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Best Under-$50 Wine Gifts for the Holidays

Best Under-$50 Wine Gifts for the Holidays


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Unsure what bottle of wine to buy for gifts? The ultimate shopping list

Last week I wrote about gifts for your high-end wine lovers. I realize that $100 a bottle sounds like a heck of a lot of money, so today I’m taking a look at wines that, while still relatively pricey at $25 to $50 a bottle, deliver serious bang for their buck.

These are wines you can feel comfortable gifting to just about anyone. Your boss, your wine-loving friends, and your loved ones. The truth is, there are plenty of mighty fine wines out there for less than $50 a bottle, it just takes more effort to sift through all of them to find the real gems.

I did some sifting for you, and here are my gems for 2012!

Click here for the $25-$50 wine gift guide.

— Gregory Del Piaz, Snooth


Drink These 50 Wines to Be a French Wine Expert

A bottle-by-bottle crash course in everything you&rsquoll ever need to know about French wine.

The world of French wine is dauntingly vast. To learn every aspect of it, you𠆝 need an entire wine shop, and a lifetime as well. Yet drinking wine, from anywhere, without knowing something about the wines of France is like going to the movies with a blindfold on you’re missing a lot. Even your favorite California Cabernets and Argentine Malbecs, after all, are made with grapes that originated in France.

Thankfully, learning about wine isn’t like learning calculus. All you really need is a corkscrew and a glass (though a friend or two who’s willing to share a bottle never hurts). Plus, French wine is endlessly fascinating. If you try the 50 wines here, or even a fair percentage of them, you’ll never be daunted by the French wine section on a restaurant list ever again. So, wine glasses out! Class is in session.


25 Alcohol-Themed Gifts Your Go-To Bar Buddy Will Love

Looking for a gift for your favorite drinking buddy? These alcohol-themed gift sets will be appreciated whether they need something new for their bar cart, want to try out a new cocktail, or have a special occasion coming up. we've got it all! Keep in mind some of these boozy sets are limited-edition or require custom orders, so give yourself a little bit of leeway so you can get your order in time for the celebration.

Rollin' with the gnomies. and for a good cause. For every Elyx Copper Gnome sold, a two weeks&rsquo supply of safe water (280 liters) will be given to someone in need. This set comes with a collectable gnome glass, a bottle of Absolut vodka, a straw, and a recipe book.


26 Gifts Under $50 Everyone on Your List Will Appreciate

Thoughtful and affordable? You really can't go wrong.

It doesn't matter who you're shopping for&mdashif you're on the hunt for unique gifts (be they for the holidays, birthdays, or beyond!), you know it can be quite the challenge to find the perfect present that doesn't break the bank. To help, we've pulled some of the coolest and most thoughtful gifts you can buy online for under $50, so you can celebrate your loved ones on a budget. Whether they're into plants, cooking, tech, or simply can't resist a good monogram (there are plenty of personalized options to choose from!), these affordable gifts are sure to make shopping for everyone on your list this holiday season so much easier.

With more than 18,000 reviews and a 4.5 out of five star rating, you know this self-care treat is a good one.

These gorgeous painted pots are perfect for the plant lover in your life.

Instantly downloadable art is a great gift if you're looking to save&mdashyou can print the artwork out yourself, then add to the frame of your choice.


Someone popped the question, someone said "yes," and now a couple in your life is getting married. If that's not exciting enough as it is, the future Mr. and Mrs. have now invited you to celebrate their good news at an engagement party. While you're likely excited to attend, you may also feel a bit of anxiety. Are gifts required for this event, and, if so, what's an appropriate present?

Typically, future brides and grooms don't expect their guests to buy them anything for their engagement. That being said, most people don't like to show up to a party empty-handed, and a token of congratulations is always appreciated. You don't have to break the bank to show the couple of honor how happy you are for them, though, and this is especially true when you'll soon be shopping for bridal shower and/or wedding gifts, too. In fact, in most cases, you can find the perfect present for $50 or less.

Before you panic, consider the following options, which we've rounded up to inspire you for your own engagement-gift search. In the mix are home goods, edible treats, and even experiences. There are items to help them start planning for their big day, bond before tying the knot, and toast to this new chapter in their lives. Click through to see some of our favorite budget-friendly ideas for engagement-party presents. While we can't speak for your couple, we know that we'd be glad to receive them! And the price tags are sure to leave you smiling.


55 Best Gifts Under $50 to Surprise Your Favorite People With This Year

So, you've searched high and low for the perfect gift under $50 to give your friends this year, but you're still coming up empty-handed. What gives? You're not sure: Maybe it's the fact that your pals are really, really hard to shop for, or maybe you haven't looked in the right places. Maybe you're searching for someone that's just really hard to shop for (hello, gifts for moms and gifts for grandparents!) Still, no matter your situation, odds are the hefty price tags on this year's most coveted gifts haven't helped.

Luckily, there's no shortage of fabulous, meaningful gifts under $50. These stylish, practical, fun finds may be budget-friendly, but they certainly don't look it. In fact, if you didn't know they were chosen for their price, you'd be none the wiser. Whether you're in the market for a more exciting, big-ticket kitchen gift (like a tabletop Spiralizer!) or are in the mood for a smaller splurge (say, a personalized makeup bag or stocking stuffer), you'll be excited to discover that either can be yours for under $50. Here, find gifts for coffee lovers, gifts for bakers, white elephant gifts, gifts for music lovers, and gifts for dog lovers alike&mdashand not a single one will break the bank. Promise!


5. For the wine drinker: Winc

Best gifts under $50: Winc (Photo: Winc)

Do they believe every night should end with a glass of wine? If so, they'll love getting a Winc subscription, which will deliver new bottles for her to try based on her taste preferences. After trying Winc, we quickly became obsessed with the service, finding that it consistently delivered high-quality wines and recommendations throughout the months. She'll be a novice sommelier in no time.


Employee retirement gifts

From Virtual Retirement Parties to personalized glass cubes, here is a list of gifts to give your cherished colleague a fitting farewell.

35. Virtual Retirement Party

Retirement parties are standard fare for departing colleagues, but if you work on a dispersed team, then you may not be able to gather to give your teammate a fitting farewell. Booking a fully-hosted virtual retirement party as part of your employee’s farewell presents the team with an opportunity to have fun on the job together one final time.

Virtual Retirement Parties consist of fun team bonding activities, such as Retirement Trivia, team scavenger hunts, and icebreakers, all led by an energetic host. Each event is 90 minutes long and takes place in a secure Zoom room.

36. Kindle

During retirement, your teammate will have much more time for reading. Kindles make great retirement gifts because your colleague can either buy books directly through Amazon, or borrow books through a local library. Because the device is portable, the recipient can take it along on retirement adventures, be it a trip to see the Great Wall of China, or a stroll through the local park.

37. Personalized Glass Cube

Many employers present retirees a plaque or glass award during the going away party. This glass cube from Things Remembered is a stylish piece of decor able to blend into living rooms or studies. The main display features an illuminated LED moon that shifts colors, while the wooden base contains an inscribable metal placard where you can print your colleague’s name, title, and a special message.

Learn more about the Things Remembered 3D LED Moon Personalized Glass Cube.

38. Feelcare Digital Photo Frame

Teammates often present a retiree with a photo in a nice frame. Digital photo frames give this traditional gift a modern twist. While embossed silver frames make sentimental presents, digital photo frames enable users to display several pictures, so you can pre-load the frame with a slideshow photo tribute. The Feelcare frame supports both video clips and pictures, and loads content via an easy-to-use app. As a bonus, the frame can keep communication open between the team and the departing colleague, as teammates can load new photos onto the app as a way to update and connect with their former coworker.

39. Bloomin’ Bin Subscription

Gardening is a popular pastime for many retirees, so seed subscription boxes make great gifts. The Bloomin’ Bin subscription service sends in-season seeds monthly. While the subscriber can choose flowers, fruits and vegetables, or a mix of both, the exact seed varieties are a surprise, adding anticipation to the present. The service offers several subscription tiers and provides exceptional customer service.

40. Masterclass

Without a forty-hour work week, your departing colleague has spare time to devote to learning new hobbies or skills. By gifting a Masterclass course, you give the retiree the opportunity to study a new discipline with a world-renowned expert. Classes include cooking lessons by Gordon Ramsey, writing tutorials by Malcolm Gladwell, and guitar sessions with Carlos Santana, among many others.

For more tips on employee sendoffs, check out our article on virtual retirement party ideas.


The Best Red Wines Under $50

Gifting wine is a daunting task. Even if you’re a sommelier, you need to truly understand the palate of the person you’re buying for in order to land on the proper bottle. And if you’re not a viticultural professional the entire exercise can seem destined to disappoint. Before you even venture down this path, think about the wines your giftee typically tends to order at a restaurant: are they more of the French and Italian classicist? Or do they steer towards Australian shiraz and California Cab? If it’s the latter, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s a helpful guide to help you navigate the tricky waters of New World red (and save a little money along the way).

Pleiades XXIV California Red Table Wine

A California cult wine that somehow isn’t priced like one. Labeled as a red table wine, it contains a blend of Sangiovese, Pinot Noir, Viognier and Zinfandel grapes (among others). The marriage results in a beautiful balance of red berries and earthy minerality. It’ll stand toe-to-toe with Sonoma County pinots priced at three times the cost. And thanks to its elegant, understated packaging your giftee will rightfully assume you probably laid down at least that much.

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East Coast Pinot Noir from New Zealand

Most casual drinkers associate New Zealand with Sauvignon Blanc, but the remote island nation actually excels at dozens of styles. Pinot Noir is the red to reckon with, particularly on the South Island, where a cool coastal breeze produces grapes that are bright and ripe with berry notes. This one is a prime example a Kosher offering that drinks well with both surf and turf, versatile enough to be enjoyed at all times of year.

2016 Boushey Vineyard Côt

Prounounced ‘Coh’, this French-inspired juice is actually produced from 100% Malbec grapes. Ready to drink right away, the cork pops to reveal tongue tingling tonalities of pepper and earth. Only a few hundred cases of this vintage were produced, so when you see it out on the wild, know that you’ve encountered a genuine gem.

2017 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Sustainably crafted with minimal interference during vinification, this is a straight-forward expression of big, bold, California Cab. On the nose are notes of currant and ripened cherry that build as it sits in the glass. Nearly 2 years of aging on French oak are discernible in a lengthy finish, which reveals a tannic burst of tobacco spice. It’s a wine with both power and grace, in equal measure. A compelling statement, especially given its reasonable cost.

2016 Barossa Valley Shiraz from South Australia

Foudre-aged from decades old vines outside Adelaide, South Australia, this is a full-flavored beast that retains elegance and complexity. In each sip vegetal notes are awaiting discovery, riding a silky smooth textural delivery. A particularly joyful drinking experience for those that are drawn towards the spiciness of Rhône Valley reds.

Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon

Black fruit, licorice, cinnamon spice—the Etiqueta Negra is a Cabernet Sauvignon for those that want to know they’re drinking a Cabernet Sauvignon. Produced in Chile’s illustrious Maipo Valley, under the shadows of Andean peaks, the juice is aged in a combination of French and American oak for over a year. What goes into the bottle is deep red in color and intense on the tongue. If it were born in Napa Valley it would be at least $100 more to procure.

Two Creek Vineyards Pinot Noir

Cakebread is producing some of the most fun Chardonnays and Sauvignon Blancs in all of Napa Valley. But the enduringly popular winery also puts some great reds into the bottle. Witness this popping Pinot, built upon grapes grown to the north in Anderson Valley. It’s a fragrant, jammy offering that brings strawberry and plum into the glass. Don’t worry about cellaring this one it pours perfectly alongside the holiday turkey.

South Africa’s signature red variety, Pinotage is a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsaut grapes. It’s not the most sought after style in the world, but when it’s done right it is downright delectable. Check out this example from one of Stellenbosch’s most esteemed producers. Fermented in open concrete prior to a 14 month French oak maturation, this is an intricate wine that can develop in the bottle for several years. Open it today and you’ll stumble upon chocolate and cream in its prolonged finish.

Black Chicken Zinfandel from Napa Valley

Structured, sophisticated, supple—that’s Black Chicken. Although the name seems almost comical, this wine is entirely serious. You’ll find a remarkable richness as the liquid decants, opening up to reveal mocha and cinnamon spice. A pleasing acidity girds it graciously on the tongue. As fine a zinfandel as you’ll find for south of $50.


10 best holiday gifts for Mom under $50

Show your mom you care this holiday season — by giving her the gift of self care.

Nearly half of all Americans (45%) say they feel pressure to overspend during the holiday season, according to a survey released last year by Bankrate. And it’s clear that plenty of us do: An estimated 35 million Americans still have credit card debt left from last holiday season, according to WalletHub.

No doubt, many of us want to show our moms that extra love this holiday season — but that doesn’t have to mean dropping big bucks, experts say. In fact, what many moms really want is something simple that let’s them engage in a little TLC for themselves: “We are seeing an overall trend towards self care, and gifts that encourage the recipient to engage in self care,” says Kristin McGrath, an editor for Offers.com and BlackFriday.com.

Not all self-care rituals are the same. For some moms, self-care means a bottle of wine and control of the remote. For others, it’s all about having time to decompress in the bath, or out in nature. Below, we suggest the 10 best — and affordable — self-care gifts for every type of mom.

For some moms, relaxing means unplugging from technology. But for most, it means knowing that your phone won’t die while you’re trying to juggle 50 things at once. Gift your mother peace of mind by giving her the Pinch Provisions Tech kit, which comes with eight tech essentials including a 2-in-1 charging cable, USB wall charger, cord organizer, password cheat list and tablet stand. Even better, it’s only four inches long, making it small enough to fit in any purse. Read more here.

The Vistefly Plant Monitor makes plant maintenance easier. Place it in the soil where a plant is located, and get real-time sunlight, humidity and temperature readings, as well as alerts if you need to water the plant. The monitor connects via Bluetooth to a smartphone app, and recognizes the characteristics of over 3,000 plants. Read more here.

“This is a surprisingly decadent gift,” McGrath says of the sampler, which comes with 16 individually labeled containers of different types of sea salt, ranging from black salt from Hawaii to Tibetan rose salt from the Himalayas. Suggest that your mom experiment with them when she’s cooking or baking — even better, offer to cook or bake something with her. Read more about this product here.

Let your mom chant “ommmm” as loud as she wants in the privacy of her own home with the aid of the ArtNaturals essential oil diffuser and speaker, which uses an electric current to diffuse natural scents from oils while at the same time playing music from a smartphone. As an extra gift that won’t cost any money, create a playlist that your mother can do her sun salutations to in the morning. Read more here.

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend. But gold and silver are pretty nice too. These Kate Spade bangles are an elegant piece of jewelry your mom will actually wear. Plated with gold or silver in a high shine finish, the inside of the bracelet is engraved with the words like “forever and ever” or “heart of gold” to remind your mom that even on the days you forget to tell her, you still love her. Read more here.

Durable enough to wear both indoors and outdoors, the Crocs Classic Lined Clog might not be the most fashionable choice, but it’s sure to be the shoe your mom puts on when she wants to relax at home. Made from lightweight foam, the Crocs are lined with synthetic fur. Read more about this product here. Read more here.

Henry David Thoreau said he only really feels alive when he’s living deliberately with nature. If your mom feels similarly, then she will appreciate being able to see nature more clearly. The 12 x 42 Powerful Binoculars weigh 1.1 pounds, and are capable of clearly capturing a face from 650 feet away. They’re perfect for bird watching and sightseeing, and will help your mom better enjoy the outdoors. Read more here.

Is your mom the kind of person who has been writing or illustrating a children’s book for years, but is too shy to send it out to publishers? With her permission (of course), you can take her creations, and make them into a hardcover book that she can keep forever. “The quality of books by Blurb is great,” promises Chandra Steele, senior features writer at PCMag. Even better, it only takes a few minutes to upload the finished pdf of the book for sale on Amazon, thereby turning your mom into a published author. Read more here.

Trae Bodge, a smart shopping expert at truetrae.com and a MarketWatch contributor, recommends the gift boxes by Knack. “They’re for women who like stylish, cool things,” she notes. The Knack Face Mask Gift Set, which includes three face masks targeted toward healing, hydration and rejuvenation, brings the spa to your mom at home. The kit also includes a peppermint-lavender fragrance candle to create a relaxing mood. Read more here.

Not all boxes of chocolate are created equal. “This one is worth it,” McGrath promises. The 16 pieces of chocolate in the sampler include ingredients from around the world, including sweet Hungarian paprika, Chinese star anise, Tuscan olives and Australian macadamia nuts. If you can’t go home this holiday season, the brand will ship the sampler to your mom on ice. Read more here.

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