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What would Joan do?

Gifts to show off your taste
By DEIRDRE FULTON + CLEA SIMON  |  December 9, 2009

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ChocoVine at Old Port Wine Merchants and Cigar Shoppe. Photo: MARGO ROY

In the pilot episode of AMC's Mad Men, Peggy Olson told Joan Holloway: "I'm from Bay Ridge. We have manners." While we may not be from that ethnic enclave of Brooklyn, we still know that the holiday season calls for us to put our most decorous feet forward. Say you've got a party coming up. You've got to come up with a top-notch spread, or else bring along an appropriate hostess gift. How can you tell what to serve or what little treat will please? Myers-Briggs tests are all very well, but really, if you're looking for the perfect party eats, why not go for another kind of typing — the kind that gets you out of the secretarial pool? Our handy Mad Men archetypes can help frame your true inner-party soul as well as your gift-giving conscience. Just find the character who fits like a good suit should and you're golden.

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Dipping oils at Maine’s Pantry. Photo: MARGO ROY


Peggy Olson

This working girl may be on a budget, but she's got big-city aspirations — and the desire to try new things. She surprises her guests, or her hosts, by opening a bottle of Abbazia di Novacalla Sylvaner white wine, fresh, fruity, and dry, from the OLD PORT WINE MERCHANTS AND CIGAR SHOPPE (223 Commercial St.; 207.772.9463; oldportwine.com). The $21.99 Italian wine, made in one of the oldest wineries in the world (which happens to also be a working Augustinian monastery), is a grown-up conversation piece, as is the ChocoVine, which combines French cabernet with Dutch chocolate and cream for a taste that's akin to Bailey's, without the alcoholic sting ($12.99). To accompany her beverages, she capitalizes on that outerborough know-how and grabs some dipping oils ($16.50 and up) at MAINE'S PANTRY (111 Commercial St.; 877.228.2028; mainespantry.com), and couple of baguettes from STANDARD BAKING COMPANY (75 Commercial St.; 207.773.2112). Who needs real food when you've got bread and wine?

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Baguettes from Standard Baking Company. Photo: MARGO ROY


Betty Draper

The lovely Betty is the consummate homemaker, but like so many gals with, um, political aspirations, she'd rather do without the fuss and muss. She hits STONEWALL KITCHEN (182 Middle St.; 207.879.2409; stonewallkitchen.com) for its full range of sauces, spreads, chutneys, and jams. She knows she can whip up a holiday dinner using any of the Stonewall Kitchen grill sauces or marinades ($6.95 and up) as a base; a membership to Stonewall's Specialty Food of the Month Club ($320 for 12 months) would remind its recipient of Betty's sweet resourcefulness year-round. And when she thinks about ending it all, she means with handmade truffles from DEAN'S SWEETS (82 Middle St.; 207.899.3664; deanssweets.com). The cayenne variation, naturally — delicate and sweet, but with a hidden bite ($17.50/eight-piece gift box).

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Handmade truffles from Dean’s Sweets. Photo: MARGO ROY


Don Draper

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  Topics: Features , Culture and Lifestyle, Paciarino, Mad Men,  More more >
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