7 Steps to Becoming a Pro at Gifting Wines

The art of gifting wine, and getting it right

Annabelle D’Costa

Remember that scene from Brooklyn Nine-Nine, when the squad is invited over for Captain Holt's birthday and all bring the same bottle of wine? Don’t be like the squad.

With the festive season upon us, wine makes for a go-to when it comes to gift-giving. To bring you to speed: It’s the end of 2019. Wine or in fact alcohol-gifting is no longer a taboo.

There are no right or wrong answers when trying to pick a bottle of wine as a present, but a lot of potentially bad choices. From personal preference to a price point, there are many things to consider.

We reached out to Master of Wine, Sonal Holland, to share her drink-related Christmas and New Year lists.:


Never judge a wine by the price tag

As a rule of thumb, never judge the quality of wine by its price tag or appearance. ‘Expensive’ or ’fancy’ doesn’t always translate to good-quality. A little research or simply reading the back label of a wine bottle can save the day.


Wines on discount

It isn’t wrong to buy a bottle of wine if it’s on a genuine discount or sale. In such a case, Holland suggests you buy two more for the house! However, you would want to tread with caution, she warns. “In India, wines are generally offered at a discount when the inventory has prolonged its optimal drinking age. Some of these discounted wines haven’t been stored properly, are virtually compromised or have gone bad. About 95-96 per cent of the wines in the world are meant to be drunk young and fresh.”


Add a personal touch

Irrespective of the price of a wine, it’s always good to add a personal touch. “Wine is the perfect gift for the festive season as long as it is chosen with love and not passed down without a thought,” says Holland. So, make sure you add a note about why you bought it, perhaps where and most importantly what made you think it would be a good gift for the person.


Price matters

The price range of wine is a good decision maker when gifting wine; always consider who’s at the receiving end. If the host is someone special or close to you, our best advice: Stay classy and give something that isn’t cheap. After all, this is a reflection on you, remember? It’s a bonus if the wine can last beyond one day after opening so that your host has many occasions to enjoy it while pondering what a wonderful person you are!


Get started

In case you need a little help, Holland shares her personal favourites:

a. A bottle of Champagne or Prosecco as they have festive written all over them. After all, you can never go wrong with

a bottle of bubbly

since it makes for the hottest crowd-pleaser.
b. A bottle of Chablis or the Pinot Noir make for great gifts and are also what Holland is currently accepting as gifts (in case you’re her well-wisher).
c. In red wines, a Spanish, Italian or Australian wine also make for good gift options, suggests Holland.


To gift wrap or not

Wine enthusiasts usually prefer the latter. Let the label on the wine bottle speak for itself. A ribbon around the neck of the bottle is more than enough. In case you still feel your bottle is a little under-dressed, add a note on what the wine is and when they should be opening it or how they should be storing it – good chance to show off your research.


Beyond just gifting wines

From wine-cooling gadgets to educational books, there are plenty alternatives to a wine bottle itself. “A good corkscrew for opening the wine bottle, or even a foil cutter could do the trick,” shares Holland.

Happy gifting!

Image: Shutterstock


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