The holiday season is a time for spending time with family and friends, celebrating and giving gifts, and of course … parties!
Now, you never want to show up at a party empty handed and a bottle of wine is a great go-to gift, which is why most people will be doing the same thing. To make your gift stand out, here are a few creative tips for wine gifts that wow.
Red or White?
If you’re not sure of which wines your host likes, or what foods will be on the menu, stick with a universally pleasing and easy-t-pair bottle like Pinot Noir. One of the more versatile reds, it Pinot Noir has a succulent berry flavor that makes it extremely food flexible.
If you’d rather take a white, a Sauvignon Blanc or Sancerre is a great way to go. They’re typically clean, citrusy, and crisp, without those oaky flavors like Chardonnays have. If you’re going over for cocktails or brunch, you can’t beat a bottle of bubbly! Switch up the traditional Champagne and try a unique Spanish Cava or Italian Prosecco.
Skip the Foil Bag
Don’t put that perfectly selected bottle in the same old store-supplied foil bag everyone else show up with. Dress your wine in a pretty cloth bag to make it a little fancy, or slide it into a handy wine tote your host can use once the party’s over. Or if you want to keep it simple, just tie a beautiful bow to the top for the perfect touch.
To really make your gift special, pair your bottle with a little something extra on the side. Cushion your treats in pretty tissue paper, wrap it in cellophane and tie it together with a gorgeous bow. Voilá!
You can even get clever and theme your pairings for a fun twist. Here are some ideas:
Go practical: Include a handy little wine gadget with your bottle. Wine stoppers come in a wide range of designs and they’re a classy way to re-cork unfinished bottles at the end of the night. If your host has a lot of parties, they might enjoy some cute wine charms to help keep everyone’s glasses straight. If you’re taking white or a sparkling wine, a champagne bucket or chiller is a perfect companion gift.
Present a pairing: Combine your wine with tasty treats that pair well with it. Try different themes such as:
Virtual Getaway: Pair Italian sausage and cheeses with a strong Italian red like Barbera, or give a nod to Spain with a Rioja and gourmet olives or Marcona almonds. A selection of French cheeses and crackers with a great Bourdeaux are also a great bet.
The Next Morning: Pair some fruit nectar or juice (peach or mango are great) with a bottle of bubbly and some delicious baked goods for a morning after treat.
Scrumptious Sweets: Grab a Sauternes or other dessert wine and pair it with biscotti, rugelach cookies, or gourmet dried fruits, or give a bottle of Port with a variety of dark chocolates.
Share a Flight: Buy several bottles of wine from a specific country, wine-producing region, or wine maker so your host can enjoy a private tasting after the party’s done.
What about something besides wine?
Like I said, wine is the traditional go-to for host gifts, so maybe you want to mix it up. Skip the bottle and go to the wine gadget section of the store instead. Especially if your host is a wine lover, these ideas are a great enhance their wine drinking experience at the party and after:
- Aerators help expose wine to air to develop its full flavors
- Wine Preservers and Savers remove air to keep unfinished bottles fresh to enjoy another day
- Decanters are nice as they both aerate fine wines and serve as a beautiful way to serve them, especially complex reds.
If you really want to wow your host, all you need is a little creativity and a bit of extra thought and you can make your gift stand out at every holiday party! Let your imagination go wild and let me know what you come up with!