Choosing a wine can be a tricky decision. You want your selection to please as many people as possible including your host. If you know ahead what is on the menu, the choice becomes easier. The general guidelines are as follows:
- Light-bodied wines complement light food.
- Full-bodied wines are needed when pairing with hearty food.
However, in the situation where you do not know the menu, it is ok as there are a few other key items to consider.
It is very important to consider the host. If you know the host well, you may want to select a bottle that suits his or her individual preferences. If you're less familiar with your host's favorites, select a popular wine variety such as Chardonnay or Merlot.
You can further customize the choice by selecting a wine that matches the recipientīs personality or intended usage. 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 fondness towards a particular wine or growing region?
Of course all decisions must be balanced with respect to its price. In the situation of having a budget of $25 and above, your selections choices are wide open. A favorite of mine and a crowd pleaser is a Cabernet, a well rounded and highly excepted classic.
Ok, now let's take a look at the $15 to $25 budget range. My suggestion here is that you just stick with a traditional Chardonnay or Merlot. They are both widely appreciated and just a bit less costly than Cabernets.
Even at $15 and under there are some really enjoyable choices. For $10 you can get Veramonte Cabnernet Sauvignon from the Casablanca Valley, located in Chile. Another great selection is the Australian Shiraz or the Sauvignon Blancs, both of which may pleasantly surprise the recipient.
Contributor: Stuart Glasure [A wine enthusiast and publishing member of the wine source: .]