The Top Wine Tips for Valentine’s Day

Bottles of red wine on a shelf with red flowers

You can’t go wrong with wine. You really can’t. It’s one of those gifts that nobody hates, and most people love. Even if gift-getters don’t drink wine themselves, they can always re-gift it! Like socks, wine is always a great option for gifting. If you’re looking for a gift for your special someone, or someone that you want to be special—we’ve got your back.

Wine Gifts for the Hockey Lover

We can’t say enough positive things about some of the young wines coming out of Wayne Gretzky Estates, which opened this year in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada. Some of our favourites include the house Baco Noir, Cabernet Merlot, and Riesling (all 2015s). They can all be found here. Even if your hockey fan isn’t a big wineo, the hockey reference will bring just as much charm to the heart as the wine does to the palate.

Wine Gifts for Moms

Mom – she was probably your first Valentine and she has definitely earned a drink. Last spring we wrote a full post for mother’s day about picking wines that your mom will (hopefully) like. To do that, we interviewed a lot of moms. Here are their top-picked varietals:

  • Chardonnay – It goes down like butter, and often shares buttery tastes
  • Merlot – The most-loved red wine selected by the moms we surveyed, and one of the world’s most popular reds
  • Riesling – If you find something semi-dry, you can please almost anyone
  • Pinot Noir – Generally fruit forward and rarely too sweet, it’s hard to disappoint
  • Pinot Grigio – A grape of choice for many, with a wide range of options and price points to choose from.

Wine Gifts in the Name of Love

This one is tricky. Even though it’s hard to go wrong giving wine as a gift, you still want to give a bottle (or two) that your love will enjoy. There are no guarantees with such general guidelines, but we’ve put together a few different varietals that might work based on your knowledge of that person’s wine habits.

If You Know That Your Valentine Really Likes Wine

That’s a great place to start. If you’ve been together for a while you likely already know what they drink, which makes the selection process a little easier. Maybe you know if they prefer red or white, sweet or acidic – that’s an easy place to start!

While there are millions of wine lovers, with all their unique tastes, there are some ‘pillar’ wines. More serious wine drinkers tend to be open to a bold Cabernet Sauvignon. As a red wine that often boasts heavier oak, medium-high tannins, it’s a balanced guess for a romantic gift. If you’re looking for a white, try a Viognier , as this varietal is often sophisticated and well-balanced.

You Have No Idea, But Wine is a Nice Gift, Right?

Now, this is our kind of gift giving! In the style of Oprah: you get a wine, you get a wine, and you get a wine! As the intellectual and sophisticated adults that we all are, the default for gifting is wine. While mass production wines can often drag in quality (for a variety of reasons) – they sell. You can grab a few cheap ones or a single higher price bottle for your Valentine. All of the people buying mass production wines must like them! Here are some of the world’s most popular wine varieties – you choose the price point:

  • Merlot
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Chardonnay
  • Pinot Gris
  • Sauvignon Blanc

With this list, it’s important to note that no single varietal is ‘good’ or ‘bad.’ There are great cheap wines and poor expensive ones. For each of the varieties above you’ll find a range in quality, and prices from $5 to $50,000 and beyond!

*Note: the most popular grape varieties in the world vary on an annual basis when measured per hectare. We’ve taken this into account, and noted that about 85% of our regular readers are located in North America when suggesting gifts. Otherwise, we really would have added Tempranillo!

Wine Accessories for The Wine Lover on Valentine’s

We’ve tried many; some with success, and some that we threw out the window. After many years of both receiving and purchasing wine-related gifts, we feel certified to share our top picks with our readers. These gift options are unbiased and non-sponsored/endorsed, and the only accessories still living in our kitchen cabinets.

Here are some of our favourites:

  1. Wine Rabbit Preserver – Keeps wine fresher than your standard corkscrew and looks sleek.
  2. A big, bold decanter – Bring out flavours and aromatics from your reds
  3. An electric wine opener – Without a doubt the best wine give I’ve ever gotten (thanks, Mom), electric wine openers make opening bottles easy, and always entertains
  4. Wine cooler bags – Insulated bags that keep your wine chilled and can support heavy bottles are a no-brainer

Wine Accessories That We Don’t Like

Sometimes, things don’t work out. Here are some accessories to avoid when gifting for wine-os:

  • Wine name tags – Guests lose them, they fall off, the markers rub off – we’ve seen it all. Skip them and just remember where you put your drink; it’s a practice that we recommend.
  • Wine-scented candles – There is no substitute for wine. While a cupcake-scented candle is a nice way to avoid calories, we’ve yet to smell a pleasant wine-scented candle. While candles are romantic, pick a different scent to spice up the big day.

Do you have a wine that is your go-to for gifting? What are your favourite wine accessories that you’ve been gifted? We’d love to hear more and maybe even test them for ourselves!

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