There is a big difference between being an alcoholic and an alcohol aficionado. The former is a treatable illness, with a pathological dependence on alcohol. The latter enjoys alcohol but is in control of their enjoyment and drinks purely for the adventure of tasting and appreciating something new. Aficionados can write a book about the best liqueurs to have after a meal; they can also drink you under the table. So if you have a friend whose eyes light up with a bottle instead of the dollar sign, these are great gifts for them.
Store With Taste
Older and larger households can afford to put in cellars or convert existing basements to store bottles, however if your friend – like many others – live in an apartment complex or a small single storey house, then a personalized wine cellar would be a great boon to them. These are small, compact and can hold varying numbers of bottles. The best part is that its temperature is controlled so your friend never has to worry about their alcohol being spoiled under any circumstances. Even if the electricity fails, the temperature inside will hold for several hours as long as the door remains sealed.
Depending on whether friend is a wine, whiskey or beer drinker, you can get glassware custom designed and present it along with a bottle of their favourites. Try a rocket espresso machine with their initials engraved on the rim or at the bottom and give them a bottle from your favourite microbrewery to try out; find a place that sells stained wine glasses and buy them a set or just one highly decorative flute for their personal use; or buy them a set of rocks glasses. The true aficionados care as much about the stems as what goes into it because for them, it’s the whole experience that counts, not just the burn afterwards.
Their definition of heaven would be Bacchanal – without the chaos. Arrange for them to tour a vineyard or brewery or get them tickets to attend the next festival or tasting that’s coming up in your country. If several of you would like to chip in, think about paying the airfare to take your friend to Italy or France as those are the homes to the best vineyards in the world. Germany or England is good bet for international breweries, while almost every country close to you will have their own alcoholic mother lode. Help them explore and attain the sweet bliss of alcoholic nirvana.