Giving Alcohol as a Gift: The Etiquette

A gift of wine for that special event iStockphoto

Wine and spirits can certainly go hand-in-hand with the holiday spirit.

But not every type of alcoholic beverage is appropriate to give as a gift to every type of person in your life.

Holiday Gift, Shopping Guide

And on "The Early Show on Saturday Morning," Food and Wine magazine Executive Editor Ray Isle shared some rules of thumb:

For Your Boss

Don't give something obviously cheap or generic.

Do find out what your boss likes by asking around, trying to remember the last time you saw him or her order something, or his or her hobbies and habits.

Recommendation: Drouhin Vaudon Reserve de Vaudon'08, $28 (a white wine)

For a Host/Hostess

Don't bring a bottle that you expect to be opened. The etiquette here is that, just because you bring the bottle, this host/hostess doesn't necessarily have to serve it (and may even put it away to enjoy at a later date).

Do bring a Sparkling Wine. Sparkling Wine is the ultimate gift, because people will drink it if they like Sparkling Wine, or re-gift it to bring to another party or occasion.

Recommendation: Trapiche Extra Brut NV from Argentina $13

For Your Father-in-Law:

Don't bring just any old bottle of wine or liquor you grabbed off the shelf.

Do bring a well-thought-out bottle of single malt Scotch, or whatever high-end liquor he is fond of.

Recommendation: Macallan 12, $52 (a Scotch)

For a Grab Bag

Don't give something that is available at every liquor store. This shows a lack of thought.

Do give beer or wine that is made in small batches. It won't necessarily cost you more, but will feel more personal.

Recommendation: Chateau Lafayette Reneau semi dry Riesling, $15 (a white wine)

For a Friend:

Don't give them something off the wall that isn't quality.

Do give them something quirky and unusual, and really good at the same time.

Recommendation: Xante, $40 (inexpensive pear cognac liquor)
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