Wine View: Wine and wine-related gifts for the festive season

A wine aroma wheel would make an excellent gift for a wine enthusiast this holiday season. Our wine columnist Jacqueline Corrigan offers her holiday gift suggestions in this edition of Wine View.


Tis the Season. When trying to please a crowd, it’s always best to keep it uncomplicated.

Here’s my go to wine list for the festive season:

White: Santa Margherita, Pinot Grigio, Italy (Vintages); Stoneleigh Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand; Louis Jadot Chablis, Burgundy, France (Vintages).

Red: Les Jamelles, Pinot Noir and/or Merlot, FranceMarchesi de’ Frescobaldi Campo ai Sassi Rosso di Montalcino, Italy (Vintages).Rose: Chivite Gran Feudo, Spain.

Champagne/Sparkling Wine: Chateau de Montgueret Cremant de Loire Brut, France; Laurent Perrier Cuvee Rose, France; Henry of Pelham Cuvee Catharine Brut VQA.

Port: Taylor Fladgate, Tawny Port, Portugal.

Dessert wine/liqueur: Beaumes de Venise, France (Vintages); Frangelico, Hazelnut, Italy.

Here’s some gift ideas for wine enthusiasts:

The Getaway: Niagara Icewine Festival “Canada’s Coolest Wine Festival”. New this year, the Snow Globe Soiree, a pop up dining experience set up along the Niagara Parks promenade. Ten clear, heated domes overlook the Horseshoe and American Falls while you and five of your friends enjoy a three course dinner with VQA wines inside your very own snow globe! Takes place Jan. 16 to Feb. 16. Details at

Wine Aroma Wheel: When it comes to describing wine this is the tool to have. The aroma wheel brings a continuity of word descriptions to break down the essence of a wine from first nosing (fruity, citrusy, tropical) to specific characteristics (berries, plums, lemons or melon). Info at

Le Nez du Vin Nosing Kit: What the aroma wheel does for your vocabulary, the nosing kit does for your olfactory identification of scents. It includes a guide book as well as scent vials with typical aromas found in red and white wine. Info at

Whisky tastings: If you love whisky, The Feathers Pub on Kingston Road conducts whisky tastings throughout the year. Their website says “We pride ourselves on having one of the largest and very best single malt scotch collections in Canada, if not North America.” For gift certificates call 416-694-0443 or visit

DVD: Dean Spanley. Love wine, dogs or both (even better to truly appreciate Sam Neill’s tasting impressions of Tokaji wine), then this is your new go to film. Starring icon Peter O’Toole, his appearance in this film should be your signal that yes indeed this is one to see. This sweet comedy/drama, set in Edwardian England, will have you both laughing and crying throughout.

Book: The Critic by Peter May. A murder mystery set in Gaillac, France, the story revolves around an influential wine critic, whose reviews could make or break a vineyard’s reputation, who has been mysteriously murdered.

While fictional, it does delve into the real world of wine, from production to soil samplings and much more to solve this cold case. A real page turner!

Happy Holidays! Here’s to the Spirit of Adventure.

Jacqueline Corrigan is a Certified Sommelier (graduate George Brown College Sommelier Program); a Member of the International Sommelier Guild; and a graduate WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust –

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