Good Gift Wines at Every Price

With so many great wines to choose from, you won't ever have to walk into a holiday party empty-handed. By: Peter Hellman

Our Favorite Gift Wines

Photo: Randy Mayor

Our Favorite Gift Wines

Matching wines with food isn't the only nifty trick; matching wines with people is, too. Here are our favorite good-value wine gifts for many palates and personalities.

$10 or Less Gift Wines

Photo: Randy Mayor

$10 or Less

  • Woodbridge Brut NV ($10) This crisp, tart-sweet sparkler provides an instant upgrade for munchies like buffalo wings or chips for the sports fan.
  • Paringa Shiraz 2008, South Australia ($10) A full-throttled over-performer, perfect for the wine lover who likes big reds.
  • Bonizio Sangiovese di Maremma 2008 ($9) A cherry-scented, nimble-in-the-glass sangiovese; a pure sampling of Tuscany's signature grape to please the pasta lover on your list.

$20 or Less Gift Wines

Photo: Randy Mayor

$20 or Less

  • Yarden Viognier, Galilee, 2007 ($16) Take this spiced-peachy kosher white to a Hanukkah party. It's perfect with potato latkes.
  • Château Doisy-Védrines Sauternes 2004, ($20 per half bottle) Introduce a sweet tooth to dessert wine. Knife-edged acidity cuts through glazed-apricot yumminess.
  • Humanitas El Dorado County Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 ($20) Get this one for someone who buys fair-trade foods. A lithe red from a Napa winery that donates all profits to food banks and other local charities. (Order at humanitaswines.com.)

$35 or Less Gift Wines

Photo: Randy Mayor

$35 or Less

  • Craggy Range 2008, Te Muna Road ($30) Pinot noir from New Zealand is trendy, and this one is at its plummy, velvety apogee. Sure to seduce any red Burgundy fan.
  • Dr. Loosen Riesling Beerenauslese 2006 (quarter bottle, $23) if bees made wine, this would be it. For connoisseurs.
  • Château Cantemerle Haut-Médoc 2005 ($35) Brodeaux at its best still sets the standard for some fans, and they will find their views confirmed by this balanced, refined, impeccable example.

Splurge Gift Wines

Photo: Randy Mayor

Splurge

  • The Rare Wine Co. Madeira, Boston Bual Special Reserve ($46.50) For the sophisticated palate or U.S. history buff: a zesty, sweet-tangy, intense drink to sip by the fire after dinner while reading about Jefferson.
  • Le Ragose Amarone della Valpolicella 2004 ($55) A veronese showstopper made from semidried grapes, for the Italophile on your list. Layered, silky mouthfeel.
  • Amapola Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 ($80) Want to make a big splash with a lover of cutting-edge cabs? This restrained yet rich beauty is from esteemed Sonoma winemaker Richard Arrowood's new organic winery.

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