ALEX’S CHRISTMAS WINE BUYING GUIDE
It’s that time of year again: buying presents for everyone. It’s always bloody stressful trying to find the right present, so here are a few tips to help you along your way…
FIND OUT WHAT THEY LIKE
Sure, we love to surprise someone with a gift that they weren’t expecting. But, if you’re buying someone booze, it’s generally because you know they enjoy a drink. This means that they usually have something that they prefer, or something that they don’t like.
Spouses and partners are often helpful here and may know the details, but they can also do some sleuthing and take a photo or two of the bottles in the liquor cabinet or recycling bin for you. You take those to your local liquor store and you’re sorted. And, if you’re buying something for your doctor, ask the receptionist for advice.
The more information you can get, the better. “I want to buy a bottle of red for someone,” will end up with you making a fairly safe choice that they may not like. But if you tell them, “He likes Barossa Shiraz from boutique winemakers like Ruggabellus,” you’ll walk out with something perfectly suited.
FAMOUS LABELS VERSUS SMALL OR NEW WINERIES
You can always get a famous label like Penfolds or Johnnie Walker, and they’ll often do the job, but why not try something a little more interesting?
Imagine being able to tell your recipient, “This wine is made by Sarah Crowe. She picked up the 2017 Winemaker of the Year award,” or, “This whisky is made on the Orkney Isles, where most days it’s so windy that planes get blown off the runway.” Some liquor retailers will be able to help you out with these stories. If not, Google is your friend.
FUNNY OR MEANINGFUL LABELS
You can also try to find wine labels that are appropriate for the recipient. I recently completed a development course at work, run by two very dedicated senior staff members. I was in charge of getting them wine as thankyou gifts. Drew liked his Pinot, and Lyn liked her aged reds. For Drew, I chose a bottle of Mount Difficult Pinot Noir (because completing the course was like climbing a bloody difficult mountain), and for Lyn, a bottle of 2007 Nugan ‘Matriarch’ Shiraz. There was meaning behind the names of the wines. The wines were pretty good, too!
PRICE AND VALUE FOR MONEY
I’m often asked for advice when it comes to wine as a gift. People come to me saying they have a hundred dollars or so for a present. A $100 bottle of wine is a lovely gift, but for many people it’s overkill.
So why not put together a present consisting of a couple of $50 bottles instead? Or even half a dozen $20 bottles? People tend to store special bottles for special occasions and often don’t get around to them before they spoil. Now they can think about you through six bottles, rather than just one!
Have a great break everyone, I’ll catch you again next year.