It's that time of year again when you're making your lists and checking them twice. I'm not talking about the list you're making for Santa (we're all grownups now, right?) but the list you're making for all those other people in your life. Your friends, family, boss, coworkers, book club, husband's office assistant...all those people whom you're not sure what to get for or whether they'll even like it.
Here are a couple of ground rules I use to make the gift-buying process very easy when the person hasn't actually handed me a list.
1. If the person is an adult, and is not a teetotaler, I buy wine (duh!).
2. If the person is an adult, but doesn't drink, I buy or make food.
3. If the person is an adult, but doesn't drink and is on a diet, I buy a book.
4. If the person is a kid, I buy toys (younger) or clothes (older).
Our other Slashfood bloggers will help with #2, and you're on your own for #3 and #4. But if you're stumped for #1, here are some tips on wine for everyone on your list right after the jump.
Gift ideas for the wine lover in your life
A friend. If you know his taste well, get something similar to what he likes, but that makes him branch out a bit. If your friend drinks a lot of Napa Cabernet Sauvignon, get him a high-end Cab from Chile or a Napa Merlot. Don't know what he likes? A gift card to his favorite wine shop is a real treat.
Dad. Impress Dad with your expansive wine knowledge by getting him a bottle of rich, delicious red. 2005 was a great year in Bordeaux, and though the top bottles are probably out of your price range, you can scout out a lesser (in price, but equally delicious) Chateau with the help of your trusty wine merchant.
Mom. You know mom's taste better than anyone, but if I were buying wine for my mom I'd go for a bottle of dessert wine, such as the Chateau Ste. Michelle Ethos Late Harvest Riesling ($40), which is perfect for sipping alone or for serving after one of her awesome meals.
Your significant other. This gift is all about showing the love. If your partner is crazy about wine, get her something that seems outrageous to you but will thrill her to have the chance to try. Keep your eyes and ears open for wistful name-drops "Oh, I would just die to try some Opus One!" and make that splurge. (Honey, are you reading this?)
Your boss. Vintage Port or a 30-year-old Tawny Port will help the Big Guy (or Gal) think good thoughts about you as he lounges in front of the fire on a winter evening. Good brands include Niepoort, Taylor Fladgate, Dow, and Ramos Pinto.
Your coworker. A friendly gift of wine for a coworker shouldn't exceed $10 or $15, but please don't insult her with a box of Almaden White Zinfandel. Get great value with an imported bottle like Brancott Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand or Pillar Box Red from Australia.
An employee. You have to be careful with employees not to imply anything, and alcohol can definitely imply something, but if you're positive it's an OK gift, get an inexpensive bottle of a delicious but widely-likable wine, such as St. M Riesling from Pfalz, Germany ($11) and attach to it some kind of bonus--cash, check, or time off--which is what employees really want anyway.
Your child's teacher. Just don't go there. Get him a book instead. You don't want to be known as "that" parent.
Watch for my wine accessory gift ideas on Friday. Do you have a favorite go-to gift bottle you give to anyone and everyone?
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