The holidays have a way of bringing change. People become cheerier, houses become more illuminated, and turkeys start carrying around Rosary beads, fervently hoping no one notices them. From the family get togethers to the meetings with old friends, the holidays are a time for love, joy, and kinship. Yet, before "Peace on Earth and Goodwill toward men" can really begin to solidify, one thing needs to be finished: holiday shopping.
Holiday shopping can bring stress upon just about anyone. If the packed department stores don't unnerve you, a rabid shopping cart to the back of your heel surely will – there's nothing that increases blood pressure quite like a Wal-Mart in December.
However, there are certain gifts that allow for avoidance of long lines, screaming children, and the "Sold Out" signs sure to plague the Tickle Me Elmo section of local department stores. One of these is the gift of wine, a gift that represents friendship, celebration, and so much health that it runs a close second to giving a kidney. Because there are a variety of ways wine can be given, it is simply one of the easiest gifts to give and an even easier one to receive. When giving wine, there's no need to keep the receipt.
Enrolling a friend, a spouse, or a relative in a Wine Club is one of the most unique gifts you can give the wine lover. For the wine novice, a Wine Club provides education on and exposure to the different types of wine, all the while teaching the drinker that wine does not necessarily come in a box. For the connoisseur, a Wine Club allows the drinker to keep their cellar full as bottles show up on their front porch with the regularity of a full moon. A Wine Club also indulges members with inside information, special deals, wine secrets and exposure to rare vintages.
What's more, Wine Clubs are an extremely easy gift to give. The Internet is swimming with a variety of Wine Clubs, clubs that provide quick and easy enrollment. However, when giving the gift of a Wine Club, keep in mind some are only allowed to ship to certain states. Thus, be sure you find one able to deliver to the state where the gift recipient resides.
Personalized Wine Labels
Personalized wine labels are one of those rare gifts that combine emotion and practicability: the bottle's label allows for the conveyance of a personal touch while the bottle's contents allow for enjoyment of a different sense. A personalized wine label is something that can be held onto. Long after the bottle is emptied, it can be kept the way cards, letters, and photographs are stored, all retained with the purpose of sentiment. From giving newlyweds a wine bottle that reads "First Christmas" to giving your parents one that reads "Thirtieth Christmas," a personalized wine label invites a plethora of possibilities.
A personalized wine label is particularly great when coupled with wine that evokes even more sentiment. Giving someone wine from a year of particular importance or from a region they hold as special can make a personalized wine label, and the wine inside, that much more cherished.
Wine Openers and Accessories
Wine is a product that has several accessories. It is the teenage girl of the alcohol industry. Because of this, many wine lovers can always use wine devices to supplement their collection. From something as small as a wine opener to something as large as a wine rack, anything to do with wine makes a great gift for both the accomplished wine connoisseur and the aspiring wine connoisseur.
For those who already have everything from a wine charm to a set of Riedel wine glasses, from a wine journal to a wine partridge in a wine pear tree, bottles of a favorite wine make great gifts. Because people who love wine — people who replaced their ice box with a wine refrigerator, people who wash their wine glasses with silk cloths, people who named their first born son "Corky" — can never have too much, just giving a nice vintage is always suitable.
Giving wine as a gift does possess some risks. Not only do you run the risk of purchasing a bottle and "accidentally" drinking it before you can give it to the recipient, but there is also a slight chance you will get someone a bottle of wine they don't find particularly appealing. In order to minimize this risk, be sure to buy the recipient the type of wine they like, not the type you like. If you are buying for someone who loves white wine, try to stay away from purchasing red, no matter how cute the Merlot looks sitting on its shelf.
For instances where you are unsure of what wine a person may like, try giving them a wine basket with a variety of wines or a gift certificate to a wine store.
Port, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir are increasingly becoming the gold, frankincense, and myrrh of the modern day, establishing themselves as gifts of the wise. Because the holidays bring about so much stress — preparing for the arrival of in-laws, cooking a turkey dinner, watching for poop as reindeer fly overhead — wine can help the giver give something easy and the receiver drink something soothing. As a gift, it's a win-win situation. When it comes to wine, one size fits all.