What to buy a wine snob this Christmas

''I WOULD love a bottle of rare tokay/topaque (Campbell's Isabella) to savour on Christmas Eve; top Aussie bubbles for ham-and-eggs breakfast on the big day (Arras Late Disgorged) and one of those swanky 2012 snakelike decanters, from Riedel to put something delicious in over Christmas lunch.''

Angie Bradbury, chairwoman, Wine Communicators of Australia, and managing director, Dig Marketing Group

''THE NEW Wine Grapes (Allen Lane-Penguin) book by Jancis Robinson and some good fizz never goes astray in the festive season, perhaps some '01 Arras Blanc de Blancs or '02 Bollinger La Grande Annee to compare to the '01 Clover Hill Blanc de Blancs. Maybe if I leave Santa a glass of the good stuff, I'll have more chance of getting what I want.''

Karina Dambergs, winemaker, Taltarni's Clover Hill sparkling wines

''I WOULD love a 30-bottle Vintec wine fridge. Perfect for the office.''

Elisabeth Drysdale, director, Champagne Bureau

''I'm hoping [champagne expert] Richard Juhlin's new tome, 8000 Champagnes, will be released by Christmas. If so, I'd appreciate a copy of the book and a bottle or two of a new Champagne find or revelation contained within - any vintage, new or old.''

Peter Gago, chief winemaker, Penfolds Wines

''HAVING three Katnook wines in the Langton's Classification of Australian Wine, I know how hard it is to be included. For that reason, I would like a bottle of each wine that made the latest V Langton's Classification. All (123 wines) have great ageing capabilities and represent some of the best in the country.''

Diego Jimenez, chief executive, Wingara Wine Group

''I'D BE happy with a Penfolds ampoule of 2004 Kalimna, Block 42 Cabernet Sauvignon ($168,000 each, left). I've always wanted to own a bottle of wine that costs more than my house. If they gave the last one to Charles and Camilla, no hard feelings - I'd be happy with a case of Tahbilk marsanne - Australia's most underrated white wine - to drink with the blue swimmer crabs I intend to catch at Moonta Bay. A copy of the documentary Chateau Chunder to watch on New Year's Day would be good, too [$29.95 epindependent.com].''

Anthony Madigan, editor, Wine Business Magazine

''THREE or four Cantina wine filters, a simple, inexpensive invention that saves a lot of decanting time, and spillage, from the shaking hands of silly old buggers who still live in hope they will open and be transported by those treasured special-occasion reds they wanted to share with - and impress - the right people.''

Warren Mason, director, Sydney International Wine Competition

''Any bottles of the divine liquid are welcome gifts. The ultimate would be a bottle from 1963, the year I was born.''

Alain Rousseau, senior winemaker, Frogmore Creek Wines

''I WOULD love a wine cabinet to store the '09 Mitchelton Print Shiraz as my new house is lacking a cellar. I would like the Liebherr WTes 4177 wine cabinet: it's multi-zoned, can store reds, whites and sparklings and can hold 143 bottles. It's enough to house a case of each of Mitchelton's varieties from Print to the new sparkling.''

Andrew Ryan, marketing director, Mitchelton Wines

''A BOTTLE of 1962 (Domaine de la Romanee-Conti) La Tache would be most welcome. I have a bit of a collection of weird and old corkscrews, even though we do not use them any more, so an addition to that would be fine. A copy of James Halliday's next year's book [Australian Wine Companion] would also be handy.''

Bruce Tyrrell, Tyrrell's Wines

And for the wine writers …

''FOR the world's greatest wines from Greece, Italy, France and more that I love that are not prohibitively expensive, yep, I want them available under screw cap. As a wine writer, I have had more, so much more, than my fair share of oxidised or TCA-ruined booze or bottles that are just NQR. If my Christmas wish can't be granted this year, please, Santa, I would like to have those wines under screw cap in my lifetime. So hurry up.''

Jane Faulkner

''HOW about a bottle of 2000 Dom Perignon Rose´? One of the greatest champagnes I've had this year. A snip at $630 RRP.''

Huon Hooke

''A BOTTLE of good malt whisky from Scotland is always welcome. A contemplative sip somehow seems to put the world right, and at Christmas and New Year it gives an optimistic glow to things. Highland Park 12 Year Old Single Malt ($77 for a 700ml bottle, right) comes from the windswept Orkney Islands of the northern end of Scotland. Founded 214 years ago, it's the country's northernmost distillery. This whisky is fragrant, mellow and complex with a superb balance of sweet and savoury flavours.''

Ralph Kyte-Powell

''I WOULD love one of those funny-looking but undeniably smart Riedel wine decanters, practised manipulators of air and general all-round enhancers of fruit and flavour. I have my eye on the $1300 Cobra, which I am assured can change a $15 red nobody into something fabulous. When not in use, it can practise being an objet d'art in the living room.''

Jeni Port

I'd love one of those funny-looking but undeniably smart Riedel wine decanters, all-round enhancers of fruit and flavour. I have my eye on the $1300 Cobra.

Top gifts: a shortlist

A decanter Ovarius decanters attempt a Riedel (''wine bottling tightens molecules, Ovarius relaxes and opens wine that was confined'') and look just as weird but are definitely cheaper.


A professional wine knife A wine knife is a corkscrew but what a corkscrew. The new-gen knives from Code38 are the choice of wine professionals, cutting foils cleanly and gliding through corks (they work especially well with old corks). The Code38 range starts at $195. code38.com

A wine book Wine Grapes, a new guide to more than 1300 grape varieties and co- authored by Jancis Robinson, is big in size (1200 pages), weight (three kilograms) and price ($199). For something less than $100, consider an in-depth look into the great wines of Burgundy's Vosne-Romanee by Allen Meadows, The Pearl of the Cote ($99.95). booksforcooks.com.au

This story What to buy a wine snob this Christmas first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.