Boozy gift guide
Montes Alpha Carmenére and Alpha M
Heralding from Montes’ Archangel Estate, Montes Alpha Carmenére is a beautifully smooth and balanced wine. This deep and lively ruby red Carmenére displays lovely black pepper aromas with hints of red berries, chocolate, a bit of vanilla and black plums. It has a distinctively smooth mouth feel, with soft, rounded tannins. Carmenére goes well with a variety of dishes, making it a nice alternative to other reds. Perfect with lamb, beef stew or spicy cocktail sausages.
A powerful wine with very good level of soft and rounded tannins Alpha M possesses an intense dark red colour. The wine is elegant and has a very well defined character. The 5% of Petit Verdot is adding an extra element of complexity. There is a pleasant and harmonious marriage of fruit and the French Having a south-west exposure allows us to have exactly the right level of hours of sunlight. The ocean breeze provides a cooling effect, ideal for slow maturation of the grape soak. Delicious with a variety of British beef dishes
Montes Alpha Carmenére, RRP £13.99 / Alpha M RRP £40 / Available from Waitrose
St Stefanus Belgian Abbey Beer
After brewing, the unpasteurised beer is stored for three months before released from the cellar to allow it to develop deep and complex aromas. At three months, St Stefanus has a fresh and fruity taste and at 18 months of maturation, it develops a deep golden colour offering a beer with aromatic flavours. UK beer lovers looking for something a little different are sure to appreciate the mature, deep taste of this authentic beer.
7% ABV - 330 ml and 750ml – RRP £2.95 and £8.95
Available from selected Majestic stores and online at www.st-stefanus-shop.co.uk
Highland Park 12 Year Old and Highland Park 18 Year Old
The foodie in your family will love nosing Highland Park 12 Year Old and discovering the characteristic honey sweetness followed by fruit. On the palate it is drying with a hint of gentle smoke and a flavour that just keeps on delivering.
For the whisky aficionado, Highland Park 18 Year Old is an ideal gift. Twice named, 'Best Spirit in the World' by US spirits writer F. Paul Pacult, this single malt displays characteristic toffee sweetness and leaves you with a full, smokey finish.
Highland Park 12 Year Old - RRP £31.65 / Highland Park 18 Year Old - RRP £68.48 / www.highlandpark.co.uk
Highland Park 12 Year Old is available at multiple retailers including Asda, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose, Morrisons, Co-op and Somerfield. Highland Park 18 Year Old is available in all good whisky specialists.
Champagne Gosset Grande Reserve NV
Champagne Gosset is the oldest wine house in Champagne, having been founded in Aÿ in 1584.
Gosset Grande Reserve is a powerful, biscuity champagne (43% Chardonnay, 42% Pinot Noir and 15% Pinot Meunier). It is bottled in the distinctive ‘Bouteille Ancienne’ so characteristic of the Champagne Gosset range and has deep red labelling (perfect for the Christmas table).
Champagne Gosset Grande Reserve retails for around £45-50 a bottle and is available at Selfridges, Harrods, Fortnum & Mason and other fine wine shops nationally as well as numerous online retailers.
Bacardi turns 150 this year and as part of the celebrations has launched a velvety smooth spiced rum called OakHeart. Great straight over ice, with coke or in cocktails. Straight from the heart of charred oak barrels, Bacardi Oakheart is a smooth, oaky spirit with a hint of smokiness. The unique velvet-like smoothness means it tastes great on its own or mixed with coke.
RRP: £18 for 70cl or £23.00 for 1ltr / Available at all leading supermarkets and all good off licences
Adnams First Rate Gin
Taken from the sweetest, purest cut, Adnams First Rate Gin contains integrated aromas of juniper berries, spice and fresh citrus to create a
silky smooth and balanced spirit. During the distilling process the spirit is infused with thirteen carefully chosen botanicals to create the signature First Rate flavour.
£25.99 for 50cl bottle / £30.99 for 70cl bottle / Available from Adnams Cellar & Kitchen stores or online at www.adnams.co.uk
Classic and new wine selection
Cono Sur 20 Barrels Pinot Noir is something a bit special for Christmas or New Year’s dinner, with its full-body and complex blend of red fruit flavours, oak and leather. It is the perfect wine to toast the festive season and savour with the Christmas turkey.
Faustino I is a Christmas classic and a real crowd pleaser. Gran Reserva Rioja wines are among the finest in the world and Faustino offers a silky smooth texture and complex flavours; a perfect accompaniment to your turkey dinner. Even the bottle seems to fit in with the festive spirit of the occasion!
Leitz Rudesheimer Rosengarten Kabinett is versatile Riesling. With its delicious off-dry white peach and apricot flavours, it is the perfect accompaniment to a myriad of buffet-style dishes, from Thai bites to mini chocolate cheesecakes.
Cono Sur 20 Barrels Pinot Noir, £19.99 at Morrisons / Faustino I, £14.99 at Asda, Sainsbury's and Costco / Leitz Rudesheimer Rosengarten Kabinett £12.99 at Waitrose
Arran Malt Whisky
The 14 Year Old spirit (pictured right) joined the Arran range in 2010 and has toffee apple and hazelnut notes. This malt is rich and weighty, and features Arran’s trademark cinnamon spice finish giving it an extra twist.
For those looking to sample something a bit stronger the perfect candidate is 12 Year Old ‘Cask Strength’ which recently won a silver medal at the International Wine & Spirits Competition. This version of Arran uses a higher proportion of sherry casks and is much fuller-bodied in style as a result.
14 Year Old Single Malt, RRP £41.99 / 12 Year Old Cask Strengt, RRP £44.99 / Available from www.arranwhisky.com
Russian Standard Vodka Gold
The perfect celebratory vodka for the festive period, Russian Standard Gold contains extracts of Siberian Golden Root, providing notes of light vanilla, cinnamon, five spice and ginseng to the taste. With a herbal hint and warm spice to its aroma, the finish is slightly warmer than the other vodkas. It also comes in a lovely gold presentation box.
RRP £20 / Available at Selfridges
The Glenrothes Select Reserve
Presented in its iconic bottle, The Glenrothes Select Reserve is the very essence of The Glenrothes range. Perfect for the most stylist gent on your Christmas list, Select Reserve is produced in The Glenrothes ‘House Style’ laden with ripe fruits, citrus, vanilla and hints of spice.
RRP £36.18 / www.theglenrothes.com / Available from Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Asda and whisky specialists.
Mount Gay Rum Eclipse
Created in Barbados in 1910 - it is believed that the name was selected to celebrate a total eclipse of the sun that occurred in that year.
Available from all good supermarkets and off licenses
Heavy Water Vodka
An ultra-premium vodka made on the Blomberg Estate near Kälby in Västra Götaland County located in West Sweden. Being new to the market gives it ultra exclusivity, incredible smoothness of the product with great new design.
RRP £30, available from www.drinks21.com
Havana Club Añejo 3 Años
Authentic Cuban rum, Havana Club is giving fans an extra special gift this Christmas with the launch of the stunning Christmas gifting tin. The stylish limited edition pack is a must-have for rum fans and fans of collectibles; which will look great in either a cocktail cabinet, or simply as a stylish interior piece.
Havana Club Añejo 3 Años,is a premium, Cuban white rum with 70 years of history and is the youngest blend in the Havana Club family. It’s light enough to make a perfect base for authentic Cuban cocktails, such as the Genuine Cuban Frozen Daiquiri, a recipe that can be found on the back panel of the tin.
Available from all leading supermarkets from £17.89 / For more information visit: www.facebook.com/HavanaClubUK
Amarula Cream Liqueur
Distilled from the fermented fruit of the Marula tree, a native of the African plains. The spirit is aged for three years, then blended with cream. If you're a fan of Bailey's you should give this a try.
Available at all good supermarkets and off licenses
Casillero del Diablo
Kickstart the festive celebrations by popping open a bottle of sparkling Chardonnay. With hints of lime and citrus on the palate, this crisp and fresh sparkling wine can be enjoyed on its own or as the perfect accompaniment to a light salmon canapé.
RRP £9.99, available at Waitrose
Jägermeister Gift Pack
One of Germany’s most famous alcohol drink exports, its unique taste is mildly spicy, complex and warming, and is the result of almost 80 years of traditional craftsmanship. Made using a secret blend of 56 different herbs, blossoms, roots and fruits from all over the world, the secret recipe has not changed since it was developed by Curt Mast in 1934. Best consumed as an ice cold shot, the pure and natural ingredients used within Jägermeister guarantee a high quality finish, and authentic taste.
Angostura 5 Year Old Rum
For five years, this rum remains in oak barrels ageing so that when it’s ready to be enjoyed, it reveals its deep character. It presents chocolate, spice, vanilla and toasted oak flavours and provides a remarkably warm and mellow finish.
Available from Marks & Spencer
Malibu Red and Limited Edition Malibu Snowcoco
Malibu Red is a delicious blend of smooth Malibu Rum and fiery silver Tequila brought to you in collaboration with the Grammy Award Winning Singer, songwriter and actor Ne-Yo.
Limited Edition Snowcoco features new-look winter-themed packaging as well as flakes of real coconut inside.
Raisthorpe Manor Sloe Port
This fine, ruby Sloe Port was destined for the Christmas table, whether as a partner to rich chocolate log or something more blue! It’s spicy, fruit-filled flavours is the perfect foil for salty, blue veined Stilton, Roquefort or Blue de Bresse, preferably enjoyed next to a roaring fire under the twinkling tree lights. Slippers optional.
From £16.45 for 35cl / Available at supermarkets and all good off licences.
La Maison Fontaine Absinthe
A spirit once steeped in controversy and speculation, absinthe is making a comeback - and not in luminous green!
Hailing from Pontarlier, France, the birthplace of French Absinthe, La Maison Fontaine® embodies a 200-year-old classic and brings it into the 21st Century with a unique fountain infusion, contemporary design, and beautiful taste. Fontaine is undoubtedly the Finest French Absinthe. Without a green fairy in sight, the clear, light, new subtle taste, means Fontaine’s versatility is becoming a mixologist’s favourite.
Patrón XO Cafe and Patrón Silver
Patrón XO Cafe (picured left) is an extraordinary blend of ultra premium tequila and the natural essence of the finest coffee which is excellent for sipping as well as a premium ingredient in a cocktail.
Patrón Silver is clear tequila with an elegant smoothness which works perfectly in a wide range of stylish cocktails.
ABK6 Ice Cogac
ABK6 Cognac is a Single Estate Cognac entirely produced on a family estate in France. Ice Cognac by ABK6 has been created to be consumed 'on the rocks'. While tasting, Ice Cognac by ABK6 unveils a smoothness of vanilla evolving a towards fresh and vivid ice mint when at 5 degrees C.
RRP £40, available at www.drinks21.com
Jack Daniel’s Holiday Select 2012
With only 3000 bottles available in the UK, Jack Daniel's Holiday Select is unique in that it is distilled in the 140 barrels used to create the 26ft high Barrel Tree, which is built every year at the Jack Daniel's distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee.
£45, available from selected stockists including Selfridges, Harvey Nichols and Whiskey Exchange from mid-November.
Baileys Chocolate Cups
Surely there is nothing more heavenly than drinking Baileys from a chocolate cup? Well with this set you can do exactly that. Comprising four hollow chocolate cups and 20cl of Baileys this is the ultimate in indulgence.
£7.99, available from Aldi
Champagne Brut NVby Philizot
An elegant – and reasonably priced – accompaniment to smoked salmon blinis.
£12.99, available from Aldi
Glenfiddich Mini Mix Set
This set contains a 5cl bottle of each of the following award-winning whiskies: Glenfiddich 12 Year Old is the world’s best-selling single malt Scotch whisky because of its appetising freshness, pear-like fruitiness and elegance; the perfectly-balanced, sweet, rich and complex Glenfiddich 15 Year Old is a perennial favourite of the single malt enthusiast; the spicy, robust and sophisticated Glenfiddich 18 Year Old is a rare delight.
RRP £13.49 Available at Asda, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Morrisons and Waitrose
Christmas Rosey Nosey Beer
Brewed at the Batesman’s Brewery in Skegness, this is the perfect treat for real ale lovers. Dark amber in colour with a malty taste, this beer is good enough for Santa himself!
£1.49 (500ml), available at Aldi
Hoxton Gin with Grapefruit and Coconut
Unlike ‘traditional’ Gins, whose tones and flavours can become lost in complex cocktails, Hoxton Gin keep it simple and effective, the most versatile of drinks.
RRP £25, available at Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and Harrods
Château Léoube Gift Set
Nestled in a stylish wooden gift box, recipients will find a hat trick of award-winning wines from Château Léoube: Rosé de Léoube Vintage 2011,Blanc de Léoube 2011 and Rouge de Léoube 2010.
RRP £55, available at all good supermarkets and off licenses
Fuller's Favourites Mixed Case
Enjoy four bottles of Fuller's ales in one case. Includes London Pride, ESB and Organic Honey Dew.
£21, available from store.fullers.co.uk
A crisp, premium German import, guaranteed to ease you into the Christmas festivities.
Available from all good supermarkets and off licenses
Jacquart Cuvée Brut Mosaïque Champagne
A light, golden yellow colour with fine, long-lasting bubbles. The bouquet is lovely and fresh with fruity grape and pear hints mingling with intense notes of bread crust. Fresh and rather powerful on the palate creating a balanced overall impression with a lovely, long-lasting finish; spice bread and fruit flavours.
Available from all good supermarkets and off licenses
Domaine Feline Jourdan Picpoul de Pinet 2011 (pictured left) is made under anaerobic conditions, the wine has fine colouring with hints of green. It boasts a spicy and floral nose, distinctive with echoes of gunflint, aniseed and fennel. En bouche, the wine has crisp but balanced acidity, mineral notes and a surprisingly broad texture.
Domaine Les Yeuses Les Epices Syrah 2009 has wonderfully spicy, perfumed syrah fruit and elegant softness and roundness which mark it out as a wine of quality. The finish is long with an intriguing bitter-sweet pepper note.
Domaine Feline Jourdan Picpoul de Pinet 2011, £8.95 / Domaine Les Yeuses Les Epices Syrah 2009, £8.99 / Available from Majestic Wine
Tanqueray No. Ten
An iconic British gin brand, making a luxurious and classic gift idea for Christmas and great for creating festive cocktails.
RRP £27.99, available at Waitrose
Champagne Bollinger is proud to announce '002 for 007', a special limited release product celebrating 50 years of James Bond, and a 39-year on screen relationship with the House. This coincides with the release of Skyfall, the 23rd Bond film, this autumn.
RRP £140, available from www.drinks21.com
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