Valentine's Day can be a time of stress as we scramble to think of the ideal gift for the perfect way of telling the one we love that he or she is the best thing that has ever happened to us.
It's easy to be clichéd with flowers and chocolates. And, certainly, there's nothing wrong with candy and spa treatments if those are things your partner likes. The key is finding a personal connection with your sweetheart.
From Monday through Friday this week, we will offer some "experiential" gift ideas that might help you turn a normal Valentine's into something more lasting and memorable. (Monday's
featured a way to name a star after your loved one.)
Is your sweetie an oenophile who just can't get enough of his favorite wine? Is wine always a gift that will go straight to her heart and soul? Well, a fine bottle of Bordeaux is always a good gift, as long as you plan to share it together in the most intimate of settings.
Of course, wine is an organic entity, always growing and changing in its composition, and on this day, wouldn't your lover like something that came straight from your heart -- or hands?
Wine shops like
in upstate New York and
in Indiana allow amateurs to make their own vintage based on wines they've tasted and enjoyed. The wine won't be ready to drink in time for this Valentine's, but present the bottle as a token and enjoy it in, say, about six months.
If your significant other is truly all about the wine, why not really make it a surprise with a bottle from his own vineyard? It will cost you, but it will probably be the gift of a lifetime.
First, make the gift-giving a show: Present that fine, tasty bottle, neatly wrapped in red, shiny cellophane paper and a colorful bow. Then, when she asks about the provenance of the label, act surprised that she isn't acquainted with the particular winery, since she knows so much about wine.
Delicately, and before she becomes perturbed, let her know there is "more where that came from," that, in fact, you have bought her a whole vineyard.
offer a wide selection of international luxury real estate options. Her cup will runneth over.
Nate Herpich is a freelance writer and editor living in Brooklyn, N.Y. He has also written for the Wall Street Journal, the Christian Science Monitor and Sports Illustrated.com.