Last minute Christmas shopping – luxury festive food & drink gifts

James Lawrence suggests some delicious wines, bottles of fizz and others gifts that are perfect for any Christmas celebration. 

Don’t worry, it may be 22 December but there is still plenty of time to hit the shops and get your loved one a special gift for this Christmas. Indeed, now that the chaos of the weekend has passed, it may be the perfect time to pick up perhaps a special bottle of Champagne for Christmas Day, or that wine gift box that your parents have been so subtly hinting at.

The good news is that the shops are open late, and more importantly, they are stocked full of gift ideas and special bottles for your Christmas Day Feast. So in that spirit, I have prepared a guide below to some of my favourite gift ideas for food & drink nuts in your family. On the wine front, I have tasted all of the below this year and I can vouch for their quality, compatibility with Christmas food and value for money.

Enjoy and Merry Christmas!

Fizz

R de Ruinart Cellar Case

Where to buy: www.jeroboams.co.uk

RRP £170.00 for 4 bottles

Opening a bottle of Ruinart’s fantastic NV Champagne is always a good idea; the region’s oldest house, founded in 1729, today produces a fantastic range of Champagnes including the delicious and effortlessly refined R de Ruinart. Now, thanks to the savvy marketing bods at Ruinart, you can purchase four bottles packaged inside a limited edition wooden case, hand-made in France from an eco-managed forest. So, an indulgent and environmentally friendly gift for any Champagne aficionado.

Moet & Chandon Grand Vintage 2006

Where to buy: Sainsbury’s

RRP £37.00

 

Superlative festive bubbly
Superlative festive bubbly

Moet & Chandon’s Grand Vintage release is undoubtedly one of Champagnes’ most incredible value buys. Without the renown of its bigger brother Dom Perignon, it sells for a fraction of the cost of that admittedly gorgeous Champagne, yet in some vintages almost equals it in quality and finesse. The 2006 is one of the best yet – an exquisite bubbly offering layers of white flowers, orange peel, coffee and toast on the palate. An ideal candidate for pre-Christmas dinner bubbly!

Taittinger Prelude Grand Crus

Where to buy: www.majestic.co.uk

RRP: £40.00

Another stupendous bargain, produced by one of the great and established names in the Champagne region. Taittinger was founded in 1734 by Jacques Fourneaux, a visionary who sowed the seeds for this now giant Champagne house. They offer a range of NV and Vintage Champagnes, but none is better value that this blend of Grand Cru wines, aged on the lees for several years, producing a rich, toasty Champagne of elegant proportions. A very moreish New Year’s Eve fizz.

Wine gifts

Riedel Veritas range of varietal glassware, £55.00 (per box of two)

Where to buy: www.riedel.co.uk

One of the best value, top-end glassware ranges on the market; Riedel has introduced a unique line of machine-made, yet totally individual set of glasses to match the particular grape variety you may be imbibing. So, whether you’re a Champagne lover, or prefer full-bodied, new world Shiraz, Riedel has the perfect vessel to house your chosen poison.

Riedel glassware
Riedel glassware

LSA Ono Decanter

Where to buy: www.johnlewis.com

RRP: £60.00

This is my top choice for a very special Christmas gift. LSA make some of the finest crystal glassware and wine accessories around – this gorgeous decanter is stylish, easy to use and makes a great addition to any dining table. A sophisticated, innovate and beautiful wine accessory for all wine buffs out there.

A fine Christmas gift

Red Wine for Christmas Day Lunch

2011 Beaune Premier Cru (Red)

Where to buy: www.majestic.co.uk

RRP: £27.00

And for something really lovely to try with your Christmas day Turkey -or goose! -enjoy this 2011 Beaune Premier Cru from Burgundy, France’s most famous home of Pinot Noir. At under £30 you are getting a hell of a lot of wine for the money; lovely red berry fruit with a firm structure and good acidity make this a very food friendly red.

Dessert wine

2010 Domaine de Pellehaut – L’Escoubasso

Where to buy: www.stjohngroup.uk.com

RRP: £9.54

This delightful property, owned by bigwig merchant firm Maison Sichel, produce one of France’s best value dessert – sorry sweet! – wines. Made from the little known Petit Manseng grape, it offers a nice alternative from Sauternes and the like, with lovely aromatics of white flowers, peaches and honey suckle. Something deliciously different this Christmas.

James Lawrence

James Lawrence is a self confessed wine obsessive, passionate about discovering and promoting the lesser known wines and wine regions of the world. He is a frequent contributor to decanter.com and runs an interactive, community led wine forum, thewineremedy.com In 2004, he went to study in Bilbao, Northern Spain. Luckily for him, the famous wine region of Rioja was just over an hour away by car. He began to spend a great deal of time there, visiting the wineries in Rioja and speaking to local wine makers. Their passion for the subject and their pride in the wines was infectious. He began to realise what an amazing subject wine is and how wide and complex the world of wine could be. Subsequently James moved into wine retail while finishing his degree, and was hooked. James also enjoys food and travel writing - he lives for Italian and Thai cuisine!

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