Whether it be for the holiday season, a birthday or a special occasion, a gift of wine is always appreciated. But giving wine as a gift can sometimes seem intimidating to the non-connoisseur. The specialized jargon used by lovers of wine makes buying wine gifts seem a lot more complicated than it actually is. Follow these few simple rules and you should be able to select the perfect wine gift for friends, relatives and loved ones.
When selecting a gift of wine, there is no need to break the bank. Whilst in general, the more expensive a wine is, the better the quality, there are plenty of good, inexpensive wines out there. Work out what you can afford and find the best wine you can get for that price.
There are several websites available to help you make your selection. For example, wineexpress.com allows you to filter wines by price range, and offers detailed information, product reviews and food pairing suggestions (see below) for each wine.
When you are out with the person you intend to give the wine gift to, make a note of what wines they order in restaurants and bars. If you visit their home, check out their wine cabinet to see what's in it. That way, you should get an indication of where their tastes lie.
If your budget will stretch to it, you might like to give a selection of wines, such as a wine case or a wine and cheese gift basket, so that the recipient of your gift can choose different wines for different occasions.
If a selection of wines is beyond your financial reach, you can still tailor your wine gift to the tastes of the intended recipient. Find out their favorite foods, and pick wines that pair with them.
If you are buying for a fan of Asian food, a dry Riesling or Chenin Blanc makes a perfect complement. Red wines go well with pasta in tomato sauce, Sauvignon Blanc with pasta in cream sauce. Port is a good pick for the chocolate lover in your life while Chardonnay is a great match for seafood.
Champagne is of course, the ultimate wine gift. Extra dry champagnes are less versatile in terms of food pairings than other varieties. Any champagne will go with Asian food, poultry, strong cheese and desserts, but extra dry varieties are not recommended for seafood.
Whatever your budget and whoever you are buying for, there is a wine gift for you. Happy shopping!