A Gift Guide for the Home Bartender

Make the holiday season extra merry with these festive wines and spirits.

Between the parties, dinners, and reunions with friends, family, and any other merrymakers, the holidays are filled with occasions where a glass of the good stuff is in high order. And like the many types of holiday gatherings, there are countless bottles to buy, making the process a game of guesswork. Below, NUVO has done the work for you, rounding up the finest wines and spirits to gift and drink this holiday season.

1. Angel’s Envy Bourbon


Angel's Envy Bourbon


Angel’s Envy’s port-barrel-finished bourbon is a great way to treat enthusiasts to something they love while also helping them experience something new. After aging it for four to six years in American white oak barrels, Angel’s Envy transfers its whisky to used port casks to age for up to six months, given its bourbon a unique dried-fruit flavour and a sweet finish. Angel’s Envy is best for those who like a drink to pair with their fruitcake or to have in place of it.

2. Campo Viejo Gran Reserva 2016


Campo Viejo


While fantastic to give and receive, fine wine is rarely ready to be drunk when it’s gifted. A few extra years in a cellar usually behove bottles from regions such as Bordeaux, Burgundy, and Piedmont. Rioja, Spain’s most esteemed wine region, is the notable exception to this rule. Gran Reservas from Rioja, like this one from Campo Viejo, are great gifts for those who want to have a glass right away. Legally, they must be aged at the winery for five years before release, which means that they have often developed exceptional tertiary flavours by the time they hit the market. Because they use primarily French oak casks rather than the traditional American ones for aging, Campo Viejo’s Gran Reserva is uniquely quaffable and food friendly—a fine wine ahead of its time.



3. Harveys Bristol Cream Sherry


Harveys Cocktail


Treat your hosts like royalty with a bottle of Harveys Bristol Cream sherry. Since launching in 1882, this singular blend of fino, oloroso, amontillado, and Pedro Ximenez sherries has been a favourite of the British royal family, earning itself a royal warrant from Queen Victoria. Combining these four distinct types of sherry, Harveys has crafted a luxuriantly creamy drink fit for a king.


4. Hennessy V.S Cognac Limited-Edition Gold Bottle


Hennessy V.S limited-edition gold bottle


One of the universal symbols of a good time, Hennessy V.S. cognac makes for a fantastic gift during the festive season. Now available in a stunning limited-edition gold bottle for the holidays, this bottle of cognac will look as special on that table as the very special cognac tastes in the glass. The most popular cognac in the world for good reason, Hennessy V.S’s distinctive palate of cinnamon, brown sugar, and nut flavours will be a welcome treat served neat, on ice, or in any one of the many classic cognac cocktails.

5. Josh Cellars Prosecco



The holidays call for bubbly, lots of it. And above all else, prosecco is the prudent choice for any and all holiday festivities, striking the balance between full flavour and fun. Josh Cellars recently debuted its new authentic Italian prosecco, made with the same care as the California winery’s big, bold cabernet sauvignons and chardonnays. This prosecco’s subtle flavours and bright, beady bubbles can handle everything from toasts to mimosas, and plenty of them.


6. Laphroaig 10-Year-Old



Now that the mercury has dropped, it’s time to break out the warming, smoky, Islay scotches. So treat your hosts, friends, family, or self to a bottle of Laphroaig 10-year-old, the original expression from the iconic distillery. Made according to knowledge accumulated over Laphroaig’s 200-year history, is beloved by beginners and aficionados alike thanks to its well-rounded peat and saline flavours. This is a whisky that’s best enjoyed while cozied up by the fire.


7. Poli Vaca Mora Amaro


Poli Vaca Mora, Amaro Veneto


Whether a feast of the seven fishes on Christmas Eve or a big turkey on Christmas Day, big holiday meals call for an Italian amaro digestif. From Schiavon, Italy’s Poli Distillery, Vaca Mora is a new amaro that pays homage to the history of the drink in the region. Named after the steam train that used to run through the town, Vaca Mora (“black cow” in Venetian) is inspired by the amari travellers would sip as they waited for the train in a tavern by the station. Infused with 16 plants, herbs, and flowers, Vaca Mora delivers a satisfying end to any meal, no matter what’s on the table.



8. Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum



There are two camps when it comes to spiking eggnog. In one are those who prefer the simplicity of cognac or bourbon; in the other, those who like the bombast of spiced rum. Be a memorable guest this year and spike your nog with a glug of a good spiced rum like Sailor Jerry. Inspired by traditional maritime rums, to which sailors would add spices to their rum ration to quell its harshness, Sailor Jerry is as loaded with vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg flavours as men-of-war were with gunpowder.


9. Veuve Clicquot Brut Champagne with Ice Jacket



Veuve Clicquot knows it’s important to bundle up when the weather gets cold. That’s why the 250-year-old champagne house designed a sleek jacket for its classic brut, assuring that the bubbly gets to the party in comfort and style. Made with the best grapes from as many as 60 of the region’s crus, the brut champagne underneath the jacket is well worth protecting. A classic for a reason, Veuve Clicquot brut elegantly straddles the line between elegance and intensity, pleasing all partygoers’ palates with an unctuous mousse and razor-sharp acidity.