Wine Gift Baskets: Buying Tips and DIY Wine Basket Ideas

Gift baskets are a perennial favorite gift, especially for certain occasions: housewarming gifts, birthday gifts, and holiday gifts for clients and employees. Versions that include wine are super popular, too. But what kind of wine gift basket should you give? And will one that fits your budget be worth giving? I’ll walk you through it.

Before we get started! When you pick a gift basket seller, make sure they can deliver to your gift recipient’s state. I make this easy on my site by letting you pick your shipping state and then only showing you gift baskets that can ship there.

What are the best wine gift baskets?

Honestly, anyone who likes to drink wine and eat food is going to like a wine basket for a gift. So sometimes the best wine gift baskets take into account the gift recipient’s preferences and the gift giver’s budget. Here are all of the things to consider:

  1. Shop by your budget. You can find wine gift baskets Under $100, $100-250, and Luxury wine gift baskets (over $250), too. I love the Hickory Farms gift baskets for great value. You can find premium gift baskets from and Gourmet Gift Baskets.
  2. Shop by their wine preferences. You can find gift baskets featuring White wine, Red wine, Rosé, and Sparkling. If your wine lover is into Organic or Natural wines, I don’t have any gift baskets to recommend, but plenty of organic wine samplers are available.
  3. Shop by their dietary preferences. Make sure you’re not sending salami to vegetarians and wheat crackers to gluten-free peeps, or cookies and chocolate to people with diabetes. If your wine lover is vegan you should know that most wines are not vegan and that you’re better off sending a vegan wine sampler or vegan wine subscription instead of a gift basket.
  4. Do they live outside the US? Try for getting wine and food gifts delivered (almost) anywhere in the world.

What goes in a wine gift basket?

In the world of wine gifts, typically the phrase “basket” implies two things: the gift comes presented in a nice package and it includes something other than just wine.

Wine gift basket packaging

These days much of the packaging is not actually basket (it’s typically a fancy-ish reusable box or tray). Here are some examples of the different kinds of baskets and trays these gifts come in.

Good to know: most gift baskets come in some state of disassembly for cheaper shipping and are decidedly less impressive looking than the ones that show up at their door via local delivery.

The food in wine baskets

The quality of food that comes in gift baskets varies widely by who the gift basket maker is. Not everyone who tosses around the word Gourmet means it in the same way, sometimes “gourmet” is just code for “food.”

The typical food options for wine gift baskets are cheese (shelf-stable), chocolate (nice ones, like Godiva), meats like salami or pepperoni, fancy nuts, crackers, cookies, and sometimes specialty baskets include dried pasta, olive oil, or other condiments like mustards and compotes for charcuterie trays.

Speaking of charcuterie trays… that might actually be a great alternative to a wine gift basket gift. Of course it won’t come with wine, but the delivery and presentation experience from Boarderie is fantastic (even Oprah agrees). You can choose a holiday-themed board, a classic Cheese & Charcuterie board, or even a super-decadent Baked Brie board.

Classic Cheese and Charcuterie Board from Boarderie Buy this board from $129 Oprah’s Favorite Charcuterie Board from Boarderie Buy this board from $289 Baked Brie Board from Boarderie Buy this board from $129

Sometimes wine gift baskets come with unique items like books or spa products instead of foodstuffs.

Le Grand Courtâge

Le Grand Courtâge "Pamper Me" Sparkling Wine & Spa Gift Set

Gift Description
Give it for $50.00

This luxurious gift set includes one bottle each of our Blanc de Blancs Brut and Brut Rosé wine and Spa Gift Set (as shown). Contains 3-in-1 Bar Soap 1.8oz, Hand Cream 1oz, Body Lotion 3.2oz, Bubble Bath 3.2oz, Shower Gel 3.2oz, Reusable Burlap Linen Bag with Drawstring.

Le Grand Courtâge Brut Rosé: Chardonnay provides a depth and structure, while the Ugni Blanc offers natural acidity and freshness. The light-bodied Gamay provides vibrant fruit expressions and a smooth texture.

Le Grand Courtâge Blanc de Blancs Brut: Chardonnay imparts depth and complexity for the overall balance while Chenin Blanc lends citrus and hints of honey for a creamy texture. Colombard’s higher acidity provides structure, length and a pleasant minerality that is supplemented by Ugni Blanc’s fresh fruit profile.

Le Grand Courtâge can ship to: AK, AZ, CA, CO, DC, FL, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MN, MO, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY
  • Wine Gift Basket, Wine in Gift Box
  • Give it for $50.00

    The wine in gift baskets

    Some wine gift baskets come with high-end wines, but most come with fairly cheap wine. Cheap wine doesn’t mean it’s bad, but unless you recognize the brand as an ultra-premium one, the wine in gift baskets is not going to impress a serious wine drinker. Wine baskets are perfect for people who like wine but aren’t picky about what they drink.

    I’ve tasted the wine offered in many gift baskets and it’s consistently decent. Sometimes that wine is “private label” and not available at wine stores, but it’s still nice — gift basket sellers do a lot of business with repeat customers, if their products aren’t good, those customers will be embarrassed and order their wine gifts elsewhere in the future.

    Buyer beware: it’s pretty common for merchants to show all kinds of things in photos of wine gift baskets that don’t come with the gift — especially wine glasses, bowls, cheese trays, and decorations. Be sure to read the fine print of what’s included in a basket before buying.

    The business side of gift baskets

    The world of wine gift baskets (at least in the US) can be confusing.

    There are many sellers of gift baskets which seem redundant. That’s because there are only a handful of wine gift basket producers and all of those other sellers are actually dropshippers (which means they order your gift basket from the producer, or another authorized vendor, when you place your order). This works for businesses but it’s rough on shoppers (especially if something goes wrong with the order).

    To make matters more complicated some states (like New York, Massachusetts, and Texas) have laws saying that food and wine can’t be delivered in the same package, so recipients of gift baskets in those states will get two separate packages.

    The quality of food that comes in gift baskets varies widely by who the gift basket maker is. Not everyone who tosses around the word gourmet means it, and there are a lot of generic gift-sized snacks produced which just get repackaged for the different gift basket companies.

    Maybe that’s enough to discourage you from a traditional wine basket gift and you want ideas on how to make your own? I feel you.

    Wine gift basket ideas

    Before I break into my spiel about how to make your own totally awesome wine basket gift, there are a few things you need to know:

    1. If you’re putting wine in a gift basket, you must deliver that basket yourself. It is not legal to ship alcohol if you are not a licensed seller, and more importantly, the USPS doesn’t ship alcohol ever.
    2. If you’re ordering wine online to put in the gift basket yourself, make sure you verify the wine store can ship to your wine lover’s state.
    3. If you’re ordering components (like personalized wine bottles) make sure you leave enough lead time for customized products to get made and delivered to you.
    4. Your recipient may not be home when you drop off the gift. If there’s anything perishable in your masterpiece, make sure it can sit outside for at least a few hours or notify your recipient ahead of time and find out when a good time to drop off your gift might be.

    Okay, assuming you’ve cleared all those hurdles, let’s get to the fun part. Otherwise, go back up to the top of this guide, pick your gift recipient’s state, and shop for a pre-made wine gift basket.

    What to put in a wine gift basket

    As noted earlier, while wine and foodstuffs are the standard items in wine baskets, the sky's the limit when you make your own. Here are recommendations for different kinds of wine gift basket components.

    The wine

    When choosing a wine for your wine gift basket, I recommend one of three paths to create the most delight: either pick a wine you know they love, choose a nice Champagne, or get a wine personalized just for them.

    Something they love. Shop for their favorite wine online or at your local wine shop. If they made a trip to wine country and fell in love with a winery there, order something directly from the winery.

    Champagne. It symbolizes success and happiness, but it also happens to pair well with almost any food. This makes Champagne gifts a can’t miss option.

    Get a personalized bottle. Skip the custom wine label and go for a deep-etched choice. My favorite places to order custom wine bottles are Etching Expressions and Mano’s Wine. They both have gorgeous pre-made designs and you can create your own bottle design, too.

    Diet-friendly wines. It’s a good idea to keep in mind someone’s dietary practices – especially if they’re vegan because not all wines are vegan. If they’re diabetic or doing Keto, then try a zero-sugar, low-, or even no-alcohol wine. And you can shop Kosher wines, too.

    The food

    This is another great area where you can really tailor the food selection to your recipient’s preferences. Like with the wine part of the basket, it’s a good idea to keep in mind someone’s dietary practices. Unless you’re a chef or a wine pro, I wouldn’t worry about pairing your snacks with your wine – just focus on getting great quality snacks or their favorites.

    Wine accessories

    Something that rarely shows up in pre-made baskets but are perfect for DIY wine gifts are wine accessories. Every wine lover needs a proper corkscrew, proper wine glasses, and a decanter.

    Most wine lovers could also benefit from some method of wine preservation (like a Coravin or even something disposable like RePour). For wine better-quality glassware and accessories shop Wine Enthusiast or IWA Wine.

    Other accessories wine basket appropriate accessories include cheese knives (or spreaders), fun cocktail napkins, and wine charms. For wine accessories, shop everywhere you find something fun (it used to be Bed Bath and Beyond, but I’m not sure where to send you these days, except Etsy and Amazon).

    Some other fun ideas for a wine gift basket include: a beginner’s guide to wine (if appropriate), a nerdy wine book, a wine book for home chefs, wine tasting journals, wine-themed aprons, wine-themed socks, anything made from cork (like jewelry, purses, and wallets), and wine-themed jewelry. Now is a good time to remind you to know your gift recipient before you pick a fun extra!

    The basket (or not-a-basket)

    What are you going to put all of those goodies into in order to give it all as a gift? The basket is traditional (and if it’s a nice basket, that’s better). One of my favorite places to shop for baskets is World Market.

    Something to keep in mind is that most baskets are flimsy and wine is heavy (before you add other bits). Make sure your gift vessel can hold the weight of the goodies you’ve selected. If you need something heavier-duty than a traditional basket, look for a reusable vessel like a wooden serving tray, something made out of metal, or even get a multi-bottle wine box and use one slot for wine and the other slots for the extra items.

    These alternative “packages” tend to be harder to find, except for the wooden wine boxes. Check out the ones by Artificer Wood Works for a classy-looking and clever selection or IWA wine for a heavy-duty selection.

    Pick a wine basket theme

    If you’re going to the trouble of making your own wine basket, make it a themed basket! There are all kinds of great ideas which are easy to fulfill against:

    Wine gift basket delivery services

    I work with a number of wine and online stores offering gift basket delivery across the US and Internationally. Not all baskets are created equal, not all stores selling them make their own baskets, and not all stores have a high-quality line-up I feel comfortable recommending.

    The following is my list of recommended wine basket delivery companies where you can shop online and send from anywhere in the US.

    Wine Basket Gift Company Reviews

    Gold Medal Wine Club

    Gold Medal Wine Club sells more than just wine subscription gifts, though I love those, too. They work with small California wineries to bring hard-to-find wines to wine lovers everywhere. They also curate gift assortments including wine gift baskets packaged in an artist-designed gift box instead of an actual basket. The artisanal wines and well-chosen snacks or other items make Gold Medal a stand-out for gift basket giving.

    Shop Gold Medal Wine Club

    Hickory Farms

    Everything Hickory Farms produces is gorgeous. The cheeses, meats, and nuts are so savory looking and the chocolates look delectable. The gift basket containers (sometimes baskets, sometimes boxes) are are high-end and make for a great gift presentation. Their wine gift baskets consist of two categories: wines they produce and can send almost anywhere (their wine brands are Aunar, Generosity Cellars, SunSol, and Contollo) and wines they sell like Veuve Clicquot and Silver Oak can only be sent to California, Florida, Minnesota, and Washington D.C.

    Shop Hickory Farms

    Not every gift basket at wins my approval, but they do have a great selection of high-end wine baskets featuring Champagne, high-quality red wine wine like Silver Oak and Cakebread, and a unique selection of snacks which earn the title gourmet. Their photos feel outdated, but the goodies inside the baskets will delight any recipient when they arrive.


    Drinkable Gifts

    When it comes to sending wine gift baskets to locations outside the US, your best bet is to browse the enormous selection of wine baskets at Drinkable Gifts. I recommend some of their US-delivery baskets, but the incredible value this company provides by partnering with gift providers in over 200 countries is that you can send wine basket gifts practically anywhere in the world.

    Shop Drinkable Gifts

    Wine Basket FAQ

    How do you pick the wine baskets you feature?

    This is an independent third-party website who partners with different stores who sell wine gift baskets online. I am paid a commission to promote the wine baskets these stores carry. My goal is to know what all the available wine basket gifts are, and to handpick the ones I would want to receive myself along with those I think make great gifts for wine lovers.

    I pick gifts with good or fairly-priced wine, gifts with attractive packaging that doesn’t feel outdated (when I can), and gift baskets I think will make an overall great impression for your gift recipients. I also include affordable wine gift baskets (around $50) that are always a nice sentiment, even if the goods therein are less expensive.

    Why doesn’t every gift site offer wine baskets?

    There are many gift sites offering gift towers, gift baskets, gift crates, etc. Most of these sites do not have a liquor license and are unable to sell gift baskets with wine and beer. In order for an online store to sell wine basket gifts, they must have a liquor license AND obtain permits to ship to different states across the country.

    How do I select a wine basket for a gift?

    When deciding on a wine basket, the first thing to consider is what kind of wine drinker you are buying for. Wine baskets are often conceived of as generic gifts that anyone with a passing interest in wine could enjoy. The snacks and sweets are a great way to improve the gift experience even when the wine is mediocre. For this reason, if you are buying for someone you know is a connoissuer, I recommend choosing a gift basket with their favorite winery, wine region, or grape featured.

    If you are buying for people who like wine but typically buy it at the grocery store, any basket I have selected will be suitable, at which point you should consider their other interests and preferences, as well as your gift budget and the state your recipient lives in when choosing a wine gift basket.

    Does my recipient need to be home to receive a wine basket gift?

    Yes and no. All alcohol deliveries require an adult signature (21 years of age) and this is strictly enforced by delivery companies like FedEx, UPS, and local firms used by wine gift delivery services. If this is an issue for your gift recipient, I recommend this workaround:

    Have the gift basket sent to their workplace. This isn’t an option for everyone, but if they can receive packages at work, this is ideal. There is always an adult around to sign for a package and the wine will be kept in a temperature-controlled environment until they can bring it home.

    Can I send a wine basket anywhere?

    Simply put, no. US-based gift stores can only send wine baskets to certain states. I make it easy to shop wine gift baskets by the recipient’s state. It is illegal for anyone without a liquor license to send wine in the mail or via UPS, so you cannot buy one (or make one) and put it in the mail. If you need to send a wine basket to someone living outside the US (but not on an Armed Forces Base), we recommend this company.