Here's an answer to that question, "What should I bring to the party?"

Gifts in a Hurry
Credit: Jean Allsopp/ Styling: Alan Henderson

If the holiday invites are piling up and you're planning on making many appearances, why not get creative with what you bring to the hostess? You can turn any bottle of wine into a cute-as-can-be present.

1. leaves from your backyard or houseplants
2. bottles of wine
3. masking tape
4. ribbon
5. tea towel
6. buttons
7. cording
8. colored paper
9. double-stick tape
10. gift tag

Large Leaf Wrap
Wrap a large leaf around a wine bottle. We used a leaf from a cast-iron plant ( Aspidistra elatior); a corn plant ( Dracaena draco) leaf would also work. Hold the leaf in place with masking tape while you tie a ribbon around the middle. We found a fun fringy gold ribbon at a party store.

Tea Time
Place a tea towel on a flat surface. Fold over one long edge of the towel a few inches. Place a wine bottle at one end of the towel, and roll it up. Thread a large button through a piece of cording, and tie it around the wine bottle's neck.

Paper Punched Up
Cut a piece of paper into a rectangle; lay it flat. With masking tape, attach leaves along the top edge, making sure the leaves are right side down. Place a strip of double-stick tape along the edge of the paper (see photo at left). Roll the bottle up in the paper, and tie on a gift tag.

Not sure what wine to buy?
Southern Living Foods Editor and wine expert Scott Jones shares 10 great wines that cost less than $10.


  • Columbia Crest, Chardonnay, Washington
  • Snoqualmie, Winemaker's Select Riesling, Washington
  • Castello Banfi, Chardonnay-Pinot Grigio, Italy
  • Yalumba, Viognier, Australia
  • Fairview, Sauvignon Blanc, South Africa


  • La Vieille Ferme, Côtes du Ventoux, France
  • Rancho Zabaco, Zinfandel, California
  • Ken Forrester, Pinotage, South Africa
  • Alta Vista, Malbec, Argentina
  • Duck Pond, Pinot Noir, Oregon

This article is from the December 2004 issue of Southern Living.