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Cheese and Wine Gift Baskets

The phrase "joie de vivre" in French means "joy of life or living" and one way they practice this is by enjoying a open air luncheon. On any day of the week you will see loaves of fresh baked bread, bottles of French wine and cheese baskets being carried through one of the many parks in France.

But selecting a French cheese and wine gift basket is not your only choice; there are many different types of wine that can be used to issue your invitation to relaxation and fun. Wine and cheese gift baskets are the perfect combination of two age-old treats that are wonderful alone and even better when they are enjoyed together. The universal appeal of these two items is the reason that people choose wine and cheese gift baskets to celebrate life's special moments.

Personalizing a wedding or anniversary gift is easy when you choose a wine and cheese gift basket; you can select all of their favorite food specialties. In addition to wine and cheese, there are nuts, fruits, chocolates, biscuits and for the heartier appetite, meats, poultry and seafood delicacies. Your ability to customize your selection of a wine and cheese gift basket gives you an advantage and makes this the one gift that is sure to be appreciated by almost everyone who enjoys wine.

The numerous varieties of cheese is easily matched by the numerous types of wine, and anyone who has had the pleasure of tasting how the flavors of wine and cheese compliment each other will tell you that it takes you one step closer to heaven. But if you need proof, the enduring popularity of this combination speaks for itself.

Of course, the key to success in creating a wine and cheese gift basket is selecting the appropriate ingredients; every wine and cheese has its best match. The first thing to remember is that wines and cheeses from the same country or region usually compliment each other well; acidic wines usually go well with acidic cheese. Here are a few tips to pairing cheese and wine:

· Cabernet Sauvignon or Zinfandel wine with the Blue cheese varieties is ideal.

· White wines like Chardonnay or Pinot Noir enhance Brie cheese.

· For Cheddar cheese lovers, a Merlot or Riesling wine will add a pleasing flavor.

· Roquefort cheese is delicious with Port wine.

· The flavor of Swiss cheese is enhanced by Sauvignon Blanc wine.

· Gouda cheese paired with Riesling or Zinfandel wine is a wonderful taste treat.

· Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc are the favored wines for Monterey Jack cheese.

You should keep in mind that both wine and cheese varieties come in many different levels of quality which will affect the price. On the average you can expect to find good quality wine and cheese gift baskets within the $25 to $300 range depending on the type and number of items you select; one bottle of rare wine can cost hundreds of dollars.

Deciding which items to use that will compliment your wine gift basket is not limited to food items; stemware, wine accessories and music CDs are often included to make the occasion more memorable. Your wine lover will know you care if you keep their favorites in mind as you make your selections.