How to Find the Best Gifts for Wine Lovers

a group clinking glasses of wine together in a cheers

Gifting a bottle of wine doesn’t have to be hard! Follow a few key tips to find out what they like to drink, and how to find the perfect bottle for the wine lover in your life.

Buying the gift of wine can feel overwhelming, especially in an age where there are seemingly endless buzzy wines out there; it’s easy for even the most seasoned wine enthusiast to spend longer poring over labels than they do pouring the wine itself.  
 
But it doesn’t have to be so hard! Follow a few key tips to find out what they like to drink, and how to find the perfect bottle for the wine lover in your life.

 

Find the right source

It may feel natural to waltz into your local liquor store and grab the most familiar bottle, but when shopping for a giftable wine, the approach should be a little different. Wine shops can feel intimidating, but they’re usually filled with (and staffed by) people who love to about wine. They also usually have a more interesting selection than a general liquor store, including a ton of bottles you won’t find elsewhere. If your city doesn’t have a wine shop, consider talking to a distributor, or visiting a nearby vineyard. If you do find yourself in the big box store, make your way to the vintages section. Find a friendly employee to help guide you, be clear about your price point and the occassion you’re buying for, and we guarantee you’ll find something interesting.

 

Make it meaningful

Think about your giftee. The most natural first question is always: what kind of wine do they drink? What do they like? But challenge yourself to go beyond the most obvious selection by  asking yourself these questions:   
 

  • What’s the occasion? A celebratory bottle calls for something fancy and indulgent, while a hostess gift for a dinner party should be something more food-friendly and crowd-pleasing.   
  • What’s your relationship? Wine can be a great excuse to get sentimental. If you took a special trip together, consider a wine from that region. When did you meet? Buy a vintage from that same year. Are they getting engaged? Get them a bottle from the region from which their soon-to-be-spouse has family ties. Do they have a favourite flavour, like pink peppercorn, black cherry or salted caramel? Find a wine with notes of that ingredient to show you care (and listen).  
  • Can you involve an experiential element? Make new memories together by taking the wine enthusiast in your life to visit a new noteworthy vineyard for a wine tour, or look up a fun wine event in your area (such as Toronto’s Grape Witches—they host unstuffy natural wine tastings that are as informative as they are informal).

Think seasonal

We eat seasonally, so why not drink the same way? Just as your local farmer's market features the most vibrant produce of the season, your local wineries have exciting seasonal releases too. A summer dinner party is the best time to bring out a crisp rose or a floral white, while a winter soirée calls for a rich, full-bodied red. Check if your giftee’s favourite winery has a seasonal release—a limited edition wine gift will surely surprise them.

 

Go au naturel

Natural wine is hot right now, and for good reason: it’s complex, delicious, and is less harmful to both your body and the environment. So what is natural wine? The exact definition is still up for debate, but typically a natural wine means there are no chemicals in the vineyard or cellar, no filtering or fancy machinery, and no added sulfites. But natural winemakers also ditch traditional conventions and rules, and are making some of the most exciting wines on the market right now.

 

Consider a pairing

A bottle of wine is always appreciated, but why not go the extra mile and pick up a meaningful gift that pairs well with your selection? The instinctive answer is a food item, such as a round of cheese or a rich dark chocolate—but accessories like sleek wine glasses, a sculptural decanter, or a quirky corkscrew work well too.

 

Go big

Many winemakers are getting in the business of magnumslarge-scale bottles of wine that are usually available in limited quantities. Not only are they great for parties, magnums are better for aging because they oxidize much slower than regular bottles. It’s basically the family size of wine, but cooler and more esteemed. A big wine bottle is bound to have a big impact when the wine lover in your life receives it.

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