Shopping for gifts at the last minute, again? Does what to get for a certain loved one have you stumped? If you continue to suffer from the daunting task of gift selection, here’s a gift that is always appreciated: wine! What is more, shopping for wine is much easier than sifting through racks of ties, perusing packages of festive socks, or combing the entire hardware section of Sears. And unlike jewelry that may not see the light of day once fashions change, or knickknacks that may have just a two-week shelf life, wine will always be popular and appreciated. You need not break the bank when purchasing wine (there are good bottles in every price range), and its affordability allows you to easily put together decent gift baskets for less than $50. Single bottles can even be given as gifts; special “artistic” bottles created by vineyard artists make excellent showpieces after they have been enjoyed, and most retailers offer gift bags, boxes, and wrapping services so your present will look extraordinarily presentable! Because gifted wines often get opened around a broad array of holiday foods, at least one wine to include in a gift basket is a Pinot Noir since it pairs adequately with most foods. Equally good is a sparkling wine, which is always associated with festive times. For variety’s sake, you may want to gift one of each-- white, red, and sparkling wine --so that your recipient has options to choose from. Also, you may want to consider including a rosé; though this wine is often associated with summertime, it adds a breath of fresh air to winter dinners.
When serving wine at your holiday dinner, make sure you use proper wine glasses, and keep your wine bottles at the proper serving temperature. It is especially important to make sure your sparkling wines are adequately chilled. (No one likes warm Champagne!) Whites should be chilled properly, too, but most reds can be served at cellar temperature. To be sure your wine reaches its ideal serving temperature, consider using a Le Cache European Country 1400 wine cabinet, or a Vintage Series 2 door single-deep credenza in your dining room. No matter the occasion, the gift of wine is one that will always be welcomed. Happy Holidays!