Wine & spirits Consultants
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If you are attending a dinner party a simple, crowd-pleasing bottle of wine is often a much more welcome gift than a bunch of flowers that the host will have to leave her party to cut, find a vase for, and a place on display. But if you are a frequent visitor to a friend’s country home or beach house you might want to show a higher level of appreciation – and ensure a repeat invitation.
The weather is supposedly, eventually, maybe going to get warmer soon. (I’m holding out for the “Aruba-Vortex”). So we are starting to make plans to visit friends who have homes in geographically-desirable places. If you are taking a few days to visit a friend who has guests over quite often, it is nice to give a gift that acknowledges her status as a perpetual host. Personally, I love to give the gift of wine but I know that, for some people, making a choice can be anxiety provoking. So why choose? Give the gift of a mixed half-case of wine. The wine is not just available for your enjoyment but some will remain for the next guests and will save the host a trip to the store each time the door bell rings. Now, that may sound like I’m asking you to make more choices. But on the contrary, a simple 6 bottle case of wine can relieve you from the burden of knowing your host’s specific preferences and take all of the pressure off of choosing one perfect bottle. I like to make an assortment of 2 whites, 2 reds, and 2 sparkling wines. And no, this does not have to be expensive. You can mix it up a bit with a lighter-bodied red wine such as a Pinot Noir, and a fuller-bodied red like a Cabernet Sauvignon or Malbec. Of course you can get more sophisticated in your choices, but remember: the goal is to keep this simple and these are crowd-pleasing grapes that almost any host will feel comfortable serving.
For your whites, consider something crisp and refreshing like a Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley (feeling fancy now?) or a steely Riesling from the Mosel River region of Germany. These Rieslings have lots of ripe fruit without actually being “sweet”.
For your sparklers you can remain in your budget while staying classy with a fizzy Champagne alternative such as Cremánt, Prosecco or Cava from France, Italy and Spain, respectively.
The best thing about this is that you can easily have the wine gift shipped to your host and avoid worrying about ruining the line of your oh so perfect Fire Island ensemble by dragging a case of wine along with your luggage. Many wine stores offer free or low-priced shipping options with just a day or two’s notice. Your wine gift can be waiting for you and your host upon your arrival. All the better to make sure he properly chills that Sauvignon Blanc in time for your enthusiastic welcome toast. Some stores even have ready made “Top 10” well-priced variety cases already made up. All your decisions have been made for you. Just give the store the address and send. Super-easy!
Click here for some of my favorite low-price/high-quality picks for your host: , <wonkylink>
Give the Perfect Host Gift: Wine!
~ Tanya Robinson March 7, 2014