Is Wine an Appropriate Corporate Gift or Not?

Wine makes a wonderful gift; it can be just the perfect way to wish someone a happy holiday or to make a housewarming more comfortable and elegant.  It conveys the message of refinement and welcome – but does it convey an entirely different message when given in a corporate setting?  In fact, alcohol can be the perfect corporate gift – or the worst that you could choose.  How do you know when it is appropriate to give wine and when to abstain?

To answer the original question, is wine an appropriate corporate gift: yes, it is generally viewed as not only appropriate but sophisticated, refined, and generous.  Depending, of course, on the vintage of the bottle!  But first, let’s take a look at situations in which you may not want to send wine:

  • For an illness or injury or part of a Get Well package.  You don’t want to convey the message that the recipient should drink away his troubles or interfere with medications.
  • For a loss or during difficult times.  In these cases, a gift may be very welcome, but choose one that offers sympathies.  Wine sends a rather congratulatory message.
  • If it conflicts with the values, beliefs, and core message of the recipient.  Obviously, you don’t want to send a bottle of wine to a drug and alcohol counsellor or a recovering addict.  While your individual situation may not be as clear-cut, take the time to consider the values of the recipient and if wine will conflict or complement. Sometimes, there is just no way to know; in this case, use your best judgement.

Often, though, wine is seen as an entirely appropriate, and welcome, gift for an individual recipient or an entire office staff.  It is most appropriate in a celebratory situation, such as:

  • The launch of a new product line or service.
  • The retirement of an employee.
  • A promotion.
  • Recognition of a key vendor, supplier, or customer.
  • Completion of a big project or business deal.
  • Awards ceremonies.

Besides the question of whether the wine is appropriate, you should consider the type of wine you want to give.  This will have a tremendous impact on the recipient and reflect on your tastes, as well as your budget.  A good solution may be to send a bottle of locally produced wine.  When we think of wine, we might think of California’s Napa Valley, but there are local wineries, as well as wineries all across the country, and the globe, and each has its own distinct flavors and aromas.  This is great if you have clients or customers across the country or across the globe because you can give them a taste of your own community.

Another option is to purchase a wine gift basket.  These often come with a bottle of red or white wine and are accompanied by an arrangement of snacks.  These baskets also typically include tasty snack items like cheese wedges and garlic spread, water crackers, or smoked almonds.

You may also try sending a selection of international wines.  This might mean a bottle of Chardonnay from Australia, Cabernet Sauvignon from Argentina, or a Garnacha from Spain.  These can be enjoyed with different dishes to produce entirely different and exotic tastes.

Put careful thought into your wine selection; that will ensure that your gift has the desired impact and that it is enjoyed and appreciated by the recipient.

Image by comedy_nose on Flickr.

Pinkchic18 is an avid party planner with a passion for holidays and weddings. She also regularly contributes to the All About Gifts & Baskets Idea Blog, where you can find great corporate gift ideas for your business this year.

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