Put aside the Victorian jokes, because when it comes to wine, beer and spirit, the crew down south do a pretty good job creating a decent drop. Here’s an extensive gift guide of Victorian-made and family-owned wines, beers and spirits, to gift loved ones this Christmas. To make it easier, we’ve categorised the list into four sections – young adults, mum, dad and grandparents.
Gift guide for Young Adults
- For those Gen Z’s who follow upcycling trends by day, but love a cold craft beer by night, the Mo Joe Cooler Pack is the perfect gift. It’s made with waste products from the beer industry by the legends at Into Carry in collaboration with local Molly Rose Brewing – and it comes with eight of their handcrafted quintessentially Collingwood beers.
- For those who love natural wine, but don’t love too much funk, Fin Wines’ Dandelions & Bumblebees is a delicious and fresh blend of Pinot Gris, Savvy B & Viognier – perfect for summer picnics, backyard cricket and friend-mas celebration.
- Because the personalisation trend isn’t going anywhere, Mornington Peninsula distillery, Bass & Flinders, has a Gin Masterclass Kit that will knock the socks off your spirit-loving mates. The at-home kit lets you make your own personal gin that Bass & Flinders will store on file to purchase time and time again!
- If you know someone who is just dipping their toe into the world of wine, the mixed six-pack from Yarra Valley Smaller Wineries is just the gift for them. With a variety of wines from boutique, small-batch producers, they can get a taste of the Yarra Valley before they begin to branch out further.
- A youthful twist on a grown-up classic, Tokar Estate’s 2021 CST pays homage to our country’s deep multicultural roots by adding a big dash of Tempranillo to their version of the Australian Cab Sauv. It’s a fun and fruit-driven wine to be enjoyed effortlessly with mates over pizza, or even by yourself on the couch.
Gift guide for Mum
- In Two Mind’s Mixed Dozen: Made by mums for mums – but not just any mums, some of Australia’s best-known wine-mums! Kate and Nina (who happen to be married to twin brothers) make exceptionally quaffable wines, without the wank. It’s simply a damn good drop you’ll always be ready to pull it out of the cupboard for those unexpected visits, or when you just want to wine-down.
- If your mum could sip on Rosé all day over the summer, Tokar Estate’s newly released 2022 Rosé is just the drop for her. It’s elegant, fresh and crisp, just what you want for when you’re prepping a meal, sitting down with friends on your summer holidays, or to pair with a platter.
- For the mum who rules the roost, Mandala’s 2019 ‘The Matriarch’ Pinot Noir is a wine that will show her how much she means to the family. Named after owner Charles Smedley’s own mother, it has aromas of sweet berries, cinnamon spices and subtle vanilla bean, mixed with hints of earth, cedar and cigar coming through the oak.
- Bass & Flinders Distillery’s Heartbreak Gin: Unlike its name, the only reason you’ll be heartbroken with this one is when it runs out. It’s slightly sweet – but not saccharine or jammy, making it ideal to pair with soda, specialist tonics or just on ice. Unlike a bottle of wine, this keeps, so you can enjoy it over and over!
- Mums who like a beer on a hot Christmas day by the pool will love Molly Rose Brewing’s twist on a farmhouse ale. Made from plums, the Some Plum is sensationally seasonal, and the perfect summer drop!
Gift guide for Dad
- For the dad who has an impressive wine cellar, there’s no going past Centare Vineyard’s Christmas Collectors Box. The box includes your choice of two of the premium vineyard’s 2019 vintage wines – which all scored over 92 Points by James Halliday – plus a collector’s glass. In 2019, the winery embarked on a journey to produce an iconic ‘Bordelaise’ blend of Grand Cru quality through high-density planting – a completely unique project in Australia.
- Molly Rose Brewing’s Cornerstone subscription: There’s that song that doesn’t end for all the right reasons! Dad will love having this carefully curated luxury beer delivered to his door every 8 weeks. You’ll get a selection of seasonal, limited release and core Molly Rose beers, and get first access to beers that may not even be available to the public! It’s packed by hand by the team at the Collingwood brewpub, and it’s always a hit.
- Bass & Flinders Distillery’s Noble Stranger Australian Brandy is a truly unique gift for everyone’s first hero – their dad. Noble Stranger is a classic Australian brandy crafted from 100% Victorian Chardonnay. Showing floral aromas with hints of sweet spice, and a silken smooth mouthfeel with lingering flavours of honeysuckle, clove, nutmeg and vanilla. The elegant and refined brandy is a noble spirit for a noble heart.
- Mandala’s 2016 ‘The Rock’ Shiraz is a hearty wine for all the dads who are ‘the rock’ of their families. Attributed to owner Charles Smedley’s father, the Shiraz presents a rich bouquet of blackberry, caramelized fig, liquorice, hints of white pepper and a sweet oak lift. Dark berries, cherries and cinnamon espresso tones on the palate, a fine tannin structure and persistent length.
- Billanook Estate’s 2014 Barbera is made by a father and son team, and just tastes like Italy in a bottle. Lip-smackingly good, with amazing mouthfeel and made to pair with so many meals, it’s one of those unexpected beauties that people try once and then buy cases to store. Bottled in 2014, they haven’t hurried it along so you’re getting that elegant, mature midweight Barbera, without the crazy price tag you’d pay on a Shiraz of the same vintage. Not to mention it’s way better than a big red in summer!
Gift guide for Grandparents
- Bass & Flinders Distillery’s Ochre Fine Brandy is an exquisite gift for the brandy connoisseur. The first of its kind in Australia, Ochre is an aged spirit that is double distilled in an Alembic still on the Mornington Peninsula from Chardonnay grapes.
- For grandparents who like a bit of variety when it comes to their red, the Ravishing Red Mixed-Six Pack is ideal. A carefully curated selection of red wines from Yarra Valley Smaller Wineries, it has a mix of wines that would normally retail for over 30 per cent more, so it offers tremendous value and the novelty of an amazing assortment of classic cool climate wines with a cheeky rarer varietal or two in there!
- Billanook Estate’s 2015 Tre: TRÉ’ represents the three red varietals, a coming together of the D’Aloisio family heritage across three generations of winemakers. Vibrant dark fruits with hints of new leather and graphite on the palate, with medium acidity and long fine tannins. Cellaring potential 2030+.
- The inaugural vintage of Centare Vineyard, the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon is a wine for those grandparents who appreciate history in the making. A stylish and classic expression of Yarra Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, this wine established the outstanding quality and future of Centare Vineyard’s high-density vineyard project.
- For grandparents who will likely want to share their presents with the whole family on Christmas day, Tokar Estate’s Christmas Pack is just the gift they’ll love. With a Chardonnay to go with fish and prawns, a Pinot Noir to enjoy with ham, and a Pinot-Shiraz blend to enjoy with dessert, there’s a wine that every family member will love sipping on together.