This Christmas season one of the best “grown up” gifts you can give is wine. In addition to wine classes (I had to do it) I think wine lends itself to be just the thing for the vast array of friends with all have. For instance, if you are trying to impress someone, a sure bet is to go by points awarded. Some bottles even proudly display these reviews. The trick is to find that wine over 90 points (some friends may think that anything less than 90 is for peasants) that costs under $25. There are many! If you want to make it unique, writing something on the bottle with a glass marker is always thoughtful. Jokes about the bottles’ punts never get old.
If you think that your wine collector friends do not need any more wines…think again. Many serious wine folks have a cellar full of wines destined for “special occasions” (which drives me nuts because the opening of an exceptional bottle IS the special occasion). A great wine gift is that bottle that they will enjoy without guilt on a Tuesday night with pizza. Try Malbec and Chianti.
Another cool idea that many appreciate for its thoughtfulness is to buy 2-3 bottles of the same varietal but from different regions. For instance, Cabernet Sauvignon or Chardonnay from Chile, California, and Australia. For the price of these three bottles you may even save some money when compared with that 90-plus bottle your wine snob friends may covet. Another option is to go to a lesser known region and get different varietals from it. If interested in not spending too much try these wines from Washington State: Merlot, Cabernet, and Syrah.
Another wine gift that keeps on giving is fortified wine. Who the heck downs a 20% alcohol bottle over dinner by him/herself? Don’t answer. These are sipping wines that will last a while. For example, the way Madeira wines are made is such that they are pretty much indestructible. They used to be ballast for ocean voyages! Ports and other dessert wines are also good options. If you need your friends to be set right after the end of a hedonistic meal, what they need is some brandy. Try Cardenal Mendoza; a brandy from the Sherry region of Spain.
Finally, one last strategy is the “lingerie-wine-bottle” gift. This is that exceptional bottle you will gift fully aware that you will be the one drinking it. But maybe “lingerie” is not the best metaphor as it would be weird to re-gift that. Am I wrong?
Whatever you do, remember to ideally make wine about company over food and conversation. Like it’s been said before, wine is bottled happiness and the only happiness that counts is the one you share.
İFeliz Navidad y Salud!
Lorenzo, the wine guy
Friends, food, and wine...I'm happy there.