The Art of Giving Wine

Wine Glasses with Bows.

Wine makes a wonderful gift for any occasion, from presenting it to your host at a dinner party to honoring a collector with a sought-after special bottle.

Hostess gifts

Before you bring wine to your host, consider the situation. If you know the host well, you may want to select a bottle that suits his or her individual preferences, such as Robert Mondavi Winery Carneros District Merlot for a Merlot lover. If you're less familiar with your host's preferences, select a popular wine variety such as Chardonnay or Merlot. Do you know the other guests? Do you know the size of the party? It can be heartbreaking to bring a special bottle for the host only see it opened, set among a dozen other bottles and consumed by the guest that admits he can't taste a thing because of his cold! Save special wines for small gatherings where they will receive appropriate attention, or simply tell your host that the wine is a gift for them to enjoy later. However, most etiquette experts agree that the host may choose to drink or save a wine presented to them. If you have your heart set on trying the wine you bring, it's safer to leave it at home.

Bottles that impress

If your holiday shopping list includes a much-loved client, a hard-to-buy-for boss, or a wonderful father-in-law, a gift of wine is sure to please them all. Customize your choice by selecting wines that match the personality of the person on your list. Are they more likely to open the bottle soon or age it in their cellar? Will they savor it during an everyday dinner or bring it out to impress friends? Do they have a predilection towards a particular wine? Growing region? For the collector, who will cellar the wine or want to share it with other oenophiles, give a wine that ages well, such as Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve. Any of the Cabernet Sauvignon wines from our Robert Mondavi Winery Spotlight Series are also good choices. For the enthusiast who will enjoy your gift anytime, anywhere, consider a unique variety or special bottling, like Robert Mondavi Winery Boomerang or Equilibrium. For the intrepid Napa Valley enthusiast, consider putting together a small assortment from a particular district or vineyard, such as a Robert Mondavi Winery Carneros District collection of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Merlot; or a duo of Robert Mondavi Winery Marjorie's Twilight Cabernet Sauvignon and Marjorie's Sunrise Cabernet Sauvignon.

Presenting wine

A gift of wine will be a hit, especially if you think outside of the bag for ways to present it. Consider these ideas: Fill an oval or cone-shaped terra cotta planter with dark green shredded paper and nestle the bottles into the paper. Tuck packets of flower seeds around the bottles and tie a ribbon around the top of the planter. Once the wine is gone, the flowers will continued to be enjoyed for a long time. Wrap the wine bottle in a fine linen towel or a vintage tablecloth, and secure with a decorative ribbon. Consider including small accessories, such as drip stoppers, wine charms or handmade tags to be hung from the necks of wine bottles to be easily identified in a cellar.