Wine is a gift perfect for any occasion, especially Christmas and New Years, but if you don’t know much about wine, like myself, it can be a daunting task. There are several things you need to consider when selecting wines; budget and season are the most important, according to my research.
Set your budget: It may be tempting to purchase a super inexpensive, nationally advertise brand especially if you don’t know much about wine, but even I know better than that. You will want to set your budget based on the occasion, the person you are buying for and their level of wine appreciation. There a many great mid-range wines available which will impress any recipient.
Consider the season: I know we are talking about Christmas and winter right now, so heavier wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux blend, Syrah, Zinfandel and Malbec are the perfect reds for the meals consumed at this time of year. If you are looking for a white check out an Unoaked Chardonnay or something with bubbles it is a festive time of year after all.
Once Spring has sprung (in 5 months or so) look for lighter fruiter wines such as Chenin Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Rose or Pinot Noir.
As the summer heat quickly rolls through, you may want to select something a little lighter such as a Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc or a Riesling.
Finally, for Autumn look for a fuller bodied white wine such as an oaked Chardonnay or Viognier or if you are looking for a red select a Pinot Noir or Cabernet Franc.
Look at me babbling on like I know all about wine, thank goodness I love doing research.
Don’t be afraid to go with something unusual: If you know your wines or the person you are buying for don’t be afraid to go with something unique. Just be careful not to pick something too obscure that the recipient won’t be able to find it again.
Pick a pretty label or bottle: Just as with beer, I would never suggest picking a product based solely on the label. However, if you have narrowed it down to a few choices select the one with the label/bottle which speaks to you.
Ask Questions: If you are like me, gazing at walls of wine can be quite overwhelming so don’t be afraid to ask questions. At Liquor on McLeod we are very fortunate to have Terry, our wine specialist and a group of very well-educated staff (with the exception of Ginger in the beer cooler), who will be able to guide to the perfect bottle within your budget.
The Well-Heeled Libationist