Often, the best gifts we buy for others are the ones we’d be happy to receive ourselves. So here are a few ideas for the wine lovers on your shopping list – and I hope everyone keeps in mind that sharing is caring.
1 At the top of the list is, of course, champagne, and one that is bound to make the recipient smile is Bouzy, from Duval-Leroy’s Précieuse Parcelles series. This vintage champagne – 2007 – is pure pinot noir and goes well with roast turkey or duck. Only 3,960 bottles were produced and it is worth seeking out. HK$980.
Available from EMW Fine Wines.
2 For a crowd? Prosecco! One of the best – and oldest – is by Italy’s Carpenè Malvolti. Founder Antonio Carpenè was the first to introduce prosecco as a sparkling wine, at the 1873 International Expo in Vienna. HK$144-HK$155.
Available from Sino Vantage Asia.
3 If the wine lover is into reds, eschew the obvious burgundy and bordeaux and instead try a trio from Sonoma, California, in the United States. Vérité wines, a labour of love from winemaker Pierre Seillan, come in three versions: La Muse, which is merlot based; Le Désir, a cabernet franc-dominant wine; and La Joie, a cabernet sauvignon. Seillan’s 2008 vintage is outstanding (two received 100-point scores and the third 99 points, from leading wine critic Robert Parker Jnr before he retired). HK$2,900-HK$18,400.
Available from Omtis Fine Wines.
4 If your giftee wants only bordeaux, but you can’t afford the first wines from the classified growths, try a second wine – the unsung bargains from Bordeaux’s top chateaux. A five- to eight-year-old second wine can be a lovely drop once decanted. Interesting second wines include: La Reserve de la Comtesse, by Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande; Clos du Marquis, by Château Léoville-Las Cases; and Le Petit Mouton de Mouton Rothschild. Prices vary.
5 A warming cognac is always welcome during the cooler months. This year, the house of Camus has introduced XO Elegance, which is made from all the crus of Cognac – Borderies, Petite Champagne, Bons Bois, Grande Champagne, Fins Bois and Bois a Terroirs. The cognac has a spectacular spectrum of flavours – honeyed ginger, candied fruit (apricot and citrus peel), with a bit of vanilla toasted almonds and hazelnuts. HK$2,060.
Available from Wine’n’Things.
6 A slightly retro gift is a sleek metal hip flask. For an even more extravagant gift, pair the flask with a bottle of single malt whisky such as Macallan. HK$495 and up.
Flasks are sold at The Armoury, Landmark Atrium, Central, and Town House, Prince’s Building, Central.