Saturday 25 January is when many Australians will be celebrating Chinese New Year (also known as Lunar New Year). The date marks the end of the Year of the Pig, and ushers in the Rat – the first of the 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac. Lunar New Year is a season of giving, so we’ve selected a range of elegant and delicious bottles to gift during this special occasion.
Chinese New Year (also known as Lunar New Year) begins with a story that when the time came for the Jade Emperor to rank the zodiac animals, he decreed that his decision would be made on the order in which they arrived at his party. The rat, being the smallest, asked the ox to give him a ride. Just as they arrived at the finish line, the rat jumped down and landed ahead of the ox, thus arriving first. Rats are historically seen as a sign of wealth and surplus.
Celebrations aren’t confined to just the one day. The run-up to the New Year begins on 17 January and lasts until New Year’s Eve on the 24th. On New Year’s Day, the Spring Festival begins, lasting 11 days, then from 5 February preparations start for the Lantern Festival on 8 February.
Enjoy your Lunar New Year celebrations with these gifts for family, friends and colleagues. Choose from a selection of Penfolds classic reds; a range of premium cognacs and Scotch whiskies; signature Chinese spirits; and, of course, Champagne.
An outstanding wine from Penfolds, this multi-region South Australian blend is a well-structured, medium-bodied red. Sweet coconutty oak, ripe fruit and an upfront nose of bright red cherry gives this age-worthy red its unique style.
Expect an aromatic veil of black-truffled earthiness meshed with mushroom over a dark chocolate base. Beneath, spiced French oak is evident, while a quilt of berried fruits and lingering tannins provide robust structure. This elegant shiraz is perfect for Lunar New Year gifting.
Often referred to as ‘Baby Grange’, this wine showcases blackcurrant aromas, followed by notes of mustard spice, cherrywood and aniseed. The full flavours are complemented by vanilla pod and liquorice straps.
Martell’s signature distillation process allows it to absorb the rich tones from the bourbon cask. The result is Martell’s hallmark style, with delicate notes of candied fruit and plum, enhanced by the subtle sweetness of vanilla.
In 1817, the future King George IV of England asked Hennessy to supply him with a Very Superior, Old and Pale cognac (VSOP). Enjoy this delicate blend of wood notes, spices and wild honey with a smooth and enveloping texture – the ideal gift for Luna New Year.
Aged for up to two more years than other VS cognacs, the patience shines through in the final product. Courvoisier has a powerful palate that opens out into a floral and robust fruit finish. Excellent value for money.
Having taken centuries to perfect the art, Remy Martin gives you the opportunity to try some of their finest work with this fine aged cognac of great complexity and finesse.
An initial swell delivers layers of dried fruits and citrus smoke that evolves into notes of honey, sweet spice and vanilla. As the waves ease, the sipper is rewarded with velvety chocolate and a rounded smoky finish.
A beautifully crafted single malt with a delicately balanced fragrance. The taste has characteristic fruity notes that develop into elements of cream, butterscotch, malt and subtle oak. The finish is smooth and mellow.
Yanghe is produced using an original recipe and traditional method, dating back 1,300 years. It is characterised by an elegant aroma, a soft, sweet, mellow taste that slowly unfolds and a lingering finish.
Clear in colour but powerful and complex in flavour, the perfumed aroma reveals hints of pineapple, guava and kiwi fruit. Smoky notes in the mid-palate join tropical fruits, white flowers and herbaceous hints.
There have only been seven cellarmasters since the house’s beginning in 1811, each carefully trained by the predecessor. This Champagne has a ripe stone fruit nose with hints of spice, followed by an amazingly rounded, floral palate – a gift that your family, friend or colleague will love for Lunar New Year.
Subtle aromas of peach and strawberry are a seductive prelude to well-defined, expressive fruit flavours and an impressive finish. Supple and complex, this is the perfect companion to fresh shellfish or smoked salmon.
During New Year, it is traditional to gift a box of mandarins, which represent wealth and prosperity. 888 is a mandarin ale, brewed with mandarin juice and peel before being dry-hopped with Mandarina Bavaria.