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How to choose wine gifts like a pro

Learn how to choose the perfect wine gifts – from fussy foodies to outdoorsy types – plus expert buying advice with our guide.
wine gifts - how to choose wine as a gift guide

Wine is one of the easiest gifts to give (and to receive, if you’re lucky enough) and the perfect way to celebrate any occasion – from birthday get-togethers, moving into a new pad or when popping round to a mate’s house.

But before you go out and grab the fanciest-looking bottle of wine off the supermarket shelf, there are a few wine gifting dos and don’ts you need to remember. Not only will these rules ensure you gift the right bottle of wine, but they’ll make everyone think you’re a wine gifting pro for years to come.

Wine gift do’s

Do think about who you’re giving it to

The first thing to ask yourself when thinking of gifting someone a bottle of wine is: do they even like wine? And if they do, what type of wine will hit the celebration high notes – deep red or snow-driven white? Deliciously sweet or seriously dry? Classic Italian or vibrant Aussie?

Wine is a personal gift. Try to match flavours and brands to their personality, such as a citrus fresh Chardonnay to a spicy Shiraz. Even if the person you’re buying for is a tad picky, there are exciting varieties loaded with expansive layers of fruit to choose from, so you’ll be spoilt for choice.

Do consider the season

It’s a good idea to think about the season when buying wine gifts, whether red wine gifts or white wine gifts.

If you’re buying wine as a gift for someone around Christmastime to toast their efforts on the festive menu, a warming Syrah/Shiraz or a berry delicious Cabernet Sauvignon are definite winners. A fruity Chardonnay, on the other hand, is an ideal way to enjoy the longer days during the summer months.

Do include a personal note

Everyone loves a cute note, something that says: “I saw this and thought of you”.

A personalised note also has a practical purpose if you struggle to jot down a witty line or two. Alcohol is one of the most frequently gifted items all year round, and it can be tricky to remember who gave which bottle. Adding a signed note can be a great way to make your bottle memorable and ensure you’re not lumped in the other, less liberated brands.

Do bring a bottle

It’s polite to bring a bottle of wine as a gift for the host when you’re invited to a party.

The two things to remember when doing this: do present it to the host as soon as you arrive, and don’t get disheartened if the host doesn’t open it in front of you (as tempting as it would be with our small-batch wines bursting with bold flavours) – they might be saving it to savour later, and frankly who can blame them.

Wine gift don’ts

Don’t buy the cheapest

Some people link how much you spend on a gift to how you feel about the person you’re buying for. Picking up a bottle of cheap plonk could seriously send out the wrong message. Instead, opt for the best quality bottle you can that deserves its place at the table.

Don’t ignore helpful advice

Wine can be complex. That’s OK! While you might feel like you’re admitting defeat, it’s fine to ask for help.

Researching the perfect wine gift can be overwhelming. Keep it simple and ask for help while you’re browsing online or drop by your local wine shop for more specialist advice.

(We’re happy to help, too – keep reading for some of our wine gift suggestions!)

Don’t go off-piste

Sometimes it’s a good idea to push someone out of their comfort zone with an artisan tour de force or a big, juicy and attention-grabbing Shiraz. But, it pays to know the recipient.

If the person you’re buying for absolutely adores big, expressive reds, don’t bung them a white in the hopes that they’ll suddenly be converted to creamy chardonnay.

What wine gifts to get for…

The foodie

We all know someone who loves their food, is willing to try new dishes, seek out adventurous menus and explore unique flavour combinations.

It’s no wonder that wine takes its well-earned place at the table to celebrate great food. For foodies with a love of red meats, our The Red Sedan Cabernet Sauvignon / Shiraz, with its smoky, black fruit and spiced oak flavours, is an excellent addition to lamb dishes, while our lemon-fresh yet creamy Harmonie Rox Chardonnay can be perfectly paired with fish and pasta dishes.

The lover of luxury on a budget

Despite what the designer brands try and tell us, luxury doesn’t have to mean expensive. Heritage matters.

We found inspiration in our founder Henry Laithwaite’s Scottish heritage, taking the Gunn family motto – “either peace or war” – and crafting it into a pair of superb blended reds. Our Wilson Gunn Pax GSM is a revival of an old, fashionable favourite and only ever made in a year when the vintage offers the best fruit, while our Gold medal winner Dogs of Barossa Shiraz is a powerful and complex Aussie red. Together, they’re the perfect gift for those who love to indulge without breaking the bank.

The eco-friendly one

If you’re looking for red wine gifts, the March of Progress Shiraz is our organic offering, marking the beginning of RedHead’s journey of greener initiatives and eco-friendly winemaking. A nod to the earth, it’s juicy and sweet, with a long and strong finish.

The style guru

Everyone loves a good-looking present, right? Opting for a stylish wine bottle with a quirky label will win you points, but remember that how the bottle looks needs to match the quality of the wine inside. Our delicious wines not only look the part with labels that  are works of art – from The Monkey King of our Coco Rôtie Syrah Viognier to the retro art of our R’Dotto Royale Italian Blend – but they are also brimming with big flavours and unique characters.

The homebody

Warmth, comfort, relaxation and an evening bingeing boxsets – all the things homebodies love.

Gift the homebody you know with the perfect wine for curling up on the sofa with – our MC1R: Rouge Pinot Noir / Shiraz. A vibrant red that holds a special place in RedHead’s heart, it’s an elegant mouthful of ripe summer berries and a silky smooth texture. Or, if your gift receiver has darker tastes and prefers a horror movie night-in to a seasonal rom-com, our Durif/Shiraz/Touriga blend – Night of the Living Red – will reach their shadowy depths with notes of dried rose petals, mulberry, and aniseed.

Easy wine gifting etiquette

Wrapping

Wine bottles aren’t exactly wrapping paper friendly – and let’s face it, some are just too eye-catching to cover up.

But, if you want to add a little something extra to your gift, there are several ways to do it:

  • hang a bow around the bottleneck,
  • pop it into a wine bag,
  • add it as part of a gift basket.

Accompanying gifts

What’s better than wine? Wine with snacks!

Every variety of wine has cheeses, jams, chutneys, and crackers that make delicious food partners. Many cheese and jams will come with wine pairing recommendations on their labels, meaning all you have to do is match one to the other, and then sit back and relax.