Whether it's for your other half, your best pal or a family member you can't get to see at the moment, sending a gift on Valentine's Day seems a little more significant this year.
Companies and brands have really stepped up to the challenge too, and there is a gorgeous array of boxes, bottles and hampers to choose from, whether you want to send a little 'thinking of you' gift or go all-out with a big romantic declaration.
With that in mind, we've done the hard work for you and have compiled a list of some of the best drinks-related gifts out there - to suit most budgets.
Also, make sure to pick up the February issue of FOOD&WINE Magazine this weekend - it's free with the Business Post on Sunday 7 February. You'll find lots more Valentine's gift ideas in there, not to mention some gorgeous recipes to try if you're cooking for a loved one on Valentine's Day.
All the good things
Box of Wine, Ireland’s first ‘tailored to your taste’ wine subscription service has come up with some great gift options - our pick is the Valentine’s Pamper Box. With prices starting at €65 each box contains a bottle of Champagne or wine, a red rose, Skellig's Chocolates, a Soap Out Loud candle, a bar of Dalkey Handmade Soap and pack of 100% cotton facecloths. Available to buy here.
Bubbles and cake
Bring a little of the five-star hotel experience to your loved one’s door with The Westbury's Bubbles & Cake offering which is now available as a takeaway option. It comprises a bottle of Perrier-Jouët Champagne (complete with two Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque glasses) and two desserts; a strawberry shortcake and a peach melba. It’s priced at €100 to include a bottle of Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut (or €120 if you’d prefer Perrier-Jouët Blason Rosé). All orders must be made by Thursday 11 February and click and collect is available from 12 -14 February between 12pm and 6pm. You can book here.
Art of wine
If you’re based in Dublin or Kildare (or your loved one is), check out WineLab’s Our Moment box. Priced at €90, there’s the choice of one bottle of Rosé Champagne or a trio of WineLab’s top wines and each box also features Butler’s Chocolates, a bouquet of 10 roses and a Valentine’s card from Irish printmakers JANDO. It’s available in Dublin and Kildare only with Valentine’s Day delivery guaranteed if orders are placed by Friday 12 February. See the website for more.
Gin for two
Stillgarden Distillery in Inchicore, Dublin has an array of Valentine’s gifts on offer, with prices starting at €50. Each box contains a Stillgarden pre-made cocktail along with two glasses, two reusable straws, two premium mixers, a Valentine’s card and two vouchers for the garden tour to be used at a later date. There is same-day delivery available in Dublin for orders placed before noon on 14 February. Shop online here.
A good bottle of bubbly is always a winner on Valentine’s Day and Moët & Chandon’s beautiful Rosé Impérial fits the bill perfectly. What’s more, if you head to moet.com, you’ll find recipes to pair with the Champagne. Dishes include red mullet with Modena balsamic vinegar and mint, and beef tartare with Lump’s roe, coarse salt and olive oil. Rosé Impérial is €63 and is available nationwide in independent off-licenses as well as Brown Thomas, Dunnes Stores and SuperValu.
Gin and roses: what could be better? Hendrick’s Gin has teamed up with florist Emma Rose Floristry to offer something a little extra if you’re picking up a bottle of gin for your other half for Valentine's Day. For a limited time in O’Briens stores, a 70cl bottle of Hendrick’s comes complete with long-stemmed roses and cucumbers. Priced at €39, stock is very limited so you’ll need to move fast to avail of the offer.
Wine lover’s delight
Galway’s Gourmet Tart Co has created a range of Valentine’s Day hampers which includes this Wine Lover's Treat. Priced at €60, it contains a bottle of red wine and a selection of tasty treats including a dark chocolate, pistachio and raspberry brittle, Prosecco and pecan truffles, crisps, and Gourmet Tart’s new handmade grissini (breadsticks) and lavosh. Nationwide delivery to anywhere in Ireland is €5 per hamper or there’s free collection from the Salthill store. See here for more.
A romantic tale
Show the whiskey fan in your life some love with the rather romantic Whistler P.X. I Love You. A single malt from Boann Distillery in Co Meath, the whiskey spent the first part of its life in ex-bourbon barrels and was finished in Spanish Pedro Ximenez (hence the P.X. in the name) sherry casks for nine months. It’s €54.95 for a 70cl bottle and it can be purchased at the Celtic Whiskey Shop and Irish Malts.
Coming up rosé
Another beautiful Champagne that seems made for the occasion is Veuve Clicquot Rosé. Balanced and full-bodied it has notes of ripe strawberries and cherries and works well when paired with tuna, duck, beef carpaccio, red fruits, and blinis. If you’re looking for food inspiration head to veuveclicquot.com for a trio of recipes that together make up a perfect Valentine’ Day. RRP €73, stockists including O’Briens, The Corkscrew, Molloy’s, On The Grapevine and Brown Thomas.
Craft Cocktails has created three special edition Valentine’s Day-themed cocktail bundles which are sure to be a hit. The Love Hearts, Grá, and Poem bundles each contains four 200ml cocktails made to be shared between two – the gin-based Aviation and raspberry negroni, the rum-based strawberry daiquiri, and a new cosmo cocktail which has just been added to the Craft Cocktail range. They get top marks for the cute labels too! The bundles are €60 each, with free nationwide delivery – see craftcocktails.ie for more.
A whiskey feast
The Whiskey & Food Pairing hamper from Powerscourt Distillery in Co Wicklow is more of an experience than a gift. It contains an array of local Irish produce, including Wicklow Bán Cheese, honey from the Powerscourt Estate, salami from The Wooded Pig, and a bottle of red wine, not to mention chocolates and the distillery’s trilogy of award-winning Fercullen whiskeys. There is also a link to a pre-recorded presentation that talks you through pairing the whiskeys with the food. Prices start from €85.50 and you can purchase the hampers here.
For something a little different, how about a bottle of Irish port? This duo from Fallon & Byrne teams a bottle of Killahora Orchards Rare Apple Port, made with fresh apple juice and apple spirit, with a box of rich, crumbly Achill Island Sea Salt Fudge. One of a number of gifts Fallon & Byrne has on offer, it's €45 and is available here.
Keep your eye on the site over the next few days for more great Valentine's Day gifting options, plus make sure to pick up FOOD&WINE Magazine with The Business Post this Sunday for more.