Harvesting Gifts This Season



We’ve all heard “It’s the thought that counts.” But when it comes to giving gifts, good intentions go only so far. Here are some tips for efficient wine and spirit gift-giving this year.

Pssst! Back here. A number of established retailers in Westchester have special collections of the proverbial good stuff. Zachys (16 E Parkway, Scarsdale 800-723-0241; zachys.com) is loaded with collectibles; a half-bottle of Château d’Yquem 2000 Sauternes runs $250. Suburban Wines & Spirits (379 Downing Dr, Yorktown Heights 914-962-3100; suburbanwines.com) and Westchester Wine Warehouse (53 Tarrytown Rd, White Plains 914-824-1400; westchester wine.com) both sport chambers of trophy bottles, e.g., a classic Château Montelena 2004 Napa Cabernet for $125 at the former, the extremely hard-to-find Oregon Pinot Noir called Dusky Goose for $74.99 at the latter. Gently aged gems await in the back room at Aries Wines & Spirits (128 W Post Rd, White Plains 914-946-3382; arieswines.com); a 1983 Warre’s Port for $90 is a steal. And the wines are in one room at Rochambeau Wines and Liquors (389 Broadway, Dobbs Ferry 914-693-0034; rochambeauwines.com), but the browser will find a bevy of stocking-stuffers (half-bottles) from Pol Roger Champagne to Robert Sinskey organic Pinot Blanc.

Beware the box. No, not the boxed wine, the cheesy gift boxes that sprout up every ’tis-the season. Who needs a pair of ceramic demitasses anyway? At Mount Kisco Wines & Spirits (195 N Bedford Rd, Mount Kisco 914-666-5255; mtkiscowines.com), proprietor John Bueti notes that there are some exceptions each year. This year, he’s stocked up on a handsome gift box of Grey Goose vodka with a professional-grade cocktail shaker for about the same price as a bottle ($34).

Price is no object. Another happy result of the current wine boom is the delicious reality that excellent wine can be found at multiple price points. At Mount Kisco Wines & Spirits, for example, you can pick up a nice Pinot Noir for $20 (Bear Boat), $30 (Ponzi), or $65 (Hirsch). Malbec shoppers can get the standard (Pascual Toso, $11) or the upgrade (Amancaya, $20). Want to take advantage of the great 2005 Bordeaux vintage? Check out Château Fantin at $14, Moueix Pomerol at $28 or Château Phélan-Segur at $55.

Be confident and creative. Overall quality is so high that you can feel confident doing the unthinkable: judging wine by its label. Let impulses and intuition lead you to bottles that really fit the recipients. Have some equestrian-minded giftees? At Bedford Wine Merchants (24 Village Green, Bedford 888-315-8333; bedford wines.com), in the heart of Westchester’s horse country, you can grab a bottle of Bridlewood Syrah, Iron Horse Cabernet, or Havens “Bourriquot” (slang for a horse with its own mind); each about $35. Surf the shelves and you are also apt to come up with labels just right for passionate golfers, sailors, fly fishermen, dog lovers, artists, cyclists, gardeners, and more.