When one of my best friends got engaged last year, I decided to make her a bridal shower wine basket from scratch. She was born in New Zealand and loves wine from her home country, so I thought it would be fun to include a few top-quality bottles from this region. I chose three wines: 2015 Kumeu River Mate’s Vineyard Chardonnay, 2012 Felton Road Block 5 Pinot Noir, and a bottle of Seresin Chardonnay. I also included a few traditional snacks from New Zealand, like Jaffas candies, manuka honey, honeycomb toffee, and kumara chips. She loved trying all of the new wines and eating her favorite treats from her childhood; it made her bridal shower even more memorable.
Putting together a bridal shower wine basket is a creative way to celebrate a friend’s or relative’s upcoming wedding. Customized baskets show the bride how much you care about her and will make her feel even more special on her big day. This guide will take you through the process of putting together a beautiful wine basket that fits the bride’s unique personality.
Bridal Shower Wine Baskets Make Perfect Gifts
A wine basket is easy to customize so that it matches the bride’s taste and the wedding theme; it’s also a good option if you’ve already purchased the couple something from the registry for the wedding and you aren’t sure what to get the bride for the shower. Generally, you should bring one gift to every wedding-related event you attend–the bridal shower, rehearsal dinner, bachelorette party, and the wedding itself–however, it isn’t always possible to get something from the registry for each individual celebration. Giving wine as one of your wedding gifts is a great way to go off-registry and show the bride you appreciate the invitation. Moreover, she can even share the gift with her friends and family at the shower, especially if you give her a large-format bottle. To make your bridal shower wine basket stand out, include the highest quality bottles you can find and–taking into account the bride’s wine preferences–choose wine styles that are celebratory, like sparkling wine, sweet Sauternes, or bold, rich reds.
Buying Celebratory Wine for the Basket
Which wines make the best bridal shower gifts? It depends on the bride’s personality and preferences. I usually ask the bride what kind of wine she loves to drink or ask for advice from her friends or family. Once I know which styles or regions she prefers, I shop for top-quality, elevated versions of those wines. For example, I know that my sister-in-law likes Argentinian Malbec, but she has only ever had inexpensive young bottles from this region. For her bridal shower, I gave her a basket of top-quality Malbec, including a bottle of 2012 Catena Zapata Nicasia Vineyard Malbec as well as a Napa-produced Malbec from Alpha Omega. The gift matched her tastes perfectly, but was also a step up from the simpler wines she was used to drinking.
Once I’ve found a few bottles that I think the bride will enjoy, I add other details like food, gift certificates, notes, and smaller gifts to the basket.
To create a bridal shower wine basket that the bride will love, stick with a specific theme. Identify one wine style, region, vintage, or producer that the bride already enjoys and then purchase the highest-rated bottles in that category. Here are a few options to get you started:
If the bride loves bubbly:
- Non-Vintage Charles Heidsieck Brut Réserve Mise en Cave
- Non-Vintage Taittinger Brut La Française
- Non-Vintage Gonet-Médeville Brut Tradition Premier Cru
- 2007 Bollinger La Grande Année
- 2006 Taittinger Comtes De Champagne
If the bride is a red Bordeaux enthusiast:
- 2017 Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste
- 2015 Château La Mondotte
- 2012 Château Pontet-Canet
- 2007 Château Palmer
- 2005 Château Larcis-Ducasse
If the bride likes top-quality red and white Burgundy:
- 2015 Domaine Taupenot-Merme Gevrey-Chambertin Bel-Air Premier Cru
- 2015 Drouhin-Laroze Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru
- 2014 Domaine Denis Bachelet Côte de Nuits-Villages
- 2005 Louis Latour Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru
- 2005 Henri Boillot Meursault Les Charmes Premier Cru
If the bride prefers California Cabernet:
- 2015 La Jota Vineyard Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon
- 2015 Caymus Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon
- 2014 I. Brand & Family Monte Bello Road Cabernet Sauvignon
- 2012 Freemark Abbey Cabernet Sauvignon Sycamore Vineyard
- 2002 Joseph Phelps Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
If the bride’s favorite color is pink:
- Non-Vintage Taittinger Brut Prestige Rosé
- Non-Vintage Bollinger Rosé
- 2006 Charles Heidsieck Vintage Rosé
- 2006 Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame Rosé
- 2007 Gosset Brut Celebris Rosé
If the bride has a sweet tooth:
- 2016 Taylor’s Vintage Port
- 2016 Quinta do Noval Vintage Port
- 2015 Château Coutet
- 2009 Château Doisy-Védrines
- 2000 Fonseca Vintage Port
Once I’ve found a few bottles that I think the bride will enjoy, I add other details like food, gift certificates, notes, and smaller gifts to the basket. This makes the basket look full, and the bride will enjoy finding the gifts hidden among the bottles.
Create an Experience-Based Basket
Another way to make your bridal shower wine basket more memorable is to create one based around experiences the new couple will have after they’re married. For my wedding, my sister-in-law gave me a bottle of Chianti Classico with a note saying we should save the bottle for our first Valentine’s Day dinner as newlyweds. When you put together a wine basket based around special milestones like this, the bride will remember your gift years after the wedding.
Keep in mind that the wine should fit the occasion; don’t buy a straightforward white wine for an event that may not take place for another ten years.
Here are a few milestone bottles you can include in a bridal shower wine basket:
- A food-friendly light red wine (like Pinot Noir) for the couple’s first Valentine’s Day dinner.
- A bottle of Cabernet Franc for the couple’s first Thanksgiving.
- A few standard or half-bottles of Champagne that they can take on their honeymoon.
- A magnum of Champagne that they can open at their first housewarming party.
- A young bottle of white Burgundy that they can keep until their ten-year anniversary.
- A sweet Sauternes that they can drink along with a slice of their wedding cake on their first anniversary.
Choose any milestone events that you think the couple will be most excited about. This will vary from couple to couple. For example, if you know that their goal is to buy a new house in the next few years, then you can include a bottle to celebrate move-in day. Keep in mind that the wine should fit the occasion; don’t buy a straightforward white wine for an event that may not take place for another ten years. For a milestone that’s more than a couple years away, you’ll need to give the bride a bottle that is age-worthy. Before you do, though, consider the couple’s storage options. If they don’t have a cellar, either offer a gift certificate for professional storage services or stick with wines that are ready to drink and milestones that are just a year or two away.
How to Build a Beautiful Bridal Shower Wine Basket
Once you know which wines or milestone events you want to include in the bridal shower wine basket, you can customize it to the wedding theme. Choose ribbons, confetti, and wrapping paper that matches the bride’s wedding colors. Or, if the bride chose different colors specifically for the bridal shower, then use this color scheme instead. You can also include handwritten wine tasting notes describing each of the bottles inside. Tasting notes will help the bride understand what makes each of the wines special and will make it easier to decide when to open them and what to pair them with.
Shopping for wine online makes building a bridal shower wine basket a much simpler process. Not only can you quickly research which wines received the highest scores from critics, but you can also request a custom consultation with a wine expert who can help you select the best bottles for the bride. This takes the guesswork out of the process, allowing you to focus on all of the little details that will make your wine basket truly special.
Whether you are starting your high-end wine collection or adding to an established portfolio, Vinfolio is your partner in buying, selling, and professional storage. Contact us today to get access to the world’s finest wine.