Please note that this post, authored by wine writer Susan Anderson, is sponsored by Vintage Cellars.
With the holiday season quickly approaching, many of us are figuring out ways to “wine and dine” our clients. Below are some tips that’ll help you make your wine selections.
A Classic Dinner Party
If you have a close personal relationship with your client, hosting a small dinner party in your home is sure to make an impression. In such a cozy setting, selecting memorable pairings is key.
Serving steak? Consider a rich, full-bodied red. With poultry, consider a delicate red, like Pinot Noir or Grenache. Serving something spicy, like Thai or Indian cuisine? Go with an intense, high-acid wine like Riesling or Gewurztraminer. And don’t forget to start with Champagne!
The Gift of Great Wine
If you’re unable to meet your client in person, wine makes a great gift. But be sure to send something that tells a story or a recognizable wine that isn’t easily found at the supermarket.
For example, if you and your client traveled together for business, consider sending a wine from a region nearby. Did you once have a meeting in Washington, DC? Consider a Virginia wine. Did you visit New York together? Consider something from the Finger Lakes or Long Island. If you once visited Rome, send an Italian wine! Such wines will tell a story and leave a lasting impression.
Alternatively, wines from luxury regions like Napa Valley and Champagne are always memorable. Just be sure to order the wines from a reliable retailer who will make sure they’re shipped at the correct temperature throughout transit.
A Wine Club Membership
Looking to step up your gift? Consider a wine club membership.
Most wine clubs regularly ship a certain number of bottles every month or quarter – enabling their customers to learn about different wine regions and explore different varieties. Some memberships even include tasting notes and recipe pairings.
Best of all, if you belong to the same wine club you’ve gifted, you’ve created instant fodder for conversation. You can get in touch with your client to chat about this month’s bottles and compare tasting notes, helping to build your business relationship.
A Wine Tasting
Perhaps you need to entertain several clients at once. Or maybe your colleagues aren’t as comfortable with wine as you’d like — after all, a basic familiarity with wine is critical in the business world. If either of these scenarios speaks to you, consider hiring a wine educator to host an event and walk attendees through a carefully planned program.
The educator could compare New World wines to Old World offerings, explain the basics of navigating a restaurant wine list, or even discuss food-and-wine pairings. Most cities have excellent wine professionals.
Susan Anderson is a blogger and wine lover who writes for Vintage Cellars, a San Diego based wine storage company that specializes in building custom wine cellars.