Wine is a popular gift option and one that, provided your recipient drinks wine, will be generally well accepted. Whether you are buying a bottle to take to a family dinner party or barbecue with friends or sending in the post to someone you don’t know that well, there are a few things to consider when you send wine as a gift.
Below are some top tips to take into consideration when choosing, buying and sending wine gifts to make sure you don’t make an etiquette mistake or risk upsetting your recipient.
Is wine an acceptable gift?
If you know your recipient well then chances are you will know what they like to drink, perhaps even down to their favourite grape or vintage, but if you are buying for someone you don’t know well, the first thing to double check is whether they drink wine. Imagine the embarrassment if you buy a bottle of wine only to discover later that your recipient is teetotal and doesn’t drink alcohol for religious or health purposes. A little background digging, hint dropping or asking a friend of a friend should yield you with enough information; most importantly do they drink alcohol, do they like wine and do they have a preference – i.e. red, white or rose?
Should you stick to something you know?
There are so many choices when it comes to selecting wine, that you could end up going round in circles. Whilst there is a temptation to stick to what you know and like yourself, you might be missing out on new opportunities to try lesser known wines, new cuvees and emerging vintners. By sticking to the wines you know, such as traditional French reds from Burgundy and Bordeaux or Champagne, you might end up spending more than you want to on your gift. There are lots of great alternatives from popular wine producing countries and many new blends of wine which are just as quaffable and enjoyable. Read the reviews, look at the bottle information and don’t be afraid to speak to the wine merchants to help you find the perfect wine.
How much to spend?
As with many gifts, wine varies hugely in price, so theoretically you could pick up a supermarket basic bottle for less than £10 or you could buy a fine wine from a particular vintage for hundreds or even thousands of pounds. Of course, your budget will depend upon your knowledge of wine and also how much you want to spend on your gift, which is why it can often be beneficial to find a wine retailer that categorises bottles by price range. This is a really easy way to find the perfect wine gift, particularly when browsing online, as you can filter down the choices quickly to the price range that suits you, thus narrowing down your choices and helping you to find the right gift for the occasion.
Choosing the right retailer
If you search online for wine gift delivery you’ll be faced with a number of different options, so to help you choose a retailer that is right for you, here are a few things to look out for:
Delivery – If your gift needs to arrive promptly make sure you choose a retailer who can dispatch quickly and offers a rapid delivery service. Better still, or if you have left it to the last minute to source your wine gifts, find one with a local shop where you can click and collect.
Price – If you are buying for someone you don’t know well, you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a great wine gift. Look for a retailer with special offers, such as wine of the month, or bulk discounts if you need to buy multiple gifts. Make sure you also check the delivery costs before ordering, as some may also offer free delivery when you spend over a certain amount or buy a certain number of bottles.
Knowledge – If you don’t know much about wine, you’ll want to buy from someone who does! Search potential retailers’ websites for indications that they are passionate about wine – from about us pages that list their extensive experience and knowledge, to helpful blogs that make the buying wine process easier and testimonials from happy customers.
Handing the wine gift over
Gifting during lockdown is a very different experience to usual, so leaving your wine gift on your recipient’s doorstep would be perfectly acceptable. Fast forward to what we hope will be a less restrictive spring and summer for get-togethers, albeit outside to begin with, and the possibility of group gatherings remember to wrap up your bottle in a bottle bag, gift box or gift wrap and add a gift tag, especially if you are going to a party. The last thing you want is for it to get lost amongst the melee and your recipient not know where it came from! And don’t expect them to open it there and then – a gift is a gift – so don’t chill a white or sparkling wine.
If you are looking to send wine as a gift and don’t know where to start, you can visit the GrapeSmith website to browse their range of wines and read their helpful advice.