It's tradition to make sure to grab a bottle of wine for the party host. Whether it's somethign to add to the meal, or a bottle they can open up and enjoy afterwards, wine is usually a welcome gift. But, what type to get and where?
Here are 9 local stores with a knowledgable staff to help you find wine to suit your tastes:
* Top Shelf Wine & Spirits: This Hauppauge liquor store has a wide selection of wines sorted by region and type. Top Shelf has its own section featuring the bottles from Long Island wineries including Pindar, Long Island Meadery and others. Ask the owner for a bit of help finding a perfect bottle, and you'll find expert advice.
* 347 Wine and Spirits: This family-owned wine shop sells a variety of wine and hard liquor. Like their Facebook page to hear of discounts and learn new drink recipes.
* Spirit Locker – Located at 1257 Veterans Highway in Hauppauge, this wine and liquor store is tucked away in the Walbaums shopping center and offers a variety of liquors, but about 60 percent of the inventory is wine.
* Exit 55 Liquors: Exit 55 Liquors opened this year in the Motor Parkway Plaza off Long Island Expressway Exit 55 in Hauppauge. This store offers a delivery service that will drop off wine to your house seven days a week within an hour. Call up and place the order via telephone: Sundays to Thursdays, noon to 8 p.m.; Friday and Saturdays, noon to 10 p.m.
* Long Island Wine & Spirit Merchants: This liquor store in Commack's Northgate Shopping Center offers coupons to save shoppers a few dollars. It has beautiful gift baskets and the staff is very knowledgeable. They offer wine tastings and host special guest appearances; check their website for scheduled events.
* Commack Liquors Store: Commack Liquors is located in the Mayfair Shopping Center at 2020 Jericho Turnpike. There you will find a great selection of wines to choose from, from Pinot noir to champagne for New Year's Eve.
* Figari's Wine & Liquor: This family owned and operated storefront is at the heart of Smithtown, located in Waldbaum's shopping center at 126 E Main Street. You will find everything you need for the holidays.
* The Wine Guy: Located at 220 W. Main Street in Smithtown, this store is known for its product selection that includes a wide variety of wines, vodka, tequila, vermouth, gin, whiskey and other spirits.
* Vanderbilt Fine Wine & Spirits: More like a liquor boutique than a store, Vanderbilt will create a custom gift basket for you. In addition to their fine selection of top shelf liquors, they cater to their customer's needs. Vanderbuilt is ocated at 42 Vanderbilt Motor Parkway in Commack.