When someone invites you to their home, it’s nice to bring a bottle of wine. Unfortunately, your host might turn out to be a wine connoisseur and your choice of bottle could backfire miserably. Or it could go the other way. If your hosts are not seasoned wine drinkers, they might take your expensive bottle and pour into a bowl of cheap punch. The horror!
That said, wine makes a classy gift, and offering a wine hamper will mark you as a refined person of taste. If you’re wondering where to begin in your wine-gifting quest, we have a few suggestions that you might find helpful. First, look at the bottle. At this point, you’re not thinking about the brand or the vintage. You’re simply looking at the packaging because that’s what most people will notice.
Pick a wine that’s in a pretty bottle. If the gift is for a particular occasion, you could pick one that has festive designs on it. If it’s a more standard situation, just pick the most elegant looking bottle you can see, as long as it fits within your budget. Unless the gift is for somebody that has a specific taste for wine, they’ll be more impressed by the bottle than its contents. Plus, wine bottles are great for DIY projects, so that’s an added bonus.
If you’re worried that your friend might be a ‘wine person’ then it’s okay to cheat. Ask them what wine they would prefer. Depending on the kind of relationship you have, they might mention something specific, which can be a problem if their tastes are on the more pricey side. That doesn’t happen very often though. More likely they will give more general options like red or white, sweet or dry. Armed with this information, you can ask the store clerk to recommend something within your preferred price point.
If you’re creating your own wine hamper rather than a single bottle, you’re in a better position. You can look at the brand you’d prefer then just throw in a bottle of each. Something rosé, something sparkling, something fruity … you can even add something non-alcoholic. It’s a nice personal touch, and you never know whether your friend is currently taking medication. They will love you all the more for this extra consideration.
Wine hampers don’t necessarily require multiple bottles of wine. You could include one bottle, then add some wine glasses, a cocktail mixer, or a whisky decanter to add value to the hamper. You could even have the glasses engraved, that’s always a nice touch. Other appropriate items for wine hampers are chocolates and candy, but only if your friend isn’t diabetic. Scented candles are a good choice too.
If you’d like your wine to get a little more attention, you could package it in an eye-catching way. It doesn’t have to be particularly complex. You can simply tie a ribbon around the neck of the bottle and add a personalised note that will make the giftee think well of you. It could be anything. A quick poem, an inside joke, or even ‘Goes well with …’ followed by a suggested dish to pair the wine with.
Another packaging option is to use a wine-sized gift bag. These can be quite nice and your friend can re-use it or just have it as a reminder of you. You could put the wine in a box but that’s not always advisable, since it might be left somewhere in the house and end up accumulating heat which could damage the wine. A gift basket is better, since it will allow air circulation that can keep the wine cool.
Whichever wine you end up giving your friend, remember this one thing. Your friend might choose not to open your wine right away, so if you have a hankering for that particular bottle, buy one of your own so you can drink it when you get back home.