How to Choose Great Wine for Gifting

Image of woman selecting a bottle of wine from a shelf in a market or store

Attending a party empty-handed is always out of the question but deciding what to bring as a token of appreciation can be a challenge. Food is often a popular choice, but with today’s dietary restrictions there’s a strong chance your hard work will go unappreciated by fellow guests. Instead of spending all day cooking up a dish that no one will eat, we suggest the easier and more loved option that was originally gifted to kings: a simple bottle of wine.

Wine is a perfect gift that’s suitable for just about any occasion that brings together loved ones. It offers a fun and simple way to break the ice at gatherings or celebrate a special occasion, and there’s a blend that can pair perfectly with any dish or dessert. You may be overwhelmed when faced with a wall of different types of wine to choose from, but fear not; that just means there are lots of great wines for gifting. We’ve put together this guide to help give you some ideas on how to choose wine as a gift for your next event.

Hickory Farms wine gift selection tips. Tip #1 know your recipient, tip #2 spend based on the occasion, tip #3 consider the occasion and time of year, tip #4 don’t cut corners when it comes to presentation, tip #5 find an interesting label.

How to Choose Wine as a Gift

Finding great wine for gifting doesn’t need to be an arduous task, but there is definitely an art to it. While technically you could run to the nearest liquor store and pick up the cheapest bottle of wine you can find, that doesn’t mean you should, and we strongly recommend against such a tactic. That wine is cheap for a reason, often being made with low quality ingredients and additives. If you don’t know much about wine, you might not be able to tell that it’s lower quality based on the taste alone. Additives can cause the wine to be excessively sweet and high in sugar content, which can lead to headaches and hangovers the next morning. Even worse, anyone who considers themselves a wine connoisseur will probably be able to tell the difference after the first sip.

To help you navigate the wine aisle and figure out what wine to get as a gift, take these points into consideration.

Know Your Recipient

Graphic depicting what goes into knowing your recipient when it comes to selecting wine: consider their taste preferences, the types of wine they have stocked at home, and their wine order at restaurants.

First and foremost, to choose a great wine for gifting you’ll need to know the taste preferences of the recipient, or at least have a general idea of what they prefer. This is essential to ensure that the wine you’re choosing will be a well-received gift. Do they lean towards red or white wine, dry or sweet? Pay attention to the types of wine they order while out at restaurants, or the types of bottles they have stocked up at home. If you’re unsure, going with a simple, more classic style of wine like a merlot or pinot grigio is generally a safe bet.

If you still happen to find yourself stuck, ask a store clerk for their recommendations. After asking you a few simple questions about your recipient, they should have no trouble helping you figure out what wine to get as a gift.

Spend Based on the Occasion

Like we mentioned earlier, steer clear from purchasing the cheapest bottle of wine on the shelves. But also, don’t worry about spending your entire paycheck on one bottle, there are plenty of great wines in the mid-price range that will suffice. The amount that you spend can also be dependent on the type of event that you’re planning to attend. If you’re going to a small dinner party with just a small handful of guests, a regular sized bottle costing anywhere from $15-$40 is appropriate and will provide enough to go around. If you’re attending a more formal occasion, like a wedding, plan to spend a little more for a higher end bottle. Attending a large celebration or party that will have lots of guests – go for the magnum. Magnums are double bottles of wine and Champagne. These are a great option because there will be more than enough to go around, and everyone will have a fun time taking photos with the oversized bottle.

Consider the Occasion and Time of Year

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.

Are you attending a winter holiday party, or a summer wedding? Maybe it’s a springtime birthday celebration, or a bridal shower in the fall. Taking the time to consider what time of year it is, and what type of event you’re attending, will help narrow down your choices when it comes to finding a great wine for gifting. While it isn’t completely necessary, choosing a wine based on the season is a great way to make sure your gift is a hit:

  • Summer calls for lighter, more refreshing wines like rose, sparkling wine, or Riesling.
  • Fall months are best paired with a full body white wine like pinot grigio, or sauvignon blanc.
  • Wintertime and hearty dishes are paired great with heavy wines like zinfandel, malbec, or syrah.
  • In the spring, look for fruity, sweeter wines such as moscato or pinot noir.

Remember that these are just recommendations for each season and can be used as a general guideline. If your host doesn’t like sweet wines, but is hosting a springtime event, don’t feel obligated to get a wine that coincides with the time of year, go with what works best for the host.

Don’t Cut Corners When It Comes to Presentation

You’ve dedicated a lot of time and effort to finding a great wine for gifting, so don’t drop the ball on the final step of packaging the bottle for presentation! Write a short note to your loved one letting them know why you chose this particular bottle as a gift. Maybe it’s your favorite brand, or the packaging made you think of them. Doing so will add a nice personal touch to your gift. Any wine shop or liquor store will have fun packaging options for your bottle, from festive bags to fancy wine boxes, even a simple bow around the neck of the bottle will be the perfect way to dress up your gift.

Find an Interesting Label

Graphic depicting how to choose an interesting wine label when gifting wine: pick a bottle with a label that speaks to you, start conversations with a fun and unique label, and invite your recipient to repurpose with a decorative design.

Once you’ve nailed down what your recipient likes and the type of event you’ll be attending, you’ll still have to narrow down your choices. There can be hundreds of different brands of the same type of wine, so how does one choose the perfect one to gift? This step is more fun and can be based on your preferences, as you can pick out any bottle with a label that speaks to you. Find a bottle with a fun and unique label, one that helps show a little personality. This will also help act as a great conversation starter if you’re attending a larger party on your own. Once the bottle of wine has been finished, the host may choose to wash and hang on to the bottle as decoration and will constantly be reminded of you each time they look at it.

Whether you’re attending a holiday party, birthday celebration, wedding, or simple dinner party at a friend’s home, wine is always the perfect option to express your gratitude and show appreciation to your host. Using the information laid out in this article, you’ll be sure to find a nice bottle of wine for a gift. Browse the Hickory Farms website today to get ideas and find a great wine for gifting.

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

 

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