Wine baskets make an appropriate and thoughtful gift for many occasions. They are formal enough to give to business contacts but can be made personal enough for wine-loving friends and family members. Wine baskets come in many shapes and sizes, each with different wines and accessories. Unfortunately, many of these baskets are expensive, sometimes prohibitively so. However, you can make a wine gift basket yourself. This way, you have total control over what goes into the basket and how much it costs. This also gives you the opportunity to tailor the basket to its recipient.
Choose a basket. Many varieties are available at craft stores for just a few dollars. Find a deep, sturdy one with a handle for ease of transport. Choose a mid-sized basket about 12 inches wide at its widest point. This is large enough to hold plenty of goodies, but not so large that you need to go over budget to fill it.
Get cellophane and ribbon at the craft store, as well. These things are usually inexpensive, but save even more money by looking for sales. Clear cellophane does the job and is cheaper than colored or patterned varieties. Look for ribbon remnants; you need only about a foot to 18 inches of wide ribbon.
Use one or two tea towels to line the basket. They can be solid or patterned as you desire, so long as they match the recipient’s taste. You can often find tea towels at the grocery store or discount store for very little money. Again, look through sales; if the solid colors are cheaper, layer two different colors together for a two-toned look.
Choose your wine. Include two 120 milliliter bottles, called half bottles, in your basket. These bottles are small enough that you can stay within budget, but large enough for the recipient to enjoy over time. Go to your local winery and look for discounts or peruse the local wines and spirits shop for small bottles of your favorite vintage.
Tuck chocolates, cheeses and crackers around the wine, arranging them so everything is visible. Grocery store delis often have a wide selection of cheeses and crackers and reference lists of the wines they pair well with. The same goes for chocolates. Items from your grocery store are less expensive than specialty shop items.
Look for wine glasses, a wine opener and a rubber wine stopper at your grocery store or a discount store. Many chains have a wide selection of good-quality items for less than you would pay at a wine shop.
Set the basket in the center of a large square of cellophane. Wrap the cellophane up and around the basket, gathering the corners together above the basket handle or the tallest item in the basket. Tie the gathered corners together with a piece of wide ribbon to finish the basket.