If you’re a wine lover, chances are you have some idea of what you like to sip. But when it comes to choosing a wine as a gift, whether it’s for your next dinner party or your best friend’s birthday, the selection process can be a bit overwhelming. Marcelo Papa, recently named Winemaker of the Year, offers this advice.
Consider taste preferences
When choosing a wine as a gift, think about the taste preferences and the palette of the person you’re buying for, says Papa. The first step might be to find out if they prefer red or white wine. Then, try and find out if they like lighter or full-bodied wines. If they like lighter wines, try Sparkling, Champagne or Sauvignon Blanc, or in the reds, a Pinot Noir, suggests Papa. If they like big, full-bodied wines, go for a Cabernet Sauvignon.
Go ahead and judge a wine by the label
When it comes to wine, you may be able to get away with judging a bottle by its label. “The label says a lot about what you will find inside the bottle,” says Papa. For example, Marques de Casa Concha Cabernet Sauvignon has a quite classic label, so inside, you will find a classic style of Cabernet, which Papa describes as “dry, not sweet, not over-oaked.”
Don’t get too caught up on the price
There is a relationship between price and quality, says Papa, but it’s not so straightforward. The key is to compare the price within both the category and the region. So, if you go for a Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile and you move up in price to another Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile, you will get a higher quality. But, if you compare a Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile to one from Napa, you may need to pay more for a similar quality. Each area has a taste, and some areas are more expensive, says Papa.
Above all, keep in mind that taste and quality are both very subjective. “What’s quality for you might be different for someone else,” says Papa. “The beauty of wine is that you need to try and taste different kinds.”