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DECEMBER 9, 2006
Daily Variety
Don't hate me because I'm beautiful
by Dana Harris

Drink VLife Weekend
variety magazine
When in doubt as to what to give, wine and booze can be great fallback gifts. However, they're also prone to seem thouhtless if your host doesn't appreciate wine or already has enough premium vodka to start his own caviar bar. That's why, sometimes, it's what on the outside that counts. V Life weekend went in search of the shiniest bottles we could find and found a few so attactive that the package becomes the gift: the contents are almost incidental. Many bottles are also limited editions, which can give a gift another boost. When all else fails, literally pick up a few wine bottles and choose the heaviest one. thicker glass offers more protection from heat and light, which probably means the bottle contains something worth protecting. If it feels like it could double as a weapon," says Lodge Steakhouse sommelier Caitlin Stanbury "that's something that reeks of quality." Some of our recommendations are found at Mel and Rose Wine and Spirits in West Hollywood California: 1990 La Grand Dame Veuve Clicquot -Champagne mounted in a Plexiglas case with leather handles, designed by Louis Vuitton.Scarcity: This specialty item was released to celebrate the millennium, but another six years in the bottles does only nice thins to a Grand Dame. Price: A magnum (1.5l) is $500 and $850 for the rose; for the jeroboam (3litter), it's $1360 and $1960.Exclusive at Mel and Rose Wine & Spirits. Another is Poland's Wyborowa single estate rye vodka - A sleek and curvilinear crystal tower, designed by Frank Gehry for the 2004 Oscar attendees. And Finaly, La Grand Dame Veuve Cliquote Pucci bottle - champagne wrapped in a Pucci diving suit can keep any wine cool for up to two hours. Only at Mel and Rose Wine Wine & Spirits.