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Choosing a Wine for Your Party Host

Choosing the ?perfect? wine as a gift for a party host is an old, venerated, and perfectly acceptable ?thank you? for your invitation to the party and a sign that you care about and acknowledge the hard work of the person hosting the party. Begin by determining a price point that doesn?t break the bank and work from there to find a delicious, complex wine that your host will enjoy.

Simple Tasks

  • STEP 1: Look through wine magazines such as "Wine Spectator" and "Wine Enthusiast." Go on-line to such websites as Wine.com, MyWinesDirect.com, or TheWineMessenger.comto browse and familiarize yourself with the spectrum of current offerings. Specialized publications and websites typically rate wines in a variety of price ranges to help you get the best value for your money,

  • STEP 2: Decide a white, red, blend, or sparkling wine to narrow your search. As a general rule, whites are preferable in the middle of summer, reds for winter and sparkling wines for any special occasion.
  • Importantly, there are no hard and fast rules that must be followed. Perhaps a wine that should be ?layed down? or cellared for maximum enjoyment maybe preferable. Enjoying a memory of a party and its guests long ago can be a treasure,

  • STEP 3: Visit a wine or beverage store and ask the resident sommelier to show you a variety of wines in your price range. Choose one based on expected taste attributes, vineyard location (i.e., appellation), varietal (i.e., the type of grape) and aesthetic appeal of the bottle and label. Make no mistake, the label can nearly be art when the bottle is displayed appropriately,
  • STEP 4: Purchase a wine bag in which to present the bottle to your host. These festive bags are long and slim, and fit a typical bottle of wine perfectly. They come in an almost endless array of fabrics, colours, and designs,

  • STEP 5: Wrap the wine in colorful gift wrap, tissue paper or coloured cellophane paper. Tie a color-coordinated bow around the neck to secure the paper around the bottle and add the finishing visual touch, and

  • STEP 6: Always enclose a gift card. It?s frustrating for your host to acknowledge your thoughtfullness if he/she doesn?t know from whome it came.

Tips & Warnings

  • Remember, the host is NEVER obligated to serve a bottle of wine that has been brought by a guest. Choosing a wine because YOU want to enjoy it is out of line. Present the wine as what it is: a gift to be used at the host's discretion.
  • Wine given as a gift should never be chilled. In the event that the host does choose to serve a white or sparkling wine during the party, suggest placing the bottle in the refrigerator for approximately 30 minutes, or in the freezer for approximately 10 minutes.

- Michael Zanata
Michael is a freelance writer and wine connoisseur whose family vineyards are in the Veneto region of Italy.

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