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Three ways to give a Better Bottle of Wine

The humdrum host gift gets an upgrade.



A bottle of wine is always a welcome plus-one at holiday parties. But personalize a bottle, and you’ll transform gift giving into an art form. Instead of randomly picking another wine based on price or label, head to Walnut Creek’s Buon Vino, a Tuscan-inspired wine experience that takes the guesswork out of wine tasting and giving.

1. Start with a taste.

Sample one of owner Dan Batlin’s wines, which are made with grapes from some of the same vineyards prized by top-of-the-line winemakers but ring in at around $20 or less. “I opened up for people intimidated by wine, and those who love it but don’t want to spend a lot,” says Batlin. “You can try a wine before you buy so you’ll know what to expect.”

2. Customize your bottles.

Purchase six bottles of wine or more, and Buon Vino will waive the fee to add a custom label (anything from a heartfelt thank-you to an image of your prized pup, within reason and good taste).  

3. Keep on giving.

The gift doesn’t stop after the last glass has been poured: The host can return with the empty bottle for $1 off his or her next one. And if you really want to express your gratitude for the good times, plan a party at Buon Vino’s private tasting room. You and up to 30 guests can enjoy two hours of unlimited wine for $25 per person, with a Buon Vino staff member on hand. 1545 Locust St., Walnut Creek, (925) 322-8920, buonvinoinc.com.

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