It's that time of the year! Lots of gift giving. A common dilemma is associated with choosing a bottle of wine to give as a gift. I'll admit, it's a tough one. You don't want to get it wrong. And, most wines don't come with a gift receipt.
The first and probably most important factor in giving wine as a gift is knowing your recipient. Is the person a casual acquaintance, a long-time friend, a family member, your boss or a wine connoisseur? That makes a huge difference.
With a casual acquaintance, it's easiest. It's especially easy if this acquaintance is a party animal. They are probably just going to drink the wine without giving it a thought. You won't go wrong by going into most any store or wine shop and picking up an inexpensive popular wine; red or white. Those typically sell for around $10 and are located midway up the shelves at the store.
But with the long-time friend, close family member or a boss, you need to choose a nicer wine. The worst thing you can do is to underestimate their taste in wine. Unfortunately, it’s easy to offend someone by giving them a very basic or inexpensive wine. It's really not that hard to impress these people. Just keep your eyes toward the upper shelves and you are sure to find something that will work. And, by saying 'keep your eyes toward the upper shelves" you'll find that that's where the stores typically keep the nicer wines. The cheap stuff is down around your ankles. Nicer bottle of wines can easily be found in the $20 - $40 range. Oh sure, you can spend a heck of a lot more, but this range is usually a good bet. I'd recommend going with a red wine. They just come across as being safer gifts.
Finally, there's the fine wine connoisseur. You really need to know their wine preferences to buy them wine. Otherwise, my advice is to buy them something other than wine. They're just hard to please.
In any case, if you are really stressing over the purchase of a bottle of wine, ask someone in the store. And, if you can't find a knowledgeable salesperson, ask someone else who's shopping in the wine section for a recommendation. Really. You'd be surprised by the amount of people who know a thing or two about wine who are shopping on the wine aisle.
Here's to wishing you a happy, stress-free wine giving experience during the holidays! Cheers!