You’ve been invited for dinner and asked to bring a bottle of wine. Should you ask the store manager at the corner liquor store by your office for something good, and gift it to your host still wrapped in the brown paper bag (or worse yet, plastic)? Or are you more apt to treat it like you would a hostess gift, taking care to gift a bottle with a story, along with something additional to make your gift catch the host’s eye — and make it stand out amongst the rest?
Knowing when to bring wine as a gift is a challenge in and of itself. But once you’ve decided that wine is appropriate, you should also put thought into how you pack and gift your wine. For starters, don’t throw your bottle of wine at the bottom of your bag — should the strap break, or if someone bumps into you, there will be a disaster in your hands. It happened to one TDM reader, toting a bottle of red in her purse on a short trip to a neighbor’s house. She tripped, fell, and well, let’s just say the white silk liner of her Prada bag was never the same again.
Before you bring a bottle of wine or bubbly to your next party, read our tips below to ensure your bottle arrives safely, ready-to-drink, and in style.
1. Temperature Matters
Whether the host asked guests to bring a bottle to share, or you’ve decided to share a bottle of your favorite California chardonnay, make sure that whatever you gift arrives ready to enjoy. Bringing something from home? Chill it in the fridge the day before, and then ensure it arrives still cool with this ice-pack-style tote.
Picking up something last minute? Head to your wine shop’s refrigerated case. There might be a smaller selection, but at least you won’t be caught arriving first with a room temperature bottle and the host has nothing else to offer. Double party foul.
2. Carry Safely
Wine bottles break — they’re glass, after all. If you’re carrying your bottle in your purse, ensure that it’s properly wrapped. You could pull out the bubble wrap and tape, if you want to make opening the gift a real challenge for your host. But, it can be as easy as picking up a felt or fabric wine bag. Carrying bottles in your car? Don’t let them roll around on the floor, or on the seat. Should you have to stop suddenly, there might not be a collision outside, but there will certainly be one inside.