Let’s face it, regardless of the deeper meaning, or historical roots, of holidays they generally center on food or gifts, or possibly both.
Considering a holiday such as Christmas, a person can easily go insane trying to buy the right presents for friends and family, while battling hordes of fellow shoppers. The gift of a good bottle of wine can simplify matters when buying a present for people who we don’t know much about in terms of their personal tastes and interests.
Especially, since holiday feasting is sure to be a part of the celebration, the gift of wine can be enjoyed by all the adult members of the family. It can also be a very touching gift when a little thought has been put into it, by buying a wine from a vacation destination your recipient has always talked about or a wine from the region of their family background.
Certain holidays like Thanksgiving Day, birthday dinners or family dinners during religious holidays will enhance the traditional meals and show that you care about your host. There are even a number of good wines that are kosher for Passover.
Unless the party is very informal it is important to present the bottle of wine in a gift box, decorative wine bag or at least a nice bow and ribbons. Present your gift after you have entered your host’s home and have made the proper greetings, to avoid making your gift look like an admission token. It is also, nice to say a few words about the wine to explain your choice and its connection with your host.
As many people may have wines available for their guests, sometimes a gift of good champagne for before dinner or a vintage Port for after can be a welcome addition to the festivities.
Etiquette does not require the host to open your gift at the dinner, as they may have already opened and chosen some wines for the meal, but opening the wine brought by a guest will usually give that guest great pleasure.
If you are attending a pot luck dinner where everyone is required to bring a dish several bottles should be brought if one is not bringing a dish to the party. It’s better to bring several bottles of moderately priced wine, rather than one expensive one, so that all may enjoy it. Of course, an extra special bottle that is expressly given to the host or hostess is always appropriate.
Finding a bottle of a vintage year that holds special significance to your host such as a bottle of wine from the year you met or any other banner year shows special consideration. It is a long-standing tradition in Great Britain that a bottle of vintage Port is presented to new parents from the year of their child’s birth to be enjoyed with that child on their twenty-first birthday.
As the holidays are about the gathering of friends and family the gift of a fine wine extends the gift to all and its enjoyment together creates a bond of sharing and friendship. Of course, sharing wine makes the food taste better and contributes to a lively and jolly atmosphere that gives a special glow to any celebration.
So, rather than giving a bottle of wine as an afterthought, or for convenience, take some time with your choice and make a bottle of wine a special gift for a special occasion.