If you are planning to gift a bottle of wine this festive season, read the following tips.
1. Know the recipient – Whether they drink wine at all, whether they prefer a red, white, fortified or sparkling wine? Are they into wines from a particular country or region? All this can help you greatly in narrowing down your choice.
2. Don’t be distracted – By labels, price or discounts – Simple or plain labels do not indicate a simple wine. Likewise, Costlier bottles need not be better in quality. ALSO, it’s best to stay away from highly discounted bottles, especially around the festive season.
3. Ask for help! – Online or at the wine store, there are people who may suggest a wine that you’ve never heard of but if it meets your gifting criteria of price and quality, why not try it!
4. Add a note ( and put it in a wine bag!) – Always try and personalise the gift. You may like to share what made you chose a particular bottle and how to best enjoy it (eg. Storage tips, whether the wine needs to be decanted or served at a particular temperature, or what food it may pair best with!). A small note goes a long way.
5. When in doubt – If you don’t know the recipient too well, I recommend choosing one of the following options
1. An easy-drinking dry white wine – Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc or Chenin Blanc.
2. A light body red wine – Pinot Noir/ Burgundy or Gamay/Beaujolais.
3. A sparkling wine – Champagne pairs with all types of people, occasions and food. Other sparkling wines like Cava and Prosecco are great options too.
And if you want to go the extra mile and gift someone a wine based on their interest/hobbies, keep reading.
Not sure about someone’s wine preference?
I usually try to narrow down the wine/gift based on the recipient’s other interests and hobbies.
- For travellers – Choose a bottle from their favourite country, or a country that they recently vacationed at.
- For adventurers – Find a new or relatively unknown wine region or grape variety. My current favourites are wines from Armenia or Uruguay.
- For the lovers of homegrown brands – Choose and support the local wineries of your region.There are some great Indian wines in the market, too. Be vocal for local!
- For the foodie – Know their favourite food? Find a wine that pairs best with it. Or who doesn’t love pizza? Italian wines pair best with Italian comfort food. A Chianti Classico or a Nero d’Avola goes well with most pizzas.
- For the host(ess) with the most(ess) – Unless you know the host’s favourite wine, choose a crowd-pleaser wine that can be enjoyed by most of their guests. Also, choose something depending on the season. For example light whites or Rose for summer, full body reds in winter.
- For wine beginners – Choose wines with delicate flavours that are not very acidic nor very tannic. A Pinot Noir in red and a Pinot Gris or Riesling in white are safe options.
Do you have any more tips on gifting wine? I’d love to know.