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Give the gift of a good wine buzz

The holidays are filled with opportunities to give and drink wine. I asked some of the wine experts around town which wines they would suggest in the following categories:

1) As a gift for "The Boss"

2) A bargain wine to kick back with after a day of intense shopping

3) A sparkler for New Year's

4) As a holiday host/hostess gift

5) A cool wine tool gift for the wine aficionado on the list

Here are their suggestions:

Chuck Richards suggests Robert Foley Claret at $125, or Cliff Lede Cabernet Sauvignon for $65 or Mollydooker "The Boxer" Shiraz (Australia) for $24 for the boss; 2. Pillar Box Red for $13.99 or for a white wine, Hugues Beaulieu for $9.99; 3. The classic Veuve Clicquot Rose NV; 4. Newton Red Label Chardonnay for $19.99; 5. The Vinturi Essential Wine Aerator "which enhances the flavor and color of wine when poured through" this device. $39.99.

Reid's Fine Foods, 225 E. Sixth Street, 704.377.1312.

Robert Balsley of Arthur's recommends the following: 1. Silver Oak Alexander Valley 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon for $69.99. "Silver Oak always works."; 2. Tunnel of Elms 2005 Cabernet (California) for $8.99, a wine made by Beringer; 3. Duval-Leroy Brut NV Champagne for $29.99; 4. "For a hostess gift I'd go with white.": Napa Cellars 2006 Chardonnay for $19.99; 5. The Screwpull Leverpull corkscrew for $69.99: "It's a best seller."

Arthur's Wine Shop, in Belk SouthPark Mall, 704-366-8610.

At the Wine Vault, Tim Wallace says, "For the boss? Italians are huge. I'd pick Paolo Scavino Barolo 2003, $55. It's phenomenal with old world charm, a beautiful wine."; 2. Tiamo Pinot Grigio 2006 for $16 -- it's fresh and lively; 3. Bollie, AKA Bollinger, NV Brut Special Cuvée ($50); 4. Oliverhill Winery 2005 Shiraz for $40. "It got 95 on Parker and is a powerful red, very intense."; 5. A glass decanter for $20 with a funnel and filter.

The Wine Vault, 9009 J.M. Keynes Dr. # 1, 704-548-9463.

Dusty Rhodes, the Wine Manager of the Total Wine Independence store, suggests the following: "Got to go with a Bordeaux for the boss. The Chateau Les Tourelles de Longueville (Pauillac) 1995 for $39.99." (This is the second wine of Château Pichon Longueville Baron); 2. To relax: Gazela Vinho Verde 2007 $5.99. "A refreshing Portuguese white wine with fizz." (Fizz is petillant in winespeak.); 3. Graham Beck Brut NV, a sparkling wine from South Africa for $14.99; 4. Farallon 2005 Pinot Noir for $14.99. "Gorgeous with anything."; 5. The bright red Epic Rialto Waiters Corkscrew with the double hinge for $9.99.

Total Wine & More in Matthews, 10052 East Independence Blvd., 704-849-2022.

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