Friday 14 December 2018

Gift Guide: 12 of the best wine gifts to give this Christmas

The wine buff

A good bottle of wine is a welcome present
A good bottle of wine is a welcome present

Corinna Hardgrave

Buying Christmas presents for the wine and spirits lover in your life is a dream. If you have a general idea of what they like, all you have to do is pop into your local independent off-licence and ask for advice. Or it might be worth leaving this page open on the kitchen table if you fancy some of these as a gift yourself. Hint, hint!

1. Sensi pinot noir ROSÉ €17, 11pc, Lidl

For the prosecco lover, this is something a bit different. In a frosted pink bottle, this sparkling easy-drinking rosé, made from Pinot Noir grapes by Sensi in Italy, has inviting aromas of white flowers and fruity flavours of strawberries.

2. Marc Kreydenweiss 'or ange' 2017 €24.95, 13.5pc, obrienswine.ie

With a hipster label, this 'Or Ange' gold-tinged orange wine made from six varietals in the Rhône has a beautifully aromatic nose with a hint of roses and enticing orange peel. On the palate, it's slightly more savoury. Beautiful with roast almonds.

3. Moret Meursault 'sous la velle' 2015 €78.99, 13pc, Redmonds, Blackrock Cellar, The Corkscrew, wineonline.ie

A classic Meursault from a particularly good site in Burgundy, this has a beautifully perfumed nose of ripe green apple with a touch of lime and peach, and a glossy palate underpinned by a taut citrus backbone. A real treat.

4. ChÂteau Le Puy CÔtes de Francs Emilien 2015 €40-42, 13pc, Baggot Street Wines, Kelly's Clontarf, Green Man Wines, 1601 Kinsale, siyps.com

From a biodynamic vineyard on the Right Bank in Bordeaux, this complex wine is predominantly Merlot, with textured flavours of silky red plums and cranberries, layered with a touch of cedar and savoury earthiness. Divine.

5. UBE Miraflores 2017 €23, 11pc, Loose Cannon, Green Man Wines, 64 Wine, Martins, Jus de Vine, Blackrock Cellar

A really interesting unfortified sherry, this has a complex nose of spice, lime, white pepper and a touch of white truffle, with a deliciously savoury note on the creamy palate with a saline finish. Truly wonderful.

6. Chinnery Gin, €54.95, 43pc, Celtic Whiskey Shop, Molloys, James Fox, Avoca

In a beautiful bottle, this Chinese-inspired gin has delicate scents of osmanthus and jasmine, a whisper of oolong, and floral and earthy flavours of cardamom, clove, juniper and sweet orange peel.

7. Green Spot Chateau Montelena, single pot still irish whiskey €69.95, 46pc, Mitchell & Son, Avoca

Following on from a previous Green Spot collaboration with Léoville Barton, the whiskey for this second edition is aged in oak casks from Chateau Montelena that were previously used for Zinfandel. Spicy, with green apple, pears, orchard fruits and citrus, it has a long, evocative finish.

8. Fonseca Vintage 2016 €95, 20pc, Green Man Wines, Clontarf Wines, Terroirs, Gibney's, Jus de Vine, Kelly's Clontarf, Blakes Fine Wines

This vintage port has a beautiful nose of violets, wild herbs and a touch of mint, with a savoury yet concentrated palate of ripe fruit with bramble, blackcurrant, plums and spice. You can drink it now, but best to age for at least 10 years.

9. Jancis Robinson wine glasses €84/set of 2, Terroirs, Pembroke Wines

Jancis Robinson is one of the most respected wine writers in the world, so when she says you just need one wine glass, and this is it, it's worth taking note.

10. Wilson on Wines 2019 €12.99, O'Briens, 64 Wine, Mitchell & Son, selected bookshops

This is the fifth edition of the annual guide from wine writer John Wilson and includes over 120 bottles which are available in Ireland, listed by style and price. A really useful handbook with great recommendations and interesting notes on featured wines.

11. The Sommelier's Atlas of Taste by Rajat Parr and Jordan Mackay, €28.17, blackwells.co.uk

If you watched the film Somm (on Netflix), you will be familiar with the name Rajat Parr. A master sommelier, he is one of the best wine tasters in the world and his rigorous approach to tasting in this region-by-region tasting atlas is incredible reading.

12. The wines of new Zealand by Rebecca Gibb MW, €42, Eason

A meticulously written book for the NZ wine lover who really wants to get under the skin of the exciting new developments in this region. There's also a chapter on wine tourism, if you're thinking of visiting.

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