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Old 04-23-2010, 07:22 PM   #1
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Wines

So I decided to buy a few wine bottles to keep to give as gifts when I go to other people's places. The criteria is that it has to be inexpensive and nice as a gift.

I know next to nothing about wines. Can anyone recommend what I should buy?

If I can somehow learn about wines in the process it would be nice.

As a second thought, does anyone have other good inexpensive gift ideas?
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Old 04-23-2010, 07:42 PM   #2
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Here's a thread that may help you....

What is the cheapest, relatively good drinkable wine?

Another gift idea....flowers.
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Old 04-23-2010, 08:33 PM   #3
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I don't know.

If you don't know anything about wine, and aren't much of a connoisseur yourself, I don't think gifting wine is such a good idea.

People's tastes in wine are very different.

And I only gift wines that are personal favorites, if and only if, I know the other person enjoys red wine. And I explain that they are personal favorites and why. And that is still no guarantee the other person will like it.

I say take flowers!

Audrey
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Old 04-24-2010, 07:26 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by audreyh1 View Post
I don't know.

If you don't know anything about wine, and aren't much of a connoisseur yourself, I don't think gifting wine is such a good idea.

People's tastes in wine are very different.

And I only gift wines that are personal favorites, if and only if, I know the other person enjoys red wine. And I explain that they are personal favorites and why. And that is still no guarantee the other person will like it.

I say take flowers!

Audrey
+1, my answer would be the same. The bold [mine] is key. You're better off giving something you know about. Imagine if you're giving to a connoisseur and they start asking all sorts of questions thinking you're a wine lover too...good intentions gone bad on both sides, sad.
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Old 04-24-2010, 02:50 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by inquisitive View Post
So I decided to buy a few wine bottles to keep to give as gifts when I go to other people's places. The criteria is that it has to be inexpensive and nice as a gift.

I know next to nothing about wines. Can anyone recommend what I should buy?

If I can somehow learn about wines in the process it would be nice.

As a second thought, does anyone have other good inexpensive gift ideas?
Wines are like women's underwear- comes in many shapes and sizes and what one likes another might find uncomfortable LOL

I am a wine drinker, I prefer whites over reds, and generally side to semi dry-semi sweet range. I do not like grape juice and I do not like really dry wines either.

If you want a single type of wine to try- look for a Riesling. Then you need to know if person you are buying for likes it sweet, dry, or somewhere in the middle.

sweet vs dry is one method of choosing a wine
red vs white is another
there are many types of grapes used to make a wine, Riesling is a type of grape.

If you are close to any Great Lakes, then you probably can find some wineries which sell at a discount. I am very familiar with the finger lakes region of NY (upstate). Usually you can get a 20% discount if you buy a case. One bottle might cost $9-11 before the discount.
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Old 04-24-2010, 03:25 PM   #6
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If you live in an area where wine is grown, or even can visit during a vacation, visit the wineries, taste the wines for yourself, and buy the ones you like. The best wines are always available at the wineries and you can have them shipped to your home. The best wines are not always the most expensive ones.
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Old 04-24-2010, 03:36 PM   #7
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If you want to find out about wine, you need to buy some and drink it To learn the basics, get some wine books from the library, and attend a local wine festival if there is one near you. These usually have little "tasting classes." Good wine stores often sponsor tastings, too. Just be careful about driving home afterward

In my experience, there is plenty of decent wine to be had for under $10.00 a bottle, if you are willing to do some research.

The Wall Street Journal has a good wine column now and then - the writers are un-pretentious, and review cheaper wines as well as costlier ones. Consumer Reports also has good articles on wine.

Bottom line, though, if you don't know what the host likes, save your money. Hosts and hostesses don't expect you to bring anything except yourself and will not criticize you if you didn't bring anything (unless it's their wedding). This goes for any gift, not just wine. You might bring candy, and learn they are diabetics; a cheese board, and discover they already have five of them; flowers, and find that they or their kids are deathly allergic to pollen. You could delight them, though, by finding out what they like during your visit, and sending a small gift after the visit with a note about what a good time you had. Or, just send the note.

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Old 04-24-2010, 04:22 PM   #8
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We were given a gift bottle of Crane Lake wine and liked it. So we went to the liquor store and found we could buy it (in the Midwest) for $3-$4 a bottle! We now buy it by the case in mixed reds and whites. Is it as good as a really good wine- no, but at that price point it is a great wine and much better than some $10-$15 bottles we had been drinking.
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Old 04-24-2010, 04:32 PM   #9
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Get a and give a Vinturi as a gift - it works.
Vinturi: Essential Wine Aerator - Home
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Old 04-24-2010, 05:14 PM   #10
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I try to think of the gift recipient's individual tastes when I bring something. I have a friend who likes sweeter white wines so I always bring her something like a riesling or pinot grigio. Another likes beer, so I take her a six pack of some premium beer. Another doesn't drink but likes health foods...in her case maybe a box of wild rice, or organic grape or pomegranate juice or dried fruits or nuts. Another is of French extraction so I try to bring an unusual French cheese or a jar of herbes de Provance, French olive oil or jam. It is always good to keep it personal. When I have the occasional out of town visitor, I try to give something local while keeping in mind travel restrictions if they are flying. Sometimes a local interest book is nice, too.
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Old 04-29-2010, 09:50 PM   #11
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I think Australian brands such as Lindemans and Rosemount... about $6 at Trader Joes (bit dearer at Safeway) are pretty good value as a hostess gift... we used to pay more than twice that in Australia.

For v.special occasions Grange would certainly be appreciated but this really needs to be to a wine lover as certainly doesn't fit cheap.
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Old 04-30-2010, 05:40 AM   #12
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Recently I threw a casual barbeque party for close friends. Most of the guests brought wine. Those who did not bring wine brought basket of fruits, chocolates and cakes/pastries. My friends know I like to eat and drink, so no one brought flowers. I thought the fruits, chocolates and cakes/pastries were just great as I can share them with my guests in the party.
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