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Ryan W

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Decent mid-priced red wine gift suggestions?

by Ryan W » Wed Nov 11, 2009 9:57 pm

Hello everyone. I'm a long time lurker who quit being lazy and signed up for the forums today. Please forgive me if this topic is not appropriate for this forum but it seemed to fit best here.

My parents are celebrating their fortieth wedding anniversary soon and I'm looking to get a red wine to include in their gifts (red wine = ruby colored, the gem representing 40 years). I am not experienced enough to know good wine from bad.

Could someone give some suggestions for a red wine that would be respectable and appropriate as a gift, costs less than $100 a bottle, and is available at a local shop (preferably non-national chain)? Can an impressive choice be had for this price range or do I need to move higher? The honored couple are by no means wine connoisseurs but would know a solid choice when they see it.

Thanks in advance -- Ryan
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Mark Head

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Re: Decent mid-priced red wine gift suggestions?

by Mark Head » Wed Nov 11, 2009 10:14 pm

As opposed to offering the name of a specific wine, I suggest you go to Westport Whisky and Wine, Gemelli's, Old Town, or any good wine shop and ask them for specific recommendations thus allowing you to make a good choice among thousands of options. You can find killer wine for $20 or spend $100 on a dog---a good wine merchant as a friend is a valuable commodity.
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Todd Antz

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Re: Decent mid-priced red wine gift suggestions?

by Todd Antz » Wed Nov 11, 2009 11:21 pm

You could probably buy 4-5 great wines for that $100 total, but if you are looking for a big splash on one bottle, there are a few things out there. Cakebread Cabernet Sauvignon jumps right out to me, and will put you right near $100 per bottle after sales tax. Great quality, with a good name that they would recognize.

We have a wine tasting from 5 - 8 on Thursday the 12th that is featuring a couple great reds in the $20 range if you have a chance to come over. Or the suggestion before my post about stopping in to one of the good wine shops in the area. Some good shopping advice though, don't walk in looking for a $100 bottle, let them guide you around to some different options before you bring that high a price point up.
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Stephen D

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Re: Decent mid-priced red wine gift suggestions?

by Stephen D » Thu Nov 12, 2009 12:12 am

Why do I think that purchasing a wine that they could enjoy in 5 or 10 years (they age as it ages, I've fallen in love with the idea) would be a cool little touch...

My favorite wines that fit this quality come from the Mediterranean Basin: Chateneuf-du-Pape, Southern Rhones, Piedmont (Barolo, yea!) and Priorat. They can be bought fairly young, and at a value-price and left to sit to grow into the luscious and complex wines they truly can be. Go see Todd or your vino-monger of choice and they should have something they think fits this mold. Just make sure that they store the wine appropriately: on its side in a cool, dark place.

I truly hope you knock it out of the park! Not now, but in 5-10 years!

:D

EDIT: Silly me, I forgot my welcomes!
Last edited by Stephen D on Thu Nov 12, 2009 12:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Decent mid-priced red wine gift suggestions?

by Steve P » Thu Nov 12, 2009 12:18 am

Ryan,

Two things...(A) Awesome idea and (B) Welcome to the forum....Stick around and enjoy the fun.

Not discounting for a nano-second anything Todd, Stephen (or anyone else) has to offer but I would wait for Robin to weigh in on this matter before making a selection. I'm not a "wine guy" but Robin seems to have his thumb on the pulse of everything "wine".

Congrats to your folks...
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Re: Decent mid-priced red wine gift suggestions?

by Todd Pharris » Thu Nov 12, 2009 12:25 am

Ken Wright makes great Oregon Pinot Noirs for around $50.
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Paul Mick

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Re: Decent mid-priced red wine gift suggestions?

by Paul Mick » Thu Nov 12, 2009 1:10 am

I do agree, with Todd that you can't go wrong with Ken Wright. There's a big New World name that's sure to be recognized.

Also, I really like Stephen's idea about finding a wine to age though. A nice Southern Rhone like a Chateauneuf would be my pick.

Overall though, wait until Robin throws in his two cents. Any wine store you go to in this town is going to have helpful salespeople, but Robin should be able to help you narrow the field significantly before you go out to a store.

Also, welcome to the forum!
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Re: Decent mid-priced red wine gift suggestions?

by Stephen D » Thu Nov 12, 2009 8:39 am

Steve P wrote:Ryan,

Two things...(A) Awesome idea and (B) Welcome to the forum....Stick around and enjoy the fun.

Not discounting for a nano-second anything Todd, Stephen (or anyone else) has to offer but I would wait for Robin to weigh in on this matter before making a selection. I'm not a "wine guy" but Robin seems to have his thumb on the pulse of everything "wine".

Congrats to your folks...


Steve is absolutely right. Robin will be able to nail down the exact wine for the occasion, just off the top of his head.
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Robin Garr

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Re: Decent mid-priced red wine gift suggestions?

by Robin Garr » Thu Nov 12, 2009 8:54 am

Stephen D wrote:Steve is absolutely right. Robin will be able to nail down the exact wine for the occasion, just off the top of his head.

You big suckups! :D

Actually, I think the forum's advice has already been awesome: Go to one of our great local indie wine shops - available on both sides of the river, thanks in particular to Todd - and get a trustworthy merchant to walk you through his available options and talk about them.

In this price range, I like Oregon Pinot Noir for drink-now or save-for-a-while ... Ken Wright, as has been mentioned, is very good. Another I would add with strong recommendation is Domaine Selene, which I generally find a little more complex and "Burgundian" than Wright. Either would be good though.

I also like Chateauneuf-du-Pape as a delicious wine that can be kept and improve for quite a few years. Avoid Chateau de Beaucastel, which is excellent but a bit overpriced, and look for something like Chateau Donjon or maybe Vieux-Telegraphe.

Remember if you want to cellar wine for long-term, more than a few years, you have to keep it in a cool place. If you don't have a wine-cellar unit, a cool part of the house is best. For a variety of reasons, you don't want to keep it in the fridge. On its side, away from heat, in a cool, not-too-well-lighted place is best.
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Re: Decent mid-priced red wine gift suggestions?

by Brad Keeton » Thu Nov 12, 2009 1:29 pm

Todd Antz wrote: Cakebread Cabernet Sauvignon jumps right out to me, and will put you right near $100 per bottle after sales tax. Great quality, with a good name that they would recognize.


Love Cakebread (toured their vineyard this summer), and the Cab is great, but they also make other outstanding reds as well under $100. I like their 2005 Zinfandel (Red Hills Lake County) a lot, and it can be had for under $50.00.

That being said, your best bet would definitely be to heed the advice of the wine merchants.
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Re: Decent mid-priced red wine gift suggestions?

by jpdurbin » Thu Nov 12, 2009 1:41 pm

Mad Dogs and Englishmen have a nice blended red.
Some decent Shiraz/Cab blends but forgot the labels.

Call Gordo at Old Town/The Wine Market.
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Ryan W

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Re: Decent mid-priced red wine gift suggestions?

by Ryan W » Thu Nov 12, 2009 6:29 pm

Wow--thank you, all of you, for the advice and suggestions. Todd, thank you for the tip about not announcing my price range up front; I would not have thought about that.

I love Stephen's suggestion about a wine to let age and have a perfect way to do this. The honored couple are taking a vacation alone to celebrate and we will have a bottle for them to enjoy during that trip waiting at their destination and then have a second box waiting at home with the wine to set away. Twice the fun, twice the brownie points, and I get to look so much more swift than I am thanks to everyone's contributions here. :D

I'm going to head out after dinner to make my selections. Cheers to all on this forum and hopefully I may be able to contribute for you as you have for me. -- Ryan

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