Food & Drink

Gift Wines: 10 sure-fire picks that are suitable for any special occasion

Gift Wines: 10 sure-fire picks that are suitable for any special occasion

Choosing the right bottle for the right event can lead to hours of indecision. Here, we save you the angst

Conundrum 2009 $24 | California, U.S. | 88 points Guessing the secret composition of this white makes for a fun party game. Look for barrel-aged muscat, sauvignon blanc, chardonnay and viognier. Citrus, lavender, spice and butterscotch flavours are set in a rich, silky, slightly sweet framework. Vintages. LCBO 694653

Henri Bourgeois 2009 Les Baronnes Sancerre $25 | Loire Valley, France | 89 points A French sauvignon from the chalky soils of the upper Loire, this white is compact and racy, with classic aromas of nettle, pear, apple and citrus. The stony, mouth-watering finish makes it an ideal pair for seafood. Vintages. LCBO 542548
Henry of Pelham 2010 Chardonnay Barrel Fermented $20 | Short Hills Bench, Canada | 90 points This is a terrific chardonnay for locavores. It exudes aromas of almond, pear, honey, peat smoke and tobacco. It’s rich yet has a taut mineral core. Great length. Vintages. LCBO 268342
Louis Roederer 2004 Cristal Brut $287 | Champagne, France | 95 points For celebrating life’s big events, this precise bubbly has a piquant nose of bread, honey, almond and candied lemon. Slim and nervy, with outstanding focus and length. Chill it lightly and reserve 10 uninterrupted minutes. Vintages. LCBO 268755
Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin 2002 Vintage Brut $89 | Champagne, France | 92 points The aromas of this deep-yellow brut are intense: an earthy mushroom character on top of candied lemon and orange peel. It’s slim yet built on great acidity. Bring it to your most worldly friends. Vintages. LCBO 508614
Beringer 2008 Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon $35 | Sonoma County, U.S. | 90 points The prototypical California cabernet makes a confident but casual dinner party pick. There’s a ripe black cherry, mocha, herb and tobacco nose. It’s dense yet supple. Vintages. LCBO 352583
Cakebread Cellars 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon $100 | Napa Valley, U.S. | 92 points This cab effortlessly combines power and approachability. It’s still youthful, but it’s packed with blackcurrant, chocolate, spice and olive complexity. Perfect for anyone building a cellar. Best 2013 to 2020. Vintages. LCBO 710426
Malivoire 2010 Gamay $18 | Niagara Peninsula, Canada | 90 points Ontario’s hot 2010 vintage produced deep colour and loads of sweet strawberry-cherry jam fruit, with typical gamay pepperiness. It’s luscious, smooth and fine, with herbal tea notes. Chill lightly. Vintages. LCBO 591313
Perrin 2007 Les Sinards Châteauneuf-Du-Pape $35 | Rhône Valley, France | 90 points For anyone who covets Old World reds, this Rhône blend is a great choice. It oozes ripe plum and fig amid anise and tobacco notes. It’s full-bodied and dense. Decant for an hour. Vintages. LCBO 926626
Tignanello 2007 $100 | Tuscany, Italy | 92 points This iconic Tuscan combines sangiovese, cab franc and cab sauv. It’s deeply coloured with a nose of ripe cherry, figs, chocolate, leather and oak. It’s full-bodied, loosely knit and powerful. Makes a bold statement as a gift. Best 2013 to 2018. Vintages. LCBO 986786


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