THE DRINK NATION IS A FREE RESOURCE FOR FINDING EVERYTHING AWESOME ABOUT DRINKING IN YOUR LOCATION
Home Bar Project Leaderboard Below Navigation

Gift Guide: The Drink Nation Wine Shopping Cheat Sheet

Surprise! It's wine.
Gift Guide: The Drink Nation Wine Shopping Cheat Sheet

Wine is the perfect gift. For the host who spent all day cooking a lovely meal, the boss who understands the need for an occasional sick day or the friend who could use a little pick-me-up, wine does wonders. But which bottle, exactly, to give? Sure, you can grab what you know they always drink — it’s a sure thing. But the holidays are a time for surprise and fun, so maybe something new below the tissue paper is in order.

Behold, The Drink Nation Wine Shopping Cheat Sheet. We can’t offer up a guarantee with it (per the lawyers), but we can promise a new experience — it’s stories from those that are the real gifts that keep on giving.

If they usually order: Chardonnay
Buy them instead: Viogner

The appeal of chardonnay is often on the nose. Fans of the oaky brew love the creamy, toasty aroma chardonnay produces, followed by its smooth taste. The same concept is behind viogner, a white grape most often found in the Rhone area of France. A whiff of viogner is like perfume sampling at the high-end department store — it can get heady. Floral and a touch fruity, you could rub this stuff on your wrists. It has less acid than chardonnay, but that just helps you appreciate the smell longer since there’s no sharpness to contend with while you sip.

If they usually order: Pinot Noir
Buy them instead: Beaujolais

Pinot noir does a brilliant job of maintaining multiple personalities. It’s light and fruity, but also has a layer of darkness containing earth, tobacco, and even “barnyard.” Its dainty-named friend from France’s Burgundy wine region does the same. Reason one: it’s from Burgundy. The area that made pinot noir famous knows a thing or two about that sultry combo. Reason two: its main grape, gamay. Low in tannins, it’s approachable and light, but has some woodsy notes thanks to its while-cluster maceration technique.

If they usually order: Pinot Grigio
Buy them instead: Gewürztraminer

Pinot grigio is light and sweet, and a bit innocent. It’s the grape of choice at showers and weddings since it’s middle of the road but tasty. Gewürztraminer is like its cooler, older cousin. It comes from the chilly regions of Germany and Eastern France, a climate that helps develop grapes with high sugar content and a rich tropical and floral nose. A dash of mineral flavors gives it sophistication, as does its fancy name that wows non-wine-nerds when it’s whipped out at the bar.

If they usually order: Zinfandel
Buy them instead: Barbera

Barbera is one of those wines that’s due for a bit of a comeback, so help your friends get in before it’s trendy. This Northern Italian grape has the high acid, berry flavor, and spicy finish of a zin, but with a bit of a smoother sip and lovely oaky notes of vanilla. It’s like dessert in a glass, without all the sugar.

Flickr photos, in order of appearance, via users Bayhaus, MasonCooper and loran

Recent Articles

Feedback

How are we doing? Tell us what you like or don't like and how we can improve. We would love to hear your thoughts!

*Name:
*E-mail:
*Suggestions:
 
Perfect Punches for Your Super Bowl Party

Perfect Punches for Your Super Bowl Party

Having a party this weekend? These easy punches are delicious and sure to please. ...read more ›

by Swabreen Bakr Feb 2, 2016
Man Invents Robot Drinking Buddy So He'll Never Drink Alone

Man Invents Robot Drinking Buddy So He'll Never Drink Alone

A once lonely South Korean inventor is lonely no more now that he's got an alcohol drinking robot by his side. ...read more ›

by Ryan Hudak Jan 28, 2016
Boozy Lollipops are the Perfect Treat for Drinkers With a Sweet Tooth

Boozy Lollipops are the Perfect Treat for Drinkers With a Sweet Tooth

They might not actually be alcoholic, but these beer, wine, and spirit flavored lollipops sure are intriguing....read more ›

by Alexander Frane Jan 22, 2016
SPONSORED
Drink Nation Store Rectangle
Breckenridge Breaks World Record for Longest Shot Ski During Ullr Fest

Breckenridge Breaks World Record for Longest Shot Ski During Ullr Fest

Once again the mountain town of Breckenridge, Colorado, is on top of the drinking record books....read more ›

by Carrie Dow Jan 18, 2016
Motorhead Fans Start a Petition to Have a Jack and Coke Renamed a Lemmy

Motorhead Fans Start a Petition to Have a "Jack and Coke" Renamed a "Lemmy"

About 42,000 Motorhead fans have signed the online petition that asks for a Jack and Coke to hereby be referre...read more ›

by Ryan Hudak Jan 12, 2016
Move Over Kombucha, Kefir Beer Could Be the Next Big Thing in Fermentation

Move Over Kombucha, Kefir Beer Could Be the Next Big Thing in Fermentation

Studies have shown kefir beer to boast the probiotic benefits of kefir while still carrying the alcohol conten...read more ›

by Alexander Frane Jan 12, 2016
AB-InBev Receives Buyout Offer From Miami Craft Brewery

AB-InBev Receives Buyout Offer From Miami Craft Brewery

AB-InBev probably never saw this one coming....read more ›

by Ryan Hudak Jan 7, 2016
6 Easy Winter Drinks to Make When It's Too Cold to Go Out

6 Easy Winter Drinks to Make When It's Too Cold to Go Out

Some nights are just too cold to venture to the nearest watering hole. Here are six solid winter cocktails that you can probably mix up with ingredien...read more ›

by Jessica Klein Jan 7, 2016
Bill Murray Rang in 2016 on Philly's Main Line

Bill Murray Rang in 2016 on Philly's Main Line

Bill Murray was spotted at a Villanova basketball game and at Black Powder Tavern over the holiday weekend. Cheers, Bill!...read more ›

by Nina Starner Jan 4, 2016
George Costanza Themed Bar Opens in Australia

George Costanza Themed Bar Opens in Australia

Ok, who else is planning a trip to Australia? ...read more ›

by Nina Starner Jan 4, 2016
SPONSORED
View all Articles

Sign up to get weekly drinking news, bar reviews, events and more sent directly to your inbox!

Close