Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Is it reprehensible to return a gift of wine?

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Frustration and joy often go hand in hand at Christmas.


Isabelle Thürlemann-BriggerEditor Wine

You spare no effort to find the perfect gift? Do you already hatch the first ideas in the summer and spend weeks roaming through the displays in the shops in order to put by far the most unusual present under the Christmas tree on December 24th?

It’s all the more sobering when you find a bottle of wine at the gift table for the umpteenth time in a row. In some cases it is quite appropriate to show your colors and return the package to the giver. There are a few reasons for this:


You avoid wine like the plague. You simply don’t like it – whether it’s lemon yellow, purple or every shade in between. Only the lemonade with the merrily sparkling brown liquid and the red and white label gives you a lot of drinking fun.

Honesty in these circumstances ensures that you will receive something more appropriate in the next round of gifts. It’s obvious that some tact is required and you shouldn’t tell anyone that the exclusive triple-figure vintage champagne was a total blunder. You also defuse the situation by mentioning that you appreciate the gesture and the effort involved.


Alcohol has no place in your life? Your drinking habits are personal, you don’t have to justify them. Nevertheless, you will certainly find more understanding if you explain that you think it is nice that you were thought of. Unfortunately, due to your attitude towards alcohol, you can’t do anything with the wine.

In fact, the donor will probably thank you for your sincerity. After all, it’s more satisfying to know that the gift will be met with love instead of white lies that will sooner or later be exposed.

Return to sender?

It takes a little courage to say openly that you actually despise your gift of wine. You may get a shake of the head for this. For the sake of peace, it pays to choose carefully whether you want to be sincere. If you have doubts about whether your sensitive counterpart is getting your message right, it may be wiser to take the path of least resistance.

The fact that wine does not spoil as quickly as long as it is stored correctly plays into your hands. The next celebration is bound to come – and you don’t want to turn up there without any gifts. To avoid embarrassment, you should make sure that your patron is not there with you. A quick look to see if there is a personal dedication on the bottle could also save your honor.

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