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Practical Wine Gifts

Cooking Wine

A fine Marsala or a dry white wine will suit the family chef. For advanced gourmets, select a cooking sherry. Since the alcohol burns off during the simmering or broiling process, diners of most ages can enjoy dishes enhanced with a wine sauce. Include a recipe for a stir fry or a simple white wine pasta dish. Marsala wine reduction sauce also creates a simple and succulent turkey glaze. Print recipe instructions on a decorative card and attach them to the bottle with a fancy ribbon.

Wine Sampling

Investigate local wine and cheese shops as well as gourmet supermarkets for wine-tasting events. Present the recipient with a gift certificate that covers the cost of an event or several generous samples. Adventurous samplers can try several varieties without consuming a large amount of alcohol. Participants will learn what varieties they prefer, making future gift-giving easier.

Wine Glasses

Wine glasses make a lasting gift. You don't have to purchase different types of wine glasses for the recipient's various favorite wines. In her book "Great Wine Made Simple," master sommelier Andrea Immer Robinson suggests a wide-bowled wine glass with a capacity of 12 to 14 oz. to accommodate a 5- to 6-oz. portion of wine. "A thin rim allows you to 'pour' each sip so it slides effortlessly onto your palate" instead of sucking it over a thick rolled rim. Choose a pair of glasses to accompany a bottle of wine for an intimate celebration or select an entire set as a housewarming gift.

Budget Wines

Choose a recommended budget wine for a dollar-limit gift exchange or when the occasion calls for just "a little something." Southern Living Foods editor Scott Johnson suggests several wines under $10. Red wine selections include Oregon vintner Duck Pond's rich pinot noir or the zinfandel from California's Rancho Zabaco. Try Columbia Crest chardonnay or South African maker Fairview's sauvignon blanc if the recipient prefers a white wine.

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