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How to Wrap a Wine Bottle

How to Wrap a Wine Bottle

While we certainly don’t need to sell you on the merits of giving wine as a gift, even we will admit that gift wrapping a bottle properly requires more than a little bit of finesse—especially if you’re trying to disguise what it is. That doesn’t mean it can’t be done. You just need the wisdom of an expert.

Naturally, we tapped event planner, home decor store owner and gifting guru Jung Lee to show us the ropes on a variety of different bottle-wrapping methods, leaning on everything from classic wrapping paper to a sock (yes, you read that correctly).

Read on to learn the history of gifting wine, plus all the dos and don’ts to make your present perfectly presentable.

The History of Gifting (and Gift Wrapping) Wine

While winemaking dates back thousands of years, giving wine as a gift in America really only took off during the middle half of the 20th century, according to the Smithsonian Insider. Many actually credit Julia Child, one of the world’s first true celebrity chefs, with increasing wine’s popularity with the American public. She enjoyed toasting her audience with a “bon appetit!” and raising a glass. From the 1950s onward, American winemaking—and therefore, wine gifting—has enjoyed a meteoric rise.

Gift wrapping in general, however, has a tad more history. Per Better Homes & Gardens, the earliest record of wrapped presents dates back to the 1300s in Korea, where gifts were wrapped in fabric as a way to provide protection and good luck to the recipient. Paper gift wrap came quite a few centuries later, when holiday card juggernaut Hallmark ran out of tissue paper one season and instead printed their designs on more heavy-duty rolls of paper.

How to Wrap Wine in Gift Wrap, Tissue Paper or Cellophane

Graphic by Eric DeFreitas

We’ll be honest: traditional gift wrap or tissue paper are the trickiest materials to wrap around a wine bottle. If you do want to attempt this, follow these steps: Cut a piece of wrapping paper (or two sheets of tissue paper) into a 12-by-12-inch square (or more for a larger bottle). Lay the paper on a flat surface and angle it with one point facing down towards you. Then, place the bottle on the left hand point and roll it into the paper from left to right, tucking in the ends of the paper at the bottom of the bottle as you go. Secure with tape. Finally, gather the paper at the top of the bottle and tie with a decorative ribbon. If you’re more of a visual learner, try following along with this video.

Lee, however, prefers to use cellophane, since it’s a more flexible material. You can even buy cellophane wine bags, which makes things even easier. “I recommend adding a beautiful touch around the top of the cellophane bag, like a fresh flower or a beautiful ribbon,” she says.

How to Wrap Wine in a Dish Towel

Bottle of wine wrapped in cloth.
Graphic by Eric DeFreitas

For this two-in-one gift, take a (new!) dish towel and fold it in half along the long side. Place it on a flat surface, then place your bottle of wine between the two layers at one end of the towel, with the bottom of the bottle at the fold. Roll the bottle into the fabric, making sure to tuck the ends of the towel inside your roll. Grab a decorative ribbon and tie a bow around the bottle’s neck, making sure to pull securely. Having trouble visualizing this process? This video provides a helpful demonstration.

Lee also recommends presenting the bottle-and-tea-towel combo in a gift box: Simply wrap the dish towel around the bottle, leaving the bottle exposed, and add in some other wine-centric presents, like a bottle opener or decorative stopper.

How to Wrap Wine in a Sock

Bottle of wine wrapped in a sock.
Graphic by Eric DeFreitas

“I love a good DIY option and a sock is a great way to dress up your wine bottles for the holidays,” says Lee. Her preferred method is to use a set of long socks; slip the wine bottle into one and then use the other to tie a bow or knot on the bottle neck. (Here’s a demo.) “You can also get creative and add a festive bow or tie a note on the top of the wine bottle,” she adds.

Of course, when it comes to gifting wine (including NA varieties) make sure to makes for a great gift, but focus on the quality of your wine rather than presentation. “You don’t want to overwrap your wine and you don’t want the wine to overheat,” she says. “Simplicity is key.”

Need some bottle suggestions? Our lists of the best wines for Christmas and the best wines for Hanukkah are great places to start.

We Recommend:

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    Canvas Wine Bottle Gift Bags With Leather Ties (Set of 5)


Published on December 12, 2022

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