Thursday, November 30 2023 10:23

The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide

Written by Liz Tarditi

Indulge in exquisite tastes of wines and spirits

‘Tis the season to dazzle and delight your loved ones with surprises under the tree. And to make your task of finding this year’s present to bring on the smiles, consider heading to your local wine and spirits shop. You’ll find everything you need for entertaining, gifting and perhaps even indulging a little yourself.

From prestigious Champagne to rare Scotch whiskies, this holiday gift guide is sure to make every sip a moment to remember. Get ready to spread the joy of the season with hand-picked selections that promise to elevate every celebration.

Toast with Sparkling Delights

Start your holiday festivities with a touch of effervescence that transcends the ordinary. For leisurely brunches, afternoon gatherings or the perfect aperitif, choose Château des Cossé Réserve du Marquis Brut Crémant de Loire 2019 ($17.99). This sparkling dry chenin blanc with crisp green apple notes is grown in vineyards surrounding a fairytale chateau called the “Jewel of the Loire” in Anjou, France. And remember that crémant is a great alternative to Champagne at a fraction of the price.

But for that big celebration as the year draws to a close, it’s time to uncork the magnificent Veuve Clicquot Vintage Brut Rosé 2015 ($124.99). By tradition, opening a very special bottle on New Year’s is supposed to bring luck, health and prosperity for the coming year. Crafted from only premier and grand cru grapes, then held for prolonged aging in large oak casks, this 67th vintage released from the maison is notable for its complexity and aromatic intensity. Notes of orange blossom, yuzu and mandarin bring freshness, accompanied by mouthwatering aromas of cherry, aniseed and Vienna bread. A perfect accompaniment to pork, seafood or even desserts as you toast fond memories of the past and the sparkling promise of the future.

Holiday Feast Pairings from Around the Globe

You can tour the world as you sip these exquisite wines. Start by transporting your taste buds to Burgundy, France with the Louis Jadot Pouilly-Fuissé ($33.29). This elegant chardonnay is rich with notes of ripe citrus, buttered brioche and a long mineral finish, and will pair beautifully with roasted birds, winter squash, pastry hors d’oeuvres and cheeses.

But if seafood is prominent in your family holiday celebration, add a vibrant New Zealand sauvignon blanc, such as Walnut Block Collectibles Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2022 ($14.99), bursting with tropical fruit flavors and crisp acidity.

Or when you’re pairing a marvelous rib roast, rack of lamb or filet mignon, nothing compares to a big, bold Tuscan like the critically acclaimed Lisini Brunello di Montalcino 2017 ($69.99). As the winemaker describes it: “The nose is slightly ethereal with extraordinary elegance with hints of undergrowth, tobacco, violet and vanilla; dry flavor, but at the same time soft, full and harmonious, firm, consistent and aristocratic.”

Finally, nothing finishes a wonderful holiday meal so well as sipping an artisan farm-to-table liqueur like Five Farms Irish Cream ($34.29), exclusively sourced and produced in County Cork, Ireland from generational family-owned farms dotted along the coastline by the sea.

Raise Your Spirits with Enchanting Elixirs

Looking for something a bit stronger yet refined? Then indulge in the regal spirit of Empress 1908 Gin ($39.49). Distilled in small batches with exquisite botanicals — including butterfly pea blossom — this unique gin transforms from a deep indigo hue to a soft pink when mixed with citrus or tonic. A perfect gift for gin lovers who seek a touch of elegance in their cocktails.

For the tequila aficionado, raise the bar with the Maestro Dobel Diamante Tequila ($57.19). This exceptional 100% agave sipping tequila is a blend of extra-añejo, añejo and reposado aged tequilas that’s filtered to remove the color while preserving complexity and indescribable smoothness, resulting in the original cristalino tequila.

Whiskey lovers will delight in the southern charm of Bibb & Tucker 6-Year-Old Bourbon ($54.99). Aged to perfection, this small-batch bourbon showcases rich caramel, vanilla and toasted oak flavors, with a velvety texture and smooth finish. And it pairs particularly well with chocolate chip cookies!

For Scotch lovers — especially fans of the shows Outlander and Men in Kilts — the collection of Laphroaig Islay Single Malt Scotch ($46.79 to $99.99) currently offers a unique and distinctive gift in each box. Along with every bottle, there’s a certificate for a square foot of land in Scotland, making the recipient a laird or lady of the land. Now that’s a gift to remember! This peaty and smoky whisky presents with flavors of brine, seaweed and toasty oak, creating a truly remarkable Islay experience.


This curated list is just a glimpse of the many gems available at your local wine and spirit shops. And remember there are also gift options of glassware and other accessories to add to the enjoyment of sipping.

So, whether you seek a sophisticated wine or an exceptional spirit, share the gift of refined taste with friends and loved ones — and please, always enjoy responsibly. Happy holiday season!

Liz Tarditi is an entrepreneur and classically trained chef with 35 years’ experience in the culinary world. She holds a degree from Villanova University and graduated with honors from the Culinary Arts program at the Art Institute of Seattle. Liz has worked for Fine Wine & Good Spirits for five years, becoming a Wine Specialist in 2020. She enjoys pairing wine and food for special events and celebrations. See Liz at the Phoenixville Fine Wine & Good Spirits location.

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