This French wine makes an excellent Christmas gift. Like they say, it keeps on giving all year. And if the recipient has appropriate storage facilities such as a wine cellar, this gift can perhaps be appreciated decades from now. In the meantime read Berry's article.
Berry makes some excellent suggestions on selecting gift wines for Christmas. I'll let you in on a secret, her advice is good in any season.
It seems to come round sooner every year. The time many of us dread - and we can't put it off any longer. The time we have to decide what Christmas gifts to get for our family and friends. Some people are a lot harder to shop for than others, aren't they? Sometimes it seems the only answer is to fight your way through crowded stores and malls hoping for inspiration.
But there is an easier way. Have you thought of wine as a Christmas gift? Christmas gift wine is becoming increasingly popular. As long as you know the recipient likes wine, you really can't go wrong. Can you?
Well, that's a bit of an exaggeration, of course. It's no good filling a cart with cheap bottles of plonk under $10 and distributing them at random to your family and friends. That just gives the message that you are too lazy to make a special effort.
Christmas gift wine first and foremost needs to be chosen carefully to fit the tastes of people you want to give it to. And it does need to be a decent wine. Most of us aren't able to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on a single bottle of Christmas gift wine. So you need to know how to find wines costing between $15 and $30 per bottle, that deliver really superb value.
· Red wine seems more popular than white these days - possibly because of recent health recommendations. Red Bordeaux makes a great Christmas gift, partly because it ages so well. In fact, many claim that red Bordeaux is THE supreme wine gift. In a lower price bracket, Beaujolais, for example from Trenel, is a red wine that pairs really well with Christmas foods and costs between $12 and $25. Another red wine that provides great value for money is Merlot in the $15-$20 range.
· Fortunately there are still people who prefer white wine! By far the best for pairing with holiday foods is Riesling. A good Riesling at $19-$60 - for example from Baxter - is hard to beat for Christmas gift wine. Also superb would be a Chardonnay such as those from David Ramey, for their distinctive taste.
· Of course bubbly is seldom wide of the mark. There are many California sparkling wines that are quite outstanding. The Mumm Napa Valley Dux comes in a gift pack that includes two beautiful champagne flutes - a sensational gift if you can afford $81. If not, there are many less pricey ones from the Napa Valley that would make highly acceptable gifts.
Whatever you choose for your Christmas gift wine, it's a good idea to put something else in the gift package - a wine accessory, chocolates or a wine book, for example. You don't want it to look as if you just stopped off at the store for a last minute purchase!
Above all, don't forget that quality is supreme for Christmas gift wine. If price is an issue for you, the trick is to find wines that give the best value. That way they look and taste more expensive than they actually are. These are some suggestions that will make you a really popular giver this Christmas.
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