A guide to buying wine as a gift

A bottle of wine can make a great gift, but you don’t want to insult someone by buying something too generic that they can pick up at their local supermarket.

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What’s the occasion?

It depends what occasion you’re buying for, whether it’s a dinner party, birthday or just a friendly visit and who you are buying for. Should you go for a classic French Bordeaux or pick something more basic like a Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon?

If it’s a large dinner party and you want to take an impressive gift, a magnum always looks good. Not many people will fail to get excited by a giant bottle, no matter what’s inside it, and you will look extremely generous.

It also means there’ll be less stress on your host, as they will know there’s plenty of wine to go around.

Smaller bottles suit a smaller gathering, such as an intimate dinner party or get-together with a group of friends.

It’s easier than ever to buy wine gifts online, and you might want to consider a company such as http://thewinecompanyni.com/.

Don’t buy a wine which you like, as more often than not, your host won’t open your bottle on the night, but use what they already have or what other guests have brought. It will make your wine gift look more special if you attach a note saying it’s for them to add to their collection, or if you tell them to save if it for a special occasion.

Other events include weddings and birthday parties and for these, you will probably want to consider a more expensive wine which suits the occasion. Look for luxury champagnes which come in a gift box, or match another gift such as a wine rack or cooler.

Expert Anthony Rose, writing in Decanter magazine, recommends buying a bottle that was ‘born’ in the same year as the recipient.

Take your time

Don’t rush into a purchase and always ask yourself if you think you’ll have time to tell the recipient why you have chosen it. If not, there’s no point seeking out a rare bottle hoping to impress when it is just going to get mixed up with others.

If you do want something out of the ordinary, why not go for an Italian Brunello or Barolo?