Saturday, December 9, 2017

Spreading Christmas Cheer #WinePW

Giving the Gift of Wine

We are doing things a little differently this month here on Wine Pairing Weekend.  This month we are sharing wines that we believe would make perfect Christmas gifts.  We will talk about wines we love to receive, wines we love to give and perhaps we will share some of the recipes we like to serve with these wines.

Here are the topics the #winePW crew will be covering:

Giving the Gift of Wine: #winePW blog topics


Be sure to check out these great articles! We are also holding a live Twitter chat today at 11 am Eastern Time.  Just tune into the #winePW hashtag on Twitter at that time to join the conversation. You can check out past and future #winePW topics by visiting this page.

Our favorite wine, that we have been lucky enough to receive as gifts from others is Caymus Cabernet.


We often are the lucky recipients of this wine that we first enjoyed as we celebrated our first Wedding Anniversary, nearly 26 years ago.  Whenever we are given a bottle, we hoard it for a special occasion, like the one I share in this post.

Having a wine that you love but would not buy for yourself makes it much easier for those wishing to give you something special.  That is my advice also if you are giving the gift of wine.  Know what your recipient loves.  Should you be lucky enough to know a vineyard of which they are fond you can usually find wines in different price ranges that will make a great gift and still remain in your budget.

However, it is easier if you just know what varietal they like or if not the varietal at least the flavor profile.  Do they like red or white wines?  Dry or sweet? Heavy or light?  All of these things make it much easier to know what to give.


A Cab Franc is very food friendly and makes a very nice gift.  You could include a little card with information about the winery you chose and why you chose it.  This bottle, from Raats vineyard in South Africa, was dry, smooth and medium bodied.  You can read all about it here.


Should you have a red wine lover on your gift list, you cannot go wrong with a bottle from Bordeaux, France.  This bottle of Chateau Saumen is a blend with Merlot as the dominant grape.  It is smooth and a bit spicy.  It pairs wonderfully with beef, lamb or venison.  It was part of a gift package that we received from our daughter, Nicole.  You can read about the gift here.







Another food friendly wine that is perfect for taking as a hostess gift when you know the main course is going to be turkey or pork is a nice bottle of Pinot Noir.

We received this bottle from Edna Valley as a hostess gift and it paired very well with a dinner of Raspberry/Mango Glazed Ham Steaks.

The earthiness of the wine was perfect with the fruitiness of the dish.  

This particular bottle is medium bodied with hints of black pepper and oak.







Perhaps your recipient is more of a white wine type of person.  They may not care for heavy red meats that pair so well with heavy red wines.  Perhaps they prefer lighter meals made with chicken or fish. Someone who prefers salads to chocolate....yes, they are out there!


This wonderful Chablis from Cotes de Beaune is reasonably priced and paired perfectly with a chicken and mushroom vol au vent.


Chardonnay is my personal, favorite varietal when it comes to white wine.  This glass comes from Joel Gott winery.  It is crisp, bright and fruity.  It can be found for less than $15 at most stores.

If you, like me, prefer an oaky chardonnay then my top pick at a reasonable price is from Kendall Jackson.  It is aged in oak and a little heavier than most chardonnays.  It is in the same price range as the Gott.

Speaking of vintners.  Once you know and love a certain vintner, you are pretty much golden when it comes to gift giving.  I know that if I pick up a bottle of Bogle, Kendall Jackson or Rodney Strong it is going to make a nice gift and stay within my budget.


One of my newest wine loves is Rosé from France, especially this Whispering Angel.  It will cost a bit more but it is a wonderful wine and pairs beautifully with appetizers and cheeses.  I would be very happy to receive this as a hostess gift.  It is bone dry, crisp and delicious on it's own as well.  You can read more about it here.

What do you do if the person you are buying for likes a sweeter wine?  You can't go wrong with a bottle of White Zinfandel from Beringer.  You can buy more expensive bottles but my sources tell me that Beringer is the very best.  I personally don't care for a sweet wine but many of those I love, adore the Beringer white zin.  Moscato's are also a great choice for those friends who love a sweeter wine and might prefer a red.


When looking for a dessert wine you will find a lot of great choices; rieslings, ports, sauternés, muscadels....the choices are vast and you can spend as little or as much as you wish.  Dessert wines make a great gift because you don't really need to know the recipients wine palate.


Last but not least.....perhaps they should be first choice....are your sparkling wines.  Champagne must come from that region in France to bear the name and there are a lot of choices from that area, however a rose by any other name......

You can find a nice bottle of sparkling wine ranging from dry and crisp to pink and sweeter and they are always received with a tinge of excitement and pleasure.  They pair perfectly with about any kind of food from appetizers to desserts and they can be enjoyed simply by themselves as well.  

This post ended up much more long winded than I had imagined.  I could keep going on and on and on but I think you get the idea.  My rule of thumb when buying wine for others (or any gift for that matter) is to get them something that I would be thrilled to receive.




12 comments:

  1. Great choices, Wendy. And your chicken and mushroom vol au vent looks absolutely delicious. It may go into my holiday meal plan! Here's wishing you and yours a very happy holiday.

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  2. Wonderful wines, Wendy. I've tried several of them, but will go on the hunt for the new-to-me ones. Cheers to you, Frank, and all your loved ones.

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    1. Thank you Cam. Wishing you, your boys, and your folks a very Merry Christmas.

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  3. That Whispering Angel and Chablis are making my heart sing!! Cheers to the holidays, Wendy! Well done!

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    1. Merry Christmas Cindy...May 2018 be filled with happiness.

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  4. Nice choices, Wendy. I especially like your Caymus example - choose a favorite for the person you buy for regularly. Happy holidays!

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  5. Great selection and food pairings Wendy. I like the idea of providing the recipient a note with information of the winery. Merry Christmas.

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  6. Lots of good suggestions here! I like Chablis this time of year, definitely a nice gift.

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