So what wine-related pressies do you get for the wine lover in your life at this time of year? It’s tricky as they’ll have their own very strict idea of what wine to drink, and what not to drink – so why not avoid buying specific bottles and go for more generic gifts like wine-flavoured chocolates, books about wine or wine advent calendars?
Wine advent calendars are a recent addition to the chocs and small gift advent calendar range, and allow you to taste your way to Christmas with a different (small) bottle of wine for every day of advent.
Virgin Wines has their own branded Wine Advent Calendar at £79.99 with free delivery. This includes 24 single-serve bottles of wine from the extensive Virgin wine range (www.virginwines.co.uk/wine-advent-calendar), while Aldi’s Wine Advent Calendar at £49.99 is a bit cheaper and now only available in-store as they’ve sold out through their online store.
As we get nearer to Christmas you could consider the perenial favourite of a box of chocs with the added twist of being wine flavoured.
Bettys & Taylors of Harrogate Champagne Truffles £17.95 (www.bettys.co.uk/chocolates/chocolate-truffles) has a nicely presented box of milk chocolate truffles with a Moët & Chandon champagne filling, rolled in raspberry dust – and boy that raspberry dust is good. You do get the occasional raspberry pip that sticks between the teeth but the overall flavour is excellent.
The Wine Society’s Champagne and Chocolate gift set £35 (www.thewinesociety.com) is a really beautifully boxed set that looks like a gift as soon as it arrives through the door with its bright red covering and sturdy construction. The champagne is a bottle Jean de Foigny Brut Premiere Cru NV (non vintage, that is to say not a specific year of grapes has gone into the wine) plus a box of hand-finished chocolates which includes all the old favourites – violet crème, fudge, praline, caramel and champagne truffle.
While Lidl’s Deluxe Marc de Champagne Truffles is just £3.99. Milk chocolate with a lightly-flavoured champagne filling and packaged in a cylindical container with pretty pink print. Great as a last minute present idea as you can just pop into a local store to buy one (and probably come out with a whole load more).
You could always buy a book on wine – why not try fellow wine writer Simon Woods’ 101 Wine FAQs available through his website (www.simonwoods.com/product/101-wine-faqs/) at £9. With answers to all those wine-related questions that you may feel too embarrassed to ask out loud, such as ‘Does wine contain anything apart from grapes?’ and ‘What are the best wines to order in a restaurant?’.
The book contains lots of pithy answers and sage advice, including the suggestion that if anyone recoils in horror when you pronounce Riesling as ‘Reeceling’ and not ‘Ryesling’ then they’re probably the sort of person you don’t want to know. And all this from a chap whose wine education began at the age of 9 with a bottle of home-made comfrey wine won at the local tombola but who now insists his favourite wine is a good red Burgundy.
If the above gifts just aren’t what you’re after for your wine-loving lover then you could always just Google ‘wine Christmas gifts’ to come up with a whole raft of suggestions that I haven’t had space to include here.
Salut! And Happy Advent.