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Gift Idea: Raise Spirits with the Right Bottle of Wine

Gift Idea: Raise Spirits with the Right Bottle of Wine

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are but a memory. Christmas is just over two weeks away, and Hanukah is even sooner. It’s nearing gift-buying crunch time, but instead of worrying, take the easy way out. Almost everyone of drinking age enjoys a good bottle of wine (and if they don’t, now’s your chance to introduce it to them). But what to select? Depending on who makes it into your “nice” column, we have prime suggestions for how to make a great holiday impression.

For the parents:
Be it for your own, your significant other’s or any in-between, the gift of a quality vintage can show off your class and savvy – all wrapped up with a tasteful silver bow. Don’t worry about spending a fortune (you wouldn’t want them to think you are being snobbish, anyway). Instead, show appreciation for traditional, classic tastes with a California cabernet sauvignon. You can even stay around the $20 mark by grabbing a bottle of Geyser Peak or Stags’ Leap. Inch upwards for the really good stuff, but even a bottle of Switchback Ridge will keep you under $100.

For the host and hostess:
No matter how casual the soiree, it’s not good manners to show up at a holiday fete empty-handed. (Yes, even the ugly sweater shindig.) However, even the swankiest of celebrations don’t require you lose too much sleep – or cash – picking a gift. A bottle of something unique will impress guests if it’s opened that evening, or help your bottle stand out as they pick through the bounty the next day. We suggest you try a Châteauneuf-du-Pape. First, because although it’s not your everyday red, it’s still approachable and delicious. Second, because it’s so much fun to say! Wow your friends with deets on how it’s from the Rhone, is made primarily of Grenache, and is grown on land once owned by the Catholic Pope. You can even stay under $50 if you shop smart – look for wineries like Domaine Autard or Domaine Charvin, who offer award-winning wine at a good price point.

For your mail delivery person/hair stylist/all those service-people-you-don’t-know-that-well-but-still-want-to-thank:
While you should be showing your appreciation all year long, it’s definitely a good move to show a token of your support at holiday time. These are the folks who make sure your bills make it to your mailbox or that you don’t accidentally grow a mullet – the least you can do is hand over a bottle of something nice. Of course, you don’t know these people very well, so something as personal as their wine preferences might be escaping you. We recommend staying safely in the middle of the road for this one with a shiraz (also known as syrah). A little bit fruity, a little bit dry, a little bit spicy, this grape can appeal to a wide swath of people. Grab a bottle from France (Hermitage) or Australia and feel safe that you’ll be able to count on their services for another year.
 
Photo via Flickr user Afton Village
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