A bottle of wine makes a wonderful gift, and not just for the wine lovers in your circle of family and friends. Whether you are going to a party, need stocking stuffers, or those miscellaneous gifts for the “non-primary” people in your life—neighbors, customers, co-workers, teachers—a bottle of vino will always put a smile on their faces (if they drink). It’s way better than picking up some overpriced widget that will only end up as clutter. And anyway, it’s the drinking time of the year.
Wine is tasty substance, usually drunk with food. Food and wine gather people together and make people happy. So when someone pops the cork of your gift, they’ll have an emotional reason for it—whether it’s to celebrate something memorable with family, pair it with a particularly well-made meal, share it for a birthday or some other occasion, or maybe just have a relaxing glass after a stressful day. Either way, at least they won’t look at your gift and think, “Oh geez, right, I need to remember to find a place for this..."
If the wine ends up being so-so, oh well, it’s a matter of personal taste. Maybe you listened to wise advice from your local wine person at the store you frequent, yet their recommendation missed the mark with the recipient of your gift. If this case, at least they’ll appreciate the gesture. But—as in most cases—if the wine resonates with their taste buds, you are golden. They drank it, enjoyed it, and will probably remember the circumstances under which that cork was popped. Congratulations, you just provided someone with a tangible and memorable experience, rather than some thing they’ll forget or throw out.
Ideas? Well, you can’t miss with a bottle of bubbly, ever. If you have the cash, spend $30 or more on the real deal—French Champagne. If you are strapped for funds, less expensive sparklers like Spanish Cava (made in the same method as Champagne), Italian Prosecco, and many American sparkling wines will do the job.
If you know what wine grape/style they prefer, look around and buy what strikes your fancy and works with your budget. If anything goes, $10-$20 price range will get you very far, from mainstream brands to less well-known producers, especially those that are not too cool for school yet, unlike Napa Valley and, say, Burgundy. Check out wines from Argentina, Chile, lesser-marketed regions in France like Loire Valley and Languedoc, South Africa, and Portugal.
‘Tis the season for values in wines. Even those pricey, high-end bottles are actually being sold at great discounts right now all over the place. Recession benefits the consumer in this case. Lots of wines are being sold at lower prices—and you can find anything from the most obscure little regions in France to the best-known chateaux on at least some kind of sale.
What’s not to love? Gifts made easy. Cheers!