Gift Guide:

Staff Picks From Our Holiday Gift Guide

Narrow down your shopping even further with these 20 sales staff picks from our buyers’ list. Finalize your menu with affordable pairings or settle on the ultimate bottle for an ultra-picky recipient.

Make sure to check the holiday delivery cut-off in your area here.

 

WINES

Prosecco, Mia $6.99

This bright, fresh, and dry Prosecco truly over-delivers. Sparkling wine at this value shouldn’t be passed up. And don’t let the screw top fool you, there’s a major celebration inside this bottle! – Josh Mizrahi, Sales Manager

Il Bianco di Casa IGT, Romagnoli $9.96

This Verdicchio-dominant blend provides versatile pairing potential at an amazing price. On the palate, Hello citrus! This wine shows lots of it–lemon, navel orange, pomelo, pink grapefruit. Underneath these bright and buoyant flavors lies even more refreshment, with slight hints of spearmint & juniper. – Bambi Ray, Sales Manager

Côtes du Rhône “Rive Droite, Rive Gauche” $11.96

There’s nothing better on a cold night than a nice mug of hot spiced wine. I make mine by adding one bottle of the Rive Droite, Rive Gauche to a medium-sized pot with cinnamon sticks, star anise, allspice, orange peel, and cloves. Place over low heat and allow to slowly warm. Since some of the alcohol will evaporate while the wine is heating, I like to fortify it with a bit of whiskey or brandy. – Tekla Israelson, Wine & Spirits Consultant

Gaillac, “Les Gourmands,” L’Enclos des Braves $19.96

Fermented in cement tanks and aged on its lees, this is a fantastic rich wine whose freshness keeps it relatively light on its feet. The Duras is blended with 30% Braucol, known outside of Gaillac as Fer Servadou, which adds some red currant notes and aromas to the Duras’ dark berry profile. Biodynamic, unfined, and like many wines from this region, an absolute steal. – Marc Mousky, Wine & Spirits Consultant

Crémant de Bourgogne Brut, Dom. de La Grande Côte $21.96

Crémant from Burgundy is particularly great as the terroir shares similarities with Champagne, providing some complexity. I also love Crémant as a follow-up to Champagne when the occasion calls for opening a second bottle that doesn’t need to be Champagne-level. Crémant de Bourgogne Brut, Dom. de La Grande Côte is featured regularly in my lineup because it is a fabulous wine that’s rich with yellow apples and pear. It finishes with a beautiful minerality that I think sets it apart from the rest. – Hannah Weiss, Wine & Spirits Consultant

Liébart-Régnier, Brut $34.96

This lovely Brut is Pinot Meunier heavy (a bit of a rarity in the Champagne world), bringing sweet spice and some savory notes to the blend. The Pinot Meunier is joined by usual suspects Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, becoming a well-balanced, dry wine with classic brioche toastiness and soft yellow fruit. A wonderful, approachable, and incredibly affordable Champagne for all occasions. – Tekla Israelson, Wine & Spirits Consultant

Hebrart “Cuvée de Reserve” 1er Cru, Brut $49.96

Born of old vines, it’s a fantastic value for something of this quality, comes in a beautiful, elegant bottle, and just begs to be enjoyed at a festive occasion or throughout your next meal. There are a lot of choices in this price range, but this is my pick. – Marc Mousky, Wine & Spirits Consultant

Salamartano, Fattoria Montellori $49.96

This library release speaks with aromas of cranberry chutney, cassis, boysenberry, and plum. It drinks well with those dark fruit characteristics intermingled with graphite and dark mocha while the acidity tames the meaty tannins for a distinctive experience. – Jose Bonegas, Wine & Spirits Consultant

Angwin “Kissing Tree”, Cabernet Sauvignon $94.96

At last! A Cabernet Sauvignon that takes you back to its forgotten heyday when the grape made wines that were charming and elegant, rather than bulging with alcoholic muscle. Wonderfully perfumed with classic Cabernet characteristics: leather, smoke, tobacco, and horseradish. A palate of concentrated fruits that’s balanced by gentle tannins and acid. – Sam Davies, Wine & Spirits Consultant

Chablis 1er Cru “Beauroy,” Philippe Pacalet $121.99

In the case of Philippe Pacalet and his 1er Cru “Beauroy,” whole clusters of fruit, a warmer fermentation & fermentation in large foudres amount to a richer style for the region. Acidity is present, but not a punch. This wine is an experience to drink, with a long life ahead of it as well. If you’ve never had a Pacalet wine, DO IT NOW. – Bambi Ray, Sales Manager

Taylor Fladgate 40 Yr. Reserve Tawny Port $219.99

The Taylor Fladgate is at the pinnacle of Tawnies. It’s a pale amber color with toffee, raisin, and woodsy aromas. On the palate, it’s lost much of its baby fat with concentrated flavors of dried figs, walnuts, burnt sugar, and a Madeira-like nuttiness. For those nights when you want to cap off the evening with something special. – Amy Miller, Wine & Spirits Consultant

 

SPIRITS

Lustau Red Vermut $19.96

We’ve come to know vermouth as a mere supporting actor in martinis. Thanks to Spain, however, it’s getting its due as a star in its own right. Even in cocktails, it has taken on more of a starring role. The Yayo, a specialty of an old vermouth bar in Madrid, is a mix of sweet red vermouth, gin, lemon, and seltzer. Lustau’s is a perfect choice for this with an extra hint of sweetness, while its rich undertones of dried fruit, nuts, and spice really shine through. – Amy Miller, Wine & Spirits Consultant

Lot No. 40 Canadian Rye Whisky $37.76

Delivering everything you want and expect from high-quality rye and more, the Lot No. 40 Canadian Rye from Ontario is simply excellent. After developing some buzz and notoriety in the 1990s and early 00s, it was actually discontinued to the dismay of its early fans. It was thankfully re-released in 2012 by Pernod-Ricard, and tastebuds across North America are once again able to indulge in its greatness. The mashbill is 90% rye and 10% malted rye, so it’s a spicy customer. Clove, pepper, and cinnamon please the nose, while the palate is replete with caramel, spiced brown sugar, and dried vanilla. – Marc Mousky, Wine & Spirits Consultant

Four Pillars Off Broadway Gin $39.96

This is a very Australian gin. You will find the classics (juniper, coriander, cardamom), but the flavor profile here is dominated by native botanicals. Finger limes (highly recommend looking these up if you aren’t familiar, they are wild) bring zesty citrus, and you taste local mint, macadamia nut, lemon myrtle, and kumquat. The flavors give an herbal edge to a fruit-laden gin cobbler and play very well with nuttiness and salinity in a Martini where you swap Vermouth for Fino Sherry. But the possibilities are endless. – Jon Miner, Wine & Spirits Consultant

Letherbee Fernet $41.96

Their fernet is the real feather in Letherbee’s cap. I tasted it back to back with Fernet Branca and this blows it completely out of the water. Lusciously rich in texture, it has everything you want and like in a fernet: an invigorating mint and eucalyptus backbone, notes of birch and cola, and hints of dark chocolate and spices. What sets this apart from other fernet is how smooth, subtle, and balanced it is, with no one flavor overpowering the others. Real tasty stuff from one of Chicago’s premier distilleries. – Marc Mousky, Wine & Spirits Consultant

Starward Astor Barrel Australian Whisky $84.96

How fascinating it is to see a barrel’s original contents reflected in the subsequent spirits stored inside. Case in point: This fantastic Starward exclusive bottling, aged entirely in French oak casks that once contained one of Australia’s benchmark wines. There’s definitely a fruit-forward nose, including raspberries and dried strawberries. Don’t let this put you off because there’s oh so much more in store. In fact, this is somewhat reminiscent of Armagnac, so if that spirit is your typical go-to, then this should be on your shortlist to try. Soft, worn leather, graham crackers, and warming vanilla underpin the fruity aromas, and the palate…it’s superb. – Bambi Wray, Wine & Spirits Consultant

Ki No Bi Kyoto Dry Gin $75.96

Kyoto distillery is the country’s first gin distillery, started only in 2016. Right out of the gate they created a gin that sets a high bar. This is still a London Dry style with Juniper taking center stage, but it’s well-integrated into its supporting a cast of mostly local Japanese botanicals: Sansho berries, Gyokuro green tea leaves, Yuzu, Bamboo, Hinoki wood shavings. The rice-based spirit lends a soft, silky, luxurious feel, carrying notes of citrus, ginger, juniper, and herbs. – Amy Miller, Wine & Spirits Consultant

Mr Black Single Origin Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur $49.96

Developed by Tom Baker & Philip Moore, this is the second release from their indie distillery down under. It’s a match made in heaven (actually Australia) that combines two things Aussies love – coffee & alcohol. There’s a real depth of flavor to this liqueur. It presents a hint of espresso bitterness rounded out by dark fruit & just a hint of dark cacao sweetness. Oh yeah, and caffeine. What’s not to love? Serve alone or try it in a Cold Fashioned. It can only up your bar game. – Bambi Ray, Sales Manager

Whiskies of Scotland Clynelish 18 Scotch $134.96

Whiskies of Scotland: Clynelish 1995 debunked my poor opinion of Highland Scotch. When I sat down to taste, I’ll admit that I was skeptical. I expected a palate of dainty fruit and maybe some oak and salt notes, but my assumptions were far from the truth. I found subtle notes of tropical fruit, smoked salt, caramel, and lasting wood spice. All of this served on a surprisingly silky texture. This whisky has quickly leaped to the top of my “To-Buy” list. – Sam Davies, Wine & Spirits Consultant

Half-Bottle of Rochelt Morello Cherry Eau de Vie $299.96

Cherries are often thought of as something sweet and simple, one bite and you’re done. Rochelt has made a brandy that is very much the opposite. Aromas of dry tobacco, crushed black cherry skins, and rose petals leap out of the glass. The palate contains savory spices, bitter mint, and crisp sour cherries. Chew on these bold flavors and see cherries in a whole new light. – Sam Davies, Wine & Spirits Consultant