The PJ Tatler

Put Back That Bottle of Booze You're Thinking of Buying as a Christmas Present

So your exhausting search for the ideal Christmas present for that hard-to-shop-for friend has taken you to the package store. You browse the aisles looking for the perfect bottle — something that reflects good taste at the best price — when suddenly you’ve found what you’re looking for.

Not so fast. A new Consumer Reports poll has found that a quarter of Americans surveyed see hard liquor as the least desirable holiday gift.

One in four Americans surveyed cited whiskey, vodka, brandy, rum, and other spirits as the least desirable gift to receive; 23 percent identified flowers and plants as the biggest buzzkill, while 13 percent singled out candles, picture frames, and other home décor items as the most unwanted presents. Even socks would be a better choice.

The same poll showed that consumers are much more comfortable with the idea of receiving wine as a present.

Wine, however, proved a different story. It was far more acceptable—and desirable. Only 6 percent of respondents said they wouldn’t want to receive a bottle for the holidays.

Just outside of Charleston, SC, the assistant manager of package store Bottles says she doesn’t see the aversion to the giving of booze that the poll reflects.

“I was like, ‘hmm, I guess they’re not in South Carolina’,” Sara Capparelli says of her initial reaction to the finding. “We’re selling out of gift sets.”

[…]

…liquor remains popular with Christmas shoppers in Charleston. More than 100 gift givers this weekend attended a bottle-engraving that Capparelli called the most successful such event in the Mt. Pleasant store’s three-year history.

However, Capparelli says she does understand why many people might prefer wine to liquor as a gift.

The gulf between wine and liquor makes sense to Capparelli, who points out that most Cabernet drinkers could probably be coaxed into trying Merlot. But it’s significantly harder to persuade a whiskey drinker to sip vodka, no matter how nicely the bottle is wrapped. Additionally, Capparelli says, wine offers a better value for the gift giver.

“You don’t want to give someone a $5 bottle of value liquor,” she says, whereas many well-made wines are relatively inexpensive.

So the bottom line is this: unless you really need to buy the liquor for yourself, put it back and walk over to the wine section for a better gift-giving experience.

This article contains an image courtesy of Shutterstock.