Buying wine as a gift is a wonderful idea for many occasions, but it can be fraught with embarrassing mistakes that are easily overlooked. Nobody likes to think their enthusiastic purchase for a loved one is a total dud in their eyes (or taste buds!).
With so much choice, how should one avoid disappointing our nearest and dearest? Let us guide you one some of the most enduring rules to buy wine by:
Most wine is consumed with food. Usually with a main meal. So food and wine matching is a key factor when thinking about what sort of wine to buy. The old rules of white wine with fish and chicken, red wine with meat are a little old fashioned, so it’s okay to stray.
More to the point, the wine’s flavour descriptions on the label are your best clue. Heed them well! Most wine makers today put a brief, but entirely pinpoint description of what flavours their wine embodies. Use them to link into what food fits with their description. Or check out our team's favourite wine & food pairings. And if you’re still not sure, then;
2. Get Directions
Perhaps it’s a male thing, like asking for directions, but it seems to be unfashionable to ask the store owner ‘what’s good with this’?
Don’t be shy, most store owners, even supermarkets, in fact anyone who sells wine, will have knowledgeable staff members near to hand. Most will be more than happy to espouse their wine knowledge.
3. Follow Fame
We hereby give you permission to buy a big name brand. Especially one that’s won lots of gongs. If in doubt, follow the judges’ decision, as they’re usually right when it comes to wine—provided of course you also follow our proceeding rules too. There are of course exceptions to every rule and often you’ll find the award winners aren’t big name brands, as wine judging is often done blind. Which reminds us…
4. Close your Eyes
It’s definitely one of the most straight forward bits of advice we can give — but often neglected. Don’t let your eyes do your shopping. Those fancy labels are there to entice, but they often don’t represent what’s in the bottle as well as you’d like.
Dedicated wine shops and boutiques or small stores will offer tastings. Definitely take up their offer, or come to our award-winning tasting room at Spy Valley. Simply close your eyes to all that visual noise on the shelves and let your taste buds do their work.
5. Time on your Side
In short, don’t rush! If you put all our other suggestions into practice and take just a little time to do all these things, we guarantee you’ll be golden. Otherwise, if you just fly in store without forethought, it’s a lottery. In which case buy a Lotto ticket…
Did you know you can gift our Spy Valley wine club subscriptions as well? Give a loved one access to some of the best gifts – exclusive wines not available everywhere. You can choose how many shipments you would like to gift, and even add a personalised note.