Some Christmas Gift Ideas

It’s that time of year again and, while we refuse to have decorations or Christmas music in the shop until December 1st, we do think it’s time to plan ahead and so we thought it would be a good idea to present some Christmas gift ideas. First, though, some hints about giving wine as a gift.

First off, less can be more. For example, instead of giving somebody a few bottles of wine that they might get themselves anyway, give them one or two special bottles for the same amount of money. A couple of years ago, one of our customers was given a case of supermarket wines as a corporate gift. He threw them all down the sink. His comment: “I wish they’d spent the same amount of money on one or two special bottles”.

Another trap to avoid is giving very recognisable wines. Mass-produced wines tend to be dosed with chemicals that ensure their stability. These are the type of wines that have you saying “I didn’t think I drank that much last night”. Not that we’re suggesting over-indulgence, but well-made wines shouldn’t cause hangovers if taken in moderation. The problem here tends to be over-reliance on herbicides, pesticides and fertilisers by the producers. These are poisons, and you are guaranteed a hangover after a few glasses.

So, what wine gifts work well? The best approach is to work from a budget and then consider your ‘audience’. A simple twinpack in the ?25 to ?30 range can tick a lot of boxes. We have a few examples below – , The French One, The Organic One (which is also The Spanish One) and the Italian One:

The French Twin - A red Bordeaux and a Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley. ?26
The French Twin – A red Bordeaux and a Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley. ?26

The Six-Pack:

We have similar suggestions – you can go French, Spanish, etc. However, working from a budget is a good idea. If you are going for a six-pack, ?90 – ?100 should be the starting point. Below that you just end up with wines that your customer would buy anyway, and a triple- or twin- pack would work better.

If you decide to go this route, think of three options: the Red Hamper (?90-?100), The Black (?150) and The Wooden (?250+), as pictured below. They can be tweaked to budget – these are just examples of what can be done.

A Silver option - an old world special, with two wines each from France and Italy and one each from Lebanon and Spain. ?150.
A Black Hamper – an old world special, with two wines each from France and Italy and one each from Lebanon and Spain. ?150.
Gold - A Bordeaux/Burgundy beauty. Six great wines from great vintages, presented in a wooden box. ?360
The Wooden Hamper – A Bordeaux/Burgundy beauty. Six great wines from great vintages, presented in a wooden box. ?360

Welcome to our Wine On Tap system

20170801_124011-1We are delighted to announce our new Wine On Tap service, in association with WineLab. We are the first shop in Dublin to offer this service. It has proven a big success in restaurants, but both ourselves and WineLab see no reason why our customers can’t enjoy its benefits. It?s a beautifully simple system for supplying premium wines at a significant discount from their regular price. Here?s how it works:

The System
We have kegs of quality wines in the shop, hooked up to a cooling system designed to present both red and white wines at the perfect temperature. Customers ?buy? an empty bottle from us for ?7 – it?s effectively a deposit – and we fill the bottle from the tap.

The Wines
We are starting with two wines – a Pinot Grigio from the Friuli region of Italy and a French Malbec.

Stocco Pinot Grigio 2016: From Friuli in northern Italy, this is hand-harvested, unoaked and aged on the lees for three months. 12.5% abv.

Fortant Terroir de Collines Malbec 2014: Hand-harvested at night to preserve freshness, with four months of ageing in small French barrels.

The Bottles

After you?ve enjoyed the wine – and we?re confident you will – just bring the bottle back for a refill. We will supply a new clean bottle, washed in our specialist glass washer machine. If you’d prefer to bring your own empty bottle rather than use one of ours, that’s fine. You just need to be sure it’s clean, so that it won’t affect the win in any way.

The Price

Both of our initial wines – the Pinot Grigio and the Malbec – are ?9.99 per half litre and ?18.99 per litre.

Rioja Tasting this Thursday

We are having a Rioja tasting night this Thursday, and it will be a good one. The details are as follows:

 

Where: Clontarf GAA Club, Seafield Road, Clontarf.

When: Thursday April 6th, 7.30pm to 9pm.

What: A tasting of selected wines from Rioja with Rafa Salazar of Vinostito.

How Much: ?25 per person, which can be paid on the night.

Booking: By email to clontarfwines@gmail.com or by phone to 01-8533088

 

This will be a good night – these tastings are always good fun. Rafa is one of the most knowledgeable people in Ireland when it comes to Spanish wines (and food). It’s surprising how diverse the wines from one region can be, and this is a great chance to try some very good, and different, wines from Rioja.

Places are limited, so give us a shout if you’re interested.