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My assistant says my "impressive" gift ISN'T. Help, please?

Need a gift for a client who has just spent a bunch of money with me - kind of a housewarming-type gift. They are a super-nice Jewish couple in their 60's. He's a brain surgeon.

I was planning to take over a bottle of Dom Perignon at the conclusion of the job. The two times I did this before, the people seemed to REALLY like it.

But my admin told me Dom Perignon isn't that impressive...that I should get Cristal. Well, first of all, Cristal is twice the price and more than I wanted to spend. And secondly, Cristal just makes me think of rappers. I'm sure it very good...but I just think Dom has that WOW factor, which is what I'm going for.

So my first question is...IS SHE RIGHT? Is Dom Perignon NOT that impressive?

And if you think I shouldn't get it, please suggest something...you know...classy.

I know they like good food and she has mentioned that she loves chocolate.

Thanks in advance for any help!

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  1. I would rather receive the chocolate myself.

    7 Replies
    1. re: JEN10

      Well me too because I don't even drink!

      But my question is not really about what YOU or ME would like. What I am looking for is something that has the WOW factor for this particular couple.

      Do you maybe know of some super high-end chocolates that would impress and delight them?

      1. re: Bliss149

        For absurdly expensive and eye-catching chocolate, check out Richart:


        Getting back to the bubbly, I'd love to get a bottle of Dom..or Cristal..or Perrier Jouet....or Veuve Cliquot....or my own favorite -- Billecart-Salmon Rose. Beautiful wine with a very cool name.

        1. re: Bob W

          +1 on Billecart. It is unusual and fun and luxe, all at once.

          1. re: Bob W

            I second Billecart-Salmon Rose. Not only is it very good the champagne itself is beautiful to look at.

            Why not give both, champagne and good quality chocolates? Now that's impressive,

            Good luck.

            1. re: Bob W

              Completely agree w/ Bob W !!! But, without sounding like a snob, are you looking for something impressive, or just a very recognized name Bliss149?

              1. re: MRS

                Late reply...but...both impresive AND recognized. Because if it's not recognized as either expensive or very well-chosen, then it's not impressive.

                I wanted to get them something that is in line with the amount of money they are spending with me, which is going to be something like $8-10k. And I want them to KNOW that it is in line with that amount of money.

                The other possibility that invino, Bob W. and others down-thread have convinced me of is that if it's really GOOD, it doesn't have to be really expensive. The fact that it's so good is the impressive part.

                And after learning a little more about them, I now think they WOULD probably know that Cristal is not just for rappers but is in fact much more expensive than Dom and a better champagne.

                But when you don't have a lot of information or when you know that the person isn't well versed in wine, I still believe Dom is always a safe choice.

        2. Are you sure they drink? I know a couple of people in recovery who would not want to receive alcohol. Very high end chocolate seems like a better idea.

          11 Replies
          1. re: Glencora

            does Teuscher do express delivery? only available retail in a few US cities last I saw.

            1. re: hill food

              I saw something on another board about champagne truffles from Teuscher. They actually make those from Dom Perignon. And they ship FedEx 2 day starting at $19.

              But you like the Teuscher, hill food?

              You think that would be a good choice?

              1. re: Bliss149

                I dunno, I'd rather have the drink, but with so many chocolates mass-marketed (and massively meh) it was just a suggestion if that's the route you take. when I lived in SF there was a T store between home and work and it was SO tempting to blow my lunch money on a tiny box of 4 little truffles. granted if you have an artisan in your area, that might be better and I'm not claiming T's is the best, but...

                if you stick with champagne Veuve Cliquot is another good choice (several grades of quality) or hey why not a nice bottle AND a nice box of chocolates?

                Cristal does smack of the bling-bling life - have your ass't. arrange delivery by his'n'hers go-go dancers.

                1. re: hill food

                  There is no T store in this place. I can only imagine the temptation that would be.

            2. re: Glencora

              Yes, they drink.

              And I know SHE likes chocolate. But not sure if he does.

              Can you suggest some super-fancy impressive chocolates?

              1. re: Bliss149

                Take a look at the chocolatier blue website. They're gorgeous and delicious. Not sure if they're fancy enough for this situation.

                1. re: Glencora

                  thank you, Glencora. I WILL take a look.

              2. re: Glencora

                Glencora, speaking of recovery, a hotel I worked at in college put out little bottles of Cognac every night at turndown. We had a group called "The Friends of Bill" come in and we put 200 bottles of Cognac and chocolate on every pillow while they were at dinner. 5 minutes before they were going to go up to their rooms, we found out FOB was an Alcoholics Anonymous group. Our GM sent every employee up in a mad dash to get the alcohol out, not knowing if we would be responsible for somebody falling off the wagon after years of recovery. It was kind of funny in retrospect.

                1. re: Ziv

                  Gah! That could've been awful. It is funny to imagine you all running around, though.

                  1. re: Ziv

                    It sounds like an episode from Frasier. Good catch, whoever did the discovery and subsequent recapture.

                    1. re: Ziv

                      Oh yeah... the 'friends of' anybody is pretty much a code for a 12-step group of some kind. Good catch.

                  2. 1. As much as I LOVE a good bottle of Dom, if you have already brought over two bottles you've kinda worn out the wow factor by now.

                    2. I'm with you when it comes to Cristal and rappers. It reminds me of a bit they did on Robot Chicken, "The Black Cristal".

                    My thought would be to give them a gift certificate for the services of a kosher private chef for a night.

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: PotatoHouse

                      I've done two bottles of Dom for OTHER PEOPLE - none for them.

                      Missed the bit on Robot Chicken...but that's really all I know about that brand - that rappers like it.

                      Kosher private chef is a good idea. Thank you!!

                      And keep 'em coming, please.

                        1. re: PotatoHouse

                          To the OP I would be impressed with a gift of Dom.

                          To PotatoHouse:The Dark Cristal is hilarious. Thanks! http://vimeo.com/6373398

                          1. re: AreBe

                            You're right - that is way too funny

                            And here's a link to a story about Roederer's CEO comments about Crystal being associated with rappers.


                            1. re: AreBe

                              whoa!!! that was funny. thanks!

                        2. re: PotatoHouse

                          and why the heck Cristal, because it implies 'bling', and the word itself is rappable? I guess I prefer erring on the side of caution with such a handsome gift, what a shame though.

                          1. re: lilgi

                            they lost my interest when the artists began calling it 'Crissy"....*shudder*

                          2. re: PotatoHouse

                            PotatoHouse, I'd have to be a lot more jaded than I am to not be impressed when somebody brought me a bottle of Dom- I'm thinking maybe after thirty or forty bottles I might be a little less enthusiastic about their bringing it, but i'd still really, really appreciate it.

                          3. I think a bottle of Dom is a wonderful gift. Not everyone wants to or can spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars on dinner or a present. I'd be thrilled to receive Dom Perignon. And I agree that Cristal is too "rapper".

                            18 Replies
                            1. re: Njchicaa

                              Well, I guess partly I'm just looking for someone to agree with me! LOL. So thanks Njcicaa!

                              To me, one thing that makes a nice gift is to get someone something they wouldn't splurge on for themselves. At least not often.

                              And I have to admit, if I'm going to spend $100+, I kinda want them to know that it's not just a $30 bottle of wine or box of chocolate, know what I mean?

                              1. re: Bliss149

                                Yes, I do like it when someone agrees with me but I'm open to other opinions, honest.

                                1. re: Bliss149

                                  Frankly, I'd spring for the Dom. While chocolates are nice, regardless of how expensive they are, they're never going to have the "wow" factor that a wonderful bottle of pricey champagne will.

                                  Forget your assistant - go with the champagne.

                                  1. re: Breezychow

                                    Thank you, Breezychow.

                                    She said her mother and sister both said "meh" so I thought I'd ask some people that I KNOW have loads of good taste and sophistication.

                                    1. re: Bliss149

                                      Never take advice from someone who uses the word "meh," . . . or the phrase "to die for."

                                          1. re: Tripeler

                                            hmmm...well those words are kind of hard to avoid. So I guess you guys would say MEH to a yummy sammy that is to die for.

                                            Actually, I prefer "sammich" to "sammy" which is probably even worse!

                                          2. re: Karl S

                                            Guess I have to drop that word...

                                            1. re: EWSflash

                                              How can you not say "yummy" and "to die for" and "meh" once in a while?

                                              That's a tough one.

                                              1. re: Bliss149

                                                If you say them ironically, it's ok. 8>D

                                                1. re: Bob W

                                                  If she wants to be really ironic, she can give her wonderful clients a six-pack of PBR.

                                    2. re: Bliss149

                                      Your last sentence says it all. I'd give them the Dom. Why? Because almost everyone recognizes that it's expensive and would understand that by giving it, you want to convey that you think well of them and wish to express your gratitude. I would avoid anything that one would need to be very knowledgeable to appreciate. People have pockets of knowledge in most things, but Dom is one of the things that is universally recognizable.

                                          1. re: Bliss149

                                            I am personally on a campaign to get rid of "to die for". I just don't understand why anyone would say that! It tempts fate!

                                  2. Hi,

                                    The fact that you are considering a gift indicates to me that you are quite caring. I think they would be impressed if you made something for them. You have the financial means to simply purchase expensive Champagne for them, but I would imagine they may be more impressed by a gift you put some time into creating for them. If they love chocolate, maybe make some chocolate covered strawberries or something like that?

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: Fowler

                                      Thanks, Fowler!

                                      You know I would love to make them a beautiful meal. I used to do that sometimes for marketing events...I'd do a homemade lunch. I really enjoyed doing it and I think people liked it a lot more than take-out.

                                      BUT last time I did food I noticed a DOG HAIR in the food. Me - I'm kind of used to the occasional dog hair and it doesn't bother me. But after that I said I wouldn't do any more homemade food as long as I have this longhaired English SHEDDER in the house. :)

                                      1. re: Bliss149

                                        LOL, I am never bothered by dog or cat hair. Human hair is another story.

                                    2. I think your assistant is tragically wrong. Expensive chocolates over Dom? No way. As long as they like it, Dom Perignon is a wonderful, thoughtful gift, and I would like for you to be my new best friend. :-)

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: EWSflash

                                        Ha Ha Thank you, EWSflash. You seem like someone that I would love to be best friends with. ;)

                                        The time I did the Dom Perignon before as a marketing gift, I had learned that this woman who had sent me a lot of business was going to be off work for the birth of her first grandchild. So I got the Dom and dropped it off and just the look on her face...it was really a hit. Really special.

                                        Ideally, I'd love to do a whole gourmet hamper of food and the champagne. But the Dom, like everything else, has gone up the last couple of years. So maybe I could do some fancy cheese and crackers. I imagine them sharing it after everybody leaves...it seems very romantic and sexy.

                                        I did see some awesome looking chocolates though - Romanicos. Not quite as pricey as the Teuscher.

                                        1. re: Bliss149

                                          You sound like a thoughtful soul. That said, I whisper in your ear, 'champagne, if they like it they'll like it just as much or more'., I wish somebody would gift me a bottle of Dom. Chocolates, yeah, very nice and there are some great ones out there, but remember the old adage- "Candy is dandy but liquor is quicker". I want to say just kidding, but I'm serious. :-)

                                      2. I suspect you have a better feel for your clients than your assistant.

                                        Chocolate is nice, but it just doesn't have the same message as champagne.

                                        The completion of a project is a celebration. Nothing really has as many associations with "celebration" as Dom Perignon. This gift is in the price line you want to stay in, it is appropriate and festive and most of all it is a lovely gesture and gift.

                                        Go with your first instinct. Most people would consider this a very nice gift.

                                        5 Replies
                                        1. re: meatn3

                                          meatn3, That's it!!!! You nailed it.

                                          It's about sending a message. And that is why the chocolates just don't feel exactly right for me.

                                          If they needed comforting, chocolates would be perfect. But this is about celebrating.

                                          Now I'm thinking why did I listen to this...I value her opinion but I think she's just wrong this time. I just needed to make sure I'm not way off base somehow. It's a lot of money to spend to not get a positive reaction.

                                          Thank you so much, everyone. I appreciate ALL your comments.

                                          1. re: Bliss149

                                            I think you and everyone else are right on-target about the Dom vs. Cristal. Send the Dom. It's just a different message all the way around.

                                            Just a thought...you mentioned that they are Jewish...sending chocolates, etc., could be an issue, depending on how strictly they follow kashrut. (there are some groups that shy away from some wines, as well...but it's a much smaller group than those who might balk at chocolate or cheese)

                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                              ditto to sunshine - if they are Jewish, a bottle of non-kosher wine/non-kosher anything might be problematic... perhaps some kosher champagne?

                                              1. re: PotatoPuff

                                                No. Please don't. Not unless you specifically know that they are THAT kosher. And even then, many people I know who are THAT kosher wouldn't appreciate champange to the degree you wish them to accept your gift. And a bottle of kosher champagne...please, just don't. if it's that or chocolate, go chocolate. And then, it would have to be THAT kind of kosher chocolate. This is spiral.

                                          2. re: meatn3

                                            I think this is a great response - focusing on what the gift is really a remark on - the celebration (not the giver or the receiver)!

                                            Dispense with the idea of 'wow'ing them (which has more to do with the giver than the receiver), and do what's appropriate. I think your first instincts are right on, and only a tool wouldn't appreciate this incredibly thoughtful gift.

                                          3. I associate Cristal with everything tawdry in Las Vegas, and I burned out on it long ago and to excess. DP is more enduring. Better still would be a '63 porto. If that is out of reach price-wise, '85's are classic, as is the 100 WS score '94's, just now drinkable.

                                            4 Replies
                                              1. re: Veggo

                                                Great advice, Veggo. I never thought of Oporto. We had an '83 Dows over the weekend that was fantastic and not too expensive.

                                                1. re: Veggo

                                                  I'm such a hillbilly I don't even know what a '63 porto is.

                                                2. I'm thinking this brain surgeon is the type that is not into hype. The Dom will be fine

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: scubadoo97

                                                    After all, this is not rocket science or.. ..oh, nevermind.

                                                    1. re: Veggo

                                                      ha ha ha

                                                      Or my favorite...rocket surgery.

                                                  2. Not sure where you are from. Some of your posts are from the South, KY and Tenn. And you have posted on a Louisville post. If you are in that area, I would buy some Pappy Van Winkle and a couple of pounds of Bourbon Balls. And Yes I love Dom Perigonon. But Pappy wins every time.

                                                    Or play tickets and a gift certificate for a lovely dinner.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. I pity your assistant's boyfriend. She's dead wrong; a bottle of Dom Perignon is plenty impressive. Ask her the last time she drank either one.

                                                      2 Replies
                                                        1. How old is your assistant?

                                                          Dom is a great gift and is a well known label, and there are other great quality champagnes that can be had at about the same price point as Dom as well. Cristal makes pretty good champagne, but to me it wreaks of "im drinking/buying this because its trendy but I don't really know anything about champagne"

                                                          I sometimes like giving Perrier-Jouet Fleur de Champagne as a gift because the bottles are so beautiful and the champagne is pretty good as well.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: twyst

                                                            Twyst, someone else mentioned Perrier-Jouet up-thread. I will definitely check that out.

                                                            And I actually do NOT know anything about champagne. I quit drinking at 27 and before that, I was way more interested in QUANTITY than quality.

                                                            But I do know who to ask! :)

                                                          2. SInce you know they drink champagne and like chocolate too, you can go in either or both directions. Fine chocolate stands on its own, as does fine champagne. There is nothing wrong with Dom...don't feel embarrassed into Cristal. Veuve Cliquot is excellent too. and so are lots of other brands. I'm pretty sure they were selling Cristal before rappers started swiggin it, so just choose a brand based on your budget and taste. There isn't anything wrong with your choice and you don't have to validate your decision-making process to your assistant.

                                                            Any number of premiere chocolatiers deliver nationwide and will bundle the chocolate with fine champagne (or other beverage of choice). I recommend L.A. Burdick (shipping available; also has retail locations in big cities). The taste of their chocolate is AMAZING! Also, the design is impressive and inspiring ...especially their signature chocloate "mice". If you are hand-delivering or just want to taste-test the goodies yourself, look up a locale wine shop/chocolatier in your area and have an expert guide you. Good luck!

                                                            3 Replies
                                                            1. re: babsbrown123

                                                              Nothing wrong with covering all the bases. Vosges is my chocolate of choice, and here is the link to their wine and chocolate gift boxes: http://www.vosgeschocolate.com/catego...

                                                              I'm very curious how this question would have been answered if you had posted it on the Wine board rather than General. I think your answer probably depends on how "into" wine your clients are. I think all normal people would be thrilled w/ the Dom. Some serious winos might yawn...but they would still understand that you meant to send them something fine and classic. Personnaly, I've had one bottle of Dom (business gift) and one bottle of Cristal(paid for it). I have to say I liked the Cristal better. I had a Perrier Jouet gift set (wine and glasses) once as a business gift, that was also well appreciated.

                                                              1. re: danna

                                                                "I'm very curious how this question would have been answered if you had posted it on the Wine board rather than General."

                                                                Great angle, danna!

                                                              2. re: babsbrown123

                                                                Well, I don't feel embarrassed...I had just asked her to call and check availability and pricing at a few local stores and she passed along their opinion that there are better champagnes.

                                                                Maybe like one person mentioned, they had actually had the Dom Perignon and were disappointed by how dry it was.

                                                                I have to say I've felt that way about some of the super-fancy chocolates I've had...they were good but not as orgasmic as I thought they'd be.

                                                              3. I would go with the Dom. Agree Cristal is too "rapper" and Dom still has a wow factor. If for any reason they don't want it, it will be a very easy and appreciated re-gift item for a dear friend or relative.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: rockandroller1

                                                                  Excellent point about re-gifting!!

                                                                  I also donated a bottle of Dom for a charity auction one time and they seemed very happy with that.

                                                                2. I think you had it right the first time with the Dom Perignon.

                                                                  1. Double century Grand Marnier. Not widely known, but once sipped, widely appreciated. Single century Pedro Domecq sherry. Again for the more discerning. I haven't seen a double century out of Spain for over a decade. I will ditto on the Port vintages.

                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                    1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                                                      Ive never even seen double century grand marnier, can't even find it on the internet, but the 150 is AMAZING and has a beautiful bottle to boot.

                                                                      Unless Im mistaken we are still a few years away from the double century though.

                                                                      I dont usually drink after dinner drinks like cognac or brandy,, but if a place has grand marnier 150 I almost always have a snifter full!

                                                                      1. re: twyst

                                                                        Working by memory does not always work. Thank you for the correction.

                                                                      2. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                                                        I completely disagree. While your suggestions are wonderful if one knows the recipient likes them, they also can be acquired tastes. Grand Marnier, port, & sherry aren't things that everyone automatically enjoys. And while not everyone likes champagne, it certainly has more fans than your suggestions.

                                                                      3. I think the whole "wow" factor is overrated. Why do we strive to impress people? Who really gets the benefit of it? I think we do it for ourselves. How about getting them something useful that might be an addition to their home. You said this is "kind of a housewarming-type gift." Just a thought.

                                                                        9 Replies
                                                                          1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                            My team has just spent the last three weeks helping them downsize and get rid of crap, and then packing up their remaining stuff for a move. So I don't want to get them anything that isn't consumable.

                                                                            And this isn't so much about them being impressed with ME personally. It's business.

                                                                            I want them to be impressed with the overall experience of moving with us. And one thing I've learned is that the ENDING is incredibly important.

                                                                            And the benefit is that when it's done right, they will tell their friends that the would be CRAZY not to use us when they move. My business is all word of mouth so the wow factor is huge for me.

                                                                              1. re: Bliss149

                                                                                And now I'm left wondering why El Cheapo Movers didn't at least buy me a six-pack ;)

                                                                                1. re: julesrules

                                                                                  LOL...our movers used to give everyone these AWESOME homemade banana muffins. Now they give them a little box of packaged snacks. I've told them the effect is not the same but the muffins got to be too big a hassle apparently.

                                                                                  BTW, to clarify, I don't actually do the moving - we organize, pack, unpack, decorate and that sort of thing.

                                                                                  1. re: Bliss149

                                                                                    just reading this post............^^^ bliss
                                                                                    I'm not a mover I'm just a patient but today, in an hour, my Dr. and his staff are getting the two batches of cookies still in the oven.
                                                                                    now they're not expensive to make, we all have the ingreds to do them but it's letting them know they're special and I appreciate them is why it feels good to give

                                                                                    1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                      That's really nice. Someday when I do not have a heavy-shedding dog....

                                                                                      1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                        With what my Doctor charges she should be making ME cookies. :-)

                                                                              2. gift certificate to a nice restaurant? I'd love that.

                                                                                1. You know your clients. The generation they come from, their tastes in things, the clothing they wear, the cars they drive, the people they associate with. I doubt they are going to turn up their noses at Dom, Cristal, Veuve Cliquot, or a high end bottle of port or sherry, or a wonderful single malt scotch. Champagne has a celebratory essence, the bubbles pop an fizz and excite. If they like some flash and are into being current, then go with the Cristal, if they are more traditional, more attuned to subtlety, then go for the Dom. But a (small) box of chocolate to accompany the champagne would never be wrong either.

                                                                                  1. I don't drink alcohol but would be extremely pleased if someone who had done work for me gave me a bottle of champagne (of any make).

                                                                                    I would see it in the spirit in which it had been intended - as you say, a house-warming gift. Stick with your instincts about what's right and what's worked in the past.

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: Harters

                                                                                      Yep. If they don't want to drink it themselves, it solves the problem of what they take to the next bar mitzvah!

                                                                                    2. You can get a bottle of Vintage 2002 Bollinger Grande Annee for around $119. I think Bollinger trumps Dom. This is the champagne that James Bond drinks.


                                                                                      Cristal has become strictly a prop for rap videos.

                                                                                      1. I'm guessing your assistant is in her 20s and had a thorough dose of brainwashing by the rap industry. Dom was and is the standard wow gift of champagne, especially if the couple is in their 60s.

                                                                                        1. Rapper connotation or not.....I'm guessing most of these people down on Cristal have never actually tasted it. DP is often a very big disappoint for many who have it for the first time.....being too dry to taste. There are any number of champagnes I would have before ordering DP......personally, I do not believe it holds the WOW factor like some others do, but it does make a very nice gift

                                                                                          My two cents......if your client spent a bunch of money with you.....300-500 bucks is an investment for the future.....it's about them and not what you wanted to spend. There should not be a dollar limit. Your admin has also weighed in and set the bar......do you really want to risk being seen as being cheap for your gift....either with your employer or client?

                                                                                          Disclaimer: the cheap remark is made without knowing what a *bunch* of money is.

                                                                                          Go with the Cristal....better yet, get Cristal Rose......they can bust it out with their family or friends during the winter holidays or New Year's Eve. Being able to impress and share with others with something you gave them is more memorable moment in the end that you made happen with your gift.

                                                                                          Your words.......It's about sending a message

                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: fourunder

                                                                                            Referencing earlier post, if you are going rose, would look at Billecart Saumon...

                                                                                            1. re: fourunder

                                                                                              You know, I figured Crystal is actually the superior champagne. Otherwise, it wouldn't cost so much more.

                                                                                              You make some good points. Maybe I should at least not get the cheapest bottle of Dom but try to find a halfway decent year...?

                                                                                            2. Nearing their age, and having worked with physicians for years, I'd go with the Dom, find an excellent year, and maybe consider adding a couple of nice toasting flutes with it. I've had both Dom and Cristal, and I do associate Cristal with striving-to-look-cool. Just my 2 cents.

                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: pine time

                                                                                                Second pine time re: vintage of the Dom . . .

                                                                                                falconress question about whether they keep kosher is the most important. This will influence what gift is appropriate.

                                                                                                Also ditto previous posts about port. Aged port can be quite expensive. I've given port with Tiffany's ruby port glasses. Makes a nice presentation. And if the dr. enjoys a good cigar, the port will be appreciated.

                                                                                                No one has mentioned making a generous charitable gift to their favorite charity. A brain surgeon at 60 hopefully doesn't want for much . . .Giving back and leaving a legacy may be more important . . .

                                                                                                1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                                                                  thanks financialdistrictresident...I like charitable gift idea.

                                                                                              2. You mention that they are Jewish. If you know that they are kosher-observant, and you are not intimately familiar with the myriad ins-and-outs of different kashruth certifications, my suggestion would be to stay away from food and potables. A jaw-dropping floral arrangement or even a beautiful art book can fit the WOW factor if well-chosen.

                                                                                                As far as kashruth certification, wine, Champagne and similar products (like brandy) are particularly complex to choose and present to a kashruth-observing family, much more so than other alcohol products like scotch, for a myriad of reasons.

                                                                                                Ditto for food, including chocolate. Some kashruth certifications are acceptable to some but inadequate for others.

                                                                                                I am sure they will be grateful and appreciative of your lovely gesture no matter what, but if you aren’t sure whether they observe kashruth and, if they do, which certifications are acceptable to them for which products, maybe you should sidestep that category entirely. Or, maybe your assistant can figure out how to delicately pry out the necessary information, maybe in a discreet talk with the doctor’s assistant or something. Unfortunately, though, whatever certification they adhere to, Champagne would fall out of the running entirely, whether Dom Perignon or Cristal.

                                                                                                If you already bought a box of Knipschildt truffles and aren’t sure whether they are acceptably kosher, why don’t you just send them to me and I’ll... check the certification. Yes, that’s the ticket. I’ll check the kashruth for you. Of course it means most of the product may be consumed in the testing process, but hey, maybe I’ll be able to leave a truffle or two for you :).

                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: falconress

                                                                                                  falconress - you just give and give and never ask for anything in return. truly inspiring...

                                                                                                  1. re: falconress

                                                                                                    Jaw-dropping floral arrangement...that's a good idea too!

                                                                                                    1. re: Bliss149

                                                                                                      Win points with the wife for sure. And when mama's happy, everybody's happy.

                                                                                                      1. re: Bliss149

                                                                                                        A floral arrangement would come with the task of cleaning up after dead flowers. Another chore when trying to get settled in....

                                                                                                    2. I vastly prefer Bollinger to either Dom or Cristal. It's the "James Bond" factor. But a bottle of Dom generally is quite a nice gift.
                                                                                                      Either way, I'm sure they will appreciate the thought.

                                                                                                      1. A couple of points, maybe relevant, maybe not....

                                                                                                        Everyone's jumping to "Kosher" just because they heard "Jewish"... only a very small percentage of Jews keep kosher so I wouldn't assume that's an issue.

                                                                                                        Cristal predates the rap era by many, many years. I'm younger than the clients in question but the whole rap thing isn't even on my radar and I had no idea there was even an association between these two things, so if this old Jew didn't make the association, it's not likely they will either. If they know wine, they'll know Cristal is generally a better sparkler, although Dom is what everyone thinks of as a showy gift.

                                                                                                        I was going to suggest the Perrier-Jouet Flower bottle as well.

                                                                                                        But if Dom is your instinct, go with it.

                                                                                                        The bottom line is any thoughtful gift, presented from the heart as a sincere thank you, is appropriate and will be appreciated. If it's calculated to make you more money, it sort of loses its charm. The dollar amount doesn't matter, particularly if they are well-off. A restaurant gift certificate in this situation is tacky.

                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: acgold7

                                                                                                          acgold, please understand that there was absolutely no ill intent in my mentioning kosher...we have many Jewish friends and colleagues who ascribe to a number of different levels of kashrut (sorry, it's the local spelling and it looks weird to me to spell it differently) and it keeps me on my toes trying to remember what I can serve to whom when they are in our house. I keep a couple of bottles of wine in my cellar that I know are of a certification that our circle accepts, and I've done an enormous amount of homework to ensure that my Jewish guests don't want for food or drink when they are in my home.

                                                                                                          It was only a flashing yellow light of "hey, something to think about" (think "slippery slope ahead - proceed with caution") -- rather than a "how COULD you!" -- because if they DO keep a strict kashrut, it could also be uncomfortable for THEM to receive an obviously-expensive gift in which they cannot indulge...something I'm pretty sure the OP doesn't want to inflict, either.

                                                                                                          1. re: acgold7

                                                                                                            Thanks acgold7 for several good points.

                                                                                                            I have to say that I think all business gifts are sort of calculated to make us more money.

                                                                                                            But it is a sincere thank you and I agree - restaurant gift certificate just doesn't feel right.

                                                                                                          2. Something about this discussion struck me as weird, and I finally figured it out.

                                                                                                            I am apparently very old (I'm 51). When I hear the name Cristal, it means very little to me in terms of high-quality wine. That is because when I started learning about wine back in the 80s, I learned about Louis Roederer Cristal. Do people like your admin even know the name Louis Roederer? It's like buying a fast, flashy car and not knowing the name of the manufacturer.

                                                                                                            1. If you were to recast your question to an automotive context, you're asking Rolls or BMW. The Rolls is old-school classic, while the BMW is nouveau. How do your clients perceive themselves? I bet they'd prefer the Rolls (Dom) to a Beamer any day, and twice on Sundays. OTOH, I kind of like the idea of a really fine port, too.

                                                                                                              Here's a test. Next time you talk to your client, just say offhandedly, "Damn...Michael Jackson this, Michael Jackson that...too much Michael Jackson in the news. I wish Tupac was still here. that muthaf***er was a genius." His reaction will tell you which your client would prefer.

                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: ricepad

                                                                                                                Interesting. I'd say the Dom is the Beamer of the two.

                                                                                                                1. re: ricepad

                                                                                                                  oh, I don't even have to have that conversation because I know that these lovely people wouldn't know Tupac if he walked in their front door and started singing...um...Tupac songs.

                                                                                                                  Like the BMW vs Rolls analogy though.

                                                                                                                  1. re: ricepad

                                                                                                                    Here's a test. Next time you talk to your client, just say offhandedly, "Damn...Michael Jackson this, Michael Jackson that...too much Michael Jackson in the news. I wish Tupac was still here. that muthaf***er was a genius." His reaction will tell you which your client would prefer.

                                                                                                                    Possibly one of the funniest things I have ever read on the internet. ricepad, you're a genius.

                                                                                                                  2. Except Cristal has been around since 1867, pre-dating Dom by more than 50 years. And according to Wikipedia, the whole hip hop thing is just so 2006. Cristal has now apparently been discarded by the rap culture since the chairman of LR "dissed" them. See, I know the lingo.

                                                                                                                    1. She is wrong. Period.

                                                                                                                      Cristal is also very '80s baby bankerish. Whatever the association, the admin appears to be in sync with pop culture.

                                                                                                                      And I write that as someone who loved it but hated seeing it get made into an emblem of consumption.

                                                                                                                      Most of the cuvee champagnes have a wow factor: VC Grande Dame, Krug, Bollinger, et cet.

                                                                                                                      The worst that will happen is that you will give them something they will be proud to re-gift.

                                                                                                                      9 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: Karl S

                                                                                                                        I'd give the champagne and chocolates. The chocolate mice at Burdicks are just adorable and the packaging is very nice. Oh and they are delicious! http://www.burdickchocolate.com/ Another place that I order from is John and Kira's. Again beautifully packaged handmade chocolates. They have chocolate covered figs that are wonderful. http://www.johnandkiras.com/?gclid=CI...

                                                                                                                        1. re: DaisyM

                                                                                                                          Oh the chocolate bees...I may have to get some of those for myself!!!

                                                                                                                          1. re: Bliss149

                                                                                                                            Those bees are great! (Ladybugs too!)

                                                                                                                          2. re: DaisyM

                                                                                                                            +1 on the champagne-chocolate combo and on John and Kira's - unique and delicious, with lovely packaging and a nice focus on local ingredients. I love Burdick's as well...

                                                                                                                            1. re: rovingfoodie

                                                                                                                              John and Kira's are on their way - being delivered tomorrow. Of course I had to order some for myself. LOL

                                                                                                                              I got the bottle of Dom. Still deciding whether to give them this. (Yes, I get very OCD about these things.)

                                                                                                                              1. re: Bliss149

                                                                                                                                John & Kira's are the best. I remember seeing their mint chocolate some years ago on the cover of Gourmet magazine as the best chocolates. Since I lived in Philly, I thought I would order a selection--amazing chocolate and amazing flavors. Attractively boxed and very locally sourced.

                                                                                                                                I'd give them the Dom and the chocolates. And get a bottle and a box for myself ;)

                                                                                                                                1. re: gaffk

                                                                                                                                  Yay...there were so many suggested chocolate places and they all looked beautiful but the little salted caramel bees did it for me.

                                                                                                                                  And oh, yes, I ordered some for myself! Have to pass on the champagne though.

                                                                                                                                2. re: Bliss149

                                                                                                                                  Great - hope they (and you) love them!

                                                                                                                                  1. re: rovingfoodie

                                                                                                                                    My husband and mom each got a piece and I ate the rest of the box of 9. The were ah.maz.ing.

                                                                                                                          3. not knowing what you want to spend or what it's worth to you to give a gift that they'll remember.
                                                                                                                            we've given Dom a very few times when we wanted to impress and we did, they were.
                                                                                                                            but depending on what this client has done for you and how you want to thank them.
                                                                                                                            I'd do the Dom and I'd also do one of these because believe it or not, very appreciated.
                                                                                                                            or as other posters have said, a very rich good dark decadent chocolate basket would suffice too. there's a store in Chapel Hill S or N Carolina that's called a Southern Season. I'd call them. it's the most magnificent store of it's kind I've ever been in or to. Magic....they could hook you up big time

                                                                                                                            12 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                              What serendipity, divo. Just got my 3.5 gallons of Chicago Mix delivered today from Garrett Popcorn! And after weighing, measuring, calculating, and probably dividing by zero, I came up with about $19/#, even with discounted shipping.

                                                                                                                              I'd love to send this for holiday gifts because I have NEVER found such wonderful popcorn, but I'd fear that folks would just see this as the $10-drugstore-tin popcorn.

                                                                                                                              1. re: DuchessNukem

                                                                                                                                ....unless of course they looked it up online and saw that it's anything but inexpensive. I'd probably include a brochure just so they have an idea that this is upscale stuff for sure&be able to order for themselves or future gift possibilities. many many have no idea of this crazy good popcorn...it's addictive, I dare ya to have just a handful and not go back for more. but I'd do it "with" a bottle of Dom, one thing for the adults and one for younger folks+adults.

                                                                                                                              2. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                I love that caramel/cheese mix so much, i'd like to take it out behind the middle school and get it pregnant.

                                                                                                                                1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                  A Southern Season is in Chapel Hill, NC:


                                                                                                                                  It is a wonderful store!

                                                                                                                                    1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                      It's such a great store that I just wanted to provide a link to make it easier for people to check it out! And wanted to make it clear which Carolina it was in - North.

                                                                                                                                      The first time I ever went into it I was dazed by the selection. I'm glad you mentioned it!

                                                                                                                                      1. re: meatn3

                                                                                                                                        I have to say meatn, I was stunned dazed and in the worlds best mood the hours I spent there my first time. I told my husband I'd move to that state just to be close to that amazing environment.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                          Plan a visit for their inventory reduction sale, each June IIRC.

                                                                                                                                          And bring a van!

                                                                                                                                          1. re: meatn3

                                                                                                                                            next June I'll see you there!!!

                                                                                                                                            1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                              Seriously, if you make it down e-mail me!

                                                                                                                                              We'll clean the place out together!

                                                                                                                                              1. re: meatn3

                                                                                                                                                just checked and saw you have your email listed.
                                                                                                                                                if you get the date before I can look it up, please let me know.
                                                                                                                                                I'll be there, no, not kidding, I'll be there.
                                                                                                                                                having been there, if it's sale time, oh my gosh, I'd lose my pocketbook to the cashier :(

                                                                                                                                                1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                  Even the trick of freezing your credit card in ice won't help...by the time we've been through the store (twice at least) they will have thawed!

                                                                                                                                                  I've lived here 4 years and just found out about the sale this past summer. I got there during the final week. It was picked over, but I still was able to get some amazing deals. 2012 will hopefully see me there earlier!

                                                                                                                                2. Love me a good Neurosurgeon and I say that the Dom would be fine...Cristal is more for the 20-30 somethings in the club, though I really do like Cristal, I find that Dom is old school and would make for a 'Wow' gift for their age and stature..
                                                                                                                                  Perrier-Jouet flower bottle is lovely as well and you could add some fab expensive dark chocolates from Chao Chocolates or macarons from Laduree in NYC.

                                                                                                                                  1. I think Dom says, "Hi, I know nothing about champagne, but this is the most famous, so I'll buy it". It's the easy way out. Buy the Cristal Rose, or for a lot less, but fairly comparable to the Dom, the Billecart Rose (about $30 less where I live). Dom, to me, is half-assing it. It's too obvious and cliche.

                                                                                                                                    15 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                                                                      But see you obviously know about champagne. What about the rest of us who don't. We LIKE half-assed things because we don't know any better. LOL

                                                                                                                                      But I am considering the Cristal Rose or Billecart Rose and I appreciate your obviously informed opinion.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Bliss149

                                                                                                                                        The Billecart really is quite good. You can probably buy it for $80-100, depending on your area. I'd drink it all day over Dom.

                                                                                                                                        If you want something funky (and would make you look like a stud IMO), look up Egly-Ouriet. Amazing, small batch, grower juice. The rose is comparable in price to the Billecart.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                                                                          I agree on both scores. They don't have the name recognition, but are superior in quality. And cheaper.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                                                                            I'm going to check that one out! I was all set to buy a bottle of the Billecart for an at-home New Years Eve, but I'll look for the Egly around here.

                                                                                                                                            I'm a sucker for hyphenated French names. 8>D

                                                                                                                                            1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                                                                              Although I am female, I am quite interested in appearing studly. :) Thank, invin.

                                                                                                                                              I had a long personal conversation with the wife last night and I think they MIGHT be past the "impressed with Dom only" stage. She mentioned champagne a couple of times. So I'm thinking maybe something a little more sophisticated.

                                                                                                                                              I had already picked up the Dom but I can gift that to someone else IF I can find the Egly thing. This is MEMPHIS so I don't know if I can find that OR the Billecart.

                                                                                                                                              Since you don't mention a year, I'm hoping that any I can find will be good.

                                                                                                                                              You guys have been such AWESOME HELP.

                                                                                                                                              I've got the Dom on hand and the job wrapped up today so I'm good.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                                                                                Well, I've been calling around trying to find the Billecart and of course nobody in Memphis has ever heard of it. Much less the Egly-Ouriet!

                                                                                                                                                All they have around here is the plain (not the Grande Dame) Veuve Cliquot, Tattinger's, and of course Dom P. Well, one place did have a 95 Krug for $260 but was really digging the idea of the Billecart.


                                                                                                                                                1. re: Bliss149

                                                                                                                                                  A) Hammered right now and
                                                                                                                                                  B) On vacation, but I shall call purveyors for you tomorrow in Memphis.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                                                                                    Really?! Omg. I hope when your head is clear that you don't realize how extremely generous and sweet and kind of you that is.

                                                                                                                                                    I called Buster's, Arthur's, Kimbrough, and Kirby Wines last night. All offered to try to order it but now it's the last minute and I can't wait.

                                                                                                                                                    Again, I do have the Dom on hand and the chocolates are supposed to come today. (But I can otherwise gift the Dom. I actually know the perfect person for it.)

                                                                                                                                                    Thank you so much invino!!!

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Bliss149

                                                                                                                                                      OR invinvo...if you don't have time or don't feel like making the calls, you can tell me what to do. Should I call a distributor?

                                                                                                                                                      I do know the gal who writes the food and wine column at our daily newspaper a little bit and she might know. But really I probably shouldn't put TOO much more time into this, although it certainly has been interesting and fun.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Bliss149

                                                                                                                                                        Seems Billecart isn't carried in TN, but Egly is. Contact Athens Distributing for exact stores in Memphis. 901.764.8888

                                                                                                                                                        Now I want some...

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                                                                                          I can't believe you did this for me! I don't even know what to say.

                                                                                                                                                          Thank you!

                                                                                                                                                          Can't wait to call them.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Bliss149

                                                                                                                                                            No worries. Better to spread the word about grower bubbles.

                                                                                                                                                            I hope they appreciate it: it's really splendid juice.

                                                                                                                                              2. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                                                                                ah ha! there's my answer to the "what if you'd asked this on the Wine Board?" question!

                                                                                                                                              3. I couldn't dream of affording the DP or Cristal. I can have a little bite of delightful chocolate once in awhile. This is my favorite place to indulge in St. Paul, MN. I can imagine that perfect champagne with my piece of chocolate...It would be the most wonderful indulgence.


                                                                                                                                                1. I'd vote for an Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena or a boutique olive oil, like Manni. More useful and you don't have to worry about sugar and alcohol issues.

                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mbfant

                                                                                                                                                    This one doesn't cook. But I'm going to make a note of these for possible future gifting. Thanks!!!

                                                                                                                                                  2. If you're 28 and have done nothing but grow up watching music videos and reading US Weekly, Dom Perignon is passe and Cristal is where it's at. Otherwise, Dom is an excellent gift.

                                                                                                                                                    Personally, if I know the person appreciates a good champagne, I'm more likely to get them a bottle of Veuve Cliquot le Grande Damme. It's a better champagne than either of the other two but doesn't have the name recognition.

                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mahalan

                                                                                                                                                      I think you nailed it quite well.

                                                                                                                                                      For the average person over a certain age Dom will be perfect.

                                                                                                                                                      I suspect most people have champagne so seldom that they never develop any real depth of knowledge regarding brands, years, etc.

                                                                                                                                                    2. Two things come to mind:
                                                                                                                                                      If they are a Jewish couple in their 60' the Dom P name will ring a classical bell.
                                                                                                                                                      Also Asher's chocolate co in PA sells Dark Chocolate covered jelly grahams that are very popular in the Jewish community. Asher's will ship except in Summer.

                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Motosport

                                                                                                                                                        Thanks for the Asher's tip. I do have quite a few Jewish clients so I'm writing this down - along with all these other awesome suggestions - for future reference.

                                                                                                                                                      2. Try a different but excellent Champagne. Paul Krug, for example? Also, a 1994 port by Taylor Fladgate or Fonseca would be my preference to any Champagne.

                                                                                                                                                        1. From your profile it appears you live around Memphis--for a "nice Jewish couple" you could order a spectacular gift basket from Zabar's: www.zabars.com/ An echt New York Jewish treat!

                                                                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: whs

                                                                                                                                                            That's TRUE. And today I heard that Doc loves half-sour pickles!

                                                                                                                                                            Another great idea! Thanks whs.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: whs

                                                                                                                                                              Zabar's IS awesome, but then so is Russ and Daughters (both ship)

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                                                Love the Sturgeon King!

                                                                                                                                                                This is the best thread I've seen in a long time. In this economy, the little splurges go a long way.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                                                  One of the best gifts I ever received was a package from Russ and Daughters. Living in the land of limited bagel and...it was very much enjoyed!

                                                                                                                                                              2. I'd cover both bases. Send them the bottle of Dom Perignon and half a dozen exquisite truffles for her chocolate fix. You can't go wrong with elegant.

                                                                                                                                                                1. At my old job we sent out a fair amount of client gifts. We went with Vosges chocolate and they put together a custom gift package for us with a 6 piece truffle box with a bottle of wine done up in their packaging (different than the one on the site). We received a lot of compliments on them from people who received them. The packaging in person is BEAUTIFUL and creates a really great impression. http://www.vosgeschocolate.com/catego...