There are all kinds of guidelines pertaining to gift giving at weddings, anniversaries, and other special occasions, depending on the event, the couple, the location, etc. Some guests prefer to give money, others prefer to give gifts that will remind the couple of them. Whatever a gift giver may decide, wine is often a lovely, thoughtful, and enjoyable gift for either a wedding or anniversary.
Champagne is a wonderful gift for both weddings and anniversaries – in fact my sister and her husband received a bottle of 1996 Perrier-Jouet Fleur as part of a wedding gift from a dear friend last year. Fleur is in a gorgeous bottle, making a beautiful presentation, and the vintage Champagne is exquisite. Vintage Champagnes tend to be more expensive than non-vintage Champagnes; however, for an event as important as a wedding or anniversary, it may be more appropriate to spend a bit more and present the couple with such a special bottle. And what could be better for the couple to receive as a celebratory gift than a bottle of Champagne? Some excellent quality vintage Champagnes that are relatively easy to find in wine shops are Perrier-Jouet Fleur, Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame, Moet & Chandon Dom Perignon, Louis Roederer Cristal, and Krug. Be prepared to spend upwards of $100 – vintage Champagnes are on the pricey side but make for a spectacular gift for the couple. If you prefer to go with a non-vintage Champagne, perhaps consider a gift of Champagne with toasting flutes.
The gift giver may also consider a non-sparkling wine as a gift, and the possibilities are endless, as there are so many extraordinary wines from which to choose, from all parts of the world. Some of the best known (and excellent quality) red wines are produced in the Bordeaux region of France, and Bordeaux wines range from fairly inexpensive to very expensive, so the choice depends on what the gift giver is planning to spend. Again, if this is a wedding or special anniversary, it is probably appropriate to present the couple with a good quality bottle, which may cost a bit of money. Other regions of France that produce some prestigious red wines include Burgundy and Rhone. If the gift giver feels the couple may prefer an Italian wine, reds from Piedmont and Tuscany would make for lovely gifts. And as for American wines, the gift giver should look to Napa and Sonoma reds.
If the gift giver is particularly concerned with choosing a wine of excellent quality, he or she should inquire at the wine shop as to which are the best vintages from the particular regions from which the gift giver is choosing. The gift giver should also consider that the couple may wish to store the special bottle for a later date, perhaps for a five or ten year anniversary or even later. To ensure that the wine will be as enjoyable as possible when an aged bottle is finally opened, the gift giver should inquire at the wine shop which wines possess the best aging quality. Not all wines are intended for aging, and this is especially important when investing in such an important bottle.