The selection at Vine Wine in Williamsburg defies easy categorization. Sure, they have plenty of biodynamic, natural and organic wines. And yes, they have an entire section dedicated to magnums and other larger format wines (which are the most fun ever to bring to a party). The store also has a stellar selection of wines for $15 and under, a ridiculous amount of sherry, and a small, but gorgeous assortment of liquor. Basically, owner Talitha Whidbee stocks and sells wonderful, carefully made wines and liquors that she loves to drink. Here are a few of their favorite party gifts, special treats and corks to pop right now.
On Saturday, Dec. 22, from 3pm to 6pm Vine will host a free tasting of whiskeys from Breuckelen Distillery, with snacks.
Tatomer Riesling and Gruner Veltliner ($24.95 each )
For a friend who loves offbeat American wines, try something from Tatomer. Graham Tatomer trained as a winemaker in Austria then set up shop in California where he now makes Rieslings and Gruner Veltliners. These two bottles are both elegant, delicious and dry, but still full of fresh, ripe California fruit. Tatomer is part of the new wave of California winemakers who are pushing the boundaries with their grapes and styles, and this gift will please both wine geeks and people who simply love to drink delicious whites. Get both as a sweet gift set.
Pierre Moncuit Champagne ($47.95)
You need a go-to, grown-up champagne for the holiday season. You just do. Whether you've been invited to a fancy party or have a special event to celebrate, this sweetheart will win you over without breaking the bank. Made from organic Chardonnay, the Moncuit is bright and crisp with mountains of tiny, soft bubbles. It's like taking a huge bite of champagne-flavored meringue.
Tant Mieux Sparkling Rosé from Philippe Bornard ($71.95, 1.5L)
When you show up to a party with this you are a hero. When you give a girl a magnum of weird sparkling rosé for Christmas you are a legend. This year, buy Tant Mieux early and often and be both. This wine is from the Jura and made from Poulsard, a local grape, in what is referred to as the Pet Nat style. Basically, no sugar or yeast is added during the fermentation process and the wine is carbonated by sugars from the grape and yeasts from the grape skins and air. Trés natural, trés oddball, trés delicious.
Breuckelen Distillery Wheat Whiskey ($44.95)
Made right here in Brooklyn, this Wheat Whiskey is a breakfasty delight. All warm grain with hints of maple, vanilla and cinnamon, you'll want to pour it on your pancakes. Breuckelen also makes a Rye and Corn Whiskey that comes down on the more savory side. That you'll want to dip your bacon in.
Meadow of Love Absinthe, Delaware Phoenix ($82.95)
You know when you're in love (or lust) with someone new in the early summer and everything is warm and flowery and intoxicating? When even the patchiest grass in the park is like a lush field to lay down in? This absinthe is that in a bottle. Made by Cheryl Lins in her Catskills distillery it's a pretty, floral and fun love potion that should given to and sampled with someone you have great affection for.
Vine Wine is located at 616 Lorimer Street in Williamsburg; open noon to 10pm Monday-Thursday; noon to 11pm Friday and Saturday; noon to 9pm Sundays. Holiday hours: Monday, Dec. 24: 11-8; Tuesday, Dec. 25: Closed; Wednesday, Dec. 26: Closed; Monday, Dec. 31: 11-9;
Tuesday, Jan. 1: 2-10.