Lets’ be honest, in December we kind of loose the plot! We rush out and purchase gifts for family, friends, neighbours, childminders, our kids’ teachers, our boss even the dogwalker, basically anyone that we have been in contact with over the past 12 months. Don’t forget to stock up on some extra bits just in case you bump into your long lost second cousin!
I either go one of two extremes; giving practical, useful or even handmade gifts. A few years ago, when I was strapped for cash; my son and I made little reindeers (made from corks of course). We put time, effort and love into making them and our family and friends still hang them proudly every year. It was a lovely feeling to craft something and show my son that simple gifts can be extra special.
On the other extreme; I go all out I gift luxurious treats, something I know the recipient would find difficult to justify buying for themselves. I am always banging on about this; but shopping local and supporting smaller businesses are crucial to the survival of smaller towns and independent stores. Instead of bulk buying this year, what if we took time out and mindfully thought about our purchases.
How nice would it be to receive a unique thoughtful gift, something that showed how much you cared about that special person in your life.
Not just for Christmas, here are my top 10 luxury wine gifts for any wine lover. If anyone is still looking for gift ideas for me look no further, I will happily accept anything on this list.
These are my top 10 luxury gifts wine lovers’ gifts. I hope it has inspired you to find something your loved one will love!
1. Conchi Villa Cava
This is one of my favourite sparkling wines of 2018. I have gifted this on many occasions. When I saw its beautiful presentation, I prayed that it wasn’t all fur coat…. believe me it wasn’t, it tasted every bit as good as it looked. A fully sparkling wine from Spain, made using the native grape varietals and a sprinkling of Chardonnay. It is a light, delicate wine with persistent bubbles, it has refreshing crisp apple and pear notes, delicate floral and a toasty finish.
As it is only 11.5% it is ideal as an aperitif, canapes or seafood or poultry.
Available from; Drinkstore, Stoneybatter; Jus de Vin, Portmarnock; McHugh’s, Kilbarrack; Morton’s, Ranelagh; O’Donovan’s, Cork; Searson’s, Monkstown; Sweeney’s, Glasnevin.
Approx. Price €24.00
2. Pol Roger Non-Vintage Champagne
Not a particularly well-known Champagne house to most people outside of the wine trade. This is a curve ball Champagne, Chardonnay is the dominant grape variety creating an elegant feminine style wine. There is a delicate freshness to the wine with fine bubbles and persistent mousse.
Fruit forward with lemon and crisp apple notes and some exotic stone fruits with hints of buttered toast. It is creamy yet fresh, ideal as aperitif an extremely versatile food wine. Winston Churchill was a fan and it was Harry & Meaghan’s Champagne of choice for their wedding earlier this year.
Available from; Celtic Whiskey Shop, O’Driscoll’s, Cork, www.WinesofTheWorld.ie, Morton’s, Ranelagh; O’Brien’s Nationwide, Sweeney’s, Glasnevin.
Approx. Price €55.00
3. Jean-Paul Seguin Sauvignon Blanc
I came across this beauty at the monthly wine club in Lilac Wines, it was the star of the night. We sampled it with some goats’ cheese and it really was a pairing made in heaven! An exceptional wine at a fraction of the price of a Sancerre or Pouilly Fume. A classic French Sauvignon with citrus fruit, gooseberry and a touch of minerality it is refreshing with zesty acidity. Try it with salads, cold meats or the perfect accompaniment of chevre goats’ cheese from the Loire Valley region. I will be gifting and enjoying this wine a lot over Christmas and beyond.
Available from: Baggot street wines, Blackrock cellar, Clontarf wines, D-six wine shop, FX Buckley’s restaurant, Forrest Avenue, Lilac wines, Nectar wines, Sweeney’s, The Corkscrew, The Hole in the Wall.
Approx. Price €16.50
4. Shaw & Smith M3 Chardonnay
It has the complexity and elegance of a French Meursault but, it is from the cool climate region of Adelaide Hills in Australia. It is an excellent example of the fine wine coming from the New World and the careful use of oak. It is a rich sophisticated complex full-bodied wine with layers of complexity and flavours of buttered brioche and vanilla. It has a creamy mouthfeel due to the delicate oak nuances and a never-ending finish. An alternative to the classic Chardonnay from Burgundy. You won’t be disappointed.
Available from; Fallon & Byrne Wine Cellar, Grapevine, Mitchell & Son Wine Merchants
Sweeney’s & The Corkscrew
Approx. Price €38.99
5. Chateau Villa Bel Air Graves
This is a feminine style Merlot based wine with Cabernet Sauvignon & Cabernet Franc making up the rest of the blend. Aromas of mulberries and mixed berries follow onto the palate which displays complex layers of berries and ripe fruit with hints of vanilla and spice. It has soft velvety tannins and a long lingering finish; this wine strives for elegance over power. Chateau Villa Bel Air pairs beautifully with tender cuts of beef and is fabulous with dark chocolate.
Available from; O’Brien’s Nationwide, Morton’s Ranelagh, Sweeney’s, Glasnevin and other good independents.
Approx. Price €25.00
6. Zenato Valpolicella della Amarone
This is the ultimate Christmas tipple, by that I really mean after dinner drink! Zenato’s Amarone is a rich complex, full bodied wine with aromas of dried cherries, cassis, figs, prunes and winter spices. On the palate these delicious flavours are echoed, and the smooth luscious texture of the wine consumes us. It is Christmas personified, it is 16.5% so sip it slowly on its own or enjoy with hard aged cheese or dark chocolate.
Available from; Lilac Wines, Fairview, McHugh’s, Kilbarrack, Martins, Fairview, Searson’s, Monkstown, Sweeney’s, Glasnevin.
Approx. Price €55.00 available
7. Warres Otima 10-year-old Tawny Port
A Late Bottle Vintage or Vintage port is an obvious choice at Christmas, gifting a tawny is thinking a little bit outside the box. Tawny in colour with intense aromas of nuts, caramel and dried fruits. It has complex flavours but is light and delicate, it is smooth and round on the palate and is an underappreciated wine. Serve slightly chilled on its own or with cheese, nuts or as an after-dinner drink.
Available from: 64 Wines, Carry Out Stores, Deveney’s, Drinkstore, Fine Wines, Jus de Vin, Martins Fairview, Sweeney’s Glasnevin, Supervalu stores, The Corkscrew, The Wine Centre, Kilkenny, Worldwine Wines.
Approx. Price €30.00
For the wine lover that literally has everything, this is an investment piece. It allows wine buffs to enjoy a glass of wine without popping the cork. It is a peculiar looking device, it reminds me of a microscope in my school’s science lab and it takes a little practice to use it properly. You insert the long needle into the cork through the foil and press the apparatus at an angle to pour your wine. The wine is preserved by the empty space being filled up by argon gas. it has revolutionised the way we can drink fine wine. Many restaurants use the Coravin and serve fine wines by the glass. It is worth the investment if you have a decent wine collection but don’t fancy drinking a full bottle.
Available from: Brown Thomas Nationwide, Green Man Wines, Terenure; O’Brien’s, Nationwide; McHugh’s, Kilbarrack; The Corkscrew, Dublin 2; WineOnline.ie.
9. Dublin Wine Trails
This is a fantastic concept. Mari is a friendly enthusiastic wine lover. Her aim is to encourage wine lovers to get more adventurous with their choices and discover different wine regions and grape varietals. She brings small groups to the best wine bars in Dublin where the group enjoy wine and sample light bites.
An absolute bargain at €49.00 you can book online at www.dublinwinetrails.ie
10. Wine Tasting Ireland
A unique, memorable wine tasting experience, learn about wine in a relaxed informal setting. Wine Tasting Ireland offer two signature wine packages;
Social Saturday Wine Appreciation Evening – A guided tasting of 8 wines from around the world. Explore the basic theory of food & wine pairing & develop skills to help you understand and read wine labels. Meet new wine loving friends and have great fun.
The next event is Saturday 19th January 2019, in The Central Hotel, Dublin 2 and the experience is only €59.00
A Wine Lover’s Half Day Wine Experience – Immerse yourself in the world of wine for the day enjoy a sparkling wine reception and taste 12 different wines including; Chablis, Bordeaux, Amarone, even fortified wines such as ports & sherries. Delve into the major grape varieties and regions. Demystify wine labels and look at food & wine pairing. Enjoy a delicious cheese & charcuterie board as part of this memorable wine lovers experience.
The next half-day wine lovers appreciation event is on Saturday 16th February, in The Central Hotel, Dublin 2 and is limited to only 12 places. Buy online at www.winetastingireland.com and Gift Vouchers are available for any occasion.
Hi, I am Lynda Coogan owner of Wine Tasting Ireland, I am delighted to be part of The Taste team where I can passionately share my love and knowledge of wine with you. I hold a WSET Diploma in wine, I have ten years’ experience in the wine trade and I am a member of the Guild of Sommeliers. Wine Tasting Ireland, specialises in hosting fun, interactive wine tastings for groups.
I believe that by going back to basics, wine can be appreciated by everyone, a little knowledge goes a long way! We come to you, bring all that’s needed to set up a unique, bespoke wine tasting event in your offices, your home or any venue. They are ideal for team building at work, a social gathering or a special occasion. I would love to hear from you, so please get in touch.