Here comes the wine

Many en­gaged cou­ples reg­is­ter­ing for fine vin­tages

The Covington News - - SOCIETY -

Your par­ents reg­is­tered for the fine china, the ster­ling sil­ver gravy boat and the pa­tio furniture starter set.

But, with to­day’s cou­ples mar­ry­ing later, when they al­ready have the es­sen­tials, new­ly­weds- to- be are ask­ing for more non- tra­di­tional gifts.

Ac­cord­ing to the 2006 “Amer­i­can Wed­ding” sur­vey by the Condé Nast Bridal Group, th­ese gifts in­clude reg­is­ter­ing for wine, sport­ing goods, and recre­ational mem­ber­ships or tick­ets to mu­se­ums or sport­ing events.

Gift- giv­ing ex­perts are say­ing that the bride- and groom- to- be are say­ing, “ Give us a me­mory,” rather than “ Stock our china cabi­net,” and sug­gest think­ing about the cou­ple’s hob­bies when giv­ing gifts. Food­ies de­fine wine as a mem­o­rable ex­pe­ri­ence and of­ten ap­pre­ci­ate good wine and a starter cel­lar that of­fers a variety of de­li­cious gifts.

Thanks to the as­sorted se­lec­tion, guests need not worry about giv­ing the same bot­tle of wine as other guests. Less wine- savvy con­sumers may be skep­ti­cal about giv­ing wine, but can use the fol­low­ing guide­lines and speak to their lo­cal wine shop for help in find­ing a variety that has an as­sort­ment of ev­ery­day bot­tles as well as wines that will be ap­pre­ci­ated in 5-, 10- and 15- year in­cre­ments ( proper stor­age is es­sen­tial, but eas­ier than you think).

Sug­ges­tions for adding to the new­ly­weds’ “ cave,” be it a small, cool apart­ment closet or a tem­per­a­ture con­trolled vault in the base­ment is easy with a few sim­ple tips:

• Give a wine the re­cip­i­ent will drink: Se­lect from wine re­gions that af­ford red, white and rosés for both ev­ery­day meals and spe­cial oc­ca­sions, such as Rioja, known as Spain’s lead­ing wine re­gion, which makes wines from tem­pranillo grapes. Adrian Mur­cia, as­sis­tant som­me­lier at New York’s James Beard Award- win­ning restau­rant, Chanterelle, ex­plains, “ Thanks to the tem­pranillo grape, the ex­pres­sive and vel­vety rich Span­ish clas­sic, Rioja wines are renowned for their abil­ity to com­ple­ment many dif- fer­ent foods.”

• Don’t break the bank: Se­lect a gift that fits your bud­get but also re­minds the cou­ple of their wed­ding day. A se­ries of tick­ets to theater or sport­ing events work well for some, but for the wine lover, some givers feel wine is only an ac­cept­able gift when it is an aged bot­tle with a very high price tag. Noth­ing could be fur­ther from the truth.

In fact, Robert Ei­gen, owner of Pre­mier Cru Wine Mer­chants in New York City says, “ Rioja is al­ways a good choice for a wed­ding gift be­cause of the qual­ity of wine and the value. With many va­ri­eties of wine from the re­gion, there’s some­thing for ev­ery­one.”

The re­gion of Rioja also has easy- to- un­der­stand in­for­ma­tion, as the bot­tles are aged and re­leased from the win­ery when they are ready to drink. The back of each bot­tle fea­tures a seal in­di­cat­ing each wine’s age: Cri­anza, the most pop­u­lar house wine of Spain, is aged 12 months, or the deep, fla­vor­ful Reserva is aged 36 months. Bet­ter yet, such wines are af­ford­able, with prices tha­trange as low as a few dol­lars per bot­tle to no more than the equiv­a­lent cost of your run- of- the- mill gravy boat.

• Pick a theme: Whether it’s eco- friendly wines ( Rioja has sev­eral) paired with wine glasses made of re­cy­cled glass pre­sented in a beau­ti­ful bag made of re­cy­cled ma­te­ri­als or 12 wines to be de­liv­ered to the new­ly­weds’ door each month for a year, the theme gives the cou­ple some­thing to look for­ward to and a great me­mory.

• Give ad­vice along with gift: For wed­ding or party guests who truly want to give a unique gift, in­clude ways to make a mag­i­cal night with the wine such as con­cert or theater tick­ets or a gift cer­tifi­cate to a lo­cal restau­rant.

Also, gift- givers might want to ask the man­ager of the store where they pur­chase the wine for a recipe or meal sug­ges­tion that per­fectly com­ple­ments the wine. In gen­eral, wine sell­ers are wine drinkers, so they’re li­able to have a host of sug­ges­tions ready. When giv­ing your gift, at­tach a card or note with a few sug­ges­tions or even a recipe.

To learn more about Rioja, Spain’s great­est wine re­gion, visit www. vi­brantri­oja. com.

Metro Creative Ser­vices

Great times: gift.

The right bot­tle or case of wine can be a mem­o­rable

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