Below are many advantages of giving wine.

Wine has been a staple gift during the holiday season for years. The last six weeks of the year account for about a quarter of all wine sales in the United States. Who does not enjoy receiving a nice bottle of wine? When has a gift of wine gone unopened? Today, with an increased emphasis on shopping online, it can be easy to overlook the elegant simplicity of a well-chosen vintage as a personalized gift.

1. No wrapping required. Forget the scissors, wrapping paper and scotch tape. Add a holiday bow or pick up a decorative wine bag from the many available to choose from. One option is to create your own unique bottle jacket or come up with other ways to express creativity using bows, pine cones, branches or glitter.

2. Simplicity. When the local or boutique stores are busy with holiday shoppers, you can’t go wrong by picking up a bottle of a simple red or white. Quick, easy and always appreciated by everyone on your list.

3. Attractive pricing. There are more quality wines available today at a wider range of prices than ever before. After all, you may need something for your neighbors, co-workers, friends, clients, and boss. One label doesn’t fit all. For the past few years, $10 to $15 wines have been the fastest growing segment. That range offers both good quality wines and bargain markdowns.

4. One-stop shopping. Wine is appropriate for everyone (21 and older, that is) on your holiday gift list. Locally owned shops usually offer easy parking and expert advice from owners who can assist in making good choices at a range of price points and suggest what to pour with traditional holiday meals.

5. Unleash your creativity. Choose a unique, uncommon vintage or make wine the centerpiece of a tailored, unique gift for that special someone or VIP. You might opt for something simple and inexpensive, such as a basket with some cheese and an opener. Or you might pair a bottle with a set of elegant glasses, a picnic basket, a small or large cooler or maybe even two airline tickets to Paris. The sky’s the limit.

6. Learn, explore. These days, wine is so much more than just chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, and merlot. Many regions around the world are producing interesting high-quality varieties that can compete with established, well-known vintners in the Napa Valley and Europe. Let your wine shop expert be your guide.

7. Just a taste. Rare is the wine seller these days that does not offer tastings during the holiday season. Tastings are a great way to learn about and sample new wines. Watch for them.

8. Look out for No. 1. When you’re shopping for gift wine and run across a great deal or a terrific brand, there’s nothing wrong with picking up an extra bottle or two for yourself. Remember, sometimes it’s better to give AND receive.

Cheers! And happy holidays.

Written by Audrey DeSisto

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