Saturday, April 19, 2014

How to: Put Together the Perfect Wine Basket

Weddings, birthdays, graduations, raffle prizes: there are all sorts of occasions to give a wine gift basket. 

Recently, I was asked to put together a prize for my cousin’s stag and doe, and it got me thinking: what goes into the perfect wine gift basket? Besides the obvious requirement of wine, there were other questions to be answered. What wines should I choose? What else can I add to it? What do I put it all in?

First, select the wines. If you’re unsure of the recipient’s preference, choosing a red and a white is usually a safe bet. For a special occasion, a sparkling champagne-style wine might be appropriate. For my gift basket, I chose a Trius Chardonnay and a Trius Cabernet. Since I have no idea who will win the basket, I wanted to go with a white and a red that would appeal to a wide audience. While you don’t necessarily have to go with the most expensive wines, don’t pick something you wouldn’t be proud to serve to guests. These wines are VQA which signifies a higher quality Ontario wine. Don’t be afraid to ask staff for their recommendations too! 

Select bottles of wine for your gift basket

Now, choose some add-ons. Again, this will depend on the recipient and the occasion, but here are some general suggestions:

-Cocktail napkins: I found some cute ones with a cork pattern for my basket. 

Cork cocktail napkins
-Fancy Crackers: I like Carr's Entertainment Cracker Collection because you get a nice variety. In Ontario they're available at Longo's grocery stores, and you can check them out online here
-Icewine Jelly: This is tasty with cheese and crackers! I really like the Red Pepper Icewine Jelly from Niagara Vinegar. You can buy them online at their website or in select The Wine Shop locations in Ontario

Red pepper icewine jelly

-Chocolate: either choose a high quality chocolate that will pair well with the wines you’ve chosen, or try something like Brix Bites, a set of chocolates that are intended for different wine pairings. Check them out here: Brix Chocolate

Combine a few of these and you’ve got an instant tasting party!

You can also go the wine accessory route, but proceed with caution…
-Wine Glasses: unless you know the recipient needs wine glasses, these might end up in a box in the basement.
-Bottle Stopper: fewer wines are using corks these days, resulting in a decreased need for bottle stoppers. However, they can still make a nice novelty item for someone who drinks corked wines.
-Corkscrew/Wine Opener: same reason as above.

Finally, you’ll need something to put it in. You can find different sized baskets at craft stores, department stores, and even some dollar stores. Just make sure all of your items will fit nicely before buying! Another idea is to use a champagne or wine chilling bucket. 

You can stuff the bottom of your container with some tissue paper to protect the contents, and even wrap the whole thing in clear cellophane with some ribbon to pull it all together. Presentation is key here. You put the effort into picking the basket’s contents, so make sure it shows on the outside too!

I’ll be posting a picture of my own wine basket shortly. Cheers!

1 comment:

  1. Yes so perfect all wine gift baskets. I like your all products and thanks for sharing.
    wine gift baskets