Wine suggestions for Xmas gifts

I'm looking to pick up some wine to give as presents for Christmas for clients, friends, and family at my work Christmas party. I'm looking to spend no more than $50 a bottle. Ideally, I would like to stay between $30-50/bottle. Most of the people I will be giving the wine to are just casual drinkers and aren't particularly picky, but there are also quite a few wino's that will be receiving wine as well. So i'm looking for something that will appeal to the average wine drinker but will also satisfy the wine geeks. I'm leaning towards something Italian but I'm open to pretty much anything. Something that doesn't need much cellar time and ready to drink would be ideal as well.

So far I am thinking about maybe a Petrolo Torrione or a Tua Rita Perlato del Bosco?

Thanks for the help!
Original Post
For this type of purchase, I think a bottle of Veuve Cliquot NV champagne works well.

It is champagne (always nice to give for the holidays - very festive). The bottle is attractive and non-wine folks will be impressed. Wine geeks will still appreciate it (although possibly in their minds they might suggest other champagne producers they would rather have) - they won't feel slighted.
Frankly, buying Champagne for most non winos is like casting pearls before swine.

There are about twenty 2009 California Cabernets that WS has rated highly in the last year or so between 40-50 bucks.

Chappellet Signature
La Jota Howell Mtn
Terra Valentine Spring Mtn
Etc.

Non wine geeks know California Cab.

Buying Italian wine for anyone is a mistake, especially non-winos (or geeks with a palate). Cool
quote:
Originally posted by KSC02:
quote:
Originally posted by PurpleHaze:
Buy a case of Bollinger NV.
PH

Cool nuf said


Good call, but this is a $75 wine in our market. Frown

Italian would be the last thing I would buy for unknown palates. I'm sure your friends and clients could use Champagne around the house the next few weeks.
quote:
Originally posted by KSC02:
quote:
Originally posted by PurpleHaze:
Buy a case of Bollinger NV.
PH

Cool nuf said



Agree, but its currently in the 65-80$/bottle up here. But Champagne would be my choice as well...lots of good bottles in the 30-50$ range. Infact, opened and cooked with a bottle of Duval-Leroy Brut last night, at 25$/bottle....tough to beat that price IMO.
quote:
Originally posted by Gigond Ass:
Frankly, buying Champagne for most non winos is like casting pearls before swine.

There are about twenty 2009 California Cabernets that WS has rated highly in the last year or so between 40-50 bucks.

Chappellet Signature
La Jota Howell Mtn
Terra Valentine Spring Mtn
Etc.

Non wine geeks know California Cab.

Buying Italian wine for anyone is a mistake, especially non-winos (or geeks with a palate). Cool


+1; fully agree. Champagne or italian would be mistakes with non winos. Can't go wrong with Napa Cabs; it will be something closer to what they have experienced. Forget Pinot as well (although I love it).
quote:
Originally posted by Merengue:
.....fully agree. Champagne ....would be mistakes with non winos.


I could not disagree with you guys more. I know plenty of non geeks who like Champagne, PLUS at this time of year there is a very good chance that the recepient will find at least one good occasion to open a bottle of bubbly and think of you when they do it. Really, when did Champagne become something that only serious winos could get into?

PH
quote:
Originally posted by PurpleHaze:
quote:
Originally posted by Merengue:
.....fully agree. Champagne ....would be mistakes with non winos.


I could not disagree with you guys more. I know plenty of non geeks who like Champagne, PLUS at this time of year there is a very good chance that the recepient will find at least one good occasion to open a bottle of bubbly and think of you when they do it. Really, when did Champagne become something that only serious winos could get into?

PH



Plus...chicks dig it Banana
(ditto on the price of Bollinger--$65-$70 in my market, as well. I also agree with Duval-Leroy as an excellent QPR alternative. And I will +1 the concept of Champagne, in general)

How about this: Give a nice Champagne to your wino friends who would appreciate it, then give a Prosecco to those who might not? The Prosecco might defray the average cost, so some good friends could get a Bolly in their stocking, and you are still under budget. And, as marcb7 said, you have to think about the chicks...

Or, as an alternative, there are some really nice Chablis on the market right now, maybe a good 1er cru from Fevre, Billaud-Simon, Moreau, etc. might strike a chord with some folk? A nice German Spatlese might also have broad appeal.
quote:
Originally posted by marcb7:
quote:
Originally posted by PurpleHaze:
quote:
Originally posted by Merengue:
.....fully agree. Champagne ....would be mistakes with non winos.


I could not disagree with you guys more. I know plenty of non geeks who like Champagne, PLUS at this time of year there is a very good chance that the recepient will find at least one good occasion to open a bottle of bubbly and think of you when they do it. Really, when did Champagne become something that only serious winos could get into?

PH



Plus...chicks dig it Banana


"60 Percent of the time, it works every time."
quote:
Originally posted by Rothko:
quote:
Originally posted by marcb7:
quote:
Originally posted by PurpleHaze:
quote:
Originally posted by Merengue:
.....fully agree. Champagne ....would be mistakes with non winos.


I could not disagree with you guys more. I know plenty of non geeks who like Champagne, PLUS at this time of year there is a very good chance that the recepient will find at least one good occasion to open a bottle of bubbly and think of you when they do it. Really, when did Champagne become something that only serious winos could get into?

PH



Plus...chicks dig it Banana


"60 Percent of the time, it works every time."



Is that Chateaux Sex Panther Brut or BdB?
quote:
Originally posted by PurpleHaze:
quote:
Originally posted by Merengue:
.....fully agree. Champagne ....would be mistakes with non winos.


I could not disagree with you guys more. I know plenty of non geeks who like Champagne, PLUS at this time of year there is a very good chance that the recepient will find at least one good occasion to open a bottle of bubbly and think of you when they do it. Really, when did Champagne become something that only serious winos could get into?

PH


You may be right, but i have plenty of non wino friends that associate champagne with weddings, graduations, etc not really Xmas or NYE. If i would give them champagne they would tuck it away till they get married, have kids, graduate etc. plus if they get a Bollinger, Veuve etc, or a Rose they would go like; is this good, no clue? dom Perignon, another story. On the other hand, they see Napa Cab and it is more familiar to them. They would take it to a dinner any weekend. I would only give champagne if the gift has an educational component to it, picked something for them to get introduced to champagnes. ph of course we probably hang around totally different crowds. Eek
quote:
Originally posted by PurpleHaze:
quote:
Originally posted by Merengue:
.....fully agree. Champagne ....would be mistakes with non winos.


I could not disagree with you guys more. I know plenty of non geeks who like Champagne, PLUS at this time of year there is a very good chance that the recepient will find at least one good occasion to open a bottle of bubbly and think of you when they do it. Really, when did Champagne become something that only serious winos could get into?

PH
Since always really. You are looking at this from your perspective, not from the perspective of neophyte winos or a random group of differing experience.

Cal cab is the best choice for the random group described. The non winos will know what it is, and have familiarity with it, and the more experienced winos will also appreciate a decent bottle of cab.

IMHO, too many times we project what we would rather receive when a question like this is asked, and not what others would rather receive.
Meringue - if you have friends who are so "not" into wine that they wouldn't correlate New Year's Eve and a bottle of Champagne you should probably just give them a gift certificate to Applebee's and call it a day. Wink

GA - For a non-wine lover I'd certainly head in a different direction than California Cabernet if Champagne were off the table. If we're going the "least common denominator" route, I'm thinking a bottle of innocuous white wine would probably be the most likely to be consumed.

PH
Like a Riesling or Yellow Tail Shiraz Wink.....Champagne is the way to go as I have not met anyone that turns down a glass of champagne, especially one in the 30-50$ price range. And with New Years just a week away...one less thing they need to buy for the occasion.... 2 Cents
and the last thing I would want to give someone, that could possibly "catch" the wine bug, is a big, bold, tannic cali cab...they certainly are not going to wait to drink it, or have the capability to store it until its ready to drink. Instant gratification is what most non wine geeks desire IMO
quote:
Originally posted by PurpleHaze:
Meringue - if you have friends who are so "not" into wine that they wouldn't correlate New Year's Eve and a bottle of Champagne you should probably just give them a gift certificate to Applebee's and call it a day. Wink

GA - For a non-wine lover I'd certainly head in a different direction than California Cabernet if Champagne were off the table. If we're going the "least common denominator" route, I'm thinking a bottle of innocuous white wine would probably be the most likely to be consumed.

PH
Friends don't give friends innocuous white wine. Razz

Did any of you see where the poster said this group (or a similar one) didn't receive the champagne gift well in the past? Crazy
quote:
Originally posted by marcb7:
and the last thing I would want to give someone, that could possibly "catch" the wine bug, is a big, bold, tannic cali cab...they certainly are not going to wait to drink it, or have the capability to store it until its ready to drink. Instant gratification is what most non wine geeks desire IMO
Do you really think any of the wines I posted are bold tannic cabs? Had any modern Cali cabs of that price range lately. Razz
quote:
Originally posted by Gigond Ass:
quote:
Originally posted by marcb7:
and the last thing I would want to give someone, that could possibly "catch" the wine bug, is a big, bold, tannic cali cab...they certainly are not going to wait to drink it, or have the capability to store it until its ready to drink. Instant gratification is what most non wine geeks desire IMO
Do you really think any of the wines I posted are bold tannic cabs? Had any modern Cali cabs of that price range lately. Razz



HA! Cant say that I have actually....maybe they didnt have a "good" Champagne in the past Razz
Even with the ready availability of the Internet, we can't assume that everyone everywhere would think of searching for and reading up on VC or Bolly if that showed up in their Christmas stocking. I'm lucky that my clients live and work here in the Bay Area, so there's generally a solid understanding of the "name brands" that I gift them. A couple of my clients are owned by LVMH, so I give out a lot of VC every year.

As to the OP's original question, if the recipients are less savvy/more "traditional" with what they're familiar with and would appreciate, stick with the well-known Cali cabs - - - Mondavi Oakville, Grgich Hills, Chateau Montelena, Jordan, Joseph Phelps and Silver Oak Alexander are all in the $35-$50 range if you look around.
Thanks for all the great suggestions. A key thing for me is to gift something that is pretty much ready to drink right away. Cali cabs seem to be the way to go! Unfortunately, living in Canada, we don't get the same prices as our neighbors to the south. A bottle of Silver Oak here is around $85 with a case discount lol. With that said, I'm looking at picking up some Chateau Montelena or Joseph Phelps. I also saw a 2007 Neal Cabernet recently. I haven't had any recent vintages from them for a while now, any opinions?
quote:
Originally posted by PurpleHaze:
Meringue - if you have friends who are so "not" into wine that they wouldn't correlate New Year's Eve and a bottle of Champagne you should probably just give them a gift certificate to Applebee's and call it a day. WinkPH


My non wino friends are probably drinking rum or scotch for most of the night on New Year's eve; thus they would not appreciate a champagne that evening; I would rather give them a Zacapa or a Macallan or Glenmorangie or something like that if I was hoping they would drink it on New Year's eve.
quote:
Originally posted by wine+art:
quote:
Originally posted by KSC02:
quote:
Originally posted by PurpleHaze:
Buy a case of Bollinger NV.
PH

Cool nuf said


Good call, but this is a $75 wine in our market. Frown

STOP thinking about what you USED to be able to buy this for and just enjoy it Razz
quote:
Originally posted by Merengue:
quote:
Originally posted by PurpleHaze:
Meringue - if you have friends who are so "not" into wine that they wouldn't correlate New Year's Eve and a bottle of Champagne you should probably just give them a gift certificate to Applebee's and call it a day. WinkPH


My non wino friends are probably drinking rum or scotch for most of the night on New Year's eve; thus they would not appreciate a champagne that evening; I would rather give them a Zacapa or a Macallan or Glenmorangie or something like that if I was hoping they would drink it on New Year's eve.


They don't have to drink the Champagne all friggin' night, Meringue! A toast with bubbly at midnight is a pretty standard New Year's Eve tradition even for non-drinkers, muchless non-winos. A bottle can give up to 10 folks a splash to toast with, and good Champagne gives them the benefit of not having to toast with garbage like Cook's or Andre to begin the New Year.

PH
quote:
Originally posted by Redhawk:
quote:
Originally posted by marcb7:
How bout Tequila? Everyone likes body shots, no? LOL


Best idea yet (seriously). A nice anejo or reposado should fall easily in your price range.


If you didn't add the "seriously," I would have thought you were kidding. We have people in this thread making an argument that Champagne "isn't for everyone." I think Tequila is way more "not for everyone" than Champagne.

PH
quote:
Originally posted by PurpleHaze:
quote:
Originally posted by Redhawk:
quote:
Originally posted by marcb7:
How bout Tequila? Everyone likes body shots, no? LOL


Best idea yet (seriously). A nice anejo or reposado should fall easily in your price range.


If you didn't add the "seriously," I would have thought you were kidding. We have people in this thread making an argument that Champagne "isn't for everyone." I think Tequila is way more "not for everyone" than Champagne.

PH



Not a fan of body shots PH? Big Grin....if you need any advice...let me know Razz
quote:
Originally posted by PurpleHaze:
quote:
Originally posted by marcb7:
Not a fan of body shots PH? Big Grin....if you need any advice...let me know Razz


I can honestly say that I've never been involved in this activity. I never say never, but so far it has eluded me....

PH



Well you hooked me up on the Billecart Salmon...just trying to return the favor brother Wink
quote:
Originally posted by marcb7:
quote:
Originally posted by PurpleHaze:
quote:
Originally posted by marcb7:
Not a fan of body shots PH? Big Grin....if you need any advice...let me know Razz


I can honestly say that I've never been involved in this activity. I never say never, but so far it has eluded me....

PH



Well you hooked me up on the Billecart Salmon...just trying to return the favor brother Wink


Appreciated! Sounds like an item to check off the list on our next Vegas run.... Cool

PH

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