The season of gift giving is closing in, and let’s face it — the gift of wine or a bottle of liquor is usually a safe bet.

Forty-two per cent of Australians can’t be wrong. According to a recent Roy Morgan study, that’s how many of us like to drink wine (and this number is up by more than 4 per cent in 2021 compared to the previous year — no surprises there!).

In fact, if you’re investing in a classic like a Penfolds Grange Shiraz or Henschke Cyril Cabernet Sauvignon, it’s one of the best gifts for wine lovers.

As easy as it is to decide on a bottle of wine for a gift from our curated selection, the art of wrapping a wine bottle stylishly isn’t exactly simple to master. If you’re wondering how to gift wrap alcohol with minimum fuss and maximum impact, here’s help.

Australia’s very own gift wrapping guru Viv Anthon, a self-taught expert who, safe to say, knows a thing or two about how to wrap a bottle, shares her go-to Christmas gift wrapping ideas.

Learn how to gift wrap a wine bottle in style

For many of us, trying to wrap a wine bottle in gift wrapping paper proves a challenge. “Most people use way too much, and end up with unsightly scrunching,” says Viv.

“My go-to hack is using the least amount of paper you can. You need a piece that’s the circumference of the bottle plus two centimetres, and then 10 centimetres taller than the bottle in height,” adds Viv. Once you’ve measured and cut, simply roll the paper around the bottle, tuck in the base, and tie at the neck using ribbon or twine.

To keep things neat, Viv suggests taping the paper to the bottle before you begin wrapping. Use washi tape (decorative Japanese paper tape) rather than sticky tape so it will look snazzy, or seal the paper from the inside with double-sided tape.

Wondering how to wrap a bottle of wine for Christmas in an eco-frriendly way? Make sure your gift wrapping paper passes the scrunch test. This means paper which remains scrunched when balled up is more likely to be recyclable, while paper that springs back into place usually isn’t, as it’s typically treated with chemicals. Viv also recommends using recycled paper — think brown paper or butcher’s paper — or the new geami, or paper “bubble” wrap (aka honeycomb packing) for a cool, modern look.

Look beyond classic gift wrapping paper when wrapping wine bottles

Some creative ways to wrap liquor bottles include experimenting with different types of wrapping paper.

“A few layers of tissue paper gathers beautifully because it has lots of give and will fluff back out,” says Viv. As for how to wrap a bottle of wine in tissue paper, you can place different patterns atop one another for a layered effect. This also helps reinforce the delicate paper. “Crepe paper works well for a gather and curls wonderfully in strips at the top,” adds Viv.

You could also use pages from a food and wine magazine if you want to stick to a theme. An easy wine bottle gift wrapping technique is to put the paper in portrait position, then place the bottle diagonally in the bottom left-hand corner. Start turning the bottle and folding in the base. This method will leave the top open with the top peeking out. Cute!

Use a wine gift bag or gift box — but make it special

Sometimes, the simplest way to gift wine is to just slip it into a gift bag.

“Just add in loads of wrapped lollies like Humbugs, Fantales or Minties (or candy canes during the holiday season) — not only are these little extras a tasty treat, they also serve as packing pellets that protect your wine,” suggests Viv.

Other ideas include decorating a plain gift bag with calligraphic writing, if you’re feeling artsy. Easier still is tying a big bow or adding a handmade gift tag or even a luggage tag, with a personalised message. This works just as well with a wine gift box, and feel just as special as a wrapped gift.

And if your alcohol gift is a bottle with an obscure shape, like say a Hennessy XO Cognac or Château Sainte Roseline Lampe De Meduse, a gift box is the best option.

Try fabric to wrap a bottle of wine

Wondering how to gift wrap liquor bottles in jute or other fabrics?

“Fabric like calico, muslin or hessian are fabulous for wrapping bottles,” says Viv. “And using a tea towel means you’re giving two gifts in one!”

Viv’s wine bottle gift wrapping technique for tea towels is simple — fold the tea towel in half verrtically by bringing the shorter sides together, place the bottle in the centre of the fold, roll it up, and secure at the neck. “If you want to be extra fancy, when the bottle is in the centre, fold the bottom corners up and into the middle of the tea towel and roll,” she says. “This creates a lovely pleated effect.”

Whichever route you choose for gift wrapping, you can add little touches to personalise the present. “I love to tie in hardy herbs like rosemary or lavender at the neck of the wine bottle, especially if the wine or spirit has vegetal notes,” says Viv. “A sprig of foliage from the Christmas tree also smells divine.” A scroll of tasting notes or a food-matched recipe tied around the neck of the bottle also makes for great gifts for wine lovers.

Whether you’re putting together a wine gift set, or gift wrapping a special spirit, these pro tips for how to gift wrap liquor bottles are guaranteed to impress.