The holidays are upon us. As you scramble to find the perfect gift for the adults on your list, I urge you to choose the gift of laughter, cheer and one of Yakima’s most delicious creations: wine. The Yakima Valley is Washington’s oldest viticultural area, and home to more than a third of the state’s vineyard land. Here, we are surrounded by some of the very best Washington wine, making wine from the Yakima Valley the ultimate gift.

So how do you choose that perfect bottle? Personally, for the holidays I feel that a merlot, syrah or zinfandel, with bold, berry flavors, and hints of cocoa or spice, can be very festive. However, the most celebratory wine is sparkling! At Treveri Cellars in Yakima, you can find some of the most delicious sparkling wines in Washington. My favorites from Treveri Cellars are the sparkling gewurztraminer and sparkling syrah brut.

When shopping for a loved one, close friend or wine guru, the key is to attach sentiment to your choice. Think back to a time when you went wine tasting together, buy a bottle from that day in hopes of bringing back fond memories. Or, if there is a particular variety or blend that the two of you always drink together, search for that variety made by a new, local producer. It’s also a great idea to mix it up; be the first to introduce them to a new and exciting wine that you have found.

If a colleague, party host or novice wine drinker is on your list, focus on what you know best. You can never go wrong gifting a bottle of your favorite wine. The thoughtfulness that comes with sharing something that brings you joy will excite them before they have even tasted it. If you are looking to break the ice with this person, buy a wine that reminds you of their personality. For example, red wine if they are bold and ambitious, dessert wine if they are sweet, or sparkling wine if they are outgoing and bubbly.

If you are leaving for the holidays and would like to bring wine with you, remember airlines allow up to five liters of alcohol per person, as long as it is in a checked bag. If traveling by car, the most important thing to remember is temperature control. Avoid storing wine in the truck or leaving wine in the car overnight.

Holiday gift giving should be simple and thoughtful. When choosing the perfect bottle of wine, remember these five tips:

1. Find your price range: You can find great wines at every price point; you don’t have to spend a fortune.

2. Stay local: This is a perfect opportunity to show off the wine that this region has to offer.

3. Make it personal: Always attach a card with the story behind your purchase.

4. Ask the experts: If you have questions, visit the winery, do a tasting and seek advice from the wine steward.

5. Go for unique over well-known: Give something that they won’t be able to find easily at the grocery store.

• Lisa Nelson is a graduate of Central Washington University’s World Wine Program, which focuses on the international business of wine and professional sensory analysis. For more information, contact Amy Mumma at