Giving Wine As a Gift

The Gift of Wine

Wine is a wonderful gift, as are the enjoyable conversations and happy memories that it inspires.  However, deciding which wine to give can be a difficult task given the huge number of terrific wines that are available.  Here are some suggestions to help you find that perfect bottle.

• Consider the recipient’s taste in and familiarity with wine. How much does this person know about wine? Do they strike you as somewhat of a wine novice? In that case, go for something easy and drinkable. However, if you know that the person is somewhat of a wine geek or an impresario, go for something obscure or off the beaten track. That way, if the wine doesn’t quite match up to their rarified tastes, at least it will be something novel and interesting.

• Go with your gut and pick up a bottle you know you’ve enjoyed. It doesn’t matter how much or how little you think you know about wine. At the end of the day, you know what you like. Grab a bottle of one of your favorite wines. We can’t tell you how many times we’ve turned skeptic friends into raving fans of some of our favorite wines. And the best part? Chances are, they’ll return the favor by bringing a bottle of the stuff next time it’s their turn—guaranteeing shared enjoyment.

• Pick up a bottle of wine from a place you’ve visited. These days, there are more exciting wines coming from more places than ever before. Whether your travel plans include visiting each of the 50 states or the grand cities of Europe, we’re willing to bet you’ve brought some great stories home with you. When in doubt, grab a bottle from a place that has an interesting story to go with it. At least if the wine’s not fantastic, the conversation will be. Similarly, if you know the recipient is going on a trip to a place that makes wine, use that as your guide, and grab a bottle from his/her impending destination!

• Buy a bottle of wine you’ve been dying to try. You saw a particular bottle or type of wine mentioned somewhere, and it piqued your interest? Pick up a bottle, and mention it is something you heard about and have been dying to try. That way, with no expectations, you’ll all be free to make your own opinions and taste the wine in a way that’s completely free of judgment.

• Lastly, if it’s a dinner party, ask the host what food will be served, and try to bring something that will pair well or go with the theme of the meal.  If you would like an extra opinion as to which wine would best suit the meal, your salesperson will surely be happy to give you some ideas.

  • wincharmer

    As to the last suggestion re: dinnery party, tread lightly.  If you’re giving the wine as a gift, that means you cannot expect to be present when it’s consumed.  It typically is opened the same night, but not always.  Plus it feels a little rude to me to call up the host to ask what’s being served, as if you might not show up if the offering isn’t adequate.