If you’ve been invited out for dinner at someone’s place, it is good manners to take a gift and people often choose wine. But what if you don’t know the wine preferences of your host or hostess? It is easy enough to buy wine, but it is a little more difficult to choose one you can be relatively sure that your hosts will like.
Don’t be tempted by a pretty label
One thing you should not do is buy it just because the label is attractive. This is a hit or miss way to choose a wine and in fact, some of the prettiest labels hide wines that are very ordinary at best and quite horrible at worst. This is because the label is made by a marketing specialist in order to attract buyers.
Wines with an established reputation tend to have quite plain labels that simply tell the buyer what they need to know; they don’t need to rely on marketing with an attractive label to sell to people who don’t know their wines.
Don’t pay more than you need to
You may think that the best way to ensure your wine is acceptable is to pay a great deal for it. This is not necessary; many very nice, quality wines are quite inexpensive.
One way to find a wine that is popular when you don’t know a lot about them is to ask the sales attendant which wines they sell the most of. These will be the most popular wine and are sure to be acceptable to most people.
That said, If you don’t want your host to know the price of the wine you brought, choose a wine from a boutique winery. These are less well-known and often sell out quickly, so it’s less likely your host will recognise the brand or price.
Choose by the region
Many wines are region specific, but it’s a nice touch to offer a wine that has something to do with the host family. For instance, if you know they or their parents have some kind of tie to a specific region or country, offering them a wine from there is a thoughtful gesture that could well be appreciated just as much as the wine.
Even if your host/hostess simply love a specific country or region, or the food from such a place, giving them wine from there is sure to be a winner.
Choose wine bottled by the estate
When wine is bottled by a wine company, it is often a mix of various wines from different regions. The best wines are bottled by the estate that grows the grapes and bottles the wine themselves. You can be sure that such wine has the distinctive taste and smell that the estate is famous for.