When it comes to giving the perfect holiday gift, nothing beats a bottle of good stuff. To find the top picks to fit any budget, we consulted the experts at Harrison Wine Vault, Wine at Five in Rye, and Wine Geeks in Armonk.
Here are the best sparkling wines, whiskies, and wild-card selections to gift this year, whether you’re working on a shoestring $25 budget, at a mid-range $50 price point, of want to splurge on a $100 bottle.
Parigot & Richard ‘Blanc de Blancs’ Cremant de Bourgogne NV, $27.99
This organically grown sparkler from Burgundy delivers all the nuance of Champagne for half the price, with creamy notes of pear, green apple, peach and lemon, and nuances of violets, toasted hazelnuts and macaroons. —Carol and Derek Todd, Wine Geeks, Armonk
photo by Carol Todd
Evan Williams Single Barrel Bourbon, $29.99
These days there are tons of whiskey options. We find this bourbon to be a top value coming out of Kentucky. From milling to distilling, every step uses local ingredients. The result is smooth, rich, and really easy to enjoy. —Anthony and Carly D’Arpino, Harrison Wine Vault, Harrison
Domaine Vincent Paris, Vins de Pays des Collines, Rhodaniennes 2018, $19
An Outstanding Rhone wine from master winemaker Vincent Paris of Cornas, whose reds sell for $200+ and are highly sought after by collectors.
Paris also owns a small holding in Crozes Hermitage, where the grapes for this wine come from, and decided to declassify this wine, [which offers] the earthiness and complexity of a famed Cornas, and the robust, richness of a Northern Rhone — at a fraction of the price. —Cai Palmer, Wine at Five, Rye
Champagne R.H. Coutier Tradition Brut, A Ambonnay NV, $55
An exquisite, small production Champagne with all the richness that is typical of Ambonnay and classic chardonnay flavors. A layer of crushed mineral adds a raciness and vibrancy that makes this Champagne truly special. —Cai Palmer, Wine at Five, Rye
Far North Spirits ‘Roknar’ Minnesota Rye Whiskey, $52.99
This artisanal, small-production whiskey distilled from all estate-grown, non-GMO grains is the perfect bottle to complete the collection of the whiskey enthusiast on your list, and odds are, you’ll be introducing them to their new favorite rye. —Carol and Derek Todd, Wine Geeks, Armonk
photo by Carol Todd
El Dorado 15-Year-Old Rum, $49.99
This rum makes an awesome gift. It has long been acknowledged as the Caribbean’s premier rum and has continuously won major awards over the past decade, [including being] rated as the best rum in the world at the International Wine & Spirits Competition. It’s a fine, Cognac-like rum: intriguing, complex, and perfect for sipping straight or on the rocks. —Anthony and Carly D’Arpino, Harrison Wine Vault, Harrison
Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé, $82
Banish any thought of the Yellow Peril, this is what Champagne should taste and look like. Billecart-Salmon is the house that put rosé Champagne back on the map. There is no better. Utterly profound in every sense, it’s delicate, floral and elegant, from the palest crimson hue and the soft, evocative mousse to the palate of fresh, white stone fruit, crushed stone, and hint of framboise. —Cai Palmer, White at Five, Rye.
Ichiro Malt & Grain Whisky, $105.99
Ichiro is really interesting and appealing for both the novice and seasoned whiskey drinker. With the popularity of Japanese whiskey, coupled with the high-demand and short supply, this whiskey is sure to impress. A blend of five different whiskies from around the world, it is unique, approachable, and a great bottle to add to a collection. —Anthony and Carly D’Arpino, Harrison Wine Vault, Harrison
Tosba ‘Pechuga’ Mezcal 2017, $84.99
Mezcal is experiencing a renaissance among Tequila lovers, but this one is a truly special experience, made when a finished mezcal is redistilled with local fruits, grains and nuts, along with a chicken or turkey breast hung above the still, slowly cooking in the emanating vapors adding to the spirit’s final flavor. The result is incredibly nuanced and uniquely delicious. —Carol and Derek Todd, Wine Geeks, Armonk
Harrison Wine Vault
289 Halstead Ave
Wine at Five
1 Elm Pl
559 Main St
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