by Anne Martin

You have made the annual holiday season’s shopping list and you have checked it twice; in fact, you have found something for almost everyone on it except those nearly impossible to buy for wine types.  Relax and read on. Here’s a rough guide to help you find that special bottle for the cork dorks in your life.

The Big Red Person = almost any region in the world these days – look to the usual suspects like Australia, California, Argentina, Chile and then to off-the-beaten-path regions such as Monsant in Spain, the Douro Valley in Portugal and southern Italy

The Party Girl = Bubbles – either champagne or a good sparkling  Crémant from Burgundy or Alsace. Good Cava from Spain works too. 

The Great Uncle with Old World Taste = Port – 10-, 20-, 30- or 40-year-old Tawny, Single Quinta or Vintage (if you really want to splash out); Burgundy /Bordeaux reds.

The “I only drink dry white wines” Type (aka Pinot Grigio) = many Italian whites, Bordeaux and old-school Chablis.

The Adventurous Type = German and Austrian whites, Ontario reds, Hungarian, Greek, South African, Spanish and Portuguese reds.

The Sweet-Wine Lover = dessert wines from the world over, including Ontario’s very own late harvest and ice wines.

When A Label Counts (Your Boss) = just ask an LCBO product consultant to recommend something that scored a Parker 90+ and hand over your credit card.

A Wine For All Occasions (Housewarming Gift) = Viognier from Chile or California, Riesling from Ontario, Shiraz, Cotes du Rhone reds, Chianti.

Stocking Stuffer = half bottles of champers or port

A Few Good Bottles For You = see next week

  • Wine gifts, other than those that come in a bottle, to consider:
  • Wine chiller sleeve for the freezer
  • Vacu vin to keep leftovers fresh
  • A good corkscrew
  • If you’re really at a loss, an LCBO gift certificate

Anne Martin is a Toronto-based sommelier, writer and wine consultant. Learn more about Anne, including her cellar and tasting services at