In these difficult economic times, those of us with wine cellars are in a pretty good position to save some money on holiday gifts while making our friends and relatives happy and grateful. Here's how: Delve into your cellar for goodies to give as gifts.
I do it often, usually for host or hostess gifts when we're invited for dinner. But it makes perfect sense to extend the same idea more generally, for several reasons.
For the recipients, those who don't keep their own cellar will be delighted to get a wine that's been maturing in a clean, cool environment from someone who has put some thought into what to keep. Those who have their own cellars can enjoy something they might not have themselves.
For the givers, it's a good way to keep your own cellar healthy. Let's face it, many of us have acquired more wine than we can possibly drink before it goes over the hill. Periodically, we all must go through our collections to identify those bottles we should drink sooner rather than later. I don't know about you, but I always have more than I can possibly drink myself.
I am not suggesting you dump your over-the-hill wines as gifts for friends. For those wines that have gone past their drink-by dates, I invite some friends for a casual dinner at which we keep opening bottles until we find a good one. The rest go down the drain.
Gifts should come from the ones that are still on the good side of their use-by dates. If you can tell the recipient you had another bottle recently and what it was like, even better. A personal tasting note makes a welcome addition.
For recipients who are not accustomed to drinking mature wines, add a helpful note on how to open and decant an older bottle. Who knows? You might inspire someone else to age good wine in their own cellar.
This idea is not recommended for children on your holiday gift list, of course. You could make their parents' eyes light up, however.
John Kmiecik — Chicago, IL — October 27, 2008 1:19pm ET
Sandy Fitzgerald — Centennial, CO — October 27, 2008 1:22pm ET
Marianna Kump — New York — October 27, 2008 2:26pm ET
Wallace & Pat Slater — Evans, GA — October 28, 2008 7:11pm ET
James Suckling — — October 30, 2008 3:31am ET
Harvey Steiman — San Francisco, CA — October 30, 2008 11:45am ET
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