Sometimes showing up to an occasion with a ubiquitous bottle of nonvintage Veuve Cliquot Champagne just isn't enough. But giving a well-conceived wine gift--whether for a housewarming, a dinner party or as a thank-you--requires tact and thought. Who is the recipient? Is he or she adventurous when it comes to the pleasures of the grape? How much do they know about wine? You also want to spend a respectable amount, but throwing money at the problem isn't cool either--that approach lacks imagination.
This may sound like a lot of criteria for one purchase, but it's really not that complicated. Wine gifts--both lower-priced options and more expensive finds--can be targeted to personality type, playing to likes and dislikes and simplifying the entire process. So whether you face a traditionalist, an experimenter or a snob, this guide will ensure that you'll never be off the mark or empty-handed. --Ted Loos