A Hamptons Gift-Giving Guide For The Food, Wine, And Spirit LoverThe Perfect Presents For The Sophisticated Palates In Your Life
Finding the perfect gift for that special person in your life can feel like a scene out of Goldilocks; sometimes, nothing feels quite right. But what food, wine, and spirit enthusiast wouldn’t appreciate a wistful reminder of the East End’s bounty? At this most wonderful time of the year, consider the gift of taste. The Hamptons is, after all, teeming with delicious foods, wines, and spirits that make excellent gifts for even the most discerning of palates.
Although their Amagansett outpost closes earlier, the farmers behind Balsam Farms intend to keep their new Montauk storefront open through Christmas, meaning that the gift-giver can choose from an impressive offering of pantry items. Balsam makes their own pickles from the produce they harvest. The list—which includes green beans, asparagus, and salty and sweet cucumber pickles, to name a few—feels endless. For a DIY gift package, grab a bottle of Balsam’s bloody Mary mix and fill a basket with other Sunday brunch accouterment, like house made hot sauce and pickled beans.
In 2014, Montauk natives Tom Ciccariello, Mike Demasco, and Skylar Gardell-Gross decided to start a whiskey label, one that produced aged whiskies with a kick. The result, the popular Montauk Hard Label (which is available in a 3-year-aged original flavor, as well as in blueberry and peach), is a full-bodied, creamy whiskey that any locavore spirit lover will appreciate. Pick up a bottle at East Hampton’s Park Place Wine & Spirits and pair your gift with a set of monogrammed stemless wine glasses from the hamlet’s iconic store, The Monogram Shop.
Cheese lovers will be thrilled by any combination of cheeses gifted from Bridgehampton’s Mecox Bay Dairy, where the Ludlow family produces raw cows’ milk cheeses. The Farmhouse Cheddar is aged for eight months and reveals a surprising complexity, while the decadent Atlantic Mist—billed as a cross between Brie and Camembert—is earthy and rich. But the showstopper, arguably, is the dairy’s Mecox Sigit, an Alpine-style cheese that is aged for two years and that displays all of the nuances of great cheese. Supplement your cheese basket with a house made kielbasa from Sag Harbor’s Cromer’s Market, an under-the-radar holiday pick.
At Pierre’s Market in Bridgehampton, a classic is served at the holidays: Buche de Noël, otherwise known as Yule Logs, which are available for special order. Choose between a 7- and 11-inch cake, which can be made in flavors like coffee, chocolate, and Grand Marnier. Logs are adorned with dried fruit, nougatine, and shaped meringue, a true treat for the devoted sugar lover.
Of course, bubbly is always en vogue at the holidays, and a wine from Sagaponack’s Wölffer Estate Vineyard is never a mistake. The 2014 Noblesse Oblige, the winery’s current release of the méthode champenoise sparkling rosé, is a heady blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Merlot, and offers a clean, refined palate that is perfect with food—or without