Around this time of year, you start seeing articles suggesting that you consider host or hostess gifts that don't come in a bottle. Why not bring a nice box of homemade cookies to your next holiday party? Why not gift-wrap a patchouli candle, or tie a bow around a ficus tree?
Fie, we say. Don't listen to that nonsense. A bottle of wine — something unusual, something good, something chosen with care — brings joy to any holiday party, and induces smiles, and thoughts of Christmas dinner, when opened on Christmas morning. Wine is easy to wrap (the easiest way, of course, is to buy one of those ubiquitous wine-bottle-specific gift bags), colorful (both the labels in many cases and those gorgeous golden or garnet hues when it's poured into a glass), and doesn't need watering. It's the perfect gift.
Here are 18 bottles — a case-and-a-half's worth — of excellent bottles, at a wide range of prices, as selected by The Daily Meal's editorial tasting panel. Read on for 18 great gift wines for the holidays.