Choosing the appropriate bottle for an occasion is always a tricky proposition, but there’s an extra layer of significance around the long tradition of gift giving during Lunar New Year. This is not the time to grab whatever is sitting in the wine rack.

Here are three bottles that will make the impression you want and kick off the Year of the Tiger with appropriate élan.

The Gold Standard

Hennessy XO CNY Edition $400

Seriously, when it comes to Lunar New Year, there is Hennessy XO and then there is everything else€”no other bottle makes the immediate impact and has the instantaneous recognition than this one. (Seriously, don’t beat yourself up and buy another brand’s XO€”in this case substitutions are not allowed). Hennessy is leaning into this reputation hard this year with this limited-edition bottle designed by Zhang Enli, bathed in lucky red and gold and with a stylized tiger front and centre. Now if you want to go up market (only during LNY would someone consider $400 not already seriously upmarket) you can dip into the the Paradis line (for a cool $12,000 – see below).

The Curve Ball

Bowmore 21-Year-Old Aston Martin Edition $550

I hesitate to even include this bottle from Bowmore, because notwithstanding its hefty price tag, it’s literally flying off the shelves. But there’s been a growing move towards high-end single malts as LNY presents and this one is a winner not just because of its scarcity, but also because of the partnership with Aston Martin€”an added bonus. Now if you can’t find it, all is not lost€”Bowmore’s excellent 18-year-old is on sale right now and can pinch hit (you could buy two bottles at that price!) 

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The Wild Card

Penfolds Bin 28 Kalimna $50

Table wine is also growing in stature as a gift, and while Chateau Lafite remains the heavyweight champ of gifts for LNY, it also comes with a $2000+ plus price tag. What isn’t as well known is how dominant a position the Aussie powerhouse Penfolds has come to have in Mainland China (they even have a special line of LNY wines but they’re long sold out). And while the company’s Grange is always among the most coveted bottles on the planet, for LNY it’s best to seek out one of the “numbered” labels€”like bin 28€”as they have great name recognition. This bottle also offers ample black fruit with a slightly earthy texture, but if you want to go upmarket you could also think of the $100 Bin 389, or the $400 Bin 169 if your really want to go big.