever gifts for wine lovers as well as advice from knowledgeable wine enthusiasts.

I’m currently working Coast Mountain Sports on Main Street and have come across several gift ideas for wine lovers that bring together my passions for wine, as well as for the outdoors.

Last Christmas, a special friend gave me two Lexan (unbreakable plastic) wine glasses with stems that unscrew and nest inside the bowls making them easy to transport. They have been well-loved and appreciated over the last year and, on a number of occasions, I have been able to pull them and a bottle out of my pack to experience the pleasure of wine in wonderful and picturesque Yukon outdoor settings.

The glasses run about $6.00 each and are a great gift for a hiker or camper who also enjoys wine.

As I scoured the store today, I also noticed some nice Swiss Army knives. I truly appreciate a country that recognizes the value of having a corkscrew on their official military-issue knife … perhaps it’s not just coincidence that Switzerland hasn’t fought a war in almost 200 years.

Swiss Army knives with corkscrews start at about $20 and, if your recipient’s tastes lean more toward Leatherman units, some of them have corkscrews now, too.

Coffee, Tea & Spice, just down from the Staples store, offers a wealth of gift ideas and the proprietors, Edna and John, are wine enthusiasts who stock a great selection of treats to tempt any wine lover.

They carry a terrific selection of wine glasses for various wines, as well as some very attractive and useful carafes. Especially for red wines that will benefit from an hour or so of “breathing” (interacting with the air before being drunk), a carafe is a wonderful thing for a wine lover to have.

As I picked Edna’s brain for ideas last week, she showed me a number of items that I hadn’t thought of or, in some cases, hadn’t seen before. She showed me great brushes for washing wine glasses and containers of little silver balls to swirl around the bottom of carafes to clean them out. She also had a very clever wine pourer that ensures that the wine is served at the optimal temperature.

And they also have the best selection of corkscrews and wine coolers that I have seen in town, as well as “VacuVin” wine stopper systems for re-sealing open wine bottles to preserve the wine for a few days. A wealth of ideas can be found by visiting their store.

My final suggested stop would be The Deli and/or The Real Canadian Superstore, both of which offer a terrific selection of food items to complement wine, both during the holiday season as well as year around.

I am a big fan of serving cheeses with wines and The Deli has an excellent selection of imported and domestic cheeses, as well as crackers. And I love having an aged piece of Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grand Padano Italian cheese to serve with Italian red wines or stilton blue cheese to have with Port or Madiera fortified wines. Both are available from Superstore.

Happy shopping and don’t forget to ask the store employees for advice. They will likely have other great ideas that I haven’t thought of.

Cheers!