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December 10, 2010

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Meaningful wines for Xmas gifts

WHEN it comes to giving Christmas gifts the popular phrase "it's the thought that counts" springs to mind. This may be true but if your gift is a bottle of wine then it must also taste good and ideally have relevance to the spirit of Christmas and the recipient. Here are four wines that achieve these goals.

Giving Champagne as a gift automatically indicates that you have good taste. However, picking one that doesn't blow your budget and still tastes great takes a little effort. My solution is the Duval-Leroy Champagne Brut. Christmas is about family and this is one of the last family-run Champagne houses that makes consistently delicious, good value Champagnes.

In China the safest wine gift is a Bordeaux red but the perfect way to show your wine-giving acumen is by presenting someone with the second wine of a top grand cru classe Chateau. Two of the best are Segla, the second wine of the Margaux estate Chateau Rauzan-Segla, and Clos Canon, the second wine of the Saint-Emilion estate Chateau Canon. On a side note, both chateaux are owned by Chanel so if the recipient of your gift is a lady you may want to package the wine in a Chanel purse.

If you're giving a gift to a trendy person then I suggest a top South African wine. In the wine world right now nothing is more "in" than South African wines. My recommendation is the Springfield Estate The Work of Time, 2002. Not only is the name cool, but this is a seriously good red wine.

Segla, 2004

"wine with a short name but a long finish, the 2004 Segla has a ruby-garnet red color, attractive aromas of red and black fruit and supple plum and dark berry flavors with hints of spice and a nice palate-coating tannic finish"

Springfield Estate The Work of Time, 2002

"elegant blend of 42% Merlot, 31% Cabernet Sauvignon and 27% Cabernet Franc, the 2002 wine has deep reddish color with black tones, generous nose of leather and coffee and rich dark berry flavors with a velvety texture"

Clos Canon, 2004

"one of the best second wines of Saint Emilion, the 2004 wine has a deep red color, elegant aromas of plums and blueberries and concentrated black fruit flavors with a pleasant nuttiness and long smooth finish"


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