SHOP TALK

Who has time to make an ex­tra trip for host­ess gifts? Try one of these foodie tricks us­ing prod­ucts that are all avail­able at your lo­cal su­per­mar­ket.

Rachael Ray Every Day - - Contents - —AN­GELA CARUCCI

Host­ess gifts from the su­per­mar­ket; a new­bie’s guide to bub­bly; and the one in­gre­di­ent your gua­camole needs

1 stock their pantry

Splurge on a pricier bot­tle of olive oil ($25 will get you some­thing spe­cial) and pair it with a fancy vine­gar. Then use a fes­tive rib­bon to at­tach a card with your fa­vorite salad dress­ing recipe—prac­ti­cal and thought­ful!

2 raise their spir­its

Know the host’s pre­ferred red? Pick it up along with a fes­tive wine stop­per. Or if she’s more of a cock­tail per­son, gather the fix­ings for a Moscow mule or a Bloody Mary and add a hand­writ­ten recipe and note.

3 fla­vor their food

Good salt makes ev­ery­thing bet­ter. You can’t go wrong with a nice bot­tle of plain sea salt. But try look­ing for a fla­vor she might not usu­ally buy for her­self—smoked, sriracha, or truf­fle—so it feels ex­tra spe­cial.

4 make their break­fast

Noth­ing’s worse than wak­ing up af­ter a party with noth­ing to eat. Help out your host with a morningafter break­fast bun­dle: a bot­tle of good maple syrup, pan­cake mix, and gourmet cof­fee.

CHAM­PAGNE

When you think of bub­bles, Cham­pagne is prob­a­bly what comes to mind. It’s also the spendi­est of the fizzy bunch: Bot­tles start around $30 and go up (and up and up). Strict pro­duc­tion rules are be­hind the price tag: The grapes must be from the Cham­pagne re­gion of France and un­dergo two fer­men­ta­tion pe­ri­ods in the bot­tle. Then the wine has to age in the bot­tle for at least 15 months for non­vin­tage Cham­pagne and at least three years for vin­tage. BUY Jean Ves­selle Brut Réserve (about $40) is a steal for the qual­ity. And the crisp, lemony Guy Lar­mandier Cra­mant Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs (about $61) is a great spe­cial-oc­ca­sion bot­tle, best shared among friends.

CAVA

If you want bub­bles on more of a beer bud­get, this Span­ish drink uses the same wine-mak­ing method as the French stuff. But be­cause it’s less well-known and the cli­mate in Spain makes it cheaper to grow grapes, it’s a sliver of the price. BUY Jaume Serra Cristal­ino Brut (about $10) is great for serv­ing a crowd. The palest pos­si­ble pink with a hint of cran­berry and a su­per-dry fin­ish, Raven­tós i Blanc de Nit Rosé 2016 (about $26) is wor­thy of your fan­ci­est stemware.

PROSECCO

This fruity Ital­ian sparkler doesn’t mind if you drink it out of a plas­tic cup and end up with a lamp­shade on your head. Like Cham­pagne, Prosecco can come from only a cer­tain re­gion in Europe (in this case, north­east­ern Italy). It’s made us­ing the Char­mat (or Ital­ian) fer­men­ta­tion method, which is speed­ier but yields bub­bles that will go flat more quickly. So drink up! BUY Zardetto DOC Brut NV (about $17) pairs well with cook­ies (and Net­flix) and is per­fect to use in sparkling punches. Sorelle Bronca Val­dob­bi­adene Su­pe­ri­ore DOCG Ex­tra Dry

(about $22) has a de­li­cious note of spiced pear that you’ll want to sa­vor.

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