Christmas is the best time of year, and it’s when whining is anything but welcome. Unless you’re talking about wine-ing and dining, and opening your wine Advent calendar, then, it’s very welcome!
Advent calendars for kids might come with chocolates or candy, but what about a Christmas countdown filled with wine? Need we say more? These boozy bottle-filled holiday calendars hit the market in recent years and became an instant sensation, mostly thanks to the grocery store Aldi and their epic calendar. (Aldi hasn’t released any 2021 calendars yet, unfortunately.)
So why do we go bonkers for tiny bottles of wine packaged in a cardboard box with tiny doors for each day of the Advent season? It might have something to do with our urge to drink more in winter, or it might just be an amazing way to get into the holiday spirit. I mean, the idea of a wine Advent calendar perfectly marries the childhood excitement of a different chocolate every day with our adult desire to discover and drink wines from around the world.
Who knows, a wine Advent calendar could be the introduction into a sommelier future that you didn’t realize was coming your way, until now. When smelling, swirling, (spilling), and tasting your twenty-four wines throughout December, there are a few characteristics to look out for to help you on your mission to become a master of Merlot and more.
- Sweetness – Some like it sweet; some like it dry. This is just a case of personal preference in how sweet you like your grapes.
- Tannin – Tannin is produced from nearly every part of a grape other than the big juicy part. These are anti-oxidizing, so some wine lovers like to consider them ‘good for you.’ No matter how much tannin a wine has, it’s always important to enjoy your wine in moderation.
- Acidity – The three most common acids found in wine are tartaric, malon and citric. They’re responsible for keeping the balance in the bottle and leveling out any sour or bitter flavors that may have a bigger presence than we would prefer.
- Body – You can think of a wine’s body in a similar way to that of yourself after a big Christmas meal. If your wine is full-bodied, then it’s going to have a heavy texture. Whereas if it’s light-bodied (and didn’t eat too many potatoes), then it will have a much fresher and crisp initial taste when drinking. There are also medium-bodied wines out there (like those who don’t overfill their plate).
Why Do People Swirl Their Wine Glass?
Is it to look cool? Is it to flirt with the person opposite them? Yes, both of these are most often the correct answers to this age-old question, but there is also a more scientific answer. Giving your glass a little round and round motion introduces a higher oxygen level to the liquid and enhances the aromas being released while also eliminating any of the less pleasant smells within the glass. Taste and smell go hand in hand and so for the best wine drinking experience, give your glass a little swirl before sipping.
This year, be one of the lucky ones to score a great grape win with a wine Advent calendar. Come December 1st, it’s sure to be the best kind of adult Advent calendar there is.
1. Vinebox 12 Nights of Wine 2021 Edition
The famous Vinebox Advent Calendar, the 12 Nights of Wine, is back for 2021. And while it’s not available for ordering just yet, we’re going to preemptively name it the best wine Advent calendar for 2021. In previous years, these popular wine Advent calendars have sold out quickly, and we anticipate history repeating itself this year. This year’s box will include 12 single-serving vials of red and white wine that’s sure to get you in the holiday spirit.
The Vinebox 12 Nights of Wine Advent calendar will officially launch closer to the holidays, so sign up for updates ASAP.
2. Give Them Beer Wine Advent Calendar
Despite the name of the company, the Give Them Beer Wine Advent Calendar is one of the best wine Advent calendars available for 2021. Twelve half bottles with labels you’ll recognize are all hidden behind tiny cardboard doors, waiting for you to enjoy them with each passing day. There are reds, whites and sparkling wines included in the mix. Plus, with half bottles rather than quarter bottles, you’ll get a lot of wine to enjoy even if this calendar is 12 days instead of 24.
Read More: The Best Advent Calendars for 2021
3. KustomKraftLaser Tipsy Tree Advent Calendar
BEST MONTHLONG ADVENT
This option from KustomKraftLaser consists of one tree with 24 numbered slots, so it’s the perfect option for celebrating Christmas for the entire month. The top of the tree has a star with the engraving “Drink & Be Merry,” while the bottom of the tree can be custom-engraved with your or your giftee’s name. The engraving allows for up to 12 characters, which is enough for most first or last names. You’ll need to add your own bottles to this wine Advent calendar, though.
4. PlayfulPress Christmas Advent Calendar
BEST DIY OPTION
Let’s be honest, the most important part of a wine Advent calendar is the wine. So, why not keep it simple and to the point with the PlayfulPress Christmas Advent Calendar tags? This way you can have the full 25-day countdown to Christmas rather than a reduced amount of days so that your chosen calendar can fit all the bottles in. The product is predominantly aimed at beer drinkers, but there’s nothing stopping you from using them for wine instead. All you need to do is purchase the design, print off the tags, put them in place and, eventually, pour your wine!
5. Holiday Spirits Advent Calendar – Wine
Many of the options on this list rely on you supplying your own bottles to put in the calendar, but that can take away some of the surprise and excitement when it comes time to start opening the bottles. This option from Drizly includes twelve 187ml bottles from different parts of the world. The included wines are listed on Drizly’s site so you can see what you’re getting. Or, just hit add to cart and let it be a surprise.
6. Give Them Beer Sparkling Wine Calendar
BEST FOR SPARKLING WINE
Add a touch of tinsel to your wine Advent calendar by making it a sparkling special. This 12 days of Christmas wine Advent calendar is presented in a royal blue box with a bubbly texture print. As you open each calendar window, you’ll find a top selection of champagnes, proseccos, bruts, rosés and more. If you’re one for the finer things in life and fancy some fizz in your glass this festive season, then this is the best wine Advent calendar for you.
7. Holiday Spirits Calendars for Adults
BEST ALTERNATIVE TO WINE
If you know what wine you like and don’t want to chance getting a bottle or two that you can’t drink, DIY your Advent calendar with the Holiday Spirits Calendars Advent Calendar for Adults. This yuletide box allows you to put whatever wine, spirits or beer you like most inside. This would also make a great gift for friends and family as you can fill the box to individual taste.
8. Grape Juice Mom Advent Calendar
Make this Christmas tree-shaped calendar the Advent countdown of your December dreams by customizing it with treats to suit your taste buds. Whether you personalize this calendar for yourself, for a loved one or for a friend, you can make sure that only the best wines are hidden behind each of the 12 colorful bauble windows. The calendar will arrive already assembled, so you don’t have to worry about any of the folding and can stay completely focused on what goodies to put inside. This wine Advent calendar is made in the USA and is sure to bring some Christmas cheer to any lucky person who gets to open it (once you’ve filled it).
9. TheCraftPeg Snowflake Christmas Wine Countdown
BEST DIY DISPLAY
Celebrate the 12 days of Christmas by counting down to December 25th with mini bottles of wine. This wonderful, wintery, wooden snowflake wine Advent calendar has neck and base holes hollowed out of its surface to make way for the little bottles. It has engraved details and stands tall on two opposing feet. TheCraftPeg also offers a mini spirit bottle version, if that’s more for you. Just select which you’d prefer at the point of purchase.
10. TobinsWoodWorking Wine Advent Calendar
BEST FOR SMALL BOTTLES
The TobinsWoodWorking Wine Advent Calendar is a permanent piece you can enjoy year after year. The wooden calendar has space for 24 small bottles of wine and is made from Baltic birch plywood. As an added bonus, this Advent calendar is paintable thanks to the fact that the numbers are engraved, so you can make this piece unique to your home.
11. StagDesign Snowman Advent Calendar
One of the best things about Etsy is how easy it is to get something personalized. This snowman wine Advent calendar from Stag Design features a space for up to 40 characters, making this a great option for a gift. There are 12 slots for beer or small bottles of wine, including a slot in the snowman’s nose for a fun added touch. The calendar arrives flat and is easy to assemble to be free-standing.
12. KustomKraftLaser Advent Calendar
BEST FOR BEER
More of a beer drinker? This option from Etsy seller KustomKraftLaser has holes that are sized specifically for standard cans. Of course, you can use it for more than beer if you enjoy soft drinks or even canned wines. It has a Christmas tree shape, a slot for 12 beers, and it comes in a natural wood color. If you like your start your wine Advent calendars at the beginning of December, then you can also choose the 24 can option.