Great gifts for a richer life

Drinks that don't break the budget

While indulging in wine can be both a hobby and a social activity, it can also be incredibly pricey. Luckily, there is a new breed of at-home drink machines that can help you re-create your favorite beverages — and put money back in your budget over time.

Artful Winemaker Personal Winemaking System: With this kit, anyone can become a hobby vintner from their home. With a fairly painless system that allows you to choose red or white and includes an instructional DVD and everything needed to craft 12 signature bottles of wine in 28 days ($149, set to be reduced to $99 for the holidays; artfulwinemaker.com). Even someone possessing as unsophisticated a palate as my own was able to create my own vintage.

A fun idea is to buy the system and then give out individual bottles as gifts (personalized labels are available on the website). Pair with The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Wine Basics by Tara Thomas ($19.95; amazon.com)