The Art of Giving and Receiving Wine

When it comes to giving wine, there aren’t any hard and fast rules. The same goes for receiving it! In this week’s episode we talked about the ins and outs of giving and receiving wine, and some of the challenges the come along with both of those scenarios. How much do you spend? How do you decide what to pick? What do you do if you receive a wine that you straight up don’t like?

There are so many occasions where etiquette dictates that you should bring wine: housewarmings, dinner parties, etc. And now, here you are, standing in the wine section of the grocery store, baffled about what to bring.  If you are new to wine and and completely stuck, join the masses and pick a wine by the pretty label (go with red wine though because studies show that most people prefer red wines). I know that this may seem like odd advice, but we are all drawn to pretty things, so in a pinch, it’s not a bad idea to just go for it!

If you have a little more time, ask for advice from someone who may know – perhaps an expert who works in a wine shop. They can guide you.

Now, when you get to this dinner party where you have spent all of this time choosing the wine, will the host actually open the bottle? Probably not. Sorry! It may not go with their menu. It may be something the host wants to save for him or herself. It’s just how it goes sometimes!

If you’re on the receiving end, you are under no obligation to open wine that is given to you. If you receive a bottle of wine that you know is just…well…not your cup of tea, fix your face immediately! Be as gracious as ever, put that wine someplace “special” and then decide what you want to do with it later.

Unsophisticated Tips:

Giving wine

  • Avoid common or well-known wines, go with well known varietals instead.
  • Match to the recipient: ex:  Health conscious – go with organic
  • Avoid gift sets – usually it’s full of stuff that people already have
  • Going to a party – go for  a $15-$20 bottle
  • If it’s an actual GIFT, maybe consider spending a bit more, splurge a little bit!
  • Magnums are a fun alternative to the regular bottle of wine.
  • If you’re giving a gift to a non-wine drinker, tailor the gift to what they like – vodka for the vodka drinker, whiskey for the whiskey drinker, something completely non- alcoholic for the person that doesn’t drink.
  • If you want to make sure they know it’s a gift and not to be consumed that night, put it in a gift bag.

Receiving wine

  • You don’t have to open it that evening!
  • There is no etiquette on researching the wine you receive. Do what feels right to you!
  • What if you don’t like the wine?! YIKES!

    • Is it kosher to regift a wine? We’ll leave that up to you!
    • Use it for cooking!


Until next time, drink responsibly! Cheers!

“Either give me more wine or leave me alone.”

― Rumi, circa 1200’s