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Great Estates Okanagan
December 10, 2018 | Okanagan Travel, Wine Culture | Great Estates Okanagan

How to Pick the Perfect Gift for the Oenophile on Your List

gift ideas for wine lovers

Gift Ideas for Wine-Lovers

Count yourself lucky if you've got a wine-lover on your list this holiday season. Just buy them some wine! We know it can be intimidating purchasing wine for someone who really knows their vino. Here are a few tips for buying wine for the oenophile on your holiday shopping list. 

Select a Crowd-Pleaser. 

What's their favourite wine? This is almost an impossible question because 1) it is likely to change often and 2) it might depend on their mood, their meal, or their company. Instead, stick with a crowd pleaser. This way, you can give it knowing it's a well-loved wine and they can serve it knowing it's a well-loved wine. Win-win. Not sure which are crowd pleasers? Visit the Great Estates Wine Experience Centre before the holidays, ask the winery associate to give you the low-down. The Centre stocks favoured wines from all of our Okanagan wineries so you're sure to find exactly what you're looking for. Did you know we have over 7 rosés to choose from and a wide selection of winery-exclusive wines?  And, as a bonus - you get to go to the tasting bar and discover for yourself why these are so popular! 

No time for that? Take advantage of Great Estates Okanagan's Gift Guide and online shopping. And, if you're buying for more than one wine-lover (and you want to get your shopping done all at once) email us to place a special order and we'll take care of all of the shipping for you.  

Give them an Award-winner. 

While everyone has their personal taste preference, the judges at wine competitions have honed theirs for years. When they get together and collectively agree that a wine is the best - it’s a pretty sure bet your loved one will agree. Or, at the very least be interested in trying it. 

Plus, buying an award-winning wine as a gift sends a clear message that you think they deserve the best. Select the Platinum, Double-Gold, or Gold winners from any wine competition to send this message. 

Find Something Unique. 

Every oenophile (or budding oenophile) loves to try wine. Experiencing a variety of different wines is the only way for them to develop their palate and increase their understanding of wine. So, give them a bottle that will expand their wine knowledge. 

For example, Tempranillo is not a very common variety in the Okanagan so giving them a bottle of the Inniskillin Okanagan Discovery Series Tempranillo or Sparkling Tempranillo would be an exciting option. The Steller’s Jay Sparkling Shiraz is another unique wine that might fit the bill. There aren’t a lot of sparkling red wines that are produced in Canada. This is a style of wine more common in Australia, so giving them a bottle of this wine is like giving them an international experience. 

Make it Special. 

Some of the best gifts are the ones that we know the recipient wouldn’t buy for themselves. This is why icewine is such a common wine gift. Icewines tend to be a little more expensive and they are often enjoyed as a special treat. 

Icewines aren’t the only wines that fit this bill. A fortified wine, like Black Sage Vineyard Pipe, is another great option. This dessert-style, red wine is generally served after dinner and savoured over conversation. 

Of course, there’s a bottle of bubbles. While we think any occasion is an occasion for sparkling wine, a gifted bottle certainly still holds that cachet of celebrations to come. 

Give them a Wine-tasting Experience Instead. 

If the thought of buying a wine still feels overwhelming, then give your loved one the opportunity to try a variety. All of our wineries offer elevated wine tasting experiences. These often include food pairings and an opportunity to taste winery exclusive wines. And, there’s always an education component which your oenophile is sure to love. For example, learning how to pair chocolate with wine, how sparkling wine is made, or how winemakers blend wine. 

There are also amazing wine and food events throughout the year at our wineries. One of our most popular is Chef Meets BC Grape. This event features wineries from all over the Okanagan as well as chefs from across BC. The food, wine, and atmosphere are spectacular. The event is held in the vineyard at See Ya Later Ranch in June and tickets are already available (at an early bird price until January 15, 2019). 

Gifts of experiences are often cherished because they generate such great memories. Why not make the experience extra special and include yourself in the gift? We bet time with you is gift enough. You can book an experience at any of our wineries or on our website. Gift certificates for experiences can also be picked up at the winery or online.

The Gift of Knowledge.

When people first get into wine, they learn about how to sniff and sip to determine if they like a wine or not. They might learn a little bit of wine vocabulary so they can describe how a wine smells or tastes. For a lot of people, this is enough. 

If someone is really keen to understand wine and the winemaking process, they take it a step further by registering for the WSET. The WSET is actually the Wine and Spirit Education Trust. They’ve created three levels of awards or levels that people can take to improve their understanding of wine. 

Many people who work in the wine industry have this designation. In the Okanagan, anyone keen to get their training can check out Wine Plus+ Wine School’s upcoming dates. Wine Master, Rhys Pender will certainly help your wine-enthusiast become a full-fledged oenophile. 

Hopefully, these tips help take the intimidation out of buying wine for an oenophile. But, if you’re still uncertain, you can always buy them wine accessories or novelties. Our winery stores all carry a variety of fun decorative items (for example, See Ya Later Ranch has a large selection of tongue-in-cheek, wine-themed signs and pillows), cookbooks, wine glasses, bottle openers, and a myriad of other vino-centric items. Why not make your shopping a little more fun? Stop by our wineries, enjoy a wine tasting, and browse the shop. 


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