- Champagne & Sparkling
- Wine Cases
- My Favourites
- All Wine Cases
From a classic red wine to the ever-popular bubbly, a bottle of something gorgeous is often just the thing for a birthday, Christmas or special occasion. But a bottle of what, exactly? And how do you avoid common wine buying mistakes? Here, O’Briens Wine Director Lynne Coyle Master of Wine takes the guesswork out of things and explains how to choose wine as a gift. From identifying what the recipient will love, to shopping for a budget and the time of year, Lynne’s top tips will make gifting wine a whole lot easier.
The first thing to think about is: who is the person? What do you know about them? Is it a young, zany person who's interested in art, for example? Go for something contemporary and accessible-looking.
Does the person love going to Italy or France on holiday? Maybe get them a bottle of wine from their favourite region. Or do they love cooking amazing food from Italy? Then pick an Italian wine to go with some Italian food.
Try to personalise the gift and tell them why you've chosen that bottle of wine. That will really make it more special.
Is it for some kind of celebration or a thank you? Bubbles are always a great option, whether they're Champagne, Prosecco or Cava. If you want to give someone a bottle of wine to keep in the longer-term then a classic can never go wrong. They can keep a Bordeaux or a really good Burgundy for a few years and then think back and enjoy the moment of when they were given that bottle.
Champagne is obviously quite expensive, but you can get really good value sparkling wines that are very affordable. You don’t have to spend lots of money on a bottle of wine, the most important thing is to make sure that the wine is appropriate, interesting and that the person's going to enjoy it.
They're not going to focus on price, they're going to focus on the story of why you've chosen that bottle of wine, which is much more important than how much you've spent.
The other thing to think about is season. Often you will find that at Christmas time wine comes in boxes. If you know that you've got a gifting situation coming up in three or four months’ time, buy the wine when it's in the box and tuck it away.
Finally, my top tip is don't be embarrassed to ask for help. You can go online and read reviews but also go into your local O’Briens. The teams taste wine a lot, they’re learning about wine every week and they love recommending wines. So don't be afraid to ask for their advice.