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Majestic Guides: What to buy for the wine lover at Christmas


Category: Majestic Guides

What to Buy for the Wine Lover at Christmas


Majestic


In Short:

Look to the world's very special distilleries, special bottles and gift sets to really wow the lucky recipient.


We've all been there in mid-December – stumped for what to buy the wine lover who has a permanently well-stocked wine rack and treats themself to just what they fancy all throughout the year.

So what do you get the person that seemingly has it all? Here's our pick of the gifts that really wow the wine and spirits lovers in your life.


Bigger bottles

It doesn't get much more immediately impressive than a magnum – 1.5 litre bottles that are perfect for parties or as a centrepiece on the Christmas dinner table. But did you know that these are also optimal for ageing wine?

Without getting too scientific, the wine in magnums usually has less exposure to oxygen. This means oxidation (the effects of oxygen) happens slower, and the wine is less likely to go off prematurely.

Although wine has been around for thousands of years, the 75cl bottle we know and love today was invented just a few centuries ago. If you're looking for something even bigger, you can use the handy guide below to see how many glasses you're in for. Interestingly, most of these bottle sizes were named after biblical kings.

Magnum – 1.5L
Double Magnum – 3L
Jeroboam – 4.5L
Methuselah – 6.0L
Salmanazar – 9.0L
Balthazar – 12L
Nebuchadnezzar – 15L
Solomon (aka Melchior) – 18L

Shop magnums at Majestic here.


Champagne

Still wines have been produced in the Champagne since medieval times. Romans were the first to plant vineyards here, and there was even a temple of Bacchus, the Roman god of wine, erected in the region.

But it was centuries later that the sparkling style we know and love today was invented. The Champenoise have long told the story that a Benedictine monk, Dom Pierre Perignon, discovered sparkling Champagne in 1697. But did fizz actually begin in Britain?

Englishman Christopher Merrett added bubbles to his wine and presented a paper on it to The Royal Society in 1662. This proves to some that the physician invented sparkling wine. There’s even a plaque to commemorate him in his Cotswold hometown, Winchcomb.

The jury’s still very much out for us – but here’s raising a flute to both men. You can find a selection of our Champagne here.


Very special whiskies

There's good whisky, and then there's great whisky, Each of the very best Scottish regions has its own style to savour. This what to look out for:

Speyside

This region’s home to some of the bestselling single malts in the world, and half of the country’s whisky is made here.

Speyside whisky is characteristically fruity, and Macallan have a reputation for the extraordinary. Everything is done according to the unflinching demands of their whisky mastery team. And the proof’s in their creamy, candied 12-year-old Double Cask whisky.


Islay

Head around 200 miles south west of Speyside, and you'll arrive at a minute island known as 'whisky island'. What’s made here is celebrated for its strength of flavour, dry character and influence from peat.

This natural, mossy material is set on fire to heat and malt the barley that Scotch is created from. As a result, this highly aromatic smoke has a mesmerising effect on Islay whisky. This certainly shows in Laphroaig’s bold, smoky 10-year-old Single Malt whisky.


Orkney

This picturesque archipelago is closer to Norway than it is to London. And Highland Park have been distilling whisky in Kirkwall, its principle town, since 1798.

They say the secret behind their mesmerising 12-year-old 'Viking Honour' Single Malt whisky is their island home. And its unique flavour shows in notes of honey and fruitcake.


We hope this goes some way to help with the last-minute gift ideas. Here's to a Majestic Christmas.

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