Christmas and New Year celebrations are only a few weeks away. Selecting presents for family, business associates and friends can be daunting.
Last minute frantic shopping can be frustrating and end up being more expensive than anticipated.
Some select clothing ( can be rewarding or disappointing for the recipient), food, objet d’art or some kind of alcoholic beverage.
For friends who like wine, or beer, or spirits, the choice is relatively easy.
Most alcoholic beverage producers either select Christmas themed packaging with a glass or two included, or design ornamental or custom shaped bottles. In all cases it is easy to choose an appealing present.
The L C B O (Liquor Control Board of Ontario) always assembles gift-packaged beverages for the festive season well in advance. The selection includes all beverage categories, and practically all are reasonably priced.
The best selections are in all-brand large stores.
If you want to avoid frenzied shopping, select your gift at your leisure, and enjoy the experience.
I had the opportunity to taste most of what in on offer.
For those who like flavourful beer, the best choice is Chimay Monastery’s three-beer, plus a glass package.
Those who fancy fortified wines, Taylor and Fladgate’s LBV (Late Bottled Vintage) 2009 Port ( $ 25.95), Fonseca’s Bin 27 Mini Decanter ( $ 8.95), Maynard’s 100 Years Old Of Port ( an eclectic selection of various port wines) ( $ 99.95) would be excellent selections.
When it comes to sparkling wines, champagne producers win on quality and packaging.
Here you cannot miss if you select Veuve Cliquot Ponsardin Journey Travel Trunk Brut Champagne ( $ 72.85); Moet et Chandon’s Imperial Magnum Bottle ( $ 145.95); Taittinger’s Nocturne ( $ 65.95).
All taste great and are imaginatively packaged.
If you like mulled wine but have no time to make it yourself, Sprucewood Shores Winery’s Warm And Cozy wine will please you.
If you happen to be a liqueur fan, Rum Chatta (cream and rum blend), or Mozart Kugel from Salzburg, Austria ( a chocolate liqueur) should fit the bill.
For those who prefer spirits the following are highly recommended, Canadian Club 100 Per Cent Rye, Gibson’s Finest Canadian Whisky, Writer’s Tears (Irish whiskey), Tomintoul (Box of three miniature Scotch whiskies) and Glenlivet taste just fine.
Do your shopping now and enjoy the festive season.