The Drop with Olivia Evans – gift wine, not stuff!
I’ve never been a huge lover of material objects, particularly when they are just for the sake of giving. Christmas time often has us scrambling around trying to find presents for each other – my thoughts for the best presents often induce a thirst. When buying gifts, I make sure they are either experiences, consumable or highly practical. If you get where I am going with this, wine perfectly fits all!
To be more specific, I am not talking about giving any old bottle of wine concealed in the rogue gift bag you find under you kitchen sink, just so you have something to handover. I’m talking a wine that is well thought out, meaningful, something with a story. Perhaps you and your best friend once visited Tuscany so you track down a special bottle of chianti sangiovese and add it to a handwritten memory from your travels. The plus side here is that they might even drink it with you! Maybe your sister got engaged in Tasmania so you take her back to that special occasion through a nice bottle from the region and a framed photo of that trip. Like art, wine has a way of transporting us to places that can be very meaningful.
Perhaps you’d rather share some of your favourite drops with a friend by putting together a little wine package. If there’s something better than one bottle of wine, it’s certainly three! I would firstly consider the styles of wine my gift receiver would like to drink and if I didn’t know, I would stick to styles that play it safe, but are still interesting – a sparkling, a white wine of a neutral nature (chenin blanc, vermentino, pinot blanc) and red wine of a medium nature (grenache, gamay, nero d’avola).
Sparkling wine is reliable for gift giving as it invokes a sense of celebration and joy. When it comes to champagne, I like to steer away from the larger houses and find something made by a grower-producer. This is someone who tirelessly farms the fruit and makes the wine, which has become a rarity in Champagne. Grower’s champagnes have stunning nuances and complexities that can’t be found in other big-scale products. My love for beautiful champagnes can get me into budget trouble, so if you are looking for something a little more price friendly, there is a rich offering of fizzy wine available that will easily delight. The advantage about bubbles over the festive season is it’s likely to be consumed by New Year’s Eve!
There are always other gift options that support the love of wine such as glassware. Currently my favourite wine stems are made by Gabriel-Glas or the Plumm Sommelier’s Series – both are elegant, beautiful to hold and extremely versatile for all styles of wine. If you are feeling particularly generous, you could also gift a wine subscription where a mixed box of wines will arrive at their door each month. For natural wine lovers, I would suggest The Borough Box, and for a broader range of wines you can give a ‘surprise box’ from Good Pair Days.
The mantra when gifting wine is always to come back to what makes it personal to them. It may not be your go-to idea as a Christmas present, but it’s hard to imagine going wrong with something that is as highly satisfying as wine. Plus, by avoiding the excess consumption that Christmas brings, it’s sure to make you feel pretty good too. Merry sipping!
My favourite wine shops in Brisbane and Gold Coast
Craft Wine Store – Red Hill and Coorparoo
Spiro’s Bottle Shop – Paddington
Embassy Cellars – Paddington
Cru Bar + Cellar – Fortitude Valley
Barrels & Stills – Woolloongabba
Quince Fromagerie – Currumbin
Somm Wine Store – Nobby Beach
Laherte Frères Blanc de Blancs Brut Nature – Champagne, France
Larmandier Bernier ‘Latitude’ – Champagne, France
Le Facteur Brut Nature Chenin Blanc – Loire Valley, France
Melsheimer ‘Rurale’ Riesling Pet Nat – Mosel, Germany
The Stumble Guide is our comprehensive Gold Coast dining guide with more than 870 places to eat, drink, shop and play.