Our Favorite $50-and-Under Bottles to Gift
Here's the thing about gifting a bottle of the good stuff: It's always going to get drunk. We asked our editors to choose their favorite extra-special bottle for that extra-special someone in your life. Your friend/work wife/mother-in-law will definitely thank you.
For the Aesthete
Is your boss the kind who loves a good bourbon, but loves it even more if it comes in a bottle that's almost too cool to open? We've got just the gift for you. "Not only is it the coolest bottle, but the bourbon is fantastic," says food director Janet McCracken. It just squeezes in under the $50 mark.
Buy It: Willett Distillery Bourbon Pot Still Reserve, $50 at Arlington Wine
For the World Traveler that Likes Her Tannins
Australia is having a moment right now in fashion and design. So it's no wonder this continent is starting to garner more attention for its food and wines, too. Sourced from 80 growers in the Barossa region, Peter Lehmann Barossa Shiraz is a medium-bodied red with vanilla, plum and black olive aromas. Enjoy a bottle fireside and see if you can detect that ever-so-slight mocha finish.
Buy It: Peter Lehmann Barossa Shiraz, $19 at Grapeswine.com
For the Gin Lover
A Brit recommending an Italian gin?! What? "Trust me!" says Tara Holland, our Food Editorial Assistant who is from across the pond. "It's so fruity and delicious!" Just pair with tonic and grapefruit slices, and get your gin on.
Buy It: Malfy Con Limone Italian Gin, $34 at Astor Wines
For the Wine Connoisseur
You know who this is: They're into things like orange wine, the all-natural, biodynamic stuff, and bottles like this one. "It smells like stinky cheese and tastes like heaven," says executive managing editor Tara Cox.
Buy It: Le Coste Ripazzo Bianco, $28 at Wine Therapy NYC
For the After-Dinner Drinker
Some people love to drink before dinner; some prefer to linger after over a glass of something bitter, sweet, and warming. For the latter, there's this amaro, which, according to creative director Phoebe Flynn Rich, is "the bomb."
Buy It: Forthave Spirits Marseille Amaro, $28 at Astor Wines
For the JD Fan
If you know anybody who is a cinnamon lover, as is our senior production manager Lori Cervone, Jack Daniel's Tennessee Fire is a combination of hot and spicy, and sweet and smooth. "It is great on the rocks, or as a shot straight up."
Buy It: Jack Daniel's Tennessee Fire, $31 at Reserve Bar
For the White Wine Devotee
This pal likes her whites and isn't one to stray from her favorite brand of chardonnay. But when she hears that The Calling's Chardonnay has a "baked brioche" finish, she'll be intrigued no doubt. We were. All that's missing is the cheese! Try this one for a dinner party or holiday cocktails.
Buy It: The Calling Chardonnay 2016, $30 on Wine.com
For the Smooth Criminal
This Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey goes down super smooth and is a top contender for a Secret Santa gift for a certain editor's husband (though we won't say who!).
Buy It: Basil Hayden's Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, $40 on TotalWine.com
For the Host of Your 10th Holiday Party
When you have to buy something small for what feels like a million people, Target is your best friend for staying on budget. Grab a few bottles of California Roots Cab and top each with a 4-pack of Wondershop Wine Hanger Truffles. "You will look like you tried harder and spent way more than the $10 you did," says Lifestyle Director Danielle Blundell. Stock up on your next Target run.
Buy It: California Roots Cabernet Sauvignon, $5 at Target stores
For the Tequila Haters in Your Life
Tequila: You either love it or hate it. But our staff, including a few people in the "hater" camp, seriously couldn't get over how refreshing the small-batch, agave-forward Reposado was. It's a little bit of a splurge but a nice holiday housewarming gift. Stick a red bow on this guy, and you're done.
Buy It: Tequila Avion Reposado, $48 at Caskers
For Your New Year's Toast
Ideal as an aperitif, this bubbly can also go the distance—pairing extremely well with dessert pastries and fruits. It'll be a hit for your New Year's toast, if you don't break into the bottle well before then.
Buy It: Maschio Extra Dry Prosecco, $20 at International Wine Shop
For Your Friend's Bar Cart
"I'm getting my husband a bar cart for Christmas, and this Sagamore Spirit Whiskey is going to be the first bottle we put on it," says one staffer, who will remain anonymous (for the sake of the surprise!). "It's sweet and smooth. And it's pretty enough to be on display."
Buy It: Sagamore Spirit Signature 83-Proof Rye Whiskey, $42 at TotalWine.com