Anthony Gismondi on Wine
Thursday, December 8 2022

Finding the Right Wine Gift

By: Anthony Gismondi
It doesn't have to be expensive to be right.

Finding the right wine gift takes some time and thought.

We continue our tradition of helping you find the right wine gift for the right person. From the boss to the wine geek, we have it covered but remember, never spend more than you can afford.

If you have the funding and want to embellish your wine gift, consider wrapping up a book on wine or adding a simple decanter or box of proper-shaped glasses. Just keep in mind that when it comes to wine accessories, plain and simple is always the best.


Never an easy pick, it should look spendy — hint: excellent packaging — but be reasonable in price. We have two choices, one red and one white from the same producer and both from Yarra Valley, Victoria, Australia. The Giant Steps 2020 Chardonnay, $43, is rich in a Burgundian Grand Cru way but not overpowering. The Giant Steps 2020 Pinot Noir, $43, is a wow wine that is simply delicious. You could pair them up if you really need a promotion.


Most wines are better with food thanks to a specific chemistry that’s difficult to describe but easy to taste. If there are one or two key ingredients to a perfect food and wine match, it is the acidity and a savoury element. Broad candidates include Bordeaux, Brunello, Barolo or Syrah. We pick a magical bottle of Damilano 2016 Lecinquevigne Barolo, Langhe, Piedmont, Italy, for $59.


The eco-conscious crowd appreciates wine made using sustainable, organic or biodynamic practices along with little intervention, and many British Columbia wine growers fit the model. Here are three terrific labels fighting climate change: Summerhill Pyramid Winery 2012 Cipes Blanc de Blancs at $43; CedarCreek 2020 Meritage at $27.99 and Clos du Soleil 2019 Célestiale at $30.


For the reader/drinker, there is only one book, The World Atlas of Wine 8th Edition by Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson ($64). Reading about the world of wine and using the maps to look up every wine you drink adds significant joy, and value, to every wine you taste. Available in better bookstores and online at Amazon.ca.


Beef, barbecues and big red wines are a match for many, and the go-to grapes are Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Shiraz and Grenache and most any red blend that contains the same grapes. A trio of bargains we love include: Il Borro 2019 Borrigiano, Arezzo, Tuscany, Italy at $40; Descendientes de J. Palacios 2015 Pétalos, Bierzo, Spain at $38 and Las Moradas de San Martin 2017 Senda, Madrid, Spain at $36


The hostess/host wine gift needs an upgrade. Remember, it is for the host, not the people attending the party, so consider wrapping it festively. When you make the handoff, insist they save it for a quieter evening. Sparkling wine is the intelligent choice here. Choose a bottle to suit your budget: Red Rooster Brut Rosé, OkanaganValley B.C. at $29; Ferrari Brut Metodo Classico N/V, Trentino- Alto-Adige, Italy at$35 or Champagne Piper-Heidsieck Cuvee Brut for $70.


A glass of port is as civilized as it gets over the holidays, and it’s a wine category few people buy for themselves. Here are some intelligent bottles that will warm the souls of the recipients: Graham Six Grapes Reserve Port N/V for $26.99; Fonseca Terra Prima Organic Reserve Port at $31.99 or the Taylor Fladgate Vintage Port 2016 at $150. All are from the Douro Valley, Portugal.


It takes an experienced taster to pick a bottle worth collecting, one guaranteed to be worth the purchase and the wait. Here are three highly-regarded collectible labels selling at somewhat sensible prices for the collector: Krug N/V Grande Cuvee for $255; Penfolds 2015 Grange, South Australia at $1,000 and Chapoutier 2016 Ermitage Le Pavillon, Hermitage, Rhone Valley for $500.

This article is an edited version of the original that was first published in The Vancouver Sun. 

Written By: ag
Anthony Gismondi
Anthony Gismondi

Anthony Gismondi is a Canadian wine journalist and one of North America's most influential voices in wine. For over 30 years, he has been the wine columnist for The Vancouver Sun. The twice-weekly column is distributed across Canada through the Postmedia Network to millions of readers. In addition, Anthony hosts the BC Food & Wine Radio Show, broadcast in 25 markets across B.C. and available as a podcast on major platforms. He launched Gismondionwine.com in 1997, attracting one million monthly users from 114 countries. It continues to be a valuable resource full of tasting notes, intelligent wine stories and videos for the trade and consumers. Conversations with wine personalities are available on his  YouTube Channel.