Saturday, November 26, 2011

Whimsical Wine Gift Scenarios

"Wine... the intellectual part of the meal."  -Alexandre Dumas-

Each holiday season I offer a series of wine gift scenarios different persons in your life.  So here goes for the coming 2011 Christmas and New Year holidays.

You need a great wine gift for your boss.  Your performance review is coming up so you want to get a memorable and impressive bottle of wine.  A wine that will remind your boss of YOUR generosity when he presents the review. You know that your boss prefers red wine so consider the highly rated Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars “Artemis” 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon at $49.99.  Yes, it’s pricey, but you might consider “accidentally” leaving the receipt in the bottom of the TJ gift bag.  It might assist with your next promotion.  It’s a big, bold cab with tannins and black currant aromas and tastes.

You need a wine gift for your very frugal parents-in-law.  Sure they’re frugal, but they grew up affected by stories of the Great Depression, which was even worse than our current economic situation, so cut them a little slack.  You’re visiting the in-laws for a holiday dinner, which will be superb!  You wrestle with purchasing an inexpensive wine that they will appreciate as a great value (but you won’t), or do you get the celebratory Veuve Clicquot Champagne for $42.99, which they will consider wasteful?  Perhaps a compromise is in order.  Go with the Toasted Head or  Rodney Strong Chardonnay, each $10.99 and both are superb.  The Toasted Head is a bit buttery, while the Rodney Strong is a tad crisper.

You need a wine gift for your best girl friend!  She loves white wine and she loves to help you with your problematic boyfriends and you do the same for her.  What a friend! She deserves and will get something special.  She’s going to receive the Moet & Chandon Champagne at $32.99 a bottle.  Your best girl friend will share this wine with you, of course, while the two of you gleefully reflect events of the past year and discuss plans for a wild New Year’s celebration!  This Champagne offers a crisp, dry yeasty flavor.

You need a wine gift for your best “Man-cave Buddy!”  But you’re worried because you’ve always given him a case of beer for the holidays but he’s been venturing out with some simple wines and you want him to experience something better.  You’ve purchased a bottle of Wild Horse Merlot for $11.99 a bottle.  He comes to your Man-cave and you offer the gift.  “Wow, dude, that’s the smallest case of beer I’ve ever seen, but I love the wrapping,” he says.  “Yeah, it’s the Sunday funnies; I wanted some color,” you explain.  He rips through Dennis the Menace and Doonesbury.  He stares at the bottle...”You shouldn’t have, dude.”  “I’m glad you like it,” you reply.  “No dude, I meant you shouldn’t have....just kidding!  Thanks, dude, you’re the best!  Let’s pop this cork and put the game on.  This should go great with the chips, salsa, and nachos.  Ah, life is good, dude!”  Your best dude is easy to please, so no worries.

You need a wine gift for the host and hostess who have invited you to their holiday dinner.  You go to TJ’s and see Tom da Wine Guy for assistance.  My first question, of course, is what entree is being served?  You don’t know, but being clever, we narrow it down to either turkey, prime rib, ham, pasta with red sauce, or seafood.  Given the potentials, a sparkling wine would work but I suggest a Pinot Noir, specifically the La Crema at $18.99 a bottle.  It’s a favorite Pinot and will work with any of the above entrees.  It’s a fruit-forward Pinot with lots of raspberry and light tannins and has personality plus!

One word of advice when providing hosts with a bottle of wine; you don’t need to know the entree.  In fact, the hosts probably have planned a wine pairing unless they’ve specifically asked you to bring the wine.  Any bottle of wine you bring is your thank-you gift and if they choose to serve it with the meal, that’s their prerogative, but your wine will be appreciated regardless of the meal.  So don’t sweat it.  Just enjoy the meal and the visit with friends.

You need a wine gift for a special service provider.  Maybe it’s your hair dresser, or your manicurist, your plumber, or your personal trainer. It’s a business relationship with someone you respect and whose service you appreciate, but they’re not your best friend. I would suggest almost any wine in the $8.00 to $12.00 range.  You can select very nice red or white wines in this range; too many to mention, but ask someone in our wine section for specific recommendations.  Also, look for “Tom’s Choices” or “Eli’s Picks.”  We’re here to help.

Lastly, you need a wine gift for the office party.  You drew the name of a co-worker that you’re not particularly fond, so what to do?  Do you insult him with a bottle of famously inexpensive wine or do you try to mend fences with a nice wine that you know will be appreciated?  You need to weigh your experience with the co-worker and determine if a “peace offering” will work or will he just see you as weak?  I think that I might play it safe and just go with the insultingly inexpensive wine.  Just kidding!!!  After all, tis the holiday season.  Walk the high ground, get a nice gift in the same range as for the “special service provider.”  You’ll be the better person for it and you can revel in knowing that you did the right thing; the next step is his, or hers.

“So life's year begins and closes; Days though shortening still can shine;
What though youth gave love and roses;  
Age still leaves us friends and wine."  -Thomas Moore-


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home