Do you like this story?
Have you ever received a holiday gift that’s more about the giver than the receiver? Often such gifts hold subtle messages—such as a husband buying a vacuum cleaner for his wife. My husband will confess that I have received some of his favorite wine as a gift.
Here’s a better idea: Give family and friends the type of wine that they like to drink. It’s not always easy to figure this out, but here are a few suggestions.
• All wine lovers—whether they are first starting to enjoy wine or have declared themselves wine geeks—enjoy learning about wine and hanging out with other wine enthusiasts. Buy them a gift certificate or enroll them in a wine class. Check out my previous post listing wine classes in New Jersey.
• Does your friend or special someone consistently order the same type of wine when you go out together? It seems obvious, but that’s the wine he or she likes. Many times I’ve given wine to a friend because I thought they would be excited to try something different, only to find out that they get headaches from those wines or just plain don’t prefer them.
• If the recipient prefers a certain cuisine, such as Italian, French or Asian, you can give a wine that pairs well with the foods they enjoy.
• Has your friend or family member visited a wine region recently? Chances are they have fond memories of the wines they drank in that region and would appreciate a bottle.
This holiday season I vow to take my own advice and give family and friends wines they like to drink, not just what I prefer (Champagne, Champagne and more Champagne).
A 25-year veteran of the wine and hospitality industry, George Staikos is known for his role as an educator, sharing his passion for wine appreciation. He is the founder and president of the Educated Grape, a company specializing in interactive education programs and in-home wine entertaining for wine enthusiasts and companies. He is a professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University’s International School of Hospitality Management, where he teaches “Introduction to the Study of Wine.” He is also Vice Echanson or regional wine director for the mid-Atlantic region for the Chaine des Rotisseurs, a worldwide food-and-wine organization.
Staikos is a graduate of Florida International University in Miami with a Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management. He is married with three children and lives in Flemington.