It’s that time of year again, when all of us curmudgeonly folks have to think about that tired old ritual of gift giving. Each year I try to figure out what to give—a thoughtful gift which will be enjoyed, something original or unexpected. But, I think I am the world’s worst gift-giver. I love any gift given to me, and I have very idiosyncratic taste so the conventional advice to give what you yourself would most like as a gift usually doesn’t work for me.
Last year I discovered the online wine merchant, WineShop At Home, because our daughter, Maya, is so passionate about wine and loves discovering new, lesser-known vineyards. So, she signed up to be a wine consultant throwing parties (a new take on the old-fashioned Tupperware) in her spare time for friends and family as well as referring people to order from her online. The website is www.wineshopathome.com/mayapaul–please order through our daughter, if you can. (I know I am a shameless commercial for her!)
I thought I should try it, to help our daughter and see what the wines are like. I was delighted to find out that I could order wine with a personalized label, either a jpeg file of one of my art works or a photo of a special event. Since I am a printmaker, I loved the idea of having a miniature reproduction of one of my prints on each bottle of wine I would give for Christmas and throughout the year.
I really like the merlot and ordered a case last year, to much appreciation (or so my friends said). But, you can also choose from cabernet, chardonnay, champagne, and gift packages. I do think that they should expand to some foreign, little-known wineries from Argentina, Chile, and Spain, where great wines are made at a reasonable price. For those of you who are getting increasingly worried about what to get for someone you love—check out the art of wine gifting! I have posted the two wine labels I have created so far—last year’s “Lotus Sutra” print on the Napa Valley 2007 merlot and this holiday’s “Hot Stuff” print on the Sonoma 2009 merlot. Enjoy shopping! And, I’ll bet at least a few of your friends won’t throw out that personalized wine bottle, once it is empty, unlike the sweater or tie from last year’s holiday gift giving.