Wine can be the perfect present this Christmas

IF you need inspiration for Christmas presents, why not buy a bottle of wine?

Wine makes the ideal gift for the person who has everything or simply to say thank you, and the range of wines available makes it possible to match most people’s tastes and also your present buying budget.

It is easy to personalise the purchase by choosing a bottle of the recipient’s favourite tipple or treating them to something they wouldn’t buy for themselves. For example, if you know they like a Cabernet or Grenache from the South of France look out for a Chateauneuf du Pape that would be a higher quality wine. Similarly for white wine lovers buy a Chablis rather than an everyday Chilean Chardonnay; the possibilities are endless.

Aperitifs and digestifs are great accompaniments to a meal to give as a gift. In addition to the gift packed branded champagnes and ports on special offer there are some delicious sparkling wines from around the world that would be appreciated. Make a change from champagne by offering a wine made by the methode traditionalle aka the champagne method in England such as the Ridgeview, Meonhill, Gusborne Estate not forgetting the well known Nyetimber wines. As previously commented they are never cheap due to the small scale production and related costs but within a gift budget. The Franciacorta wines from Italy and Morton estate in New Zealand are in the same category.

The other stylish aperitif gift category is of course sherry with its plethora of styles, many of which are available in convenient half bottle size and in their own gift box – look out for the Gonzalez Byass range of special sherries including Del Duque.

Dessert wines come into their own at Christmas as their luscious lingering flavours (but never sugary sweetness) provide the best accompaniment to the festive puddings. Choose a complex rich Aussie style such as de Bortoli Noble one or a fortified Muscat such as Yalumba’s Museum Muscat, not forgetting the Noe Pedro Ximenez sherry that is a deep rich drink that a good imagination likens to liquid Christmas! Lighter late harvest dessert wines such as Vistamar Late Harvest Moscatel and the Concha y Toro Late Harvest Sauvignon are also great on their own with coffee.

Why not select a few bottles or a case of wine that will complement a meal? You can take them with you or arrange for it to be sent to your host in advance. Many wine shops will organise this for you and also help choose the appropriate wines. A selection of wines to complement a festive meal including a delicious bottle of French or Australian fizz, some light aperitif wine such as Chilean or French Sauvignon, some Rioja or a Shiraz for the main course and a dessert wine or port to round it off would be ideal.

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If you need some stocking fillers look out for miniature bottles, wine accessories and books – all ideal gifts for wine lovers.

For help in making your selection contact your local wine merchant who would be happy to help.