The holidays are here and you are scratching your head while trying to think of the perfect gift for your child’s teacher.  I’ll make it easy for you.  Buy a bottle of wine.  Don’t bother thinking about body lotion, hand gel, chocolates, flower bouquets, or a $5 Starbucks gift card.  Leave your thoughts of a book with heart felt quotes, a pink scarf, striped mittens, or a hand written note from your child amidst the crumbled Cheerios in the back seat of your minivan.  All your child’s teacher wants is a good bottle of wine.  And how do I know? When I’m not tasting, attending events, or writing about wine, I’m a teacher.  And the words resounding in the hallways are “Could someone give me a bottle of wine this year?”

Teacher Gifts

Now it’s your turn to shine so let that teacher know just how smart YOU are!  Choose a bottle of wine which will be sure to please but may not be one that he or she may have thrown in the grocery store cart last weekend.  Anyone can select a California Chardonnay or Merlot, but won’t it be more fun to find a wine that may be a bit different or one that is from another country?  Sure to garner your child an easy A+, start shopping and be prepared for the next teacher’s pet to be…you!

To make your choice of wine a bit easier, a delicious wine that I’ve already reviewed is listed next to the grade level of your child then linked to my complete article for more information.  Have fun!

Kindergarten:  This could easily be the most difficult teaching job of all.  Children learn how to walk in a single file, balance art supplies or library books, and refrain from talking all at once. They figure out how to ask a real question, sit quietly with their legs folded “criss cross applesauce”, raise their hand only when needed, and to state the difference between a noun and verb.  All of the kindergarten teachers I know are patient and kind yet engage in a fair amount of eye rolling.  This group needs bubbles and I’m not talking about the kind you blow from a wand.  Purchase a bottle of Mionetto Prosecco Brut for $15 and your child may be first in line on January 5.

First Grade:  The year when your little darling learns to read and write in coherent sentences, complete math equations, and master a number of jump roping skills is crucial.  And so is the gift you give the teacher.  Miss Smith has successfully navigated the class through those long afternoons in September when most of her students are ready for a nap. She has introduced three and four syllable vocabulary words and has had your child learn to spell them on weekly tests.  Why don’t you impress her with your spelling prowess and give her a bottle of 2013 Avantis Estate Malagousia, a lovely and crisp white wine from Greece, for $16?

Second Grade:  My first teaching job after college was this grade and I loved it.  Betsy and Bobby already knew the basics of reading and math and it was fun to expand upon that knowledge and introduce more experiences and concepts in literature, science, and social studies.  But it’s a different ball game now…Common Core standards, testing, accountability…the list is endless.  Second grade teachers are always positive people but at times they need to get back to the basics and relieve stress.  I can guarantee that Mrs. Jones will love a bottle of organic wine.  How about the fresh and citrusy Emiliana Novas Gran Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2012 from Chile for $15?

Third Grade:  Your child is in the Elementary School Big Time.  The curriculum is more difficult and there is plenty of homework for teachers to check.  Planning activities that click on your child’s learning light bulb can be challenging but all of the third grade teachers I know love what they do and are darn good at it.  This is the year when many third graders learn about the past, present, and future.  They’re learning about earth science, working with more advanced number concepts, exploring genres of literature, and perhaps discovering information about those who settled the American frontier.  If your child is knee deep in history impress your child’s teacher with your knowledge of those who settled the Central Coast of California…or at least those who produce the wine!  Just treat Ms. Adams to a $20 bottle of memorable Justin Vineyards 2013 Rose of Cabernet from Paso Robles AVA.

Fourth Grade:  During this year, your child continues to collaborate (showing appropriate behaviors, mind you) with their peers on group projects, lug multiple textbooks back and forth from school to home, become more independent in their work skills, organize data, develop good writing skills, learn about the various regions of our country, and more.  And the teachers? They have to manage this potential mayhem with the skill of a conductor leading a symphony orchestra.  Give them a much needed intermission this holiday with a gorgeous wine from the Finger Lakes AVA in New York,  Hosmer Dry Riesling 2013 for $15.

Fifth Grade:  The teachers are madly getting your child ready for middle school.  Everything at school is more complex…from literacy to math to science to social studies…to the opposite sex! Can you imagine what it’s like to teach fractions or photosynthesis when Jenny and Dylan are making goo-goo eyes at each other? And, by the way, someone has to tell Sarah to start wearing deodorant if you’re not going to do it (just sayin’).  This job is not for the faint of heart so why don’t you give your child’s teacher a wine from Spain, Corona de Aragon Special Selection 2011, a fabulous rich red blend of Garnacha and Cariñena for $15.

Please note.  There are two people who may need modifications to the above suggestions: the Principal and the Pregnant Teacher.  Let’s face it, the Principal needs some hard liquor for obvious reasons and that choice is yours to make.  But the Mom-to-Be should receive two bottles because she’ll not only have her new baby…but your little angel as well!

Cheers to the holidays! ~ Cindy

If you can’t find the wines I’ve suggested in your local wine shop, just ask for a wine similar in style and price.  Your child’s teacher is already thanking you!






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  1. Vee Lowe


    I cannot think of a single teacher, and I know many, who wouldn’t appreciate your wine suggestion as a gift!

    • Cindy Rynning


      Ha ha! Agreed!! Let’s see how many gift bags of wine are brought into the schools this year!

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