Christmas is all about eating, drinking and being merry. It’s the time of year where we splash a little extra cash to make our friends, family and colleagues feel loved. If you’re planning on giving wine as a gift, now is the time to put your old favourites down and step things up a notch. After the year we’ve had, everyone needs something extra special. That’s where our twelve wines of Christmas come in. Each one has its own ‘X Factor’ – these aren’t your everyday wines. From big blockbusting reds to high altitude whites, this is our pick of the best Christmas gifts for wine lovers.
This blockbusting Barolo makes quite an impressive red wine gift. It comes from the excellent 2015 vintage – possibly the best vintage for Barolo this decade. This deep ruby wine spent 30 months in oak and was then aged in bottle to allow its powerful flavours and aromas to mellow and mingle. Expect flavours of black cherry, raisins, Christmas spice and a savoury touch of leather. This award-winning wine will happily age for another 20 years, making it an excellent present for any wine collectors in your life.
Find out what makes Barolo special.
This exceptional wine is a Gran Selezione – a type of wine that’s only made in the very best years. Each grape used to produce this Chianti Classico was grown in one vineyard: in an area of Tuscany known as Il Corno (the horn). Five months of lees aging, followed by 20 months in barrel, gives this wine an exceptionally well-rounded taste. Red berry fruit, spice and vanilla are the main flavours and it has incredibly velvety tannins. One for real Chianti connoisseurs.
Deep, rich and complex: this wine is a true masterpiece. It comes from a vineyard in one of the best cru regions of Neive, which is itself one of the most important areas in the Barbaresco DOCG. Grapes grow on a south-west slope and gently ripen in the afternoon sunlight before being hand-picked in October. The wine has a truly powerful flavour, thanks to the two years it spends aging in French oak barrels. Flavours include dried blackberries, tobacco, leather and nutmeg with a supremely long finish.
This organic wine is made by Ridolfi, a boutique winery in the north-east of Montalcino. This exceptionally elegant wine spent three years in oak – one year longer than the two year minimum. However the spicy, woody flavours don’t overpower the juicy red fruit notes. Because larger Slavonian barrels are used, the oak influence is subtle and only serves to enhance the natural strawberry, raspberry and red cherry flavours of Sangiovese. This is a very complex wine with a long, pleasant finish.
Gagliole only makes its Pecchia wine from the very best grapes, grown in the very best years. The pay-off is worth it. The 2015 vintage won the coveted Decanter Platinum Medal, which is only awarded to a small handful of wines. An organic red wine, it comes from Panzano in the mountains of Chianti. The winery uses cutting-edge technology, such as slowly rotating French oak barriques. A truly special wine, it combines juicy fruit flavours like blackberry and red cherry with more savoury notes like liquorice, fennel and cloves. Chocolate and vanilla add a rich note to the long, lingering finish. This is a good red wine gift for someone you really like.
Another bottle from the cutting-edge Gagliole winery, this organic Chianti Classico Riserva is truly outstanding. The grapes are grown on traditional terraced vineyards on the mountainous slopes behind Panzano. Fresh yet complex, the wine combines juicy flavours of redcurrant, red cherries, red plum and liquorice with coconut and chocolate. It’s harmonious and deep with a long, earthy finish.
Christmas is the best time of year to bring out the dessert wine, and what better than Decanter’s “Wine of the Year 2020”? Hailing from Sardinia, it’s a truly delightful digestif packed with intense flavours of pineapple, mango and honey. It’s made in the passito method: the grapes are harvested early when they’re still full of zingy acid and are dried in the cellar. As the water evaporates, the flavours and sweetness of the grapes become more concentrated.
This single vineyard Pinot Noir Riserva comes from the Dolomite Alps in Alto Adige, and is extremely delicate and delicious. Aromas of rose petals and cloves add a fragrant and festive twist to the classic flavours of dried strawberry and cranberry. This is an ideal red wine gift for people who prefer lighter tipples.
This barrel-fermented riserva wine is the perfect white wine gift for people who claim not to like Pinot Grigio. Awarded with a 2020 Decanter Gold Award, this outstanding wine tastes strongly of passion fruit, guava and elderflower with hints of ginger and honey. It’s made from only the best grapes from the vineyard, which has been in winemaker Peter Zemmer’s family since 1928.
Named “Best in Show” at the Decanter World Wine Awards 2020, this high-altitude red wine makes an ideal gift for any hard-to-impress friends. Wine geeks will be excited to see that it’s made from the lesser-known Lagrein grape, which has a cult audience in the UK. It’s truly complex, combining floral notes of dried rose and violet with fruity blackberry and cherry. Spicy black pepper and rich dark chocolate round out the long finish.
Discover more of our 2020 Decanter World Wine Award winners
Intensely flavoured and packed with silky tannins, this pure Cannonau wine is a delicious introduction to Sardinia’s flagship grape. Cannonau has gained international fame over the past few years due to its high level of antioxidants and the role it plays in the Sardinian diet. Matured in large oak barrels for two years, this deep ruby red wine boasts rich flavours of ripe back plum and cherry, underpinned by herbal nodes like sage and thyme.
What’s Christmas without a bit of sparkling? If you have a Champagne lover in your life, surprise them with the Italian version. Unlike Prosecco, Franciacorta is made in a very similar way to the famous French fizz. Like blancs de blancs Champagne it’s made from Chardonnay, but it spends twice as long aging on its lees – giving it that delightful brioche flavour. Ripe peach, honey, butter and almonds round out the flavour profile. Cheers to that.
Prepping for Christams? Order your wine gift for delivery now
Whether you’re looking for red wine gifts or something lighter for the white drinker in your life, we recommend getting your order in early. While we do offer speedy delivery from £6.70, things do get quite busy during the run up to Christmas. We also offer free gift-wrapping, so you don’t need to stock up on wine bags. Just request it in the “Checkout” form when you make your purchase, and we’ll do the rest.