A bottle of wine is always appreciated as a gift, whether for friends, family, or mentors. But with good—and bad—wines at nearly every price point, it can be hard to know which to give, and to whom.
It’s a question I get often from young professionals: “What wine should I give my mentor?”
You’re an adult now (yes . . . you) and you want to give a suitable gift. What’s better than a bottle of wine? Seems simple enough—until you get to the store, list in hand, pacing the aisles looking for the perfect bottle.
Red, white, sparkling, chardonnay, dry or sweet?
So many options and you have absolutely no clue what to pick.
Choosing the right wine does not have to be a painful experience. The allure of wine is similar to that of art or fashion: taste is completely subjective. This is what makes it fun—you can even pick a wine to compliment your mentor’s personality, likes or the even the role they play in your life.
Here are four examples of mentors every young professional should have and the corresponding wine to give them.
1. The supportive mentor
This mentor is an industry expert. Maybe he or she has helped you navigate your professional decisions. They spend a substantial amount of time with you, and you’ve learned a lot from them. You want a bottle filled with substance, a wine that says: “I appreciate you” (yes, wine can talk).
Pick a balanced wine with great acidity that can cut through heavy sauces and liven up any meal. Pick a wine that can age and will last a few years because, just like this mentor, it’s a bottle to keep.
Wine Suggestion: Nugan Estate Alfredo Second Pass Shiraz (Bonus tip: It’s also great for the foodie in your life.)
2. The motivating mentor
Whether you were recently honored for an achievement or just lost a major contract, this mentor is always ready to celebrate or share great “pick yourself up” advice. They understand that entrepreneurship is not easy to navigate. They have done it successfully and are confident you will too—even on days you don’t necessarily believe it.
You can’t help but celebrate your greatest cheerleader! So, nothing says celebration like a bottle of sparkling wine. Whether it’s Cava, Asti, Prosecco or Champagne. The pop of the cork will say, “I celebrate you!”
Wine Suggestion: Villa Sandi Prosecco DOC (Bonus tip: Be the perfect guest and bring a bottle of sparkling wine to your next holiday party or dinner.)
3. The champion mentor
They aren’t afraid to tell you you’re doing something wrong, and always push you to exceed your own limits and put your best foot forward. They have taught you how to absorb the hardest hits, without falling. They also drop gems into your life and help you navigate through tough times.
Choose a unique wine; something that says, “I found this wine specially for you.” For this, you’ll need a wine that is great on the palate, looks nice and is a steal on the price.
Wine Suggestion: Toasted Head Barrel Aged Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 (Bonus tip: great gift for the value seeker on your list.)
4. The connector mentor
Your network is your net worth. Your mentor knows this and introduces you to great people that help you grow in business. This person is well-connected and has tasted countless wines. They might already be a professed wine lover.
Shopping for the wine lover is easier than you think because they already appreciate wine’s variety. Pick a wine from a uncommon producer or region. It may take some research, but it will be very gratifying for this mentor.
Wine Suggestion: Aurora Sparkling White Brut Pinot Noir, a sparkler from southern Brazil. (Bonus tip: This is also an excellent choice for the other wine lovers on your gift list.)
This article has been edited and condensed.
Chanile Vines is a Marketing Consultant specializing in event marketing, speaker and a mental health advocate. Her passion for brand building led her to found Vines Play, a marketing, events and wine importing firm. She uses this space to inspire new wine enthusiast to learn more about wines and to add play to their lives. Connect with @vinesplay on Twitter.