Gifted With Love
WHETHER IT’S CHRISTMAS TIME, A LOVED ONE’S BIRTHDAY OR A FRIEND’S HOUSEWARMING, WINE HAS BECOME A COMMON GO-TO FOR GIFTS. SYNONYMOUS WITH LIFE’S SIMPLE PLEASURES, AND WITH AN ACCESSIBLE PRICE-POINT FOR A RANGE OF BUDGETS, IT’S EASY TO SEE WHY. HERE, KIRRILY IRELAND CHATS WITH DAVID AND JAYNE LAWSON, THE OWNERS AND OPERATORS OF BLACK WALLABY WINES, TO DISCOVER ALL THE TIPS AND TRICKS AROUND BUYING THAT PERFECT BOTTLE OF WINE FOR A GIFT; FROM PRICE-POINT, TO WHICH WINE VARIETIES SUIT THE MORE CHALLENGING PEOPLE TO SHOP FOR.
Over the last couple of decades, gift-giving has become increasingly difficult now that people’s wants and needs are so easily sated. Yet despite this, wine remains an enduring choice, the perfect gift for so many. “Wine is a fabulous gift these days because it is consumable,” the Lawsons note. “… Wine is a product that you can spend some time researching into to ensure you buy the perfect bottle for the receiver. But it is also great because it can be consumed straight away or can be kept to enjoy at a later date or on a special occasion.”
FOR THOSE YOU KNOW WELL
When purchasing a bottle of wine for a close friend or family member, the couple notes that the process of finding a variety or vintage that is ‘just right’ is fairly straightforward, especially if you have a clear enough idea of what they tend to drink. “Find out … if they are a white wine drinker or prefer red, if they enjoy sweet wines or prefer dry … Once these things are established, we like to suggest some interesting and different varieties to encourage a unique and thought-out gift, rather than just buying the same bottle the person always drinks. People like trying new things, they are just often not game enough to buy it themselves, but as a gift, this is a great opportunity!”
Knowing what kind of wine your loved one generally enjoys works as a great point-of-reference, which will help your decision making become a little more creative rather than settling on the stock-standard. If you find yourself struggling or unsure, don’t be afraid to ask a wine expert for advice. The Lawsons advise, “Ask the person in the shop to help you with your selection based upon what you know the person receiving the gift enjoys and might find interesting to try.”
If the person you are buying a present for is particularly close to your heart, do some research and delve deeper into the subtle semantics behind the different wine varieties. “We also love to try and find a wine that has a story behind it, or some relevance to ourselves or the person receiving the wine,” the husband and wife note. “That always makes it that bit more special as well as a great talking point when sharing with others.” Who said gifting a bottle of wine has to be generic?
FOR THOSE YOU DON’T
We’ve all been faced with this well-known trial before. Whether it’s a Kris Kringle at work, a relative you don’t know very well, or a friend-of-a- friend who has invited you along to their party, buying a gift for someone with whom you are only vaguely acquainted can be difficult, even with the oh-so-easy go-to gift of wine. The two wine experts’ suggestion for this predicament is shiraz. “This red variety is usually well received by most people and if not, they know someone who will enjoy it and could pass it onto.”
Depending on your budget, grabbing a few bottles, or even putting a small hamper together, might be your safest bet. “A red and a white
bottle is always a winner as you are covering both bases,” the experts say. You can even go a step further to enhance the hamper with a few extra treats that complement the wines-of-choice. “Wine and cheese are always a winner. You can match cheese with both red, white and sparkling wines. Chocolate and red or a dessert wine will also go well together and would be a great hamper for the sweet tooth.”
Most gifts come with a budget – with all the birthdays, Christmas, housewarmings, new jobs and other celebrations throughout the year, you can only spend so much money each time. Since wine often has the reputation of the ‘more expensive, the better’, the Lawsons’ resounding advice is to not get “too caught up on the price”. “There are so many great wines that sit at a very reasonable price point, it’s just a matter of taking the time to look around. We would suggest looking into your local wine stores and asking the people that work there. They should be able to guide you to the better-quality wines within your budget.”
You may feel an obligation to spend a certain amount, and splurging on an expensive and fancy bottle of bubbly for your best friend’s fiftieth is always welcome, but as long as the wine tastes delicious, it doesn’t matter how much you end up spending. “We don’t think there is ever a rule for the price you would spend on a bottle of wine as a gift,” the Lawsons agree. “The best you can do is try to find out what the person likes to drink and work from there. There are so many amazing wines at a variety of different price points, so it really is such a personal decision.”
ENJOYED WITH LOVE
The best part about gifting a bottle of wine is, if you’re lucky enough, the recipient might just share with you. To make the most out of a bottle so you can truly appreciate it, while following some basic wine-drinking etiquette, the Lawsons have plenty of advice. “Decant your wine before serving it. Red and white will both benefit from this. Always pour out the wine to your guests first and yourself last. [Lastly], before tasting the wine, you should swirl it in your glass to aerate it and appreciate the wine by smelling its characteristics.”
You can never go wrong with purchasing someone a bottle of wine for a gift, especially with all the different varieties to choose from, making it such an easy and accessible option. By doing a bit of research and stepping out of the [wine] box, a bottle of wine can make the perfect present, brimming with meaning.
Photos courtesy of Tenylle Marie Photography