I am frequently asked what wines make good gifts. I find that most any wine is a gift that is welcomed at most any time, but the month of December has far and away the most wine sales. If you plan to give wine, but find making a choice of which wine to give perplexing, here are ten ideas to assist and make your shopping experience fun.
- "I love this wine" - Do you know the wines your recipient enjoys most? It doesn't get easier than giving what they like. Even if your budget is limited, your local wine shop can guide you to an acceptable, similar choice.
- What's on the menu? - If there is a meal with your gift giving occasion, an internet search will turn up solid suggestions of wine styles to pair with it.
- Consider the setting - Is it topical, like exploring wines of New Zealand, or an 80s Punk Rock party? Are the hosts wine connoisseurs, or just getting started? Indoor or outdoor? Think about what feels right for the theme, location, and timing.
- Introduce something new - Help someone expand their wine appreciation. Someone that likes California Merlot may like a French version, or be ready to move into red blends. If you're giving wine to someone that typically drinks reds, try out a lighter white like a European Pinot Grigio. Or, if you don't know what is preferred, offer your favorite wine find.
- A significant year - Choose a year that is meaningful to the recipient, or to the wine. Give a bottle from their anniversary year, or a wine from one of those highly-acclaimed vintages in their favorite wine region.
- A/B Testing - Most people will enjoy a gift of wine, but two bottles will make you really popular. Red and white...California vs Oregon...New world or old world...$10 or $20? (or $50, or...) The choices are many, and becoming greater.
- Red White and Bubbly - Simply a three-pack of your recommended wines of each style. A generous tasting experience that extends the memory of your gift as the wines are savored at different times.
- Impressive - For a special gift for the right person, the most prominent and acclaimed names and vintages of the world are readily available. You will certainly pay a correspondingly remarkable price for more renowned names or years. But if you want to blow someone's mind, your search will yield mind-blowing opportunities, and with some diligence, you will likely find "bargains" in this territory from reliable retail sources.
- Wine they can't buy - An elevated version of number eight. You might already have a prize wine you're willing to part with, which makes it a truly personal gift. Your local wine shop might have a back room with some exclusive bottles, or know the distributors that do. Restaurants are also possible sources. Outside of a private stash, this one is all about connections.
- Accessorize - If you just can't choose a wine, give a practical gift to help enjoy other wines. From a double-hinged wine bottle opener, to the right shaped glasses for their favorite wine, wine equipment will be a useful and ongoing reminder of your thoughtfulness.
Enjoy a little research and creativity for maximum wine gifting happiness.