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Send Wine As a Gift: FAQs & Pairings For Every Friend

Send Wine As a Gift: FAQs & Pairings For Every Friend


9 minute read

You don’t need a special occasion to send wine as a gift. 

Show your friends you care with the perfect wine gifts for traditional wine lovers and those who say pass on the alcohol. We’ll include tips on shipping conventional wines and why it’s so much easier — and just as delicious! — to consider non-alcoholic wine in your gift giving.  

Shipping Wine FAQs

Can I send a bottle of wine as a gift?

You can send a bottle of wine as a gift, but only while following wine shipping rules. The state you’re shipping from and the state you’re shipping to both matter. While California has few limits on shipping wine, you can’t ship wine to friends in Mississippi.

Most states allow wineries to ship directly to consumers. Others allow direct shipping from anyone with a permit. That doesn’t mean you can go out and get a wine shipping permit, though. Assume you can’t just wrap up a bottle of merlot to send to your out-of-state friend.

What are the rules for shipping wine in the U.S.?

The rules for shipping wine in the U.S. vary by state. Some states limit how many bottles of wine you can send at one time. Others don’t allow wine shipments and don’t care that you want your pal to taste your favorite wine from the Sonoma Valley.

These rules date back to agreements made during Prohibition when states obtained the power to handle booze in the way that worked best for their state.

How do I ship wine to a friend?

To ship wine to a friend, ship directly from the winery or an online retailer with a permit.

Shipping in-state from an online retailer like Wine.com or Drizly that specializes in wine sales is the easiest way to ensure you’re not breaking the rules with your wine delivery. Gift basket specialists like Hickory Farms and Harry & David are another option if you want to get fancy. 

Otherwise, for out-of-state sales, you have to worry about rules in the state you ship from and the receiving state. Amazon sells wine, too, but those same rules apply. 

Different rules apply to wineries, so if you’re at a wine tasting in Napa Valley and have tasted something delightful, the vintners will tell you if you can set up a shipment. 

Best Wine Gifts for New Drinkers

Friends who haven’t developed a wine palate just yet may be a little harder to shop for, but it’s easy to find inoffensive varietals that suit most tastes.

  • Go for fizz. If you’re looking for a birthday gift, bubbles are celebratory wines. If you’re feeling generous, pair a bottle of champagne with a box of chocolates or truffles. Champagne works with salty snacks, too, if they don’t have a sweet tooth.
  • If they have a sweet tooth, dessert wines like Gewürztraminer or sweet riesling are great introductory wines. Watch the labels, though, since dry whites would be less approachable for new drinkers. Stay away from heavy, fortified wines like ports or sherry.
  • Versatile, light-bodied red wines like pinot noir or Beaujolais are best-sellers for beginners who want to dip a toe into red wines. If you think they can handle something a little bolder, many merlots are medium-bodied but still fruit-forward.
  • Questioning the alcohol? Send a bottle of dealcoholized wine. Surely non-alcoholic pinot noir is light, juicy, and a great intro to wine. Our wines are made just like the “real” thing because they are the real thing. The alcohol is just removed at the end.

Best Wine Gifts for Pregnant Friends Missing Wine

Show your pregnant pals that they’re still a good time in your eyes with pregnancy-safe wine gifts. These options would work well for baby shower mocktails, too, especially if you want to bring something over that keeps the guest of honor in mind.  

A quick note here: Non-alcoholic drinks like Surely wine don’t require pregnancy warning labels as they’re less than 0.5% alcohol by volume. While many expectant moms are comfortable with dealcoholized wines, it’s best to talk to your doctor before making any dietary changes. 

  • If your pregnant friend is missing out on rosé all day, send them a non-alcoholic sparkling rosé that will remind them of the good times. Our version is the perfect summertime sparkler that tastes like the real deal.
  • A 4-pack of non-alcoholic rosé spritz doesn’t just taste like sparkling rosé. Thanks to added passion fruit juice and coconut, it tastes like vacation. This one comes canned, so it’s perfect for sipping on the go.
  • Pregnant pals who love a wine spritzer don’t have to give that up with Surely’s non-alcoholic sparkling white. This dry, citrus-forward white wine favorite is delicious all on its own, too.
  • If you want to get a little more festive with your wine gift, pack a basket of pregnancy-safe treats that your pal can snack on as they sip. Nuts, fresh fruit with nut butter, popcorn, and hard or pasteurized cheeses are all safe for noshing.

Best Wine Gifts for Health Conscious Friends

The perfect gift shows that you care. If your friend is on a special diet or just watching their calories, give them wine or a wine gift set that meets their dietary needs. 

  • If your friend is watching their weight, sparkling wines like prosecco are usually lower-calorie wines. If you really want to get into their good graces, Surely’s non-alcoholic sparkling Brut only has 45 calories in an 8-oz serving.
  • Wines are naturally free of gluten, but trace amounts of gluten are possible in wines that aren’t explicitly labeled gluten-free. Inkarri Wines, Radius, and Surely are all high-quality options for friends following a gluten-free diet.
  • While it might seem like all wine should be vegan, some winemakers use animal products in their fining process. Impress your vegan friend with a wine you know is vegan-friendly. Sites like Barnivore can help you find certified vegan wines.
  • Most keto dieters consider red wine OK in moderation. If you know your friend is trying to reach peak ketosis, choose low-carb wines like dry white wines or pinot noir. They’ll appreciate your effort to support their effort.

Best Wine Gifts for Your Sober Curious Friends

Whether you’re throwing a sober party or exploring the world of alcohol substitutes, the best wine gifts for your sober curious friends are non-alcoholic wine gifts. 

  • If they love bubbles, pick up non-alcoholic champagne. You know you weren’t getting a bottle of Dom Pérignon anyway. Surely’s non-alcoholic Brut comes in cans, too, so it’s the perfect option for a more mobile gift box.
  • A non-alcoholic pinot noir is a great red wine gift for friends who want something versatile and easy to pair. If your friend loves pizza, send this one with a gift card to their favorite pizza shop. Surely’s pinot noir pairs well with pizza and pasta.  
  • If your pal prefers white wine gifts, a non-alcoholic sauvignon blanc is crisp, bright, and fruit-forward enough that they won’t miss the alcohol content. The acidity in this one means it’s delicious with light meals and poultry.
  • Expand your friend’s horizons with non-alcoholic beers and non-alcoholic spirits as part of their wine basket. They may not know they have this option as part of a booze-free lifestyle. 

Best Wine Gifts for Cheese Lovers

Wine and cheese are best friends when it comes to natural pairings. If you have a friend who has turned charcuterie boards into an art form, choose wine varietals in your gourmet gift baskets that compliment the cheeses you know they love.

If your friend loves Gouda…

Choose full-bodied red wines or red blends high in tannins that will stand up to a smoky Gouda. Cabernet sauvignon or Bordeaux blends are a good option. If you’re sending an aged Gouda, pick up a higher-quality red wine or vintage chardonnay that will match the quality of that cheese.

If your friend loves Brie…

Go for acidity with a sauvignon blanc to cut through that decadent creaminess. A crisp white wine will also help cleanse your palate between bites of Brie, especially if it’s warmed up and gooey. This is also the perfect cheese to pair with a champagne gift. 

If your friend loves Gruyere…

Choose a lighter red that compliments this medium-bodied Swiss cheese. Pinot noir works well. If they prefer white wine, choose a wine style that won’t taste too heavy on the palate. Pinot grigio or chablis, a lighter chardonnay varietal, would work well. 

If your friend loves gorgonzola…

Pair this funky cheese with a sweeter wine. It’s generally a good rule to go sweeter with wine pairings if you’re snacking on stinky cheeses like this one. Ports are a classic combination with funky cheeses, but if your friend isn’t into fortified wines, send a Moscato instead.

If your friend loves mozzarella…

Choose a white wine that keeps the flavor profile mellow. An Italian pinot grigio pairs well and keeps things on theme. A delicate rosé would also make a great pairing, but opt for a dry style to not overpower the cheese.

Send Non-alcoholic Wine as a Gift with No Limitations

Choosing the best wine gift baskets can get complicated once you start thinking about restrictions on alcohol through the mail and limitations on what your friends can and can’t drink. Make it easier on yourself with Surely non-alcoholic wine

Sources

  1. Wine Fining with Plant Proteins
  2. Spanish Ketogenic Mediterranean diet: a healthy cardiovascular diet for weight loss

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