Choosing The Right Wine To Gift To Yourself Or Others
Author: Nikki Barnett Date Posted:8 May 2020
The Glory of Wine
Don’t we just love our wines? Not only are they an affordable pleasure, but wine gifts are also a great go-to for gifting.
Humans and wine have a long history, even to wine being a source of inspiration, as numerous quotes testify to. As far back at Euripides, the Greek dramatist in 445BC is quoted as saying, 'Where there is no wine there is no love'. Then we have 'in vino veritas', meaning in wine there is truth, as told by Pliny The Elder Rome Philosopher AD 24-29. The Italian astronomer Galileo considered 'wine is sunlight held together by water'. Napoleon Bonapart believed 'in victory you deserve champagne, in defeat you need it'.
The Benefits of Wine
We now know that drinking wine, especially red wine, can be good for your health.
One of red wine’s ingredients, Reservatrol, is associated with higher levels of 'good' cholesterol, HDL and prevention of 'bad' cholesterol, LDL. There are claims it aids in the prevention of orals, breast, liver, lung and prostate cancers. Moderate consumption, so one glass a day for women and two for men, is associated with many health benefits, including reduced risk of:
Heart attacks and cardiovascular disease
Type 2 Diabetes
Dementia and Alzheimer’s
How Do You Choose Your Wines?
Adverts, recommendations, cheapest on offer? All of them? You might be an expert sommelier, but most of us are not. One of the difficulties for us wine drinkers, not experts, but those who know a decent tasting wine from cheap vinegar, is the language of wine. How do you describe a bottle of wine?
The Language of Wine
Have you ever heard the term ‘full-bodied’ at a wine tasting but not known what it meant? The 'body' is the weight of the wine in your mouth, usually closely connected to the wine's alcohol level. You can find full-bodied, medium-bodied, and light-bodied wines.
This describes a wine's flavour, smell or aroma. These traditionally emerge when the wine has begun to age in a bottle. Elements to look out for include:
This term is more associated with white wines due to their acidity. It describes the sensation of freshness in the taste of the wine due to the acid content.
Basically any wine that is not sweet! Although there are levels of sweet and dry, including being prefixed by ‘semi’.
First, note that fruity does not necessarily mean sweet. It is the smell and taste of the wine that resonates with the taste of a particular fruit.
This is about the flavour, that evokes a toast or smoky experience. This is derived from the wine being stored in oak barrels during or after fermentation.
These wines are less acidic. They tend to be smoother than their more bold counterparts.
Tannins are a component in wines that leaves your mouth feeling dry. Some tannins can be quite bitter, although not usually the ones preferred for wines. You can describe these wines as astringent, firm, or soft.
Now you can be far more eloquent when describing wine!
How Do You Drink Your Wine?
For most of us, we drink our wine by the glass but which wine glasses are better for which wines?
Consider the Bowl Shape
This is because wine needs to breathe. The wider the glass, the more of the wine’s bouquet reaches your nose.
Wide Bowls for Red Wine
This allows the bolder aromas and flavours to emerge. It also provides for the more aeration that red wine requires to release more flavour.
Narrow Bowl for White Wine
The delicate flavour of white wine can be more concentrated to direct the aroma to our noses with a narrower glass. This type of glass also assists in keeping air away and retaining its chill.
Bubbles tend to dissipate when introduced to oxygen. To keep those fun bubbles tickling your nose, serve in a narrow fluted glasses.
This is a personal choice. Without stems, the contents of a glass of wine can quickly warm up. For this reason, they may not be the glass of choice for white wine.
Wine Gifting Doesn't Have to be Difficult
Once you know the basics, it's far easier to engage in conversations about wine. Not only will you be able to appreciate the nuances more, but you'll also be more equipped to select wine as a gift. Browse our range of fabulous gourmet food and wine hampers online! When in doubt, the Red Wine & Nibbles Hamper always goes down a treat. It features the Cape Mentelle Cabernet Merlot, a beautifully balanced drop with a rich, deep fruit sweetness and fine tannins.