How to choose the best wine as a gift

Give a bottle of something slightly aged as a special treat. Very few people have a place to store their wines safely until they gain the mellow texture and more intricate flavors of maturity. Some regions and grape varieties are better known for their aging ability than others. This is true of the pinot noirs and chardonnays from France’s Burgundy. You can also choose a gift of an older Cabernet, Bordeaux or Tuscan to put an extra special touch to your gift. Even two to three years can make a difference if the wine has been stored correctly.

Hostess gifts 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. It also doesnt need to be chilled, which makes it convenient.

Riesling also qualifies as a good hostess gift given its versatility and sheer brilliance in the glass. Not everyone buys Riesling, but most love it when they drink it.

Another choice is to find out what will be served at dinner and pair the wine with the meal. Traditionally, red wines were served with meats, and white wines with fishes and pastas, but this is not necessarily true anymore. Pairings today are now matched by heaviness. For example, if you are serving a red meat but wish to drink white wine, pair it with a heavy chardonnay. If you like red wine but are serving a shrimp scampi, try pairing it with a pinot noir, which is much a lighter red.

Presentation Sometimes the presentation of the wine can be half the fun of giving it. Here are a few ideas. Pair their wine for them. Attach a card around the neck of the bottle with a food pairing suggestion. When buying a Shiraz, suggest they uncork it the next time they order in pizza. Have a barbeque lover? A spicy Zinfandel is perfect. Picking up Thai on the way home? Gewurztraminer. The options are endless Is this gift for a special occasion? A golden anniversary? Wedding Gift? Milestone birthday? Why not personalize the wine label with their “vintage” and some wine “puns” to make the gift even more memorable. Let them know its their birthday and they should “Wine a little, theyll feel better” or that they are “Aged like fine wine, fruity and complex.” Whatever you choose, custom wine labels can be designed to fit any occasion and personality.

Want to preserve the original label? You can purchase label removing kits online for around $7.

Choosing wine should be a pleasurable experience, one that you savor. Enjoy the process and the enjoyment you get from giving a well chosen classic gift.