BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (MainStreet) -- With the holiday gifting season inevitably comes a tide of festively wrapped bottles of wine and spirits traded throughout offices and businesses across the country. Bosses and clients will splurge on showier brands and fancier vintages, while gifts among peers and co-workers will include more obscure bottles likely requiring a Google search. For those who don't know the difference from their Malbec and Margaux, here are some lessons to heed this gifting season.
Serious wine connoisseurs who buy wines at auction find an everyday gifting oasis with Sotheby's Wine, a retail wine merchant launched in May 2009 as part of the famous auction house. Sotheby's Wine has a retail store at the Sotheby's headquarters in New York (72nd St. and York) in addition to its retail Web site (comprehensive and refreshingly well designed compared with other online wine retailers).
Jamie Ritchie, CEO of Sotheby's Wine and curator of the experience, offers some essential wine picks and tips for holiday gifting: For those looking to impress the boss, "keep it under $300, and for that you can get a Champagne Krug Vintage Brut 1998 ($250) or Roederer Cristal 2004 ($259) that are perfect for someone who does not know much about wine." For the boss that's a true wine connoisseur, there's the Chateau Pichon Lalande 1996 ($295). "You cannot go wrong with a second-growth Bordeaux," Ritchie says.
As for important client gifts or those looking to expand their own wine cellar for investment, "You really want to buy a case of 12 bottles of wine," Ritchie advises. "Buy a top-level 2010 'future,' which is wine that is still in barrel in Bordeaux and will be bottled and shipped in 2013." One specific recommendations is a case of Chateau Hosanna 2010 ($2,388), which is "one of the impressive Moueix properties and will be outstanding." Ritchie's second recommendation is a case of Chateau Montrose 2010 ($2,676), a second-growth St. Estephe he says will be "fabulous and very long-lived."