The Liquor Cabinet

Last-minute gift ideas

At this time of year, the rush for last-minute gifts is as predictable as Mariah Carey belting out ‘All I want for Christmas’ over the sound system as you frantically search the aisles. Now you can avoid a festive freakout with our guide to stress-free gift giving.

Last Minute Gifts

During the silly season, there is one thing guaranteed to wake you up at 3am (and we’re not talking about your party-loving neighbours). Remembering you need a last-minute present for an important business colleague or the kid’s soccer coach is enough to make you break into a cold sweat. Then there are also those impromptu dinner-party invitations where you can’t turn up empty-handed, not to mention the unexpected visitor who arrives bearing gifts.

Fortunately, the solution to your last-minute present predicaments can be found in one place. A bottle of wine, spirits or beer can be a thoughtful gift for everyone from your second cousin twice removed to your boss. Choose from a great selection of quality gift packs or get creative and make your own. Here are some ideas.

Last-minute wine gifts

The socialite sister-in-law

Wine is a wonderful all-rounder that suits almost every gift-giving scenario – from ‘I hardly know them’ to ‘I need to impress’.

The glamourous Sensi Prosecco DOC 18K Gold is ideal for anyone who loves bubbles and bling. Team it with a pair of statement earrings for her next party outfit.

The unexpected visitor

Pre-wrap gourmet cheese crackers with Oyster Bay Chardonnay for last-minute present emergencies. The stone fruit and citrus notes of this New Zealand crowd pleaser suits a wide range of tastes.

The travel-mad aunt

Transport her back to that little French bistro with Rosé D’Amélie AOC Luberon Rosé featuring hints of strawberries and fresh cherries. Add a bag of mini croissants for a charming garnish.

The dinner-party hosts

Penfolds Max’s Shiraz is always a cracker – so wrap it like one! Place the bottle in a cardboard tube and fill the area around the neck with after-dinner mints. Roll in wrapping paper and twist both ends for a DIY bon-bon.

The barbecuing brother-in-law

With rich flavours of plum and blackberry, Winton Road Barossa Valley Shiraz pairs perfectly with barbecued meat. Include a jar of homemade spice rub for extra grill thrills.

The music teacher

A terrific tipple for twilight concerts in the park, Winton Road Barossa Valley Rosé offers fresh berry notes and a delicate pink blush.

The sibling’s new partner

Welcome them into the family fold with the stone fruit and citrus notes of Winton Road Eden Valley Chardonnay. A card featuring embarrassing childhood snaps of your sister or bro is guaranteed to break the ice.

The wine-snob uncle

As you hand over this elegant gift box, casually mention how Winton Road Barossa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon gets its spice from new French oak and is delicious now, but also great for long cellaring.

Last-minute spirit gifts

Whether it’s for sunset cocktails or sneaky nightcaps, a bottle of fine spirits will help spread the festive cheer.

The retired in-laws

Gin o’clock already? Pair Japanese-distilled Roku Gin or Scottish-made Hendrick’s Gin with a potted lime tree so they can grow their own G&T garnishes.

The boss

Impressions count, so make a lasting one with Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz Gin – a unique blend of Yarra Valley dry gin steeped with red grapes. Plus, save the receipt for your tax return (win win!).

The departing co-worker

When buying a farewell gift for a long-serving staffer, you need to think top shelf. Jack Daniel’s Gentleman Jack is exceptionally smooth and will take pride of place on their bar cart.

The grand parents

If pop and gran enjoy a wee dram, they’ll love a gift box of Glen Grant Arboralis Single Malt Scotch Whisky or Singleton Malt Master’s Selection Whisky. Include a festive fruit cake to bring out the toffee and honey flavours of these gorgeously golden liquids.

Last-minute beer gifts

The key to gifting beer is to try something new (sorry XXXX and Carlton Dry, but there are plenty of barbecues for you to shine at).

The good neighbours

They collected the mail and watered your plants during your last getaway so thank them with a carton of refreshing and slightly tropical-tasting Pirate Life South Coast Pale Ale and matching beach towels. Now they’re all set for their next holiday (when you’ll return the favour).

For the gardener or tradie

Keep your tradies on side (and on schedule) with a cold six-pack of Travla Mid Strength Lager – a low-carb true-blue brew to enjoy when they down tools.

The soccer coach

Australia and New Zealand are co-hosting the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, so give them a taste of the competition with a Weihenstephaner Gift Pack (selected stores only). It contains three German wheat beers and a glass so they can cheer the Matildas on in style.

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