Wine is a gift that never disappoints, no matter how well you know the person you’re buying for. The key is choosing an interesting, unpredictable cast of characters. Familia Mayol Lujan de Cuyo Malbec 2008 balances intense Malbec grapes and the essence of the soils found in the region. About $19. St. Innocent Pinot Noir Villages Cuvee 2007 with aromas of spice and black cherry, cherry cola, black raspberry and mineral notes is complex with a long finish. About $24. Shafer One Point Five, Napa Valley Stags Leap 2006 has a big blast of elegant, structured and complex Stag’s Leap District Cabernet that will age for a decade or so. About $75. Baton Chardonnay Charles Heintz Vineyard Sonoma 2006 is reminiscent of some of the world’s top Burgundies at a fraction of the price. About $50. All available at Hamptons Wine Shoppe—see them online. They ship almost anywhere!
Chefs and foodies the world over know that if you need a basic but well-made Skillet, Dutch Oven, Grill Pan or a Covered Casserole, the thermal characteristics of cast iron cookware make it an ideal vessel to prepare all manner of cuisine. Tennessee-based Lodge has been making them since 1896 and they are ubiquitous in the American kitchen. Signature Series 10” Skillet, $60, Signature Series 4 ½ qt. Dutch Oven, $125, Signature Series 12” Grill Pan, $84, Signature Series 2 ½ qt. Covered Casserole, $142 at http://www.lodgemfg.com. This is good, honest cookware in the style of sturdy, American craftsmanship that doesn’t disappoint.
These limited edition knives are an example of cutlery as high art. They commemorate Zwilling J.A. Henckels’ nearly 3 centuries of existence, and are forged with Cronidur Stainless Steel and sport a Makassar Ebony handle. The Chef’s Knife and Santoku Knife are $450 each, the Bread Knife is $400, the Slicing Knife is $350, the Paring Knife is $300, and the whole set is $2,400 at http://www.surlatable.com.
Vervacious Voyage Inspired Fancy Foods are offering interesting variations on Balsamic vinegar, a carefully crafted and revered Italian condiment. Try the Spiced Balsamic Reduction for a more traditional flavor or dare to experiment with the Espresso Balsamic Drizzle or Chocolate Balsamic. Each are $12, and are also available together in a special crate for $36. http://www.shop.vervacious.com.
Art lover? Tequila lover? Hybrid? Proximo Spirits has turned bottles of super-premium Agave Silver 1800 Tequila into showcases for 11 up-and-coming artists from across the US for the second straight year. Brooklynite Ian McGillivray was one of the chosen among 15,000 and his “Infinity” (shown here) is one of the works gracing the limited edition bottles. Retail: $25. http://www.1800tequila.com.
Give your special Scotch lover something to rejoice about—better yet, make it a double. For a distinguished single malt Scotch, choose Glenrothes Vintage 1985. Slow distillation plays a big part in its fruity, chocolate/coffee taste and creamy mouthfeel. Retail: $120. http://www.theglenrothes.com. Johnnie Walker Blue Label is the highest expression of a blended Scotch, rare and individually numbered. Added bonus: Custom bottle engraving to commemorate your sentiments. Retail: About $275. http://www.us.johnniewalker.com.
Guess style is unapologetically bold, adventurous, sexy and independent. It’s an explosion of style everyone loves and wants to wear. Not sure about sizes? Treat your special someone to any one, or all, of these accessories and s/he will know that’s how you see them. Men can enjoy the studded belt, black and copper tone watch, tag necklace and sunglasses with jeans or casual professional styles that take him well into the after-hours. Ladies’ handbags, belts and watches are exciting pieces that add glamour to jeans dressed up with the hottest (and highest) heels. Guess stores can be found in all LI Simon Malls, or you can shop online for the convenience of having it all a click away.
Ron Rizzo is the perfect place to shop for the Holidays. All pieces are hand created at the studio. Designs are brought to life by Ron Rizzo himself, the visionary who draws inspiration from his passion and love for jewelry. Featured are some of their recommended gift ideas for the season. The Oversize Silver Scroll Ring with 1.12 carats of blue sapphires, a Ron Rizzo Signature hand woven silver cuff also available in gold, from the leather collection a flower rave bracelet bejeweled with blue topaz and sapphires, and the Marrakesh Scroll Necklace with green tourmaline, yellow sapphire and citreen chain. Prices range $295—$2200. The Ron Rizzo jewelry design boutique and manufacturing headquarters are located at 62 Glen Cove Road, East Hills. Call (516)484-0030. And be sure to visit their website at http://www.ronrizzo.com where shopping online is now available!
Vivité skin care combines glycolic acid with other natural antioxidants to form a formula matrix that deeply penetrates skin and provides a rapidly accelerated rate of healthy skin cell regeneration. Glycolic acid lifts hyperpigmentation (age spots), acne scarring, actinic keratosis, keratosis pilaris, hyperkeratosis, seborrheic keratosis, and wrinkles, while improving the condition and appearance of skin with enlarged pores. These results translate into beautiful glowing skin unmatched by other skin care regimes. In addition to the beautiful facial results you will see, glycolic acid can be used over the entire body to maintain skin tone and give complete rejuvenation. Available at Long Island BeautyMD—Where Your Beautiful Skin and Body Begin! Call (631) 751-0542 or visit http://www.longislandbeautymd.com.
Give the gift that will be remembered long after the holidays: A therapeutic massage at Atlantis Health Network. The holidays are a happy but hectic time of year when we find ourselves with our arms aching and backs breaking from heavy chores. Stress and tension will slip away under the skilled hands of an experienced, licensed massage therapist. Professional skin care, body treatments, and day spa packages also available. Call (631) 584-2323 or visit the instant on-line gift certificates store at http://www.atlantishn.com.
Probably the closest you can come to visiting the dentist—on a daily basis. The Phillips Sonicare Flexcare+ has a patented cleaning method to get in all the crevasses and has five modes that specialize in gum cleaning, a full mouth clean, gentleness for sensitive teeth or a massage, respectively. It also comes with a UV brush sanitizer, timer and brush heads aplenty. $190 at http://www.store.philips.com.
Most men wear a suit everyday, limiting the ways they can herald personal style, taste and status. Watchwear is a symbol of not just who a man is, but where he’s been. A timepiece that speaks to class, sophistication, experience, precision and supreme engineering is a reflection of the man himself. And price is not always the marker. From the gold standards, like Rolex and Ebel, to the more modest, like Swatch and Seiko, a watch gives him a gift that gives and gives and gives. These pieces and more available at Rose Jewelers (Southampton & Patchogue). http://www.rosejeweler.net
There’s nothing better for a little one than cozying up in a hand-knit sweater. Sweaters by Lee feature cute 3D animals or kid-friendly themes like boats and hearts. Ten percent of all sales are donated to LI Cares and Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, a division of the American Cancer Society. These are one-of-a-kind boutique-style treasures for a bargain: $45-$60 at http://www.sweatersbylee.com. Oh! And they are machine washable!
The NHL hockey video games issued by EA Sports are the benchmark of the industry. Each year the graphics and gameplay have improved and 2010 is no exception. Choose your team, and watch the (virtual) ice fly. Available for Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. $48 at eastore.ea.com. Where the Wild Things Are has become an adventure video game based on the movie. You are Max as you race across varying terrains and receive help from a plethora of Wild Things. Available for Nintendo DS for $30, Nintendo Wii for $40, and Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 for $50 at gamestop.com. The Shadow 6 Playstation 3 controller features a comfortable analog stick configuration with convenient triggers. It is wireless and has Rumble technology, which lets you really feel the game. $50 at http://www.dreamgear.net.
Since the early eighties, Swatch has been storming the watchwear industry with technologically advanced watches that also fit the fun, colorful lifestyles their consumers are drawn to. The same is especially true of their kids’ line, which is always a big hit for kids who know: Time is fun. This season, familiar characters adorn watches in the same, reliable, though far from predictable, style Swatch has become synonymous with. Shown here for boys and girls, available at Rose Jewelers (Southampton & Patchogue). http://www.swatch.com.
Fore! The golf lover on your list will love practicing at home with this nifty net/turf tee set. Perfect for any level, the 10’ wide and 8’ tall net has a strong but light fiberglass frame and a sturdy nylon net to receive the most epic drives. The turf tee is a stable, fully adjustable surface that keeps the backyard divot-free. $100 at http://www.sportsauthority.com.
The Specialized S-Works Tricross Carbon can cross the toughest terrain but also provides a smooth ride on regular surfaces. It combines a lightweight carbon frame, sturdy SpeedZertz forks and Houffalize Pro tires. $5500 at fine bike shops. For cycling through muddy hills and dales in inclement weather, Castelli’s line of rain jackets are par excellence. The unique design of the Dublino (men’s) and Amazzonia (women’s) jacket protects from outer moisture while providing top-notch ventilation. $160 each at http://www.realcyclist.com.
Love a rebel, buy a Gravesend Motorcycle. Whether you’re shopping for that most special someone, or cashing in the holiday bonus for yourself, this is the bike of your dreams. Founded by the world-renowned master builder Copper Mike, a Gravesend chopper is hand built to meet your specs. Engineering starts with Harley Davidson parts, nodding to the power and authenticity of the mechanics. The design is not only authoritative, but one-of-a-kind, from hand stitched seats, to custom detailed embellishments to precious metal encaustic (like 14k gold, platinum, and yes, copper). Whether it’s for an aficionado or a newcomer, a custom Gravesend Motorcycle defies imagination like no other. Love a rebel. http://www.gravesendcycles.com.
Give a gift that turns that turn back the hands of time. Consider a gift certificate from J SPA Medical Day Spa or the New York Center for Facial Plastic & Laser Surgery in Great Neck. Both operate under the steerage of Dr. Andrew Jacono, a leading Dual Board Certified Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon. At J SPA, Dr. Jacono offers a variety of non-surgical anti-aging services ranging from Botox, Juvederm and Radiesse, to peels, and laser treatments. Gift certificates for products and services at J SPA Medical Day Spa and the New York Center for Facial Plastic & Laser Surgery are available in all denominations. Call (516) 773-4646 or visit 440 Northern Blvd, Great Neck. http://www.jspamedspa.com, http://www.newyorkfacialplasticsurgery.com.
There’s very little difference between the naughty and nice—one of them just might have a little more fun than the other. If you’re shopping for a special, intimate gift that will make your lover feel sublime (and do wonders for you), Guilty Pleasures in Westbury is the only stop you’ll need to make. They carry fine intimates and novelties. Their premier lingerie includes La Perla, Betsey Johnson, Cosa Bella, Ed Hardy, Jezebel, Hanky Panky and more. They also feature an extensive line of luxury accessories, sleepwear and anything you could think of for that private party you’re planning. Plus, their line of best selling books and games might give you a few ideas, too. Guilty Pleasures offers all the sophistication and choices of an upscale department store but with the discretion, unique style and personal attention of a private boutique. Visit 915 Merrick Ave, off Old Country Rd, or call (516) 227-6969 for details.
Looking for luxurious skincare products with medical-grade results? LI’s renowned facial plastic surgeon Dr. James Marotta developed this unique skin care line in 3 strengths to help women and men achieve a more youthful and healthy complexion. Individual products range from $13—$90. The complete 6-piece kit is $170—$195, depending on strength. Call Marotta Facial Placstic Surgery at (631) 982-2022 or visit http://www.marottamd.com.
Since opening its doors in a very chic, very swank, renovated historic bank in central Bay Shore, Drew Patrick has been a gem for its clients. Featuring the best in spa, fitness and lifestyle gifts and furnishings, Drew Patrick guests quickly convert into loyal followers. If you’re not sure what to get that special someone on your list, a gift certificate here won’t go to waste—whether it’s a close loved one or a professional contact you want to thank for a good year. Gift certificates can be redeemed for day spa treatments, medical spa procedures, fitness and yoga classes, the home store or the café. http://www.drewpatrickspa.com.
Shopping for a natural beauty? The Eminence Organic Skin Care line offers a truly exquisite experience with products that are so natural you can smell the real herbs and see the fresh fruit pulps and seeds. The philosophy is focused on keeping it simple and natural. Skin care solutions featured here, $12—$39 each. Eminence is available at Polished, The Skincare Lounge, based in Bayport and at http://www.polishedskincare.com, (631) 218-5888.
How a person feels is often written all over their face. This holiday season, give that special someone the gift of feeling their best with a gift certificate to Laser Cosmetica. With locations throughout New York, Great Neck, Miami and Philadelphia, an appointment can be scheduled for laser hair removal, Titan skin tightening, skin rejuvenation and other advanced skin care when and where it fits any schedule. Laser Cosmetica’s holiday promotion offers 50% off any package so your gift can go that much further. http://www.lasercosmetica.com.
Alexander Graham Bell’s mind would be blown by the technology in today’s phones, but you’re shopping for a Here-and-Now hipster. Check out the Blackberry Storm 2 Smartphone. All the usual trappings are available—web browser, 3.2 megapixel camera and a sharp screen, but the Storm 2 also features the newest iteration of SurePress technology, which makes the virtual keyboard more responsive and accurate and it also has expanded WiFi capabilities. $179-$539 (depending on the contract) at http://www.verizonwireless.com. And it works great with 2D technology.
Whether perched precariously on a frozen mountain ridge or ocean wave, the Go Pro Camera Wrist Hero can capture the moment. Yes, it’s a camera. It boasts high quality resolution, a shockproof/waterproof housing and can be worn like a watch. $140 at http://www.goprocamera.com.
We love Cablevision, honest we do, but Apple TV brings your at-home viewing pleasure to a whole new level—think HD TV on Red Bull. Browse through endless titles of movies that you can rent (approx $5) or buy (approx $10). This little box can store up to 200 hours of video and travel with you so you can take your movies on the go. As if that’s not enough, you can use it to browse YouTube, your iTunes library, photos and other media stored on your computer. Set up takes under 5 minutes: fit the 2 plugs in, logon to your network and access iTunes. This is the best of home entertainment, media and web. $229, http://www.apple.com.
The Canon FS200 Digital Video Camcorder with Flash Memory combines light weight (7.9 oz.), with the high resolution DIGIC DV II Image Processor and image stabilization. The Canon Power Shot SD960 IS has Digital ELPH, a suite of features that enables HD video recording, the creation of sharp and colorful pictures and much more. Both are $300 at http://www.shop.usa.canon.com.
Burgeoning Paparazzi? National Geographic wannabes? Capture the moment! The Nikon Coolpix S1000PJ is the world’s first digital camera with a built-in projector. Along with 12.1-megapixel resolution, it is capable of throwing a bright 5-inch image from 10 inches away and up to a 40-inch image from 6 feet away. $430. With the Coolpix S230, you can be fashion forward and tech savvy at once. It comes in five colors and features 10-megapixel resolution and the new EXPEED image processor, which provides a leap forward in color and sharpness. $200. The Coolpix S70’s key feature is the Touch Panel OLED, which gives touchscreen access to camera and picture preview settings. $350. http://www.nikonusa.com.
Those who love to write the old fashioned way, with pens and pencils, know: Kate’s Paperie is the leader in world-class paper paraphernalia. Perfect as stocking stuffers or for secret Santa, there’s something for everyone: Leather-bound journals for him, stationary and note cards for her, and whimsical paper items for the little ones. They also offer customized printing for invitations and personalized stationary. http://www.katespaperie.com.
Shopping for a chocoholic? Someone you don’t know well? A bon vivant used to the best? Either of these are sure to please. Taza chocolate is about as authentic as it gets, stone ground organic chocolate with cacao from the Dominican Republic and sugar from Brazil. There are the conventional (Vanilla Bean, Salted Almond) and the daring (Guajillo Chili!). Taza also gets props for treating their suppliers well and staying as green as possible. $4.50-$99 at http://www.tazachocolate.com. Bella’s Confections Gourmet Fudge is made fresh in California and shipped within 72 hours after its creation. They offer classic chocolates and dark chocolates plain or with a variety of nuts and flavorings, seasonal fudges like peppermint stick bark as well as vanilla and peanut butter choices galore. $10-$13 at http://www.bellasconfections.com.