Christmas Gifts of Wine
German traditionalists drink a sweet Christmas concoction known as feurezangenbowle. This flaming punch is a combination of red wine, rum and spices. A block of rum-soaked sugar sits on a rack over the drink. It is set on fire and melts the sweetness into the bowl. Bringing a bottle of wine to a holiday gathering was a nice way of saying "thank you" and "keep the punch flowing." Today, Christmas party-goers still give wine to their hosts and loved ones in celebration of the season.
When attending a Christmas dinner party, bring a dinner wine. When smoked ham is on the menu, bring a bottle of cabernet sauvignon. Cornish hens pair well with a chardonnay, zinfandel or dry rose. Purchase a Syrah or merlot when having a Christmas roast, goose or duck. Purchase both a white and red wine if the host is serving multiple entrees.
Bubbling wines, or Champagne, is the best wine to give for toasting. Purchase an ultra brut, brut sauvage or extra brut if you like champagne with no extra sugar. Buy an extra dry or extra sec for a slightly sweet wine. Other options include dry, sec, demi-sec or doux.
People like trying wines from around the world. For a romantic dinner, buy a French or Italian wine. RedEnvelope offers wines from Australia, Chile, Tuscany and Argentina. Purchase a membership to a wine of the month club so loved ones can enjoy a different world wine every month.
For holiday desserts, bring a sweet wine to enhance the flavor of the dish. Accomplish this by purchasing a port, Madeira or raisin wine. RedEnvelope has a Christmas gift basket that pairs a sweet prosecco with chocolate truffles. Create your own gift basket with your favorite dessert wine paired with chocolate-covered strawberries and candies.
For the wine lover who has a large stock of wine, bring a gift of wine accessories. A funky corkscrew, a new wine guide, or a glass decanter are good ideas. Other ideas include reusable corks, a wine cradle or a counter rack. Buy a set of crystal wine glasses, dangling wine jewelry and wine covers. Purchase a wine bucket for chilling champagnes. Personalize the bucket by having it inscribed with a special Christmas or New Year's message. Include the date and the name of the event in the inscription.