How do You Pick a Great Gift Wine? 5 Tips for Festive Sips

Want to give someone a bottle of wine this year?

On Global Television’s Morning Show, we chat about quick tips on how to choose a great gift wine this holiday.

Wine Gifts Global Dec 2015

Wine is a great gift because:

–    one size fits all
–    doubles are fine
–    it’s easy to re-giftchristmas gift bag wine B

Also:

– it’s easy to return for cash without a receipt

– wine doesn’t have to be cared for and it should never be watered

– it’s consumable so it doesn’t create clutter adding to more stuff in your home

How to decide which wine to give?

– match the wine to the person’s taste, if you know it

– match the wine to the person’s heritage i.e. Italian amarone

– match the wine to the dinner if you’re a guest

– choose a vintage that celebrates an anniversary for the couple, when they met, a birthday etc

– create a bottle gift set: one to drink now, one to drink next Christmas and one to drink 5 years from now

– create a book and bottle gift set

Otherwise: match the wine to the personality, just for fun!

You can get all my wine reviews of great gift wines (including those for yourself) showing the stock for each bottle at your closest liquor stores.

You can also watch our team members recommending gift wines on CTV’s Morning Show and Rogers Daytime Television.

 

Wine Gifts Global Dec 2015 B

Here are the Gift Wines that We Featured on Global:

Financial Planner

You appreciate how her conservative investments protected your portfolio during the recession. And now that the economy is recovering, you can give her a blue-chip wine this year; a brand that has been long established and well-known for delivering consistently good quality in the bottle at the price point.

Robert Mondavi Winery Private Selection Chardonnay 2014 Robert Mondavi
Central Coast, California

Full-bodied, luscious and rich with layers of butterscotch goodness. The bonus? This wine comes with its own mini Ugly Christmas Sweater. Pair this wine with roast turkey dinner and cashing in your Google stock. Price:

 

 

 

Personal Trainer

No, a muscular, robust red wine would not be cliché, especially not after all that ab work she’s done with you. However, the wine can’t simply be lots of fruit up front, it also has to have inner core strength and balance, as well as the ability to hold together in the glass. Since she’s all about go-local with fresh produce, give her a homegrown wine as well. You can also give this wine to your Pilates instructor, yoga master or Tai Chi coach.

Meiomi Wines Pinot Noir 2014
California, United StatesMeiomi

Clean, crisp and refreshing with lovely aromas and flavours of green apple and white peach. Amazingly great price for this quality. Very versatile with local produce as well as fresh seafood and thanking your trainer for being the queen of fitness gurus.

 

 

 

Hairdresser

Now here’s a person who has a great sense of humour (she laughs at your jokes when you’re in the chair), but she also takes styling your mop seriously. Give her a wine that’s versatile, clean and fuss-free like your coif, but also has a label with a sense of fun and modern style.

Castelgiocondo Frescobaldi Brunello Di Montalcino 2010
Tuscany, ItalyCastelgiocondo Marchesi De' Frescobaldi

A big black bruiser of a wine loaded with dark fruit, savoury bacon, dark spices and mint aromas. Full-bodied and smooth. Vibrant and full of personality, just like your hairdresser, even when her arms are going numb. Shiraz food pairings: beef prosciuttos, black bean soup, blue cheese, pepper steak. Alcohol: 14.5%  Sweetness: Extra Dry  750 ml  Drink: 2013‐2016  Best Beef Wine  Price: $54.95 Score: 95/100

 

 

Financial Planner

You appreciate how her conservative investments protected your portfolio during the recession. And now that the economy is recovering, you can give her a blue-chip wine this year; a brand that has been long established and well-known for delivering consistently good quality in the bottle at the price point.

Robert Mondavi Winery Private Selection Chardonnay 2014 Robert Mondavi
Central Coast, California

Full-bodied, luscious and rich with layers of butterscotch goodness. The bonus? This wine comes with its own mini Ugly Christmas Sweater. Pair this wine with roast turkey dinner and cashing in your Google stock. Price:

 

 

 

The Boss

Choose this wine carefully: tasteful, but not showy; unusual, but not wacky. You want to give your boss a wine that says you’ve thought about the choice carefully, but not obsessively. Go with a premium sparkling wine that doesn’t have the price tag of Champagne, but does have the taste.

Villa Maria Private Bin Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc 2015 Villa Maria 2015
Marlborough, New Zealand

An astronomically great value compared to Champagne. Toasty and refreshing and crisp. Great aperitif or try it with oysters or mussels. An absolutely stunning bottle that makes this a gorgeous gift wine. Why not?

 

 

Domaine De Bila-HautTeacher

Domaine De Bila-Haut Occultum Lapidem M. Chapoutier 2012
Côtes De Roussillon-Villages, Midi A.C., France

 

 

 

 

 

Ravenswood Old Vine Zinfandel 2013
Lodi, California, United States  Ravenswood Zin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Travel Agent

He’s traveled the world and has planned terrific vacations for you. You’ve always discussed your latest wine finds with him. He’s become intrigued by your recent interest in New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. He’s been to the country, of course, but hasn’t tried many of the wines yet.

Monkey Bay Sauvignon Blanc Wine Review
Marlborough, New Zealand

Monkey Bay wines take their name from a small bay on the coast of Marlborough in the South Island. A legendary monkey was once believed to inhabit this secluded spot. (Your travel agent loves tidbits like this.) The wine has vibrant, zesty aromas of lime, chives, grass, lemongrass and green apples. Medium-bodied and mouth-watering. Pair with: grilled swordfish, turkey burgers and planning a trip to New Zealand.

 

How do You Pick a Great Gift Wine? 5 Tips for Festive Sips

Liza: It’s the time of the year to find the perfect gift for everyone from the hairdresser to your personal trainers. So we’ve enlisted the help of wine expert Natalie MacLean from Canada’s largest wine review site to show you how to give the best gift – the right wine.

Natalie: Exactly, good to be back with you both.

Liza: Hello! Great to have you here.

Jeff: You know what, Natalie, I said here just before we came on that you and I are going to have words today because this is like the most dangerous segment we do, I think. Well Natalie because we try this great wine and then I get hooked on something new.

Liza: I know.

Jeff: When you’re here last time…

Liza: It will be, it’s going to be this one this time, I’ve tried this.

Natalie: I’m doing my job then if you’re hooked.

Liza: Yes.

Natalie: I’m your enabler, your wine enabler.

Jeff: Yes.

Liza: If you’re really going above and beyond and you have a financial planner?

Natalie: Exactly.

Liza: You do have that included on the list?

Natalie: I have, so we have Robert Mondavi, recognizable name from California.

Liza: Yes.

Natalie: A blue-chip wine, if you will, for your financial planner. But you appreciate your financial planner’s sound investments. These come in only about $15-$16 dollars each.

Liza: Right.

Natalie: Plus there’s a bonus of the ugly Christmas sweater.

Liza: It comes with that?

Natalie: It does. And we’ve got a life-size one as well for probably, Jeff, right?

Liza: Yes.

Natalie: Yes, there you go. Look at that.

Jeff: That’s very nice, okay.

Liza: I love it. That’s hysterical. Alright; so for the teacher?

Natalie: Okay, so I’ve picked something with a Latin label. See I can’t even say it because you know she’ll appreciate the erudition – the liquid erudition. So Bila-Haut.  It’s from Chapoutier in France. It’s a full-bodied robust red while she’s filling out report cards, especially your child’s report card. It’s a nice gift. You know wine is really a good gift, period.

Liza: I just want to say I like that parenting talk.

Jeff: Yes, exactly. We’ll guarantee your child an ‘A’.

Natalie: Exactly.

Liza: Yes, that one is good.

Natalie: But you know, when it comes to wine as a gift, one size fits all, doubles are fine, you don’t want two toasters but two of that bottle would be just fine, you know?

Liza: Very good wine.

Natalie: And it’s very re-gift able, so if you give something not to their taste; they can pass it on down the line.

Liza: Brilliant, now for your hairdresser?

Natalie: Hairdresser, I think we have a graphic of this. Frescobaldi which is an Italian red wine. I think it got stuck at the North Pole or the elves where thirsty but anyway look at to the graphic. So Frescobaldi for your hairdresser. Now I should clarify that Frescobaldi is not the Italian translation for freshly bald head.

Liza: Yes.

Natalie: Don’t get worried about this wine or giving it to your hairdresser. It’s a deep rich red wine from the heart of Tuscany, made by the Frescobaldi Family for generations. She’ll love it.

Liza: Now for your boss.

Natalie: Your boss. This is where we have to be careful because if you give something that’s too extravagant, he’ll think, well, or she’ll think that you don’t need that pay raise.

Liza: Yes.

Jeff: Right.

Natalie: If you cheap (inaudible), they’ll think ‘well what’s the deal here’?

Jeff: Yes. That person doesn’t think a lot of me.

Natalie: Exactly, so go for the smart gifts. So instead of champagne, I’m suggesting Villa Maria, a sparkling wine from New Zealand, that’s new on the market. I should open some of these, see if it’s a gift worthy.

Jeff:  This is also why I called this the most dangerous.

Liza: I’ve tried that label before but I think did they do a Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Noir?

Natalie: They do a Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir from New Zealand. It’s the most dangerous time of the show but it’s the most wonderful time of the year, right?

Liza: Well that’s pleasant, that’s very pleasant.

Natalie: Nice lime lift.

Jeff: Yes.

Natalie: So it’s a fraction, half the price of champagne. Your boss will appreciate it.

Liza: Very good! Alright, your personal trainer?

Natalie: Your personal trainer.

Liza: Don’t just look at it longingly.

Natalie: Yes, okay. Actually I’ve got something for her or him. Now, a  robust muscular red would just be cliché, right? You want something with inner core strengths and balance.

Liza: You’ve thought this out.

Natalie: I have.

Jeff: Yes.

Natalie:  And also Pinot Noir, this new California wine from I think it’s a Cool-Climate from Sonoma. It has lots of Resveratrol,  that’s the antioxidant.

Liza: Oh right!

Natalie: So your personal trainer is going to love this.

Liza: She will.

Natalie: She will drink it.

Jeff: So it’s okay if I show up at the gym with this later today?

Natalie: Yes.

Liza: In your water bottle.

Natalie: As long as you’ve done your abs work first, right? So a nice gift, it’s a smooth lighter red; so it’s not a punched down kind of red.

Liza: That’s one of my favorite wines, period.

Natalie: It does? Yes, good.

Jeff: You know what I hate to say it but you called it, this is really good.

Liza: Right.

Natalie: Isn’t it nice? Smooth Pinot Noir, it’s also a switch-hitter wine. So if you’re having a party and you’re not sure of everybody’s taste…

Liza: Right.

Natalie: …you don’t want a big red or a wimpy red, a nice smooth satin velvety liquid red.

Liza: I’m glad you reminded me of that one.

Natalie: Good, happy to help.

Liza: Happy Holidays to me.

Jeff: Wednesday (inaudible).

Liza: Natalie MacLean, thank you so much.

Natalie: My pleasure, cheers! Hello! Great to have you here.

We also discussed this festive topic on CBC Ontario Morning in the audio clip below.

Click on the arrow above to listen to the clip above.

You can also listen to our discussion about holiday gift wines on CBC Metro Morning.

Posted with permission of CBC.

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