Here’s 16 Christmas gifts ideas for the drinks’ lover in your life (or for me)

Christmas gifts ideas 2017

Another year has flown and here I am with a handful of Christmas gifts ideas for drinks lovers. My choices are based on the simple scientific law that I’d want them myself. 

Christmas gifts: Books for drink lovers

I Love Champagne (RRP £12.99) is a fabulous guide by Davy Zyw subtitled “Fall in love with 50 of the world’s best champagnes” and it helps you do exactly that. There’s glossy sections on 50 champagne houses, food tips, history  and loads of other info too.  Fantastic.

I love The Wine Dine Dictionary (RRP £20) by Victoria Moore. The first section lists foods in an A-Z and offers brilliant wine pairings; then the role is reversed in part two, with the wines in an A-Z alongside suggested foods. It is a must-have for food and wine lovers. I’m very excited.

In Clean Cocktails (RRP £20) Beth Ritter Nydick and Tara Roscioli  share pages of colourful cocktails recipes, all with the emphasis on health. They use low-calorie spirits, fresh juices and natural sweeteners. Naughty but also good for you.

Doctor’s Orders (RRP £12.99, Hardie Grant)  by Chris Edwards and Dave Tregenza is another book full of cocktail ideas to restore, refresh and revive.  Edwards and Tregenza have created  drinks such as Thirst Aid with gin and herbs and An Apple a Day with Cognac and Calvados.

The title of the book Ginspiration (RRP £9.99, is a giveaway to what lies inside. There’s an A-Z of well-known gin brands, with lots of gin cocktail recipes and a guide to creating your own flavour-infused gin. A bit of gin DIY for you.

*Find these books on Amazon or good book stores.

Christmas gifts: Talking of gin

A couple of miniature sets to look out for. The Whitley Neill Small Batch Gin Selection (RRP £12.99, Amazon) includes 5cl of Whitley Neill Gin,  made with South African botanicals cape gooseberry and baobab and 5cl of Whitley Neill Quince Gin and Whitley Neill Rhubarb & Ginger Gin.

The City of London Distillery Gin Taster Selection Box (RRP £34.99, Amazon) has five 5cl tipples of premium small-batch artisan gins all handcrafted in the Square Mile’s first gin distillery for nearly 200 years.  It includes Christopher Wren Gin and City of London Old Tom Gin.

Or here’s a thing, dangle gin from your tree with a pack of Pickering’s Gin-filled Christmas baubles (£30 for 6,

Christmas gifts: Special treats

The One Fo(u)r Brut and Brut Rosé (£10 and £12 respectively, John Lewis) are festive, fizzy and fun; 20cl bottles bubble-packed with Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne. Boozy Berries (£6.50, is a jar of oh-so-punchy raspberries left over from making Pinkster gin. Pop them in a pudding or dip them in chocolate. The Prosecco Gift Set (£45, is relaxation in a box and includes truffles from the Secret Truffletier, a bottle of prosecco and a Vineyard Candle.


Christmas gifts: FOR Serious wine people

In the Chapel Down Vine Lease Scheme (from £275) five vines can be leased from the Chapel Down Bacchus vineyard in Tenterden. People can follow the seasons by visiting their vines, enjoy an annual celebration lunch at the winery and take home a case of their own Tenterden Estate Bacchus wine complete with personalised wine labels. 

 The Coravin Mark 2 (£249, is a grown-up gadget. The technology allows you to pour the right amount of wine you want without removing the cork. This keeps the wine fresh in the bottle for a long time. I guess you’ll love someone lots to buy them this … but they’ll keep rewarding you with wine.


Christmas gifts: Final thoughts and a special offer

Premium Champagne Stopper Avina Christmas giftIf the one you love enjoys lots of fizz and likes to keep some opened in the fridge, then the Premium Champagne Stopper (£11.42) from Avina could be perfect. The simple stopper clicks in to an opened  bottle to keep the bubbles as fresh as the day they were opened. If you use this code AVINA15F you’ll get  15% off on the Avina website.
A lifetime membership of
The Wine Society (, £40) is a snip and there’s a £20 credit towards the first order.  A subscription with online Your Sommelier (from £36 a month) is a great shout. Each month three French wines arrive from vineyards and there’s tasting notes and regional guides. 

Enjoy shopping. Xx


Wine Press: Christmas gift ideas for people in your life who like wine

The Big ‘O’ Red Wine Set from Riedel

Is it really that time of year again? Have you done your shopping yet? To be clear, I mean your Christmas shopping, not this weekend’s Big Shop.

If you have a wine lover in your life, or anyone who enjoys a tipple as a tonic, then here’s a handful of Christmas gift ideas. The only science applied is that if I ripped the wrapper off any of these, I would be a happy bunny.

I’ve had some complicated corkscrews in the past, designed by people who don’t want to crack open a bottle in a rush. Find a corkscrew with statement; not least so that if anyone takes it away at a party you can spot it at their house fairly easily.

fish corkscrew
Fish corkscrew from the RNLI

I love the simple little fish corkscrew from the RNLI website. (£12.95, It’s a fun little thing in a fish shape with a foil cutter and corkscrew featuring white oak wood and stainless steel. It supports a very important charity too, with 100% of profits helping to fund ​ their lifesaving service.

Christmas gift ideas: Anna G, the corkscrew from Alessi
Anna G, the corkscrew from Alessi

A wine opener with style, and oodles of it, is Anna G, the corkscrew from Alessi, with her smiling face, quirky haircut, and vintage dress. To celebrate its 20th anniversary, Alessi has released special limited editions. It’s a pressie for someone you love very much, at £59. For stockist details go to

Christmas gift ideas: The Big ‘O’ Red Wine Set from Riedel
The Big ‘O’ Red Wine Set from Riedel

It’s useful to have a glass, or things could get messy. Riedel designs glasses around different types of wine grapes; the belief is that the correct selection of glass shape highlights the individual styles. The Big ‘O’ Red Wine Set (£37.50, includes three glasses for syrah, pinot noir and cabernet sauvignon. Dear Santa, please don’t drop these when you bring them down my chimney.

Christmas gift ideas: Personalised wine bottle stopper from Menkind
Personalised wine bottle stopper from Menkind

You can have a special nickel plated wine bottle stopper engraved with your personal message (£15.99, from Mine would say “hands off”.

Christmas gift ideas: Fun "birdie" markers for your wine glass from Lakeland
Fun “birdie” markers for your wine glass from Lakeland

For little stocking fillers, hop along to Lakeland for some cute birdy wine glass markers (£6.99 for a set of six, Clip one on the side of your glass and no more debates over “that’s my drink, not yours”.

Christmas gift ideas: Wine bottle gift tags from The National Gallery
Wine bottle gift tags from The National Gallery

From the National Gallery, some sweet bottle gift tags (£2.50 for four) with the message ♪Tis the season to be jolly, fa la la la la, la la la la ♪.

The gallery has its own wine range too, Delicious Art, with beautiful art depicted on the labels. (A mixed Bordeaux case of six is £80).

Christmas gift ideas: Bordeaux from the National Gallery's Delicious Art range
Bordeaux from the National Gallery’s Delicious Art range

For a Boxing Day walk (or, in my case, more likely a football match) WH Smith has the feminine Katarina Hip Flask, prettily decorated with flowers (£11.99). It can hold a warming nip of 170ml.

Christmas gift ideas: Katarina Hip Flask from WH Smith
Katarina Hip Flask from WH Smith

A “daft not to” gift would be £40 life membership of award-winning The Wine Society ( which sells some brilliant price-friendly wines.

Talking of which … the society has an offer on Spanish wines which runs until December 17 or until stocks last. Wines include best value for money reds, rioja, hidden gems and sherry.

imageOne is Malabarista Tempranillo-Garnacha Navarra 2012 (£6.25 bottle). Light, bright and worryingly easy to drink, this tempranillo and garnacha blend is pleasingly versatile. The light oak worked well with cheese and meat, and on its own too. Light as it was, it went well with pork chops, and might not have had enough body to partner up with a steak. Don’t let the contemporary label design put you off, this is a classic red.

Simonnet_Saint Bris Sauvignon BottleIn my glass …. An old-world sauvignon which has all the freshness, clarity and appeal of a New Zealand Marlborough. Simonnet-Febvre Saint-Bris Sauvignon (Waitrose, £9.99) lacks the oiliness and depth of many of its French counterparts. But it makes up for its superficial nature with a clean, sharp approach that suits anything grilled or a Sunday lunchtime roast.

This first appeared in the saturday extra magazine November 22, 2014 

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