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The Best Wines (And Wine Shops) For Hostess Gifts, Per a Pro Bartender

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 Photo: Courtesy of Sarah Mengoni
Photo: Courtesy of Sarah Mengoni

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When it comes to hostess gifts, a bottle of something stiff is (usually) a pretty safe bet. But which wines and liquors rarely miss the mark? We asked Sarah Mengoni, bartender at South Water Kitchen, to fill us in. Mengoni's cocktails have been featured in Food & Wine, Cosmopolitan, and on the Food Network. Suffice to say, this lady knows her sauce. Here's what she recommends stocking up on this season.

· "Gamay Noir by Michigan winery Chateau Grand Traverse: This is a fabulous bottle of red for a host that knows their way around the vineyard. Available at Lush Wine & Spirits in Roscoe Village."

· "L Mawby's Blanc de Noir: A delicious sparkling from Michigan, this bottle of bubbly is a good holiday bet for a host whose tastes you don't know very well. Available at In Fine Spirits in Andersonville."

· "Snaggle Tooth Coffee Liqueur by Journeyman Distillery: Made right next door in Michigan, this organic coffee liqueur is smooth and velvety. Add it to a base spirit for a nice holiday cocktail or spice up your morning brew. Available at In Fine Spirits in Andersonville."

· "Branded Glass Growler Fill of Daisy Cutter by Half Acre Beer Company: The perfect gift for the beer-loving hostess in your life! This American Pale Ale has a tropical aroma and nice golden orange hue. Available at Half Acre Brewing Store in North Center."

· "Millet Single Barrel Whiskey by Koval Distillery: This whiskey features grains sourced from organic farmers in the Midwest and is perfect for the gluten-free hostess in your life. Pick up the whiskey on premise at their Distillery store in Raveswood and maybe also one of their cute gift packs too! Available at Koval Distillery in Ravenswood."
· Koval Distillery [Official Site]
· Half Acre Beer Company [Official Site]
· In Fine Spirits [Official Site]
· Lush Wine & Spirits [Official Site]