04 _How to Make a Wine Entrance
How to Make a Wine Entrance

By the time you’re done reading this, you will know how to pick the perfect bottle of wine to take to any celebration. Sunday brunch with the ladies. A festive holiday cocktail reception with neighbors. Or a fancy dinner party with new friends.  At Tipsy Mix, we got you covered. Take a deep breath and let’s remove the anxiety that comes from the pressure of selecting a bottle of wine. You don’t have to be a wine expert to pick the perfect wine gift.

Here is a step-by-step guide to nail wine selection and make a wine entrance at any occasion.

Select a bottle that you think your host will love.

If you know that the host hates white wine, for God’s sake, don’t bring a bottle of white wine! Maybe you just have a general idea of what they like (i.e., they love reds, and hate whites). Maybe you know  that they are big fans of Pinot Noir (you know, “Pinot People”). In that case Maison Noir OPP ($25) is a great choice.  Maybe you know that they frequently visit Sonoma wine country and would love a bottle of Ehler’s Estate Dry Creek Sauvignon Blanc ($38). Use whatever information you have about that person to help guide your choice.

Steer away from the big brands.

I know this sounds counter-intuitive. If you bring a bottle of fancy Champagne that everyone recognizes, they’ll know much you spent and you’ll look like you know a thing or two about wine, right? Wrong!  Anyone can run to the liquor store or wine shop and grab one of these “vanity labels”. You’ll be better off following the steps here to select something more meaningful and not just the “easy out”.

Visit your local wine shop.

Stepping out of the grocery store or big-box wine retailer and into your local wine shop is the single best way to discover and learn more about wine. By shopping from your local wine shop, you’re sure to find hidden gems from lesser-known regions. Translation: more interesting wines, such as Verdicchio, a refreshing Italian white wine. Umani Ronchi  Casal di Serra Verdicchio ($20.99) is a great choice. Also, employees at wine shops are gold mines. Give them a budget and an idea of what you’re looking for, and they’re sure to have some good suggestions.

Be sure that white, rose, or sparkling wines are chilled!

There is nothing worse than presenting the host with a lovely bottle of wine that is not ready to serve. Throw that bottle in the fridge or freezer while you are getting ready! Also, there are some great (and inexpensive) products to keep your bottles cold in transit: a Corksicle, ice wine bag, or a good old-fashioned cooler with ice.

Greet the host warmly and be sure to tell them why you selected this bottle of wine.

Don’t forget this ever so important step! A quick hug and letting them know you know they honeymooned in Tuscany, so here’s a lovely Tuscan red. Or, letting them know you know their family is from Greece, so you found an Assyrtiko (a fun Greek white wine) at your favorite wine shop. This can all go a long way.

Congratulations! You’ve successfully made a wine entrance at your next event. These are easy and subtle suggestions, but they go a long way. It is my hope that you crack open that bottle of wine with friends and family. And frequently. For any occasion! The meaning of life is to live it. And how better to live it than by drinking good wine with the people you love.

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