Guide to wine gift giving

By: ymehrbod

Dec 10 2009

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Category: 1

1 Comment

Most of you will attend at least one, if not several, holiday parties this month and to make sure you do not arrive empty-handed, there is a gift ideas for the host: a toast!
Finding the right wine requires the same due diligence that finding any other gift requires. Planning ahead is the key to success, so here is the plan: First of all, set your budget depending on your relationship with the host, who receives the toast. After that, get dressed and head to the nearest specialty wine shop or government liquor store. Get the job done early, so you can save your time and get to the party on time.
In your way to the store, ask yourself a few questions about the kind of wine the host really enjoys. Do they prefer red or white? Should it be New World or Old World? Do they like traditional varietal wine like chardonnay or cabernet sauvignon, or perhaps something more edgy like viognier or grüner veltliner or petit sirah? Perhaps a red blend is in order, or an organic, biodynamic, sustainable label, either old or young. It all matters, especially if you expect that the host, would propose you a toast, although the gift is for the host not the people attending the party; therefore do not expect the host to open the wine you just gave them; in fact, you should insist they put it away to enjoy on a future occasion such as a private meeting ; only you and them.
Now, if I have managed to convince you that wine will work, here are some suggestions to buy, wrap and deliver over the holidays. The most important piece of advice is, don’t wait until the last minute, you should be at the party on time!
Sparkling wine is the ultimate hostess gift because it’s something we seldom buy for ourselves. It is both festive and celebratory and, best of all, everyone should have a bottle of bubble in the house that they can quickly chill and serve whenever required (the private meeting!). To make your bottles sparkle, dress them festively in clear or coloured cellophane — perfect to see the bottle — and tie with ribbons of natural or coloured raffia.
Your choices can run the gamut from local sparklers, Spanish cava and Italian Prosecco to French champagne and my suggestion for 2010: a sparkling rosé. Our current favourite: Segura Viudas Cava Brut Rosado, a Spanish blend of trepat, garnacha and monastrell grapes. We love its bright raspberry colour, attractive persistent creamy mousse and fresh nutty, cherry, baked pear and citrus flavours; the perfect tapas wine you can pour freely before dinner.
Quirky off-the-beaten-path wines are perfect for the curious wine-lover host. The Austrian grüner veltliner fits this type as does the aromatic torrontés from Argentina, petite sirah, mourvèdre and more. Our choice is a delicious bottle of Laurenz V. Und Sophie Singing Grüner Veltliner 2007. The glass that the bottle has made of is crunchy an every one will enjoy it. Although you may not be a glass lover, but give it a try. The Singing grüner is a cutting-edge white that often beats the world’s best in blind tastings because it is so damned fresh and drinkable. Look for a spicy, white pepper character and crunchy fruit flavours flecked with honey and lemon. Oysters, anyone?
For the host who likes wine and food and who regularly serves them at the table, a “food-friendly” wine is always welcomed. Affordable, balanced red wine that works with a variety of menu items is a great choice, and our pick is Las Rocas de San Alejandro Garnacha 2006 from Spain. Look for a fresh, supple palate with chocolate, orange, black raspberry, licorice and mineral flavours. It is good value too an you can also buy one for yourself.
Riesling qualifies as a perfect hostess gift given its intriguing versatility and sheer brilliance in the glass. Not everyone buys riesling, but most love it when they drink it (it may be because of the price. You know what I mean). Our choice is Gunderloch Fritz’s Riesling 2007. Months down this road this screwcap white remains eminently sippable with bright minerality and fresh fruit, and is tailor-made for barbecued or pulled pork dishes.
Tawny Port is another no brainer, for the brainy reader types. A glass of Fonseca 10 Year Old Aged Tawny Port will cure all that ails you and make reading that book in front of the fire even more enjoyable, but be careful and fall asleep there. The extra alcohol in your boy will increase your flammability.
My last pick is actually a wine gadget I’ve been testing for a few months. I’m not a big wine gadget guy but I’m excited about a new pouring device you easily slide into the neck of any bottle and simply pour the wine directly into your glass, and avoid wasting it; you have paid for the drink. The Nuance Wine Filter aerates the wine and removes the sediment with no fuss or muss. I especially recommend it for those big meaty young reds because it helps to clean up the nose and flavours while removing any stray bits of cork or sediment.

The original article is from Vancouver sun.


One comment on “Guide to wine gift giving”

  1. “The extra alcohol in your body will increase your flammability.”

    i know this is humour, but i find myself wondering if its actually scientifically true.

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