Drink: 20 Wonderful gifts
From rich warming reds to light party sparkles, a fine bottle of wine or spirits is the perfect present this time of year
A bottle of wine as a Christmas present will always be a welcome gift, because if the lucky recipient doesn't like it, they can always re-gift it.
The main thing to remember is to scale it up a little. Don't make it a bottle that is familiar and therefore easy to guess what the price is, and look out for reductions on wines that you might like yourself and buy for a special occasion. So, step away from the Christmas socks and check out these wonderful bottles to gift this Christmas for the wine connoisseur in your life.
Villa Conchi Brut Seleccion
€22.95 11.5pc, from Mortons, Ranelagh; Sweeney's, Glasnevin; Searsons, Monkstown, all Dublin; Daly's of Boyle, Co Roscommon; Swans on the Green, Naas; Cinnamon Cottage, Cork, and searsons.com
A bottle so pretty, it's perfect for gifting, this top quality Cava is made by the same traditional method as Champagne, giving it crisp apple flavours with a full, toasty finish.
Insight Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc
€12.95 reduced from €18.95
13pc, from O'Briens and obrienswine.ie
A bargain buy for a Sauvignon Blanc lover, this top quality New Zealand white rivals Cloudy Bay for quality. From a single vineyard in Marlborough, it packs pure, intense fruit, with sparks of flint, all held together with a steely streak of acidity. Wonderful with shellfish or goats' cheese.
Domaine Eloy Pouilly Fuissé 2016 Vielles Vignes
€19.99, 13.5pc, from Lidl
Part of Lidl's Christmas selection, Domaine Eloy is in the village of Fuissé in the Mâconnais, producing distinctive Chardonnay wines. This has aromas of grapefruit and lemon with a characteristic mineral note and a smooth palate of white peaches, with citric acidity.
Longview Yakka Shiraz
€14.95 reduced from €19.95
14.5pc, from O'Briens and obrienswine.ie
A rich, full-bodied red wine for Shiraz lovers, this comes from the Adelaide Hills, one of Australia's coolest climate terroirs, so although you'll find plenty of generous, ripe fruit, there is considerable poise and restraint to this nicely balanced wine.
Monkey 47 Gin
€60.00, 47pc, from O'Briens and leading independent off-licences
Made from 47 botanicals in Germany's Black Forest, this has a unique complexity with bright peppery spices, subtle citrus and sap notes and a long finish. Described by wine critic Robert Parker as the greatest gin he has ever tasted.
Chateau Faizeau 2014 Grand Vin de Bordeaux, Montagne-Saint-Emilion,
€19.99 until December 31
14.5pc, from Eurospar, Spar, Mace and Londis
With a ripe nose of red fruit and a touch of richer fruit and warm spice, this Merlot-dominated Bordeaux has generous flavours of raspberry, blackberry, prune and a touch of pepper on the palate, supported by nicely integrated tannins.
Maynard's 40 years old Tawny
€39.99 20pc, from Aldi
A very classy gift, this is a spectacularly good price for this top quality, old Port. Having spent so long in oak barrels, this has concentrated flavours of caramelised nuts, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg and burnished orange peel, balanced with good acidity.
Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut Gift set
with delicate champagne flutes, €80, 12pc, from the Marvel Room pop-up store, Brown Thomas, Dublin
This beautifully packaged Champagne with a pair of glasses is fresh and floral on the nose, with delicious flavours of apple, citrus and a hint of honeysuckle on the palate, rounded out with notes of butter and hazelnuts.
Teeling Aviators Single Port Cask Whiskey
70cl, €90 (€78 duty free)
46pc, exclusively from The Loop, Dublin Airport
Hand-bottled exclusively for the Irish Whiskey Collection at The Loop, this Single Malt is finished in hand-selected port casks, which add a unique character and fruity profile to this limited edition whiskey.
Wilson on Wine 2018
From O'Briens, 64 Wine, Mitchell & Son, independent off-licences and leading bookshops
The fourth edition of the annual guide from John Wilson includes over 120 bottles which are available in Ireland.
Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin
€49, 43pc, from O'Briens, Molloys, Tesco, Dunnes and leading independent off-licences
Slow distilled with oriental botanicals and gunpowder tea in copper stills at The Shed Distillery in Co Leitrim, the flavour is zingy and bright with citrus notes and layers of herbal complexity. Voted Ireland's favourite gin two years in a row.
Brunello di Montalcino DOGC Castelle Banfi 2012, around €45.00
14pc, from Donnybrook Fair; Higgins, Clonskeagh; Sweeneys, Glasnevin; Molloys, Clonsilla; Londis Shiels, Malahide, all Dublin; La Touche Wines, Greystones, and wineonline.ie
For the serious wine lover, this has aromas of coffee and spices on the nose with undertones of plum, dried cranberry and cherry. Well-structured with high acidity and tannin, to be enjoyed with food.
Torres Mas Borrás, €35
13.5pc, from all good independent off-licences
An unusual varietal for Spain, this Pinot Noir is grown in the cooler, Upper Penedès region at an altitude of 520 metres above sea level, giving this wine fruity flavours of plum and cassis with a touch of spice, balanced with an elegant acidity.
Côte D'Or, The wines and winemakers of the heart of Burgundy by Raymond Blake, €29.95
From O'Briens, Terroirs, 64 Wine, The Corkscrew, independent off-licences and leading bookshops
A hugely readable book by Irish wine writer and Burgundy expert, Raymond Blake; the intricacies of the Burgundy region are explained, with recommendations for wines to try.
The Great New Zealand Wine Tasting
€15 or €20 including masterclass From Jean Smullen, email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Tel: 086 816 8468
With over 200 New Zealand wines featuring and a masterclass led by Master of Wine, Martin Moran, this wine event on January 18 at the Aviva Stadium makes a wonderful stocking filler which will be hugely appreciated as a tasty start to the New Year.
André Goichot Meursault
€35, reduced from €44.99 until December 31
13pc, from SuperValu
This is a great price for a Meursault, a premium white Burgundy which balances lush tropical fruit and soft notes of butter and vanilla with a nice backbone of acidity. A beautiful gift.