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Get Personal: how to customise a bottle

Whether it’s for a birthday, an anniversary or even a New Year’s party, receiving a bottle always a chic touch. And making it personal makes it all-the-more memorable. But how does one make wine ‘personal’? Unless you have your own vineyard and are able to tailor-make that special one-off bottle, then engraving your bottle is your best bet and works a dream. Once you’ve chosen the right wording, leave the rest to us at Clos 19. And if you’re not the most literary type, then here are a few pointers to help you write your message.

The first thing you need to think about is where on the bottle you want your message engraved and how long it can be, which will vary according to the type of bottle or gift box you’ve chosen. It’s quite straightforward but the bigger the bottle, the longer the text. However, keep in mind that even for a Magnum, everything has to be said in less than an old-style Tweet, so 120 characters or under (including spaces). Precision is an absolute necessity. Especially as there are some restrictions: make sure to use Latin characters only, no emojis, logos or icons, no explicit references, no offensive language, no superscript, and no code functionality.

If you’re a minimalist type (or you simply lack inspiration) pick a wooden case on which hot-stamped letters have to be used sparingly to leave your mark. A four-bottle Ruinart Cellar Case allows six characters, for instance. Unless the person’s name is something short and sweet like ‘Bob’, then go for a classic monogramme. Initials of course are always a hit. Short, direct, straight to the point. Names, dates of birth or anniversary also highlight a special occasion perfectly. For instance, to engrave a wooden case of Cheval des Andes, Krug or a jeroboam you have a maximum of 15 characters, meaning you have to be concise.

If you want our advice, you can’t really go wrong with a simple ‘Happy Birthday’, ‘Marry me’ or ‘Happy 2018’ engraved on a bottle of Belvedere vodka sabre or embossed on the gift box of Krug champagne.

There’s nothing better than humour to put an even bigger smile on your loved one’s lips. Think of a joke you share or a reference only the person receiving is sure to understand, maybe like ‘I know what you did last summer’ which is only 36 characters long. Or what about a funny nickname? ‘Diva’ or ‘Little Mister Sunshine’. Or an amusing statement ‘This is mine’. You could also try being helpful as well as funny, by recommending the ideal pairing: ‘Drink only with dark chocolate and [your name here]’ on a bottle of Glenmorangie Signet – it’s witty, informative and you’re sure to get a taste.