Tasting Pour was asked a really great and really hard question this week. “What type of wine should you get someone for a Christmas gift when you don’t know what they like?” Combining a difficult to please person, with limited information on his/her tastes, plus the pressure of Christmas shopping is like the trifecta of gift giving dilemmas.
If you don’t even know if they like red/white or sweet/dry, I say go with a sparkling wine.
While there are some very expensive sparkling wines, there are many nice bottles in very affordable ranges and this is the time of year when wine stores run sparkling wines on special. These more affordable bottles also tend to have fresher, fruitier flavors and clean, crisp, dry finishes that make them suitable for a wide range of palates and for mixing. Gloria Ferrer Sonoma Brut or Blanc de Noirs from California, Clos de Nouys Vouvray ( a Loire Valley sparkling wine made with Chenin Blanc), Domaine Carneros by Taittinger from California, and Scharffenberger Brut from California are all fine examples of bottles ranging from $15-30, and all are made using the same methods as sparkling wines from the Champagne region in France. For an off- dry style consider a Prosecco or Risqué from Toad Hollow. If planning to include a mixer, consider an even less expensive but quality sparkling like Toso from Argentina (~$10).