Wine Gift Guide 2018
By Jimmy Quaile, Certified Sommelier
Which wine should I give when I don't know â€œwineâ€?
Wine makes the perfect gift for a number of reasons. You can buy a good bottle to fit any budget, itâ€™s the perfect "emergency" gift to have on hand in case you forgot someone, one size fits all, PLUS, itâ€™s a gift you can enjoy yourself if you covered all your bases.Â However it can be a daunting task, especially if youâ€™re not a connoisseur yourself and have no idea what the person drinks. You can certainly pick a niceÂ label with a price that matches your budget and let it go at that, but a little thought can go a long way into making wine the perfect gift.Â Here are some quick thoughts and recommendations.
Pardon the profiling, but statistically a younger person drinks a sweeter wine. And while the popular choice is Moscato, consider Riesling. A Riesling CAN be sweet but have a much better balance of fruit and acidity.
A Blend is also good choice. Red or White, they can please a wide range of tastes. You can tell it's a blend if it has a name instead of theÂ grape varietal ( Tapestry, Conundrum, etc). There are great blends at every price.
If the person "knows" wine, I recommend going to the French aisle. If the first word on the bottle is Chateau it's probably a Bordeaux. If the first word is Domaine it's probably a Burgundy (and probably more expensive!)
In the US, the king of wines is still Cabernet Sauvignon.Â You can never go wrong giving a nice Cab to a wine lover.
A Pinot Noir can be a crowd-pleaser but you have to add 5 to 10 bucks to your budget before they get really good (the grape is such a pain to grow).
Lastly, you can always buy a sparkling wine. Champagne even! (No they are not the same). I don't know a wine lover that doesn't like Champagne. If it is out of your price range, a Cremant, another sparkling wine from France, can be a much better value.
So whether you are invited to a holiday party, a cookie exchange, or hosting your in-laws, wine is undoubtedly the perfect choice. Here are a few common categories and some wines that fit the bill.