A wine gift basket makes an excellent gift for many occasions. Whether you want to congratulate newlyweds, celebrate a co-worker or dote on the wine lover in your life, the combination of wine, foods and accessories offers both practical and experiential delights. Its versatility makes it an asset in anyone’s do-it-yourself arsenal. Make it elaborate or simple. Customize it to an individual’s preference. Buy in bulk and make batch gift baskets that are ready to assemble in minutes. No matter how you decide to do it, you can give a homemade gift that’s fun to make and they’re sure to love. Ready for some inspiration? We’ve compiled our best tips and tricks to help you become a master wine basket curator. Here’s how to make a wine gift basket.
Essentials for Wine Gift Baskets
One of the best things about wine gift baskets is how customizable they can be. Building each on the same framework allows for plenty of diversity and versatility. Getting creative with the categories and combinations makes gift baskets such a fun gift to give and receive! However, before you can start freestyling, you need to know the fundamentals. Here are the essential pieces for compiling a great wine gift basket.
It can be easy to get carried away with DIY wine basket gift ideas. If you’re not careful, buying individual items and putting them together can cost more than you were planning to spend. Plus, quality wine, gourmet food and accessories can add up quickly if you’re not discerning. That’s why the first essential to a wine gift basket is a budget! Knowing how much you can afford will plan your homemade gift accordingly.
Deciding where to splurge and where to save is crucial when considering luxury items. However, try not to put all your eggs into one basket. If you invest everything into the wine, you probably need a decorative wine sleeve and not a basket. Conversely, if you go all-out on pricey snacks, you may end up pairing it with a wine that doesn’t quite live up to the rest of the gifts. As with most things, a middle-of-the-road approach is best when making a gift basket on a budget.
The most critical part of your gift basket is wine. That’s pretty obvious, right? However, it may be less obvious that your decision will significantly impact the rest of the contents — maybe even the basket. In a sense, by choosing the wine, you’re also selecting the theme. If you’re not sure which direction you want to go, several criteria can help you decide, such as:
- The type of wine the recipient prefers
- Whatever pairs best with the food you wish to include
- Whatever matches the season and its festivities
- The occasion the gift is commemorating
- Your personal favorites
Once you decide on the wine, you’ll use it as a springboard to choose the rest of your gifts, so it all pairs accordingly!
The next essential item is the basket. Most people envision rattan or wicker when they think of gift baskets, but this doesn’t always have to be the case. The receptacle you choose only has one fundamental criterion — holding all the items in one place. That opens up all sorts of possibilities! By thinking outside the (ahem) basket, you can make the vessel an equally valuable part of the gift. It can be a bag, a pail, a box, a bucket or anything you wish, so long as it can contain all the components. One tip for choosing the right base is to consider what the recipient may reuse. While most people may not need a shallow, handled basket, they may love a modern storage wicker one instead! Or perhaps you can try a decorative metal basket, a picnic basket or woven cotton basket.
One of the best things about wine is how it pairs with other delicious foods. It’s practically an art form. Bolstering your basket with gourmet snacks enhances the overall experience for the recipient and offers an enticing hint of luxury. There are so many delicious wine and food combinations to choose from, but for basket purposes, you’re going to want to mostly stick to nonperishable or shelf-safe items. Think snacks such as cheeses, chocolates, crackers, jams, cured meats, nuts and popcorn. One exception to this rule is fruit, though you’ll want to ensure your recipient knows there’s fresh fruit inside they’ll need to eat immediately or store in the fridge.
Now that you have the wine and snacks, it’s time to fill out the basket with accessories! Imagine the gift basket as a kit for a wine-and-dine event. What supplies might they need to enjoy their evening? Here are some great options to consider:
- Wine glasses
- Cheese boards
- Cheese knives
- Cocktail napkins
- Wine stoppers
- Wooden or metal signs
- Wine books
- Custom stemless wine glasses
- Foil cutter
Depending on the recipient, you can customize any of these accessories to their tastes or interests!
Fillers and Flourishes
Last but not least, it’s time to fill in the gaps and top it all off with embellishments. When constructing a gift basket, you’ll need to fill the spaces between each item to prevent slipping, sliding and damage to anything delicate. Some typical options include shredded, crinkled kraft paper, Easter grass and tissue paper, but you can get a little fancy and subsidize some stuffing with tea towels or cloth napkins. You can also use fillers to prop up specific items or as buffers between sections. For instance, if the wine bottle has settled in lower than you like, try adding some extra paper shreds or a folded tea towel beneath it to prop it up higher.
The final flourish for your gift basket will be wrapping it in large cellophane wrapping or a basket bag, typically bunched over the top of the basket and finished off with a bow or ribbon to tie it all together.
How to Make a Good Wine Gift Basket
Now that you have all your essential items, it’s time to put them all together! Wine gift basket ideas are all about aesthetic presentation, so here are some steps that will help you compile an eye-catching wine gift basket.
Prepare the Basket
To start, get out your basket and fill it with filler material about halfway to the top. Don’t use your whole supply — you’ll need some for later. If you’ve selected a generously sized basket, try balling up newspaper or kraft paper to take up the extra room in the bottom. Now, gather all of the items you plan to include and lay them out by size so you can clearly see what needs to go inside. If the receptacle has a lid, now’s the time to affix it to the back or beneath the container.
Consider Your Arrangement
There are a few ways to arrange items in a gift basket, and it can be helpful to choose one ahead of time. Here are some ways you can arrange your gift basket so that it not only looks beautiful but also fits all the items you plan to include.
Back to Front
The first way is to build the arrangement from back to front, creating a background of large items, a middle ground of medium items and a foreground of the smallest items. Think of it like lining the items up on risers. For this arrangement, you’ll want to rely on some of your filler material to boost items that may be too small to peek out from behind the lip of the basket or to give some added height to the items toward the back. Duplicates can also serve as platforms if you are already prominently displaying one of the items, such as boxes of crackers or jars of jam.
Center to Perimeter
Another way to arrange your basket is to start from the center and work your way to the outer edges. The tallest item will go in the middle, then rings of additional items fan out away from it until the smallest items are lining the outer rim. This arrangement works well for circular baskets. Filler material will come in handy to create buffers between the rings and prevent glass items from cracking against each other. You can also use this arrangement to create “cake” tiers, a great design idea if you decide to do a dessert-themed basket.
The “Z” formation starts with the largest item in one of the back corners or edges of your box or container. Depending on which side you choose, your “Z” may end up backward, which is OK. Then, layer items from largest to smallest across the back edge, down the diagonal line and across the front edge of the box. Use filler material to help the heights of items descend more seamlessly or to bolster the items in the back of the basket. If you want to arrange horizontally and vertically, try layering multiple items across the back to give the basket an even fuller look.
Build Your Basket
Now that you know which arrangement you’re going to use, it’s time to build it out! Out of your assortment of gifts, select one of the largest items to serve as your focal point. It could be the most eye-catching item, such as a sign, a cheese board, a book or a large box of chocolate. It could also be the tallest item in the bunch, depending on how you plan to arrange the gifts.
Position this item toward the back or center of your basket, spreading out the filler material to make a placeholder for this item. Now, going from largest to smallest, create the formation using the most substantial items available. It’s not a bad idea to hold off on incorporating the smallest items just yet. Focus on the most substantial gifts first.
Fill in the Gaps
Once you have shaped the basket’s skeleton, it’s time to fill in the gaps. Fluff out any areas that seem limp or void by adding extra filler material or incorporating smaller gifts like cheese knives. Don’t be afraid to open a bag of chocolates or other individually wrapped foods or candies and scatter them on any areas that seem vacant. You can also tuck in folded pieces of tissue paper that stick out for an added embellishment.
Wrap It Up
Now it’s time to finalize your basket. If you need to remove items and rearrange them multiple times, that’s OK! Try out whatever combination you wish until you’re satisfied and ready to wrap it up. Once you’re happy, get out some cellophane. Roll out the plastic and center your basket on the sheet, ensuring you have enough to cover the whole basket with material to spare for bunching at the top.
Cut the size you need, wrap it, bunch it and lastly tie it off with a bow or ribbon. There you have it — a perfectly wrapped wine gift basket.
Ideas for Homemade Wine Baskets
A little extra inspiration never hurt anyone. If you’re looking for recommendations or want a springboard for your own gift basket, we’ve compiled a bunch of wine gift basket ideas to help you craft the present everyone will be talking about.
One way to theme a basket is around a special occasion. Whether it’s a life milestone or an annual holiday, here are some of our best wine basket ideas for special occasions.
A thoughtfully designed corporate wine basket is an elegant way to show your appreciation to clients, and you can even personalize it for a company or specific client based on their preferences. There is a broad selection of corporate wine gifts, including bottles of wine, champagne, gift certificates and more.
You can also choose wine by the bottle or case, making it easy to buy a gift for an individual client or an entire team. If you know the kind of wine your clients enjoy, you can choose these specific wines or even mix and match a selection, allowing your clients and business partners to enjoy a unique range of flavors. Choosing a wine gift basket can be a stress-free opportunity to pick the perfect gift for your business partners.
Christmas wine gift baskets are a great homemade present. They’re welcome at celebrations at home or at work. Start with a decorative mesh basket and line it with a festive tea towel or cloth napkins. Choose one treat to go with each wine and wrap them individually with a label to indicate which day to open it. Add some holiday ribbon and sleigh bells to the handles and tuck in some sprigs of holly, pine or mistletoe for a final touch.
Office Gift Exchange
Whether it’s an office Christmas party, the boss’ birthday or an employee milestone, a wine gift basket fits the bill for your office gift exchanges. As long as you take time to find out any food allergies or dietary restrictions, it’s hard to go wrong. If you’re close with the recipient, you may even want to specialize the items to their particular tastes or interests.
If you’re looking to send gifts to your clients or potential customers, incorporate branded items. Wine glasses etched with the company logo or custom wine labels for bottles will keep your company at the top of their minds as they’re enjoying their wine and snacks. If you’re sending a basket for a whole office, encourage employees to share with individually wrapped items and prepackaged portions.
Another opportunity for office gifts is to buy wine and other accessories in bulk and assemble multiple baskets simultaneously. Going this route means you can take advantage of bulk pricing, which will save you big time if you’re planning to spend a sum on multiple gifts.
Bridal Shower or Wedding Gift
Ah, marital bliss. There are few things more romantic than a shared bottle of wine between two lovebirds. Curate a marriage milestone basket to present as a gift for a bridal shower or at the wedding. Customize some wine glasses with their married name and wedding date. Include a monogrammed corkscrew. Don’t forget a cork collector to help them commemorate the bottles throughout their marriage!
Sprinkle these items with a few bottles of wine designated for their “firsts” — first night, first fight, first New Year’s Eve, first house and first anniversary. If you know the bride and groom well, you can choose between chocolates or cheeses, but embellish the rest with romantic reminders. If you’re not sure what to choose, rely on their registry to select their preferred wine accessories, tea towels and storage containers to create a gift they’re bound to love.
A housewarming party is a perfect occasion for a wine gift basket! Wine is a traditional housewarming present and the new homeowners will be thrilled to have some food to help them transition during a move or to feed hungry helpers who are carrying boxes. You may also want to include wine accessories they might not have unpacked yet, like a corkscrew, cheese plate and cheese knives. Add some home decor items, like a beautiful throw blanket or a candle.
If you’re still looking for ideas, why not try some of these themed baskets? Modify these for special occasions or spur-of-the-moment surprises.
- Wine and chocolate: Start by choosing your chocolate — white, milk or dark. Based on which treat you choose, pair a bottle accordingly. Pair white chocolate with a Riesling, milk chocolate with a Pinot Noir and dark chocolate with a Merlot.
- Wine and cheese: If you want to start with a red wine, try a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon and include hard cheeses like aged Gouda, Asiago and cheddar. If you need a white wine pairing, keep the cheddar and Gouda and opt for a bottle of Chardonnay instead. Fill out the rest of the basket with a cheese board, cheese knives, crackers and jams.
- Wine sampler: Instead of one large 1.5-liter bottle, why not fill the basket with various smaller bottles for the recipient to try new wines? Top it off with a gift card so they can get a full bottle of their favorite.
- Wine movie night: Use a popcorn bucket as your basket, stick a bottle of Pinot Grigio in the center and build the rest up with specialty popcorns and chocolate-covered nuts or raisins. If you want to put it over the top, include a gift card to a streaming service, such as Netflix.
- World wine tour: Choose a country of origin and select a wine from there to theme your box around. Research common snacks, chocolates or candies from these cultural regions to sprinkle throughout the basket.
With any of these ideas, you’re sure to delight any number of loved ones or associates.
Build Your Wine Basket With Marketview Liquor
No matter what gift basket you want to make, Marketview Liquor is your one-stop shop for all your buying needs. Whether you’re looking for a bottle of red or white or wine-related accessories to make your basket shine, we have the supplies you need to start your gift basket off right. Our robust catalog of wines ranges from Napa Valley to the Finger Lakes, Barbados to New Zealand. Whether your budget is tight or limitless, there are options for everyone to choose from.
Ready to build your basket? Browse our wine and order today.