Give a Wine Experience
Give a Wine Experience
A nice bottle of wine - it's long been the gift of choice for nearly any occasion, from your first visit to a friend's home to the grown-up gift you give Mom on her special day. But wine as a gift is evolving, thanks to America's continued interest in all things "viticultural." Wine classes, wine clubs and accessories are all part of the growing trend to give a "wine experience" as a gift.
"A wine experience makes a great gift because it can suit all levels of wine knowledge, from absolute beginner to true connoisseur," says Bruce Boring, co-founder of the California Wine Club. "Wine is the essence of grown-up enjoyment. It can be exciting or relaxing, stimulating or soothing, simple or intricate. A wine experience allows the recipient to savor that variety of pleasures and learn something new about wine at the same time."
If you're looking for a unique Mother's Day gift, here are some ideas for giving wine as an experience:
Consider a Class
"Wine education has boomed over the past two decades," Boring says. "It's now easy to find a class that meets your learning needs, caters to your level of knowledge and fits into your schedule."
A wine class can be a simple one-time tasting event offered by your area wine shop, to a multi-week course taught by an expert at the local community college. Check out the events pages of your newspaper, or visit a college or wine shop's Web site to learn what's available in your area.
A corkscrew and wine glass may be the basic accessories required for wine enjoyment, but gift-givers will find a wealth of variety in wine accessories. Know a true connoisseur? Consider high-end crystal wine glasses or a professional taster's set. A portable wine cellar could be ideal for the budding collector on your list. Or, for the more practical wine lover, who simply wants to enjoy a chilled glass with his meal, opt for a wine bucket that rapid-chills a bottle of wine.
Send them on a Trip
Vineyards, resorts, hotels and travel agencies offer a multitude of travel packages to California's wine country. Hotels and resorts across the country also offer wine tasting weekends and overnight packages. Web sites such as NapaWineTours.net and WineExperience.com offer information on wine destinations and travel opportunities.
Join a Club
"A wine club allows you to sample a range of wines you probably wouldn't be able to find locally on your own, and ensures you'll be tasting quality wines, " says Boring, who, along with his wife Pam, founded the California Wine Club in 1990. The club spotlights wines produced by small, family wineries in California, and the Borings sample and hand-select every wine featured.
Each month, members receive two new wines, delivered to their door with the club's magazine, "Uncorked" which features information on the wines, background on the vintners, wine education articles and recipes for foods that pair well with the featured wines. There are no joining fees; members only pay the monthly cost of the wines, which can be as little as $32.95 per month for the beginner's level Premier Club up to $180 per month for the Signature Club that caters to true connoisseurs and collectors. Members receive discounts for buying three, six, nine or 12-month memberships in advance, but may also opt for a month-to-month membership that can be cancelled at any time without cost or penalty.
"The joy of a wine experience lingers long after the bottles have been emptied," Boring says.
To learn how you can give someone a unique window on California wine country, visit www.cawineclub.com or call (800) 777-4443.
Courtesy of ARA Content
Copyright © 2008-2012, InterestAlert