If you asked for a show of hands from businessmen and women who genuinely enjoy selecting Christmas gifts for their clients and customers, I suspect there’d be fairly slim pickings.
Not that we’re all disciples of Mr Scrooge and resent spending a pound or two, it’s just because choosing the perfect present can be problematic.
At the end of the day, Christmas Day, the aim is to do better than the token gesture gift, the cliché, and give them something that actually says you care and appreciate their support.
Sound easy? It isn’t.
So, how about this for a solution to this present problem…booze. No! I don’t mean we all get so pie-eyed the dilemma of what to buy (and everything else) disappears. I’m suggesting (from a slightly biased perspective, of course) that a properly chosen bottle of plonk, whiskey, or craft gin has the ability to generate the festive feel-good factor.
With that in mind, here are a few personal suggestions from Home Delivery Wine’s range of spirits (and wines) that I hope might help lift yours. And just to ensure you’re shaken, not stirred, by the whole experience every corporate order placed enters you into a FREE draw for a bottle of Limited Edition Bollinger 007 Spectre Champagne (RRP £125).
Maybe it’s fitting, 12-days of Christmas and all that, because Home Delivery Wine currently stocks wines from, yes you guessed it, 12 different countries. I want to start, though, in France, and more specifically the world-renowned wine growing region of Bordeaux.
Only recently we had the pleasure of welcoming Max Sichel to Home Delivery Wine in Magherafelt. The Sichel family is one of Bordeaux’s most respected wine sellers and producers, with the company first established back in 1884.
Max, the seventh generation to ply the family trade, had news about a new addition to the Sichel line-up.
2015 Les Jardiniers (The Gardeners) is the result of a collaboration between Max and his brother Alex. Following several years on the road promoting the Sichel brand, the siblings were keen to find a way to return to their first love…making great wine.
The first step was purchasing a tiny one-hectare plot next to a quaint vegetable garden (hence the name). From there they created Les Jardiniers from organically grown Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, aging their first vintage in French oak barrels and housing the finished product in Burgundy bottles (unusual for a Bordeaux wine).
Now, the limited first vintage run of 6800 bottles is winging its way worldwide [Note: each new label placed on a bottle of Les Jardiniers generates a contribution to the Reves (Dreams) Childrens’ Charity in Bordeaux]. Home Delivery Wine is the only stockist of Les Jardiniers in Northern Ireland, and I’m pleased to say our stock has arrived, just in time for Santa.
During our chat Max also touched on two more potentially corking Christmas pressies. First up is the increasingly rare 2004 Chateau Palmer Alter Ego de Palmer. Max confirmed its growing scarcity: “The 2004 Alter Ego is very limited stock. In fact, we have none at all left in Bordeaux. I’m so happy to see it here on the shelves in Northern Ireland.”
We also discussed a personal favourite of mine, the 2009 Chateau Perron La Fleur by the family Massonie. It’s a beautifully-balanced wine and another contender, not just as a corporate gift, but as a present for the family wine connoisseur, friends, even yourself (go on, you deserve it).
View Sichel Video
From Perron La Fleur to the Land of The Long White Cloud (that’s New Zealand to you and me) and a trio of award-winning wines.
The first ‘two’ come from Two Paddocks, the Central Otago winery owned by the actor Sam Neill. Having seen it at first hand during a trip to New Zealand, the Omagh-born star of Peaky Blinders is every bit as adept at wine growing as he is acting. Hence the recognition that has poured in for Two Paddocks 2014 Fusilier and the 2013 Last Chance Pino Noir.
Completing the Kiwi hat-trick of award winners is Brent Marris’ 2015 The Ned Sauvignon Blanc, a fresh, crisp, and competitively priced wine that punches way above its weight.
Of course, there are alternatives to the gift of winning wines.
For example, beautifully packaged Irish whiskeys like Midleton Very Rare Whiskey, the multi award-winning (2013 Irish Whiskey of the Year) single pot still Jameson Redbreast 12 Year Old, or a Bushmills 21 Year Old Single Malt can really hit the spot.
Maybe a bit more leftfield, but a great gift nonetheless is the increasingly popular genre that is Irish Craft Gins. Each with its own unique story, character and taste, from Dingle Original Pot Still Gin to Berthas Revenge Irish Milk, Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin to Listoke 1777.
Or what about Icelandic Mountain, a seven-times distilled Nordic vodka part-owned and promoted by ‘The Mountain’ from the HBO blockbuster Game of Thrones (there’s an Icelandic Mountain Gin too!), perhaps the velvety Hennessy Paradis Rare Cognac, or even some American oak barrel aged Miguel Torres Jamie I brandy?
Finally, if you’re after a gift that’s big on bling, you could always consider a bottle of champers from Bollinger (including Special Editions), Moet & Chandon, Dom Perignon, or Veuve Clicquot?
Don’t get me wrong, I do know that a bottle of plonk or whiskey is not going to suit everyone. However, if you do know that your client or customer likes a drop, and have an idea what that drop may be, then why not?
I’m pretty sure that as presents go, a carefully selected bottle of wine or spirits would score high on any approval rating.
Don’t forget! Every corporate order with www.homedeliverywine.com enters you into the draw to win that bottle of Limited Edition 007 Spectre Bollinger, a genuine collector’s item.