Monday, December 12, 2011

Wine Gift Advice

Gift giving intimidates the best of us.  Once in a great while the perfect gift idea combines with the time to give it and proves to be at least as well received as expected.  More often, some portion of that trifecta does not happen quite right.  I can sense those moments and only hope for enough success that the recipient does not injure themselves forcing a smile to his or her face. 
A present of wine appeals on many levels but brings a special level of intimidation with it.  The stress level created about buying wine for an aficionado lands somewhere between that generated before meeting your potential in-laws and that dream about showing up for a final exam without studying...and also being naked.  Relax. 
Buy wines you enjoy and include a favorite cheese with them or even a favorite recipe for pairing. Unless you exclusively drink white zinfandel or buy only wines from the closeout bin, the effort will be appreciated.  Even serious wine collectors enjoy experimenting or at least need something for guests.  If you can share a story about visiting the winery or enjoying a bottle it will mean so much more.  Unless he or she is a total ass, your personal touch will mean a lot.  If he or she is a total ass, why are you giving them a gift anyway?
I think spending a lot of money on a special bottle you have never tried and may or may not be to the liking of your recipient is a much riskier proposition than a few moderately priced bottles that mean something to you.  
Don't waste time tying to figure out their favorite producer they probably have plenty already. If you are adventurous, share the adventure.  If you play it safe with standard grocery store brands, stop it!  Get out of your comfort zone and try some new wines, you may find yourself the recipient of a great gift as well...the world of wine.

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