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Holiday gifts for the bar, the bookshelf and the cellar

Potable Presents

Will it be a pair of limited-edition crystal champagne flutes? A bottle of cabernet? Or perhaps a neat little gadget designed to preserve leftover wine? There's plenty to choose from this year for the wine lover on your list, and shopping has never been easier: most of the gifts below are available by phone, fax or over the Internet.

1990 Louise Pommery
, ($125) An elegant vintage bubbly with fine, delicate bubbles and lively acidity. Louise is perfect for Christmas or millennium celebrations, or for no occasion at all. Beautifully bottled and boxed, it is a special gift, indeed.

1996 Beringer Knight's Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, ($25) An extraordinary wine with big, berry flavors and excellent structure. It can be enjoyed now, or put in the cellar for years to come.

1997 Hugel Tokay Pinot Gris, Tradition "Hugel,"($23) Perfect for white-wine lovers who may be bored with chardonnay, but who still want a bold, full-bodied wine. Rich and full of personality, with tropical notes and a lingering finish.

1997 Gundlach Bundschu Cabernet Franc, ($20) This medium-bodied red has raspberry hints in the nose and enough acidity to marry well with grilled tuna, salmon or creamy pasta dishes.

1997 Chateau St. Jean Merlot, ($22) A big, full-bodied red that's delightful with roast beef, leg of lamb or loin of venison. Sip it now, or put it down to enjoy in coming years.

1998 Torre Sveva Castel del Mont, ($7.99) This red from Apulia is brimming with ripe plum flavors and hints of spice. Medium-bodied and nicely balanced, affordable and easy to love.

"Champagne for Dummies"
by Ed McCarthy, $16.99. One of the best in the "Dummies" series, this concise paperback will tell you everything you need to know to prepare for a New Year's Eve celebration, what to serve with champagne, and more.

"World Encyclopedia of Cocktails" by Paul Martin, $24.95. This tome is a reference and recipe book for cocktails enjoyed throughout the world. Look for it in bookstores, or order through the Panache catalogue, 1-800-454-6587.

From Colonial Williamsburg, a graceful, handblown martini glass is perfect for gimlets, too. An "air twist" design in the stem creates a trellislike pattern of air. They're $50 each from the Colonial Williamsburg shop or catalog; 1-800-446-9240.

And for someone extra-special, Lalique has created a beautifully boxed set of two champagne flutes, with a hollow stem (so you get bubbles all the way to the bottom) and a sculpted base with a grape-and-vine design. Available at better department stores nationwide or call 1-800-993 2580. The pair, a mere $600. What better way to ring in 2000?

Wine Label Dossier
, $29.95, is an attractive album that's just right for recording wine notes and keeping wine labels. Call Wine & All That Jazz catalog to order, 1-800-610-7731 or check the Web site at

"Wine for Later" is terrific for preserving leftover wine. Simply decant the remaining wine into one of two decanters, top with the decorative glass stopper, and voila! Your wine is protected from oxygen, making it as tasty tomorrow as it was today. The set is $45.95 from The Wine Enthusiast Catalogue by calling 1-800-356-8466 or check the Web site,

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