How do you show your employees, colleagues, or clients how much you appreciate them? Giving wine as a corporate gift is one of the best ways to thank them for their hard work. Fine wine is a classic gift that appeals to a wide variety of people and also looks polished and professional. Some beautiful bottles, like 2002 Piper-Heidsieck Millesimé Rare, look so impressive that you don’t even need to wrap them.
However, while wines can make excellent corporate gifts, picking out the right wine is often a challenge. If you rarely talk about wine with your employees or coworkers, then you may not know which styles they prefer. This guide will help you suss out which wines they like to drink and offer a few tips on how to make a corporate gift truly memorable.
How to Find a Wine Your Employees Will Enjoy
Picking out wine as a corporate gift is much harder than picking out wine for friends or family. That’s because most of the conversations you have with your employees will revolve around work. How do you find out which wines they like if you’ve never talked to them about wine before?
One way to get this information is by starting the conversation yourself. Ask them whether they’ve had any great wines lately or if they’ve ever been to a wine tasting. These icebreaker questions should give you a better idea of which wine styles they tend to buy for themselves. Another way to get this information is to ask them what wine they think makes a great gift. You can frame this as a hypothetical question. A few years ago, one of my supervisors asked me for a holiday gift recommendation. She said the gift was for her wine-loving relative. I told her that 2011 port is a good option because it’s delicious and potentially collectible. A few weeks later, I received an unexpected gift in the mail: a bottle of 2011 port along with a card from her thanking me for my work at the company. It was a wonderful surprise and I deeply appreciated that she had taken the time to figure out which wines I love in advance.
The key to giving wine as a corporate gift is not only to tailor the gift to the recipient’s tastes, but also to make the gift feel special.
When you ask these kinds of questions, you’ll usually get a basic idea of which wines your employees and colleagues like. You likely won’t know exactly which vintages, producers, or labels they prefer, especially if they’re casual wine drinkers, but you can use this basic information as a springboard for gift ideas. If you know they love bold California Cabernet Sauvignon, consider getting them a finer version of what they already drink. Buy wine from a top producer, like Joseph Phelps, or start by looking for top-quality Cabernet vintages. The key to giving wine as a corporate gift is not only to tailor the gift to the recipient’s tastes, but also to make the gift feel special; choosing wine from an excellent producer and vintage is a great way to do that.
Which Wines Make the Best Gifts?
The wines that make the best corporate gifts usually have a few characteristics in common, such as:
- High in quality: The vintage or producer is exceptional.
- Rare or unusual: The wine isn’t easily found in most wine shops.
- Easy-drinking or mature: The wine should be ready to drink right now (unless your employee or colleague is a wine collector who has a home cellar or uses professional storage).
- Within budget: Consider your company’s gift-giving policy or ethics guidelines. Many companies limit the amount you can spend on gifts, so you’ll need to choose wines that aren’t overly expensive.
Here are a few examples of wines that make excellent corporate gifts, based on different price points and style preferences:
Wines Under $50
- 2017 Domaine Huet Vouvray Le Mont Demi-Sec
- 2017 Domaine Pascal Cotat La Grande Côte Sancerre
- 2016 Tor Beresini Vineyard Torchiana Chardonnay
- Non-Vintage Charles Heidsieck Brut Réserve Mis en Cave
- Non-Vintage Taittinger Brut Prestige Rosé
- Non-Vintage Billecart-Salmon Brut Réserve
Wines Under $100
- 2016 Quinta do Noval Vintage Port
- 2016 Domaine Bosquet des Papes À la Gloire de Mon Grand-Père Châteauneuf-du-Pape
- 2015 Dominus Napanook Yountville
- 2014 Stonestreet Estate Vineyards Upper Barn Chardonnay
- 2016 Domaine Christian Moreau Les Clos Chablis Grand Cru
- 2015 Animo Heritage Sauvignon Blanc
- 2008 Pol Roger Vintage Blanc de Blancs
- Non-Vintage Gonet-Médeville Blanc de Noirs Premier Cru
- 2011 Hattingley Valley Blanc de Blancs
Wines Under $150
- 2015 Château Pape Clément Blanc
- 2005 Maison Louis Latour Corton-Charlemagne
- 2012 Château Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc
- 2006 Charles Heidsieck Vintage Rosé
- 2007 Bollinger La Grande Année
- 2002 Gonet-Médeville Champ d’Alouette Extra Brut Grand Cru
All of the wines above received excellent scores from professional wine critics. They’re also not usually easy to find in wine shops, so they allow you to offer your employees or colleagues something that they’ve likely never come across before.
How to Package Wine as a Corporate Gift
Once you’ve found the perfect bottle or bottles, you’ll need to wrap your gift. While you can simply hand your gift recipient an unwrapped bottle of wine, you can personalize the gift a bit more using beautiful packaging, a hand-written card, or by creating a customized gift basket like a wine tasting gift set. Personalization is especially important if you plan on giving everyone in the office the same bottle of wine. This is a good time to buy wine by the case, as it’s easier and sometimes cheaper than buying different individual bottles for every employee. However, giving everyone the same bottle of wine is inherently less personal, so if you plan on doing this, think about adding an additional gift or trinket that is unique to each recipient. Custom wine-related gifts like monogrammed wine glasses or bottle openers add a level of personalization.
Wine gift cards allow your employees or colleagues to pick out their own wines.
Another option is to offer wine shop gift cards or a membership to a wine club instead. These gifts are good options if you aren’t sure exactly which wine to buy. Wine gift cards allow your employees or colleagues to pick out their own wines, which means you can be confident that everyone is getting something they’ll enjoy. If you include another small custom gift or a hand-written card in the package, a gift card can still feel very personal and thoughtful.
Whether you hand-pick the perfect bottle or give your colleague a gift certificate, your recipient will appreciate the gesture. Our employees and colleagues play important roles in our professional lives, so why not show them some gratitude with an exceptional bottle of wine?
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.