WHETHER you’re shopping for a present to lift the spirits, would like to say “Merry Christmas” with a bottle, or simply want to make a good impression, there’s an array of attractively packaged offerings to please the nearest and dearest.
Last action heroes: Oozing old-style charm, these two handsome labels from award-winning winery Nederburg have been created to honour some of the major figures in South African winemaking. The Heritage Heroes range includes The Young Airhawk (£14.99, Morrisons), a zesty sauvignon blanc with good minerality; and The Motorcycle Marvel (£14.99, Morrisons), a Rhone-style blend jam-packed with spicy flavour and sweet red berries.
A berry good cause: Soft and sweet, smooth and silky, the clean taste of Belvedere Vodka has earned it an A-list following, and Belvedere (RED) Special Edition (£34.50, Waitrose) celebrates the second year of its partnership with (RED). The charity founded by Bono partners with the world’s most iconic brands to raise proceeds for the Global Fund, with Belvedere contributing 50% of profits to help the fight against HIV/Aids.
Gin palaces are in season: Adored by serious gin drinkers and mixologists, Tanqueray’s slick gift box has been designed with cocktail lovers in mind. The interior features a vintage-themed illustrated guide on how to throw the perfect cocktail party and comes complete with a 70cl bottle of ultra premium Tanqueray No Ten and two bespoke martini glasses. Tanqueray No Ten Gift Set (£55, Selfridges nationwide)
Put a shine on: Shoe designer Tim Little has linked up with Speyside star Chivas Regal to create a luxury gift tin showcasing the elements of the classic brogue shoe. One of the best-selling Scotches in the world, Chivas Regal ’Made for Gentleman’ Luxury Gift Tin (£25.39, 70cl, Sainsbury’s) offers whisky noses the chance to enjoy the rich honeyed taste and lingering butterscotch notes of its 12-year-old whisky while mulling over the craftsmanship of a quality pair of brogues.
On the US trail: Named after the crossing where herds of buffalo passed over the Kentucky River, Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Kentucky (£32.99, www.thewhiskyexchange.com or 020 7403 8688) is aged for a minimum of nine years. Made from corn grain, wheat, rye and barley, it’s sweet and fruity with a long spicy finish and vanilla notes. Packaged in a wooden box portraying its 220-year history and eight-step crafting process, the traditional Julep cup holds plenty of promise for bourbon fans.
Forever blowing bubbles: One of the few remaining family-owned champagne houses on the global stage, Taittinger’s chalk cellars in Reims are home to some of the finest collections of champagne. Beautifully dressed for the party season, the entry-level Taittinger Brut Reserve NV (£37.99, Waitrose) comes in a 3D sparkling bubble-effect box which has been awarded Carton of the Year at the annual Pro Carton/ECMA Awards for its instant appeal.