by Amy Gross, the VineSleuth
With the holidays here, I am getting more and more questions about what wines make a perfect gift wine. My answer, most often, is that a perfect gift wine is one you know the receiver will enjoy. That is a tough call if you don’ know exactly what the receiver loves– and neither does the local sommelier or sales guy at the wine shop. Critics scores just reflect what the critic likes, so what do you do?
How about giving a wine that represents a memory or special event in your life that was shared with the one with whom you are sharing the wine? Consider giving vintage wine from a year that had a special event that reminds you of your recipient.
Sure, some vintage years were better than others in terms of wine quality, and going to a specialty shop (like the Houston Wine Merchant if you’re in Houston, for example) can help you with that, but your gift is still going to be more of an emotional connection than a perfect wine connection. So don’t feel like you have to sweat the wine’s year that much to end up with a perfect gift. Instead, I’d suggest going with a specific wine or variety (grape type) you know you or the receiver likes and picking a meaningful year.
Choose a wine from the year you met, the year you began working together, the year your recipient’s child was born or graduated from high school. Select a year when the big deal was made or that you both made it through something together.
Remember a significant date in your relationship that is worth celebrating, select a wine from that year, and attach a note reminding your recipient how important that event, and he or she, is to you. They’ll celebrate it again when the bottle is opened.
So which wine should you choose? I hate to do this to you, but that is really up to you. But here are a few ideas:
Jordan makes a Cabernet that I absolutely love every single time I taste it. It’s a luscious Sonoma wine that can stand on its own and also be enjoyed with food. To me, Jordan says “luxury,” so that’s one wine I would be comfortable buying from any year. The last time I checked at the Houston Wine Merchant, they had the 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2009 vintages in stock.
Looking for a white wine instead of red? Antonio Gianola of the Houston Wine Merchant suggests Mayacamas Chardonnay from Mount Veeder, also in California. And guess what? They currently stock several vintages.
Still stumped? I’ve got tons of easy to find but clever gift ideas for the wine lover in your life right here on VineSleuth Uncorked!
Photo Credit: Jeri Danski