Wine as a gift
Finding a birthday present for your friend gives you sleepless nights? Have you been invited to a dinner and you have no idea what to give the hosts? Or maybe you are looking for a perfect Valentine's Day gift idea? Regardless of the occasion, something elegant and classy comes to your aid - wine!
Although looking at the range of available wines this idea may seem challenging, do not worry! We have some ideas and tips which will help you to find the perfect wine gift.
1. Why wine gift may be a good idea?
A bottle of wine is a versatile gift that suits each occasion. It may be personal, but even if you don’t know the bestowed person well, you can go ahead with a wine gift. Wine will always come across as elegant and less bluntly than strong alcohol.
2. Red, white, rose; sweet or dry – what is a perfect wine choice?
Light, universal wines: For those who are not oenophiles and drinks wine just occasionally, choose light and fresh wine. It should have low acidity and be balanced. Rose or white semi-sweet/semi-dry wine will work perfectly! If you decide on something more classical, such as a bottle of red wine, choose one with low tannins and pay attention if it was barrel-aged. People who are not wine enthusiasts may not appreciate wooden aromas and high tannin levels, so we recommend wines that were aged up to 9 months, such as Spanish Joven or Roble.
For wine enthusiasts: Here time for more complex wines comes! Intense, full of aromas, with an exciting blast of tannins on the tongue. Wine geeks will certainly appreciate each good-wine experience. A range of supermarkets’ wines may not answer their needs – but in wine specialised stores you can find something interesting, even if you do not plan to spend a fortune. For those who love strong, heavy aromas of wood, leather or even spicy hints, with long and reach aftertaste, you can choose - for example - red Tinto Reserva from Ribera del Duero. Crianza will be a more balanced choice between fruity and wooden character, giving a full-bodied mouthfeel. If you know that this person has a wine cellar, you can look for a wine that can be aged.
3. What to pay attention to while buying wine?
Classification of wine - especially those being part of the wine law in their country of origin, for example, Spanish D.O. (Denominación de Origen). Thanks to classification we can be sure wine was prepared with high-quality fruits and the whole winemaking process were carefully controlled. It can also inform about the wine’s place of origin, winemaking method, sweetness, vintage and the grape variety used.
Type of grapes - Merlot, Tempranillo, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay - grapes variety is information which in most cases is easily available on wine’s label. Each vines type has different characteristics, affecting the wine profile. Therefore grapes variety used in wine production may help you to find a wine with suitable sweetness and body, as well as - because of taste specification - perfect food pairing. Be aware that some wines made with the same grapes variety may differ in style because of regional differences in vine growing and winemaking - so for example they can have different tannins levels.
Age of vineyards - if examining a wine label you will find information that the wine was made out of old vines, you can expect delectable, concentrated in taste wine with a complex character. But what does “old vine” mean? After planting the vine, it takes around 3 years for it to produce its first fruits. You can say the vine reaches adulthood after 7-8 years from when it was planted. Vine is considered as "old" having at least 30 years!. Through this time, the plant adjusts to climate and soil type, becoming stronger and more tolerant. Old vines give fewer and smaller but at the same time more concentrated fruits with high quality.
Producer and origin. Wines with mysterious labels which do not even mention the winery, and the origin is not very detailed, may not be the best ones. Other points which may be interesting to look at are the type of soil and altitude where vines are planted or the orientation of vineyards.
4. How to make wine gifts even better?
Wine as a birthday gift
Depending on the celebrant’s preferences and wine expertise, here you can choose between all wine types – come back to point two if you are looking for a “safe” choice. Wine bottles packed in elegant boxes may be worth your attention, adding aesthetical value to your gift.
An interesting idea for wine geeks is to buy a wine of the same vintage as their year of birth. However, you have to be aware that the older your celebrant’s, the more you have to spend, and some vintages may be already undrinkable.
Wine – Valentine’s Day gift idea
Wine is just romantic by definition – made with passion and commitment, hiding a different story in each bottle. It may be a perfect Valentine’s Day gift – especially fruity rose or balanced red ones.
A bottle of wine can be a Valentine’s Day gift just itself, but we encourage you to prepare Valentine’s dinner or a gift, which you can serve with perfectly paired wine. What exactly should you decide on? As an example, you can pair Cabernet Sauvignon with dark chocolate or white chocolate with Riesling or Moscato d’Asti.
Even if none of you is a wine specialist, you can make this evening even more special, introducing some details about wine to your other half. Read something about wine origin and its aromas before to impress your date and to make the tasting experience even better. If you decide to buy wine from Ribera del Duero, check out our article “4 Facts to Understand Ribera del Duero Wines”.
Wine as a wedding gift
The wine gains more and more popularity as a wedding gift. However, there are some issues you should think through before you decide to buy specific wine for newlyweds.
It is worth remembering that around 90% of wines are made to be consumed within 1-2 years from the production year. If you expect other guests to buy wine gifts as well, it may be a good idea to go for wine that can be aged. Within wine like this, newlyweds will not only get a chance to look back to their wedding even after a couple of years but will also avoid bad alcohol-drinking habits, which might be caused by a willingness to drink all wines they got before the expiration date 😉
On the other hand, wines should be stored in a place that will reduce their exposition to light, ensure a constant temperature of a maximum of 21°C (perfectly around 14°C), and a calm environment to avoid any concussions. Before you spend a fortune on high-quality wine, make sure the bridal couple is able to provide necessary storage conditions or add a note with a piece of storage advice to your gift, as the effect of light and temperature will change wine taste, colour and structure very fast.