A bottle of good wine often makes the perfect present for a holiday host. But gifting wine can sometimes be a bit intimidating.
“Many of us just want to enjoy a good glass of wine without thinking about it. So sometimes keeping it simple might be the best way to find the perfect present,” advises Jane Masters, who is one of the world’s 354 masters of wine and tastes and handpicks wines for Opimian, Canada’s largest wine community.
For Masters, the most important thing about buying wine for someone else is to find out what wine styles they like. Does your friend tend to drink red wine more than white, or are they a fan of rosé? Do they like wines from a particular country, like France or Australia? Or are they fans of a specific grape variety, like Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, or Shiraz?
Others like to hear more about the wine, where it comes from, how it’s made, and who makes it. Knowing what your friend likes, you can select something that fits the bill but is a bit different and widens their repertoire. For example, if they love Shiraz from Australia, why not try one from Chile, where it is also called Syrah?
For wine lovers, a bottle from an unexplored or often neglected region is a great selection. A premium wine from Germany, Sicily, or even Greece should do the trick.
Offering something to a collector leaves a bit less leeway both in terms of price point and variety. In fact, you’ll most likely have to scout for a fine wine from a renowned appellation. Take a peek in their cellar for some ideas or discreetly ask them what their favourite wines are — collectors usually enjoy sharing their thoughts about wine.
A great alternative is gifting a wine club membership, which gives members access to exclusive wines and is the perfect present for new enthusiasts and aficionados alike. Find more information at www.opimian.ca.