(BPT) - 'Tis the season … of stressing over what to get everyone on your list. Choosing the right gift for your loved ones can be quite a daunting task, but there’s one gift that can delight friends and family alike — a great bottle of wine.
Not in the mood to wander aimlessly through the wine aisle? Whether you’re shopping for a wine newbie or someone with already established preferences, here are tips for finding a great bottle for them this year.
Expensive is not always better
Let’s face it; the world of wine can feel intimidating, exclusive and expensive. In reality, there are plenty of good-quality, delicious wines available at entry-level price points. While your first instincts may be to choose a more expensive bottle, remember that pricing isn’t always indicative of wine quality. It's possible to find good wine at any price point. What’s most important is having an idea of your giftee’s taste.
You may remember your giftee’s favorite wine from your latest night out at a restaurant or maybe you learned by asking their significant other, colleague or friend. Rather than gifting them their usual favorite, you could find a wine from a different grape that has a similar flavor profile. For example, if they enjoy Merlot, offer a bottle of Syrah/Shiraz — a red that’s a little riper and bolder in flavor. If your friend loves Chardonnay, they may also enjoy a soft and dry Pinot Gris from Oregon or if they’re looking for something slightly sweeter, one from Alsace, France.
When in doubt, opt for universally liked styles
What if your loved one doesn’t have a favorite wine type? For someone newer to wine, select something popular that's well-liked across the board. For example, when it comes to red, go with a lighter Pinot Noir, medium-bodied and supple Merlot or a full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon. For white wine lovers, wrap up a bottle of light and softly sweet Riesling, zesty and tangy Sauvignon Blanc or a fruity and bold Gewurztraminer. Another festive style for this time of year is sparkling wine. A bottle of Prosecco from Italy, with its delicate fizz and touch of sweetness, is just the ticket for celebrating the season’s many festive occasions, including ringing in the New Year.
Expand your horizons beyond California! You can get high-quality wines from all over the world, including regions both inside and outside the U.S. that may not spring to mind when you think “wine country” such as those in Chile, Argentina and Spain. Consider giving a wine from a region with some significance to you or your lucky gift recipient — maybe one from a country or region where you shared an amazing trip or that they’ve always wanted to try.
Gift a subscription to the right wine club
Still can’t decide? Let them choose! With Bright Cellars you can send loved ones a selection of wines tailored to their personal tastes. Here’s how it works:
1. Choose your gift amount: First, choose a Bright Cellars gift card in the amount you want. Options include anything from a one- to twelve-month subscription. Bright Cellars will then deliver the gift to your loved one’s inbox on the date of your choosing.
2. Take a pop quiz: Second, your gift recipient will take a fun seven-question quiz with questions like, “What is the one type of chocolate you could eat for the rest of your life?” Each answer feeds into the Bright Cellars algorithm, which analyzes their taste profile against 18 attributes to match them with wines tailored to their tastes. The algorithm learns more about each person's preferences with every wine they rate, so the more wines they rate, the more precise their future matches will be.
3. Taste and learn: Your gift recipient will receive a shipment of four or six bottles of wine and pick a favorite to open. Each bottle comes with a wine description card so recipients can learn more about each wine as they sip. They’ll also have access to "Wine Wisdom," Bright Cellars’ bite-sized wine lessons that make learning about wine easy and fun.
Every bottle also comes with Bright Cellars' "delight guarantee": If your giftee doesn’t love a bottle, they’ll send a replacement.
Be a great host or grateful guest
Interested in getting wines personalized to your own tastes? Sign yourself up for a Bright Cellars subscription too, so you'll always have delicious wine on hand to host your loved ones over the holidays or to take to your next dinner party.
Want to find your perfect wine matches? Take the quiz at BrightCellars.com.