Wine can be a good housewarming gift for a newly married couple, the hostess of a dinner party, or your boss. However, if you don’t know much about wine, choosing one can be difficult. It is critical to consider the person and the occasion, as well as how you will present the wine.
Part 1 Picking Out a Bottle
1. Move from the mid-range to the high-end. It’s tempting to buy a cheap wine to give as a gift, especially if you’re unfamiliar with wine. Cheap wine, on the other hand, will taste cheap. That’s not to say you can’t find a good bottle of wine for a reasonable price. You don’t want to choose the cheapest wine, especially if you’ve never tried it before.
Consider who you’re buying the wine for as well. Purchasing a low-cost bottle of wine for your boss will not endear you to them. Similarly, you might not want to buy the cheapest bottle available for a close friend (unless you have a habit of drinking cheap wine together).
Furthermore, if you’re known as a wine connoisseur, buying a cheap bottle for someone else may come across as you underestimating their taste or simply not appreciating them as much.
Also, the price of the wine can influence how much you spend. For example, a very tasty Cotes du Rhône (pronounced “Coats Do Roan”) can be had for around $15. A Burgundy, on the other hand, will require you to spend more money to get a better wine, usually upwards of $50. A Cabernet Sauvignon is another reasonably priced option, as even the most inexpensive versions of this wine are quite good. If you’re looking for Pinot noir, spend at least $20 on a bottle; anything less won’t be very good.
2. Consider the time of year. If you don’t know where to begin, picking wines by season is a good place to start. In the summer, you don’t necessarily want the same wines that you do in the winter. In the summer, for example, you want something lighter than you do in the winter.
Summer white wines include Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Riesling. Rose and Merlot are also good choices. These wines are a little lighter in colour.
Fuller-bodied whites, such as oaked Chardonnay or Viognier, are ideal for the fall season. You still want a lighter red wine, so choose Pinot noir, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, or a sparkling variety.
Because you’ll be eating heavier dishes in the winter, you can go with heavier wines. In the reds, Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux blend, Syrah, Zinfandel, and Malbec are all excellent choices. Choose oaked Chardonnay for whites. You could also choose a sparkling wine.
Lighter, fruitier wines, such as Chenin Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Unoaked Chardonnay, or Rose, are ideal for spring. Riesling, Moscato, and Pinot Noir are also options.
3. Pose inquiries. If you’re not a wine connoisseur, looking through a liquor store’s wine selection can be overwhelming, as you may be confronted with hundreds of different bottles of wine. If you’re at a loss, don’t be afraid to seek advice from the person in charge of wines. Many will work within your budget to find you a good, drinkable wine, especially if you can specify a few parameters, such as whether you prefer sweet or dry wine.
4. Don’t be afraid to choose something out of the ordinary. If you know your wines, a one-of-a-kind wine is a good option because it allows you to introduce your friend or friends to something new. Choose something that isn’t so obscure that they won’t be able to find it again. You don’t want to pique their interest in a wine they can’t afford.
5. Learn about the person’s preferences. If you’re buying wine as a gift, it’s best to know what the recipient enjoys. Most wine drinkers have specific preferences, whether it’s a dry white wine or a fun and fruity sparkling rose. Consider what you’ve seen the person drink in the past and then choose something similar or the same.
Consider the person’s general tastes if you don’t know what they drink. If they have a sweet tooth, they may prefer a sweeter wine, whereas if they avoid sugar in general, they may prefer something drier.
If you’re still undecided, ask a store employee to recommend a reasonably priced popular wine.
6. Choose a lovely label or bottle. Of course, you don’t want to choose a wine based solely on its label. When it comes to wine, however, the packaging is important. A pretty, well-designed label will be appreciated more than a subdued, boring label, especially since the latter will be associated with cheaper wine.
7. Consider getting a wine subscription. If you’re looking for a substantial gift for someone, consider purchasing a subscription to a wine delivery service. Typically, you pay a one-time fee (or a monthly fee) for the service of delivering wine for a set period of time.
Some simply send a curated selection, while others tailor the delivery to the individual’s preferences.
Some subscriptions include food that pairs with the wine.
Check to see if wine can be delivered to the person’s home in the state where they live, as some states do not allow alcohol to be shipped to people’s homes.
Part 2 Buying Wine for Parties and Dinners
1. Consider a magnum for a special occasion. A magnum is a two-bottle set of wine or champagne. One reason it works well for a party is that it is visually appealing. Furthermore, because it is twice the size of a single bottle of wine, it will last much longer. Your thoughtfulness will be appreciated by your host.
When it comes to wine for a party, sparkling is usually a good choice.
If you insist on bringing a standard bottle of wine to a party, give it to the hosts ahead of time and let them decide whether or not to serve it.
2. For dinner, purchase standard bottles. On the other hand, if you’ve been invited to a small gathering for dinner, such as a dinner for four people, a regular bottle is appropriate. A regular bottle will provide enough wine for everyone at the dinner, so it’s appropriate.
Inquire ahead of time what the hosts will be serving. Then you can select a wine that complements the meal, such as a white wine for fish. If you’re not sure what goes with what, ask the store clerk.
3. Spend more money on special occasions. Plan to spend a little more on the bottle for weddings or other large special occasions, such as birthdays or Christmas dinner. Weddings, in particular, necessitate a more expensive bottle. If you don’t want to spend that much money, leave out the wine. You’ll be safer if you buy something from their registry.
4. Check to see if it’s appropriate. That is, you do not want to buy wine if the host does not. For example, perhaps the host enjoys alcohol but does not care for wine. Another possibility is that the host does not drink at all, either out of personal preference, for health reasons, or for religious reasons. If you’re unsure, inquire.
Part 3 Presenting the Wine
1. Make the wine the star of the show. That is, a wine does not have to be wrapped or placed in a bag or box. If the bottle is already attractive, a bow or ribbon is all that is required. Furthermore, most wine packaging does not conceal the fact that you are giving a bottle of wine, which defeats the purpose.
Furthermore, putting wine in boxes can cause it to heat up, which can be problematic for more expensive wines. It is far preferable to try to keep the wine cool. If it’s a particularly expensive wine that should be stored in a cellar, keep it in a cooler until you’re ready to give it to your friend.
2. Consider adding an accessory. Include a gift that goes with the wine if you want to make the gift extra special. You could choose a unique and fun corkscrew or carafe, for example. You could also select a wine thermometer so that the person can serve the wine at the correct temperature. Other possibilities include fancy or one-of-a-kind wine glasses or a wall rack.
3. Wait for a good opportunity. If you and your friend are both wine connoisseurs, choose a time when you can tell the person about the wine. Of course, you don’t want to bore someone who isn’t interested in the wine’s details, but if you know the person will be interested, wait until they aren’t doing something else.
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