Wine is one of the most popular Christmas gifts

What wine to buy for friends, relatives and colleagues for Christmas?

A theatre or concert ticket, a book, jewellery, perfume – these are the most popular Christmas gifts around the world, but wine is still the jolly joker for men. But how do you find the perfect wine if you don’t know the tastes of the friend, relative or colleague you’re giving it to?

“It’s important to have a bottle of high-quality Hungarian wine or sparkling wine on the festive table,” says Antal Benesch, head winemaker of the Archbishop of Veszprém Winery, adding that wine is an excellent choice not only with Christmas food, but also as a gift. “A good wine is precious. If you open it at home at Christmas and it makes you feel something after tasting it, then the gift has achieved its purpose,” he adds.

But what do you do if you have no idea what kind of wine your friend, relative or colleague likes? If we don’t even know the basics, whether they like red wine, white wine or rosé?

Let’s recall our shared experiences!
Shared experiences can be a good starting point for choosing a wine. You can recall a summer beach holiday on Lake Balaton with a bottle of olaszrizling from Balaton, a New Year’s Eve with a bottle of champagne or prosecco, or a successful company hike with a fine red or white wine from the region.
Gourmets are sure to be delighted when we put together a gift package of chocolate and wine, which go surprisingly well together. Of course, it makes a difference which chocolate goes with which wine. Instead, buy dark chocolate with as much cocoa as possible and pair it with a bottle of cabernet sauvignon or pinot noir.

Buy wine for the Christmas menu
It’s also a good idea to choose wines to go with traditional Christmas dishes – even during a lunch break at work, it’s easy to find out who’s having what on the menu on Christmas Eve, and then you just have to find the wine that goes best with the meal. “A bottle of fine wine with your favourite Christmas dish” – write this on the gift card and it’s a personalised gift.
It’s not difficult to do, as most families tend to go for fish, stuffed cabbage, duck and turkey when it comes to putting together a festive meal. Fish is the most popular of these, and light white wines such as sauvignon blanc, olaszrizling or rajnai rizling are the best matches. “Olaszrizling, for example, is an excellent pairing with fish dishes, whether it’s a classic marinated carp or a seafood dish,” says the head winemaker of the Archbishop of Veszprém Winery.

Antal Benesch, the head of the winery with estates in Mindszentkálla and Felsőörs, will be serving their base wine family, Vesprim Infula Rozé and Rouge, with the stuffed cabbage, and the Mandorla wine family’s Rajnai Rizling and the Vesprim Infula Rouge with the duck, “And for classic Christmas cakes such as poppy and walnut béjgli, it’s worth trying the 1277 Rajnai Rizling from the premium wine family of the Archbishop of Veszprém Winery,” he adds.

For wine lovers: novelties and extras
It’s not necessarily easier to surprise a relative, acquaintance or colleague with a bottle of wine if you’re a wine connoisseur. It’s a good idea to choose wines that are new to the market, or perhaps from a lesser-known but special wine region of the world. It is also a good choice to choose a wine that has won an award at a prestigious competition.
For the true wine enthusiast, you can even buy accessories. One of the hits of recent years has been the stainless steel wine chill stick, which combines the role of wine chiller and pourer: placed in the opened bottle, it quickly cools the wine. For red wine lovers, a nice decanter is a perfect choice, but you can also enrol them in a special wine course.

And what not to do?
The most important rule: buy only good quality wine as a Christmas gift, this is not the time for “mulled wine is fine” choices. You don’t necessarily have to choose from the ten to twenty thousand forint range, you can find excellent Hungarian wines in the 2-3 thousand forint category. If you are unsure, wine shops can help you decide.
If you don’t know the taste of a relative/friend/co-worker and want to be sure, choose from the most popular wine varieties – mathematically, this is your best chance of matching their taste. According to international surveys, sauvignon blanc has been a big hit in recent years, but chardonnay, pinot noir, Rieslings and cabernet sauvignon remain popular.