$15 or less
WHAT : Christian Moueix Saint-Emilion 2003 (red), Rating: NNNN
WHERE : Bordeaux, France
WHY : At this spend-iferous time of year there's precious little coming out on the cheap side except precious little ones like this. While Moueix keeps himself busy at a little place called Chteau Pétrus over in Pomerol, he's not doing too badly in Saint Emilion either. This is a really nicely balanced Merlot blend in a half-bottle that'll look great in a stocking.
PRICE : 375 ml/$11.45
AVAILABILITY : At selected Vintages outlets as of December 9 (product #008227)
WHAT : Casillero Del Diablo Carmenère/Sauvignon Blanc gift box, Rating: NNN
WHERE : Central Valley, Chile
WHY : You've got a friend who's just getting into wine. At this point we don't need to be getting all pricey and refined, we just want to broaden some horizons and drink some good stuff. These two are both swell, they come in a nice box and your connoisseur-to-be will say, "Hey I've never tried these before. Thanks."
PRICE : 2 x 750 ml/$23.95
AVAILABILITY : At most liquor stores (product #621326)
Sips and nips
WHAT : The Wild Geese Rare Irish Whiskey, Rating: NNNN
WHERE : Dundalk, Ireland
WHY : Give this to somebody you'll be spending the whole day with. Mention it frequently, move it around a lot, muse upon the label. Eventually, they'll pour you some. Then you can lounge tree-side, smooth, rich whiskey in hand. Soon you'll have such a warm glow on, you'll be a fire hazard.
PRICE : 750 ml/$69.95
AVAILABILITY : At selected Vintages outlets as of December 9 (product #013623)