The art of gifting wine… and getting it right
Wine is a classic gift for one key reason: it is, almost always, a good idea. If the person you are giving the gift to likes wine, it is hard to go wrong by giving them a bottle and if it is someone who cannot drink or does not like wine, there are many occasions when they could please their guests by serving them a decent bottle.
You can use wine to say “thank you”, “congratulations” or “I love you”. A bottle of wine is the perfect present for a host who has welcomed you into their home. Or, if you live in a wine-producing country, it can be a way of taking a taste of your region to the homes of friends who live far away.
However, gifting wine doesn’t mean just giving any old bottle, nor just a good one, with no other thought. This is because, as a courtesy to the person who is going to receive the gift, the bottle should be selected taking the receiver into account.
And that’s because, as we already mentioned, although the act of gifting wine alone can be a success, our aim should always be to better expectations. Do you know how? To help you reach this goal and give the perfect wine, here are a few recommendations:
A good starting point could be to establish your budget: knowing what range of prices we are talking about will limit the possibilities. As we’ve already indicated, the price is not, by any means, a direct reflection of the quality of the wine, it is determined by many influential factors.
The type of wine
If you know the host’s tastes, you will know if he or she has a preference for one type of wine or another, for the wines of a certain region or varietal. If you don’t have this information you could consider the period of the year when the present is being given (for example, summer calls for white wines, whereas the winter is time for reds).
You already know about the importance of vintages so don’t forget to consult your classification table: although it’s not decisive on its own, selecting the right vintage can mean the difference between getting a good wine and an excellent one.
Gift boxes and special formats
Packaging is of key importance for any present, adding value. In the case of wine, you can find specially prepared gift boxes (that include several bottles, or one bottle and an accessory like a decanter, thermometer or set of glasses), or you can put your own kit together. Another good idea is to choose to give a special format, like a magnum.
A wine for each person
To hone your choice of wine, it is vital to consider the character and tastes of the recipient. For obvious reasons, the better you know the person who is going to receive your gift, the easier this task will be for you, even taking a risk with novel or “interesting” wines to enjoy and get to know together.
It may be that, although you don’t know exactly where their tastes lie when it comes to wine, you can take a guess. For example, if they are someone with a very sweet tooth, you are sure to get it right with a dessert wine, whereas, if their tastes lie in the opposite direction and they love strong flavours (like espresso without sugar) they will probably like a more intense wine. As you know, wines, like people, have their own personalities: the key is in looking for compatible characters.
Anyway, if you don’t know enough about the person to make a personalised choice, and you don’t want to take a risk, our advice is to stake your bets on a reliable choice from somewhere like the D.O.Ca. Rioja. It wears its standards on its sleeve!
When you give the gift of wine, you should bear in mind that it is, precisely that, a gift. Therefore, you should not expect, the recipient to open the bottle to share it with you. If fact, if you are invited to lunch or dinner, and you bring a bottle of wine, it is common courtesy to remind the host that they are not obliged to open the bottle.
If you plan to give your partner, family member or friend a bottle of wine as a present, we hope that our advice helps you make the right choice. Good luck!