How do you gift white wine?
Every year, the holidays bring families together to rejoice, eat, laugh, and, yes, drink. This is a beautiful thing. But to ignore the other things the holidays can bring with them would be a lie. One of those things is, usually, gifts. Another is stress.
The pressure of finding the right gift is something most people are at least somewhat familiar with. This is magnified even further if you have someone in your life who always manages to find the perfect gift.
Getting frustrated at someone else’s superior gift-giving might sound silly, but I’d be willing to bet more than one person reading this is nodding with a cynical grin right now.
So, how do you get over the season’s stress of choosing the right gift and get to the good stuff- family, friends, a cozy spot by the fire? First, ask yourself this simple question: does the person I’m buying this gift for enjoy alcohol?
If the answer is yes, white wine might be just the gift you’re looking for. A bottle of wine can be dressed up and given as a gift by itself, to be enjoyed with a meal of someone’s choice. It can also be a component of a larger basket assortment.
Whichever way you use white wine as a gift, it is sure to warm the heart of anyone who appreciates a drink now and then.
Best White Wines to Gift
This is easily the most popular and accessible of the types of wine we’ll go over here. Chardonnay is practically synonymous with white wine! As such, it’s reliable and inexpensive, but also offers a surprising level of variety. It is a dry and fruity white wine.
A decent bottle of Chardonnay starts at fifteen dollars, going up for superior quality. That means that gift-givers on a budget still have a thoughtful, delicious option here. One of the reasons chardonnay can be bought so cheap is because the grapes it’s made from are easy to grow across a wide swathe of environments.
This also gives this amazing white wine a wide spectrum of tastes across brands and vintages. This is because of something called terroir, when a wine takes on different qualities depending on the conditions it is grown in.
Chardonnay is able to be grown at various altitudes and temperatures. Each variable tweaked in the growing environment alters a wine’s flavor profile.
Another interesting distinction between different chardonnays is what type of barrel it is aged in. Because it is so widespread with different variants available, this white wine is often categorized as being “oaked” or “unoaked.”
This refers to the wine’s storage type. A chardonnay stored in a fresh, new barrel is considered oaked and takes on the spice of the wood it is stored in.
If chardonnay is stored in a steel or “neutral” oak barrel, which has been used so many times it no longer affects flavor, this alters the texture of the wine rather than the taste.
You, as the gift-giver, can use this to your advantage. Shop in smaller brands produced at vineyards in exciting new locations for exciting new tastes. The person receiving the Chardonnay will be thankful for its uniqueness.
A little known fact is that pinot gris and pinot grigio are actually the same wine! Whatever you call it, you can be certain it’s a solid holiday gift for the wine drinker. Pinot gris is drier than chardonnay but still delicious and a great match for many kinds of food.
Pinot Gris has a few very interesting variants that will appeal more to one partaker than another. This is something to keep in mind when choosing the best brand for your loved one.
In general, pinot gris is known for its acidity and weight, something you can really feel on your tongue. It also commonly has citrus notes.
Like chardonnay, however, this brilliant white wine is strongly affected by terroir. You can find pinot gris vintages from Italy, France, and even the United States. Depending on where the grapes for a specific brand are grown, a drinker might experience notes of almond, honey, or stronger fruit flavors.
This white wine is yet another way to surprise your loved one with a flavor unique to certain vineyards and expand their palate.
This white wine is unique from its brethren in the notes of herbaceous flavors found within. Like most others, it is dry. But, while it shares a proclivity for citrus flavors with the others on this list, it also often takes on the flavors of other green plants such as peppers or even grass. This makes it a great choice for lovers of mellow, earthy flavors.
In addition to the traditional dry sauvignon blanc, there are also sweeter variants. This comes in the form of sparkling wines, which have added sugar, carbonation, or both. For the wine fan who needs a little sweetness in their life, certain brands of sauvignon blanc might be the perfect gift.
Here’s one for the wine drinker with the sweet tooth. Rieslings from Germany and California are elegantly sweet with floral notes. It makes a perfect holiday gift for the casual wine drinker.
Depending on where the grapes for a riesling originate and how ripe they are allowed to get, the flavor profile varies but always stays fruity. You could end up with a taste more towards an apple or peach on the other end of the spectrum.
One of the most interesting aspects of a good riesling is how it pairs with food. You can really drink this adaptable white wine with most food types, but it goes best with spicy foods! If you know someone who drinks wine and loves Indian cuisine, it doesn’t get better than riesling.
You can also find dry variants of riesling, but it is better known for being an excellent sweet white wine.
Pair your loved ones with wine
Ultimately, the best person to decide what type of gift to give someone during the holidays is you. If you can step back from the pressure of the situation long enough, you’ll realize you have all the information you need to pick the right one. If your loved one is a wine drinker, consider their interests and choose one from the selection above.
Start by narrowing down if your loved one prefers dry or sweet wine. Following this, determine if they are someone who likes to stick to their tried-and-true favorites or prefers to branch out and expand their wine repertoire.
Depending on the answer to that, you might already know what type of brand and white wine to get them.
If you’re looking to introduce a loved one to something new, that doesn’t necessarily mean buying them a different type of white wine. A quick research session on a brand will reveal to you the unique aspects of their wine grapes’ terroir.
Try a brand that grows their wine grapes in a unique locale. You never know how an unexpected new note in a wine will affect the drinker’s experience. It might just be the inspiration they need to liven up the holiday season.
Trust yourself and your loved one. No matter what you pick, someone will be happy to have received a gift from you. If it’s one you can enjoy together to unwind, all the better! Always be sure to enjoy responsibly.