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2017 Gift Giving Guide

We were going to round up some great gift-giving ideas for everyone on your shopping list, but we didn’t.

Let’s get real. No gift-giving guide is going to know better than you what to get your mother, husband, best friend, or brother. Those aren’t the people you struggle to find gifts for during the holiday shopping season.

Instead, we’ve put together a guide for the people we all forget to buy for every year, the people that help make the holiday season so stressful. If you’ve suddenly found yourself obligated to buy a gift for your cousin’s new girlfriend (who isn’t the same new girlfriend he had last year), this guide can help.

Bishop's Cellar Bottles

A Casual Acquaintance Who Unexpectedly Gave You A Gift 

Just when you think you’ve covered all your bases, your sort-of friend from that one hobby you indulge in on a semi-regular basis shows up with a knickknack that “made me think of you right away, so I just had to get it!”

Fear not. Keeping a few extra bottles (and extra gift bags!) on hand throughout the holiday season is easy—plus, whatever goes ungiven can be added to your Boxing Day libation collection.

Rachael The Casual Acquaintance

BV Coastal Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

BV Coastal Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

Hailing from select vineyards along California’s Central Coast, this wine opens with aromas of blackberries and spring cherries. The juicy cherry-berry flavour picks up a hint of cocoa and subtles spices, and the finish lingers on so long that your “friend” will forget you gave them the bottle two days “late”.

$15.50

Add to Cart

  • Type
    Red
  • Grape Variety
    Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Country
    United States
  • Style
    Smooth and Medium
  • Food Pairing
    BBQ, Red Meat

Big Spruce Kitchen Party

Big Spruce Kitchen Party

There’s nothing more Nova Scotian than a kitchen party, and keeping a few of these cans from Big Spruce in the fridge makes it easy to get the party started at a moment’s notice. And if you keep some gift bags in the kitchen, when someone you weren’t expecting shows up at your door with a present, you’ll be able to claim you were just keeping their (extremely thoughtful) gift chilled for them.

$4.49

Add To Cart

  • Type
    Ale
  • Country
    Canada
  • Region
    Nova Scotia

A Coworker With a Mysterious Personal Life

If you’re giving a gift to a coworker because you want to, chances are you’re friends outside of work—a category of person we’re not covering in this guide because we have faith you’ve sorted them out by now. However, many of us are put into awkward workplace gift-giving situations thanks to a well-meaning Secret Santa initiative or something else of the sort. No fear! We recommend something easy-drinking and fun, so they’ll think fondly of you as they let loose post-5pm.

Ryan the Coworker

Yealands Sauvignon Blanc

Peter Yealands Sauvignon Blanc

This New Zealand wine features white peach and passionfruit flavours, underpinned with citrus. With pure fruit flavours and easy drinking, it’s the perfect bottle to unwind with after a long week at the office.

$22.00

Add to Cart

  • Type
    White
  • Grape Variety
    Sauvignon Blanc
  • Country
    New Zealand
  • Style
    Crisp and Light
  • Food Pairing
    Aperitif, Cold Salads, Seafood

Tatamagouche Brewing Co North Shore Lagered Ale

Tatamagouche Brewing Co logo

When 5 PM hits and that company holiday party kicks off, your coworker will be singing your praises if they have a few cans of this crisp and refreshing local beer stashed in their desk drawers.

$4.24

Add To Cart

  • Type
    Ale
  • Country
    Canada
  • Region
    Nova Scotia

Expert Mode

It’s Your Boss

You drew the head honcho’s name in Secret Santa, or you took a few too many sick days this year: either way, it’s time to suck up to the boss. Ensure a glowing performance review next year with this recommendation.

Matt the Boss

Longview Devils Elbow Cabernet Sauvignon

Longview Devils Elbow Cabernet Sauvignon

With a rich and complex profile, this wine is going to age well and is perfect for your boss’s cellar, where it will have a promising future—just like you in your career.  

$32.00

Add To Cart

  • Type
    Red
  • Grape Variety
    Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Country
    Australia
  • Style
    Bold and Full
  • Food Pairing
    BBQ, Game, Red Meat

Baron de Ley Rioja Reserva

Baron de Ley Rioja Reserva

Even if you have a hard time distinguishing between a red and a white, you can still impress your wine snob of a boss with a thoughtful pick that demonstrates your dedication to excelling in whatever you put your mind to (hint hint). 

$33.00

Add To Cart

  • Type
    Red
  • Grape Variety
    Tempranillo
  • Country
    Spain
  • Style
    Bold and Full
  • Food Pairing
    Pork, Red Meat, Warm Vegetable Dishes

Your Neighbour Who Might Drop By Over the Holidays

Some neighbours get along fantastically, others mutter at each other under their breath when they’re woken up for the third time in a week by a barking dog or early-morning landscaping. No matter what kind of neighbour you have, we recommend a local gift for this local character. It’s poetic, we think.

Jason the Neighbour

Grand Pre Tidal Bay

Grand Pre Tidal Bay

Domaine de Grand Pré grows specialty grapes that were developed for the Nova scotian climate and landscape, resulting in award-winning wines year after year. The local grapes behind this white blend will hopefully help warm up any chilly relationships with the neighbours.  

$20.00

Add to Cart

  • Type
    White
  • Grape Variety
    White Blend
  • Country
    Canada
  • Style
    Crisp and Light
  • Food Pairing
    Cold Salads, Seafood

A Growler filled with local craft beer

Growler

Truly the gift that keeps on giving, a Growler can have a sort of Pavlovian effect on even the surliest of neighbours. They’ll associate you with a frosty new Growler each time they fill it, fostering neighbourly harmony (and maybe even scoring you an invitation to help drink it).

View Selection

Your Hairstylist / Barber / Waxer / Tattoo Artist

This isn’t an exhaustive list, but most of us engage the services of at least one person in an attempt to look great (or, at least, a little less bedraggled). Not everyone chooses to bring a gift to their last personal services appointment before the holidays—and it’s fine if you don’t—but perhaps it will make it easier to score a coveted last-minute appointment in the new year. Plus, after getting up close and personal with clients all day, wouldn’t you want a strong drink once you got home?

Kathryn the Hairstylist

Bib & Tucker Bourbon

Bob & Tucker Bourbon

During America’s rough and tumble early days, the term “bib & tucker” was used to describe your finest attire. What better gift for the person who keeps you looking your best all year than this fine 6 year aged bourbon? 

$105.00

Add To Cart

  • Type
    Bourbon
  • Country
    United States

Bodegas Marta & Mate Pixide

Pixide Tempranillo

This Spanish red knows how to make an impression. Light and fruity, it’s exactly what someone who has spent all day on their feet dealing with clients is looking forward to drinking when they get home. And it will give you something to talk about at your next appointment!

$22.00

Add To Cart

  • Type
    Red
  • Grape Variety
    Tempranillo
  • Country
    Spain
  • Style
    Light and Fruity
  • Food Pairing
    Charcuterie, Pork, Poultry

Expert Mode

You No-Showed Them Earlier This Year

Uh oh: you broke the first rule of appointment-making, which is that you must show up for your appointment. Erase your sins and start the new year with a clean slate by kicking your gift up a notch.

No Showed Them Earlier This Year

Saint Jean du Barroux La Source

Saint Jean du Barroux La Source

Nothing says, “I’m sorry for skipping my appointment” like a high quality French red. They’ll have forgotten your transgressions after the first sip.

$30.00

Add To Cart

  • Type
    Red
  • Grape Variety
    Blend
  • Country
    France
  • Style
    Bold and Full
  • Food Pairing
    BBQ, Game, Red Meat

Ron Diplomatico Reserva Blanco

Ron Diplomatico Reserva Blanco

When you really need to mend a broken relationship with your style guru, break out the big guns with this unique 12-year rum. With flavours of sweet toffee, gingerbread, and chocolate, you’ll be back on the VIP client list in no time.

$43.00

Add To Cart

  • Type
    Rum
  • Country
    Venezuela

A Friend Whose Birthday Falls On Or Near Christmas Day

‘Tis the season to feel cheated. December and early January babies have a lot to compete with:  holiday travel, parties, meals, and an already-stretched gift-giving budget. Combo gifts are common for those with December birthdays, and they’re always wrapped in Christmas paper. Sure, there are many worse problems to have, but it’s time to make your December-born pal feel twice as special. Adding a bottle of bubbly to their holiday gift—in birthday-themed wrapping paper, should you want to be a real hero—will set you apart as their favourite person, and thus the person they’re most likely to share it with.

Alanna the Friend

Benjamin Bridge Nova 7

Benjamin Bridge Nova 7

This Nova Scotia sparkling wine is just the thing for a cold weather birthday, with its crisp, energetic, and fresh palate. It’s also versatile enough that it would be a great fit for New Year’s Eve, if your friend has the self-control to save it that long.

$25.01

Add To Cart

  • Type
    White
  • Grape Variety
    White Blend
  • Country
    Canada
  • Style
    Aromatic and Vibrant
  • Food Pairing
    Dessert, Spicy Foods

Lambert Seyssel Brut Petit Royal

Lambert Seyssel Brut Petit Royal

This sparkling wine from France’s Seyssel region is renowned for its aromatic finesse, elegance, and great aging potential, making it a great gift for that friend in your life who exhibits the same qualities (although you may want to avoid talking about the complexity of their aromas—they might take it the wrong way).

$29.50

Add To Cart

  • Country
    France
  • Food Pairing
    Aperitif, Deep Fried Foods, Seafood

Your Brand New Significant Other

What is it about the impending winter weather that makes people want to settle down and commit (at least for a few months)? If you’ve just started dating a new person, deciding on a holiday gift can turn into a terrifying exercise in nuance and balance. While an all-inclusive trip to Aruba might be a stretch, a special bottle hits just the right spot—and raises the bar for gifts you’ll receive for the rest of the relationship. Cheers to new love!

Tristan the Brand New Significant Other

Benanti Etna Bianco

Benanti Etna Bianco

Italy has a reputation as the most romantic country on Earth, and you can capture a little bit of that romance for your new relationship with this delightful dry white, made from grapes harvested from the slopes of Mt. Etna.

$42.00

Add To Cart

  • Type
    White
  • Country
    Italy
  • Style
    Crisp and Light

Benanti Etna Rosso

Benanti Rosso

If a white wine is a little too reserved for you and your new amante, inject a little passion into the holiday season with this woodsy red with aromas of vanilla, chestnut flowers, and a palate with lots of ripe fruit and well-structured tannins.

$40.00

Add To Cart

  • Type
    Red
  • Country
    Italy
  • Style
    Smooth and Medium
  • Food Pairing
    Pasta Dishes, Poultry, Warm Vegetable Dishes

Expert Mode

Their Parent(s)

If your new partner has decided a family get-together around the holidays is the perfect time for you to meet the parents, we’re here to help reduce your anxiety. Choose this crowd-pleaser that looks impressive and tastes even better.

Their Parents

Montresor Ripasso della Valpolicella

Montressor Valpolicella Ripasso Capitel

Keep things light around that family dinner table with this light and fruity red blend. This is the kind of wine that seems like it was created explicitly to help you make a good impression with people you know are judging every move you make.

$30.00

Add To Cart

  • Type
    Red
  • Grape Variety
    Red Blend
  • Country
    Italy
  • Style
    Light and Fruity
  • Food Pairing
    Cheese, Pasta Dishes, Warm Vegetable Dishes

Your Step-Cousin, Half-Sibling’s Sibling, or Other Sort-Of Family Member

Now, we’re not here to tell you which family members are most important—if your step-cousin is your favourite cousin, well, you don’t need this section of the guide. Inevitably, though, your familial holiday gatherings will put you in close proximity to certain people you are technically related to, but know little about. We suggest something inexpensive and cheerful, just like your uncle’s cousin’s niece’s Christmas tablecloth.

Jenny the Step-Cousin

Citra Pinot Grigio

Citra Pinot Grigio

Fruity, sweet, and easy to drink, this crisp and light white wine will make small talk easier, and best of all, it won’t break the bank.  

$13.49

Add To Cart

 

  • Type
    White
  • Grape Variety
    Pinot Grigio
  • Country
    Italy
  • Style
    Crisp and Light
  • Food Pairing
    Cold Salads, Seafood

Citra Sangiovese

Citra Sanvgiovese

This Italian red pairs well with pasta, but goes equally well with hearing your great-aunt’s annual retelling of the tale of her hooligan neighbours putting their decorations up in November. 

$12.00

Add To Cart

  • Type
    Red
  • Grape Variety
    Sangiovese
  • Country
    Italy
  • Style
    Light and Fruity
  • Food Pairing
    Pasta Dishes, Warm Vegetable Dishes

Have you encountered a gift-giving emergency not covered in this guide? Let us know for next year on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter—but first, start your search for inspiration by using our wine, spirits, and beer selector! It’s an easy, interactive tool to help you discover new products for others (and, of course, yourself) based on taste, region, style, food pairings, and more.

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