Do’s and Don’t of Holiday Wine Giving

Thursday, October 10th, 2019

Giving wine over the holidays is a popular option especially as a host/hostess gift. It can be a great gift for a boss or friend as well, if, you know enough about them to choose wisely. Wine really isn’t your best option as a generic gift, but we’ll get into that in a bit.

Is Wine a Good Choice?

Before you enter the process of deciding that wine is a great gift option for your circumstance, let’s make sure you have considered your audience.

First, do they drink alcohol? If you don’t know, don’t go the wine route. Instead, consider gourmet snacks or a gift basket.

Do you know what kind of wine they normally drink? If not, it’s okay, if you at least know a little bit about their eating habits and that they DO drink wine. If they are a diehard beer or whiskey drinker, don’t go the wine route.

Wine as host / hostess gifts – wine for the party:

If you are headed to a large holiday party and you want to bring something, consider getting a magnum of bubbly. It is impressive and people will be intrigued. It will also provide enough for many to sample.

If you are headed to a dinner party, find out what the host is serving so you can get something to compliment it. Red meats deserve a red wine and fish/poultry go best with a white. Popular fall wines are Chardonnays (white) or Pinot Noirs or Merlots (red).

If you want to get a special bottle for the host that you think they personally will enjoy, that’s great as well. Don’t expect them to open it that night and share though. If you found something that you want to share the back story on, make sure you are presenting it at a time when they can focus on your conversation.

You’ve decided that wine is a good way to go. Now what?

Do you know what kind of wine your recipient normally drinks? If so, consider buying something that is an upgrade to their regular wine. Look for a higher-end wine with similar flavors to what they normally drink.

If you don’t know their brand, but know that they have a sweet tooth, consider buying a sweeter wine like a Gewurztraminer, Riesling, Moscato, or Malvasia Bianca. If they avoid sugar, go with a drier wine such as a Cabernet Sauvignon, or Syrah.

Avoid obscure wines unless you are familiar with it and know that it is readily available. You don’t want them to love it and not be able to find it. Nor do you want them to hate it.

If you are not a wine connoisseur and don’t know what to buy, go to a vineyard or liquor store to make your wine purchase and ask for help. Have them suggest a reasonably priced, popular wine. A mid-range priced wine is your best bet.

How to present wine:

Don’t buy a box or wrapping paper. Go for the bag or just a nice bow. Wine has its own unique packaging and doesn’t need all the fluff.

If you want a more substantial gift than just a bottle, consider adding unique wine glasses or a fun corkscrew. Or for even more, sign your recipient up for a wine subscription. This is a great way for them to get to try a variety of wines throughout the year and they will think of you each time they get a new delivery.

In summary, wine can be a great choice if you know your audience. If you don’t, go with something else. Gift baskets filled with gourmet snacks are always a safe option.


Heart of the Desert is a working pistachio ranch and vineyard with four retail establishments in New Mexico. They are best known for their farm fresh pistachios and Award-Winning New Mexico wines. Each store offers wine and pistachio tastings. They offer worldwide shipping and produce attractive gourmet baskets that make great corporate and family gifts. The main store, on the ranch in Alamogordo, offers farm tours that showcases how pistachios are grown and processed as well as a stunning Tuscany themed patio that overlooks the groves and is available for weddings, private parties or enjoying a relaxing glass of wine.