Guide to Wine Gift Etiquette

Image of wine in a wicker basket with wrapped gifts in front of a photo backdrop

Are you going to a dinner party or looking forward to finding a perfect housewarming gift for a new homeowner? Maybe you want to help friends celebrate an anniversary or engagement and are stuck trying to find a gift that is simple, yet thoughtful. Look no further than your local wine shop, because wine is always a well-received gift that’s perfect for any occasion!

With a wide range of flavors and brands to meet the needs of any preference or price point, wine is the perfect gift for any occasion. But before you go out and buy just any bottle of wine, you should take into consideration some essential wine etiquette tips that should be followed to ensure your gift makes an impact and doesn’t fall flat. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the most important do's and don’ts when gifting a bottle of wine and help you learn useful tips that can be used for years to come.

8 Wine Gift Etiquette Tips You Should Know

Giving a bottle of wine as a gift seems like it should be a straightforward process, but there are a few tips you should follow before you buy that bottle and hand it over. As with any gift, the careful selection and presentation of a bottle of wine will go a long way in showing your recipient how much you value your relationship. Putting the time and effort into researching and selecting the perfect bottle will make your gift feel curated, and your recipient feel special.

1. Think of Your Recipient

When it comes to wine gift etiquette, knowing what your recipient likes is key. While you may be excited to share your favorite shiraz with a friend or family member, if they prefer sweet or white wine, your gift might not be as well received. Take into consideration what the person you’re gifting to likes. There are hundreds of different varietals and brands to choose from, meaning even if they’re picky and only prefer one type, you still have a wide variety to choose from when shopping.

2. Remember the Wine You’re Giving is a Gift

Hickory Farms wine gift etiquette tips. Tip #1 think of your recipient, tip #2 remember the wine you’re giving is a gift, tip #3 be conscious of how much wine to gift, tip #4 consider the season, tip #5 include a personal note, tip #6 a little presentation goes a long way, tip #7 leave the bottle behind, tip #8 don’t buy the cheapest bottle.

When gifting a bottle of wine, keep in mind that the wine is a gift to be enjoyed at the recipient’s leisure. If you’re attending a dinner party, your host may have already pre-selected wine that pairs with the food being served. If you’re attending a large party, one bottle of wine might not be enough for everyone and the host may not want anyone to be left out of a toast. Your gift is exactly that, a gift, and gifts are most appreciated when the recipient can enjoy it at their convenience.

3. Be Conscious of How Much Wine to Gift

Does the recipient consider themselves a wine expert, who likes to pair wine with their dinners, or do they only enjoy a glass on special occasions? If it’s the latter, one bottle that pairs well with their favorite dish or flavors will do the trick. If it’s the former, and the recipient likes to host guests on a regular basis, a couple bottles will surely be welcomed and your thoughtfulness will be remembered well after the gift is received. If you’re attending an event with a partner, consider bringing a bottle from each of you.

4. Consider the Season

 Graphic depicting seasonal wines – a sun for summer and lighter wines such as Champagne, rosé, and sauvignon blanc, a leaf for Autumn with fuller-bodied wines like pinot noir and viognier, a snowflake for winter with heartier wines like cabernet sauvignon and riesling, and a flower for spring with fruity and lighter wines like sparkling white wine, chardonnay, and pinot grigio.

An essential aspect of wine etiquette to consider is selecting an appropriate wine for the season. Of course, your recipient can enjoy the bottle at whatever time works best for them, but buying a bottle that coincides with the current season will help your gift make more of an impact. Lighter wines such as Champagne, rosé, and sauvignon blanc are great for summer months. In contrast, heartier wines such as cabernet sauvignon and riesling make the perfect choice for winter. Fruity and lighter wines such as sparkling white wine and pinot grigio are spring's best wines. Fuller-bodied wines such as viognier and zinfandel are the perfect complement to the cooling season of Autumn. Hickory Farms has a wide selection of both red wine gift baskets, white wine gift baskets, and more that are already packaged and ready to go for any occasion.

5. Include a Personal Note

Including a short, handwritten note is a nice way to make the gift more personal. If you’re attending a party, your note will help eliminate confusion as to who the gift is from. You can include details about why you chose this wine and what your relationship to the recipient means to you.

6. A Little Presentation Goes a Long Way

An essential aspect of wine etiquette to consider is selecting an appropriate wine for the season. Of course, your recipient can enjoy the bottle at whatever time works best for them, but buying a bottle that coincides with the current season will help your gift make more of an impact. Lighter wines such as Champagne, rosé, and sauvignon blanc are great for summer months. In contrast, heartier wines such as cabernet sauvignon and riesling make the perfect choice for winter. Fruity and lighter wines such as sparkling white wine and pinot grigio are spring's best wines. Fuller-bodied wines such as viognier and zinfandel are the perfect complement to the cooling season of Autumn. Hickory Farms has a wide selection of both red wine gift baskets, white wine gift baskets, and more that are already packaged and ready to go for any occasion.

5. Include a Personal Note

Including a short, handwritten note is a nice way to make the gift more personal. If you’re attending a party, your note will help eliminate confusion as to who the gift is from. You can include details about why you chose this wine and what your relationship to the recipient means to you.

6. A Little Presentation Goes a Long Way

Wine gift etiquette tip, a little presentation goes a long way. Graphic of a hand presenting a wine bottle “simple yet classy,” graphic of a hand presented a wine bottle sized gift box “a surprise element,” and graphic of two hands presenting a wine gift basket with meats and cheeses “wine gift basket.”

Add a little flair to your present by dressing up the bottle before handing it over. If the wine bottle is pretty enough on its own, simply placing a ribbon or bow on the bottleneck is a nice touch that doesn’t take away from the aesthetics of the bottle. Packaging the bottle to be unwrapped can make for a nice surprise, however consider if your host may want to open the bottle right away upon receipt. Most wines are best served slightly chilled, and packing a bottle in a box may heat it up. If gifting your bottle in person, consider packaging your bottle in an insulated bag specifically meant for gifting wine bottles. If gifting your bottle to a friend or family member across the country, an individual bottle of wine, packaged in a beautiful gift box is always delightful to unwrap.

And, if you feel you need something extra to go with your bottle, include a fun wine accessory, such as a unique wine stopper or corkscrew.

7. Leave the Bottle Behind

If you’re attending a hosted party and your wine bottle gift is left unopened, don’t expect to take it with you when you go. Your gift bottle is a token of appreciation for the host, for putting together a beautiful evening for you and your friends or loved ones! Going back to rule number two of this wine gift etiquette guide, there are a few different reasons why a host could choose to not open a bottle of wine once received. If you purchased the bottle with the hopes of trying it at the party, it’s best to purchase a second bottle for you to enjoy on your own.

8. You Get What You Pay For

If you’re not sure how much you should spend on a bottle of wine for a gift, consider the old adage “you get what you pay for.” This rings true when it comes to purchasing a bottle of wine as a gift; less expensive wines are usually better when used as cooking ingredients and should be avoided, if possible, when looking for the perfect bottle of wine to give as a gift. That being said, you don’t have to break the bank buying top-shelf wine. There are plenty of decent bottles of wine at reasonable, mid-range prices. Consider your relationship to the recipient before deciding how much to spend, and don’t be afraid to ask for help from your local wine-shop owner to find the perfect bottle that fits your price range.

In order to make the best impression possible on your friends or family with a bottle of wine, be sure to follow the wine etiquette points laid out in this article to avoid any gifting faux pas. Wine bottles make the perfect gift for any party, dinner, or other special occasion and are a surefire way to ensure you’ll be invited back to any future events.

Take the guesswork out of finding the perfect bottle of wine; Check out the wide selection of pre-packaged wine gift baskets from Hickory Farms that are beautifully crafted and ready for delivery. These baskets are filled with the perfect wine and snack pairings that are great for any celebration, holiday party, or other special occasion on your calendar. Happy gifting!

Be sure to check out the other sections of our Complete Guide to the Wine Gift Giving Process.

 

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