I started giving wine as a gift at Christmas a few years ago.
It seems in many ways the ideal gift for wine drinkers: a consumable that doesn’t need to be found a permanent home, recyclable from the packaging to the glass bottle, and enjoyable! It ticks a lot of boxes as gifts go and it still does in my experience.
Also, it’s a gift that’s easy to give: phone the wine merchant, order and pay for the wine, arrange delivery and it’s done!
When considering wine as a gift, the range of wines and their characteristics available is truly astounding! I’m grateful to Mother Nature for providing this bounty of grape varieties to satisfy many different consumer interests.
My first instinct in gifting wine had been to give wines that I would lIke to receive! Although this worked some of the time, I quickly learned the best approach is to ask the happy recipients what they would like to receive! A novel concept!
An important aspect of asking first, is that important medical considerations come to light, which I wouldn’t have thought about! For example, some people who have had chemotherapy can’t drink acidic wines like Sauvignon Blanc, so important to send a softer wine like an un-oaked Chardonnay and to generally stay away from red wines. Or if people have throat or asthmatic issues, be careful to avoid overly tannic wines, which can feel scratchy on the throat in some cases.
In situations where it’s not possible to ask for wine preferences or it’s a surprise, then I would aim for a mixed case of wine, which most wine merchants offer; usually some bubbles, then a mixed selection of white and red wines, so that a variety of styles are offered.
Arranging successful delivery of the wine is an important part of giving wine as a gift. It sounds obvious but I’ve experienced some mis-steps along the way. In years gone by, I used a smart London based wine merchant. It all sounded good but there were issues with delivery.
For the last few years, I have used Yapp Brothers, an award winning wine merchant based in Mere, a small town in Wiltshire, in southern England who deliver promptly. They have the advantage of a large and comprehensive range of wines and they run a very efficient business.
Giving wine as a gift has increased my understanding and knowledge of wine and that’s been an enjoyable and unexpected consequence of the giving! A gift to me in other words!
Enjoy the gifting of wine this holiday season.
References: Yapp Brothers Wine Merchants, Mere, Wiltshire UK http://www.yapp.co.uk