How to Give Wine as a Gift And Not Get it Back Re- Gifted

Sup Party People,

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‘Tis the season to stop being a cheap ass and give a hostess gift that will make you the life of the party. I always love to bring a bottle of wine with me whenever I am invited places as a “hostess gift”. Wine is usually my choice because A.) Who doesn’t like wine B.) Who doesn’t like alcohol and C.) Just in case they don’t apply to A & B you can just drink your gift. This post can also apply to anyone who hasn’t tried wine, or knows anybody who just starting getting into wine and are looking for the beginner’s guide.

The most basic varieties of wine are as follows:

  1. CABERNET SAUVIGNON
  2. MERLOT
  3. PINOT NOIR
  4. SHIRAZ AKA SYRAH
  5. CHARDONNAY
  6. PINOT GRIGIO
  7. SAUVIGNON BLANC
  8. RIESLING
  9. CHAMPAGNE
  10. SPARKLING WINE
  11. MOSCATO

My personal favorite out of the basic’s that I like to stick with when gift giving is; Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Champagne /Sparkling and in the summer I like to gift Rose.

Okay so now you gave your list of possible suspects you need to narrow it down to which bottle you’re going to bring. I usually bring a white and a red or a red and champagne/sparkling (or whatever is lying around my wine fridge). Here are some quick descriptions of each of these varieties that might help you narrow it down.

  • Cabernet Sauvignon – Full-bodied with herbal notes. Younger cab has rich flavors of currant.
  • Merlot – Fruity, spicy. Very soft, less tannic than Cabernet sauvignon.
  • Pinot noir – Delicate and fresh, very soft tannin’s with fruity aromas.
  • Shiraz AKA Syrah– Blackberry, Blueberry and Boysenberry (tart to jammy)
  • Chardonnay – Fruity, buttery, with a velvety feel that’s atypical to dry white wines.
  • Pinot Grigio (aka Pinot Gris) – Simple, light-bodied, dry and crisp.
  • Sauvignon Blanc – Dry, tart and acidic with herbal flavors as well as tropical fruit.
  • Riesling – Usually very sweet, with intense fruit flavors. Much lighter than chardonnay.
  • Champagne/ Sparkling– apple, pear, citrus, strawberry, cream and vanilla (typically on the finish)
  • Moscato – Fruity, and often sweet.

Also WINE FOLLY has an amazing beginners guide to wine that will help all you people who haven’t tried and are wanting to get into wine. Click on the link and check it out!

Now you have your descriptions and your varieties so I hope you have finally made your decision on what you’re buying. Before you leave for the store just yet, I want to gift you with a list of the Top Rated Wines from Wine Enthusiast Magazine which is the “it” place to have your wine be featured. I have two list’s, one is an over $100 wines with a 93-100 on the point system wine’s and an under $40 dollars that are still on the 90-100 point system wine’s. Now I know your head is tilted out of confusion, point system like what does that even mean? How many glasses is takes to get you drunk? Wine Enthusiast Magazine editors taste the wines and rate them with their point system. The point system is based on of production, quality, and how well theY identify to their region and variety. All tastings are blind and they are done in group flights with 5-8 samples. The points system ranges from 100-50:

  • 50-59 wines are flawed and undrinkable
  • 60-69 wines are flawed and not recommended but drinkable
  • 70-79 wines are flawed and taste average
  • 80-84 wines are ‘above average’ to ‘good’
  • 85-90 wines are ‘good’ to ‘very good’
  • 90-94 wines are ‘superior’ to ‘exceptional’
  • 95-100 wines are benchmark examples or ‘classic’

Now I would say as a beginner use these to your advantage because at least you know they have been tasted and rated. When you start to venture out more don’t always pay attention to the ratings because remember what I always say WINE IS AN OPINION. We will cover that in a later post though. Here are your lists:

TOP RATED ON WINE ENTHUSIAST:

CABERNET SAUVIGNON:

  • Shafer 2004 Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon (Stags Leap District) 100 Points, Napa $215

MERLOT:

  • Brave 2008 Merlot (Mount Veeder) 98 Points, Napa $60

PINOT NOIR:

  • Williams Selyem 2007 Litton Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley) 100 Points, Sonoma $100

SHIRAZ:

  • Penfolds 2010 Grange Shiraz (South Australia) 99 Points, South Australia $850

CHARDONNAY:

  • Domaine Leflaive 2010 Bâtard-Montrachet 99 Points, Burgundy, France $560

PINOT GRIGIO:

  • Domaine Zind-Humbrecht 2002 Grand Cru Clos Saint-Urbain Rangen de Thann Pinot Gris (Alsace) 96 Points, Alsace $102

 

SAUVGINON BLANC:

  • Pascal Jolivet 2014 Sauvage (Sancerre) 95 Points $73

RIESLING:

  • Robert Weil 2014 Kiedrich Gräfenberg Trockenbeerenauslese Riesling (Rheingau) 97 Points, $775

CHAMPAGNE:

  • Krug 2002 Brut (Champagne) 100 Points, $259

SPARKLING:

  • Schramsberg 2004 Reserve Sparkling (Napa-Mendocino-Sonoma-Marin) 98 Points, $110

MOSCATO:

  • EOS 2003 Tears of Dew Late Harvest Moscato Muscat Canelli (Paso Robles) 93 Points, $20

TOP RATED AND UNDER $40:

CABERNET SAUVIGNON:

  • Southard 2010 Whipping Boy Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley (WA)) 95 Points Columbia Valley $25

MERLOT:

  • Woodward Canyon 2007 Merlot (Columbia Valley (WA)) 95 Points Columbia Valley $39 Editors’ Choice

PINOT NOIR:

  • Au Bon Climat 2010 Historic Vineyards Collection Bien Nacido Vineyard Pinot Noir (Santa Maria Valley) 96 Points Central Coast $40 Editors’ Choice

SHIRAZ:

  • Donkey & Goat 2010 Fenaughty Vineyard Syrah (El Dorado) 97 Points Sierra Foothills $35 Cellar Selection

CHARDONNAY:

  • The Eyrie Vineyards 2014 Estate Chardonnay (Dundee Hills) 96 Points Willamette Valley $27 Cellar Selection

PINOT GRIGIO:

  • Domaines Schlumberger 2001 Grand Cru Kessler Pinot Gris (Alsace) 95 Points Alsace $24

SAUVGINON BLANC:

  • Robert Mondavi 2011 Fumé Blanc (Oakville) 95 Points Napa $32 Editors’ Choice

RIESLING:

  • Trisaetum 2015 Estates Reserve Riesling (Willamette Valley) 96 Points Willamette Valley $38 Cellar Selection

CHAMPAGNE:

  • Pierre Gimonnet et Fils 1999 Premier Cru Special Club Brut Chardonnay (Champagne) 94 Points Champagne $38

SPARKLING:

  • Iron Horse 2002 Blanc de Blancs Sparkling (Green Valley) 95 Points Sonoma $38 Editors’ Choice

MOSCATO:

  • EOS 2003 Tears of Dew Late Harvest Moscato Muscat Canelli (Paso Robles) 93 Points, $20

Hopefully you have picked out a wine by now, I always like to wrap my gifts and wine bottles are kind of hard to wrap so to finish this up here are some ideas I have found from Pinterest.

There you have it now you can give the best wine gift to your ability. Tomorrow I will be posting the final Holiday Helper and help you with wine gift shipping, and THE FIRST CLUE TO THE 12 DAYS OF WINEMAS! I hope you are all prepared and I am excited to get the 2nd Annual Wine Scavenger Hunt on the way!

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