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Cabernet & Company

What do you get the person who has everything? Wine, of course!

Published: Friday, Dec. 6, 2013 9:46 a.m. CDT

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It's a nice gift. People like it. It gets consumed. It goes away. Nothing left to clutter up the house. And, if they liked, it you can repeat the same gift next year.

There are all sorts of ways to give wine. You can go for the bottle approach. One, two, 27 million. Whatever your budget, whatever the number of bottles, with a little help you can find the perfect gift. Here are some ideas:

Devise a specific theme: Look for a label that some how ties into your theme. (And I don't necessarily mean just choosing a bottle because it's got Santa on it.) There are so many different labels with amazing artwork right now.

•    Interested in cooking? Jonata's "Paring" Chardonnay or Red Blend both with a beautiful line drawing of cutlery on the labels. •    Fine art aficionado? Sharpe Hill's White Blend with a reproduction of John Brewster's "Ballet of Angels" on it. •    Photography? Robert Sinskey's POV which features three different vineyard related photographs on the labels. •    Dungeons & Dragons? Lechthaler Pinot Noir features a fire breathing dragon. 

Twelve Days of Christmas: Twelve different bottles - one to enjoy each day with a separate note on each bottle to describe why you've picked that particular bottle for that particular day. Think Partridge in a Pear Tree. Think Drummers Drumming. Think Ladies Dancing.

Wine Club: the gift that keeps on giving all year! Once a month delivery? Once a quarter? There are all sorts of options out there, some local and some not. Start first with your local wine shop to determine whether or not they have their own club. If not, branch out on the Internet.

Specific Vintage Year: Perhaps you have a year you want to commemorate. Older vintage wines that remain drinkable tend to be expensive. But a relatively more affordable option might be Armagnac. Chateau de Laubade Bas Armagnac has bottles available going back to 1893! For example: need a 25th Anniversary gift? 1988 Laubade Bas Armagnac (in a wood box) approximately $140/btl. Not horrible.

(Word to the wise: these bottles all have to be special ordered and may take a week or so to get so don't expect to walk into your local shop on Christmas Eve and find them.)

Wine tastings: Similar to cooking classes, find out what local shops are offering in the realm of wine classes or tastings. The gift could be entry to that event along with a bottle of whatever wine will be featured.

Specific wines for specific occasions: Why not tie your gift into the occasion? If you know what the menu is it's easy to choose the right wine. Your local wine shop can help you with this too.

•    Seafood - White Burgundy, lovely minerally Chardonnay. •    Rib Roast - a big, elegant California Cab. •    New Year's Eve - of course, bubbles. •    (and, for you Canadians) Boxing Day - a versatile Syrah to go with all the leftovers.

Don't forget the wrapping: Bottles can be difficult. Most shops have options for wrapping and making things festive | as simple as a colorful gift bag or as ornate as a basket and all sorts of other options in between.

So, last words: don't settle for another tie for Dad or gloves for Mom, when there's an entire wonderful world of wine out from which to choose.

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