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Choosing Wines as Christmas Gifts?

Black Friday marks the start of the Christmas season. A good wine can be an ideal present and you don’t have to spend a fortune to find some real gems. Here are some tips to bear in mind when choosing wines as Christmas gifts.

What is your budget? Is my first question when asked to give recommendations for wines as gifts. If your budget is €50, a reasonable amount, you have several options. I recommend that instead of choosing a single bottle of a well known or highly prized wine, choose three wines that together have a value of your budget.

Who is it for? It could your father in law, your doctor, or you best customer. Does the person receiving the gift know about wine? Are they ‘foodies’? Any information of this type is useful when it comes to asking for recommendations.

You want to show some flair and imagination in your choice. A present of three different bottles is giving three gifts in one. Each time the cork is pulled from a new bottle there is a sense of excitement, expectation and gratitude for the gift.

One of the wines in your selection could be local. There are so many good wines to choose from. Here in Valencia look for a Bobal based red or a Merseguera white wine or if you are in Galicia, an Albariño or Godello. You get the picture.

Add some flair to the selection by choosing another country. If you are a regular reader of this column you will know that there are no boundaries just good wines. For example, last week I wrote about Syrah and Shiraz. Why not choose a nice Syrah from the northern Rhone or a Shiraz from South Africa? Check out different options on line.

Use your imagination to choose a wine that is different. It could be a biodynamic wine, there are so many excellent organic and biodynamic wines on the market from every wine producing region.

You may want to include a sparkling wine. It is easy to pick a well known brand of Cava or Champagne, nothing wrong with that but it is not showing imagination. So look beyond the super brands, ask in your neighbourhood or online wine store for recommendations. There are other sparkling wines to choose from such as a ‘Cremant’ from France or a Prosecco from Italy.

What to avoid? We all like offers and discounts but as the saying goes ‘if something seems too good to be true, it probably is’. Tempting offers with discounts of 50% are mostly fake in the sense that the original price is not the real price. Look a bit harder and find credible offers rather than a false price.

When it comes to choosing wines as Christmas gifts it is a good idea to include a personal note saying briefly why you choose these wines.

Finally, why not buy two of everything, so that you too can enjoy the wines.

Written by

I am a Northern Irishman based in Valencia. My career in wine began more than three decades ago, in London. I am the founder of TheWinePlace.es, an online store, where wine enthusiasts can enjoy a selection of international wines and Verde Marte, a company dedicated to exporting Spanish wines. Also, Thewineplace.courses, an "approved program provider" of the courses of the prestigious WSET. I share my passion for wines through my media work writing weekly columns for the Spanish newspaper El Mundo and 5 Barricas, an online wine magazine.

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