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Jan 31, 2007 08:00 PM

special occasion wine: $80-100?

I am getting married in a couple of weeks, and looking for a gift idea for my groom. Someone suggested getting one of these: and a nice bottle of wine (or champagne? I know it doesn't require the corkscrew, but matches the festive feeling of a wedding!


Anyhow, if you were going to buy a nice bottle of red, or champagne, in the $80-100 range, with the intent of opening it some years in the future on a special occasion, what would you go for??

We're both enthusiastic wine drinkers, but relative novices in terms of knowledge. I can tell you that I like a lot of tannins, while my hubby-to-be likes something a little more smooth, so I guess it would have to fall somewhere in the middle.

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  1. Two ideas . . .

    There are dozens of great Champagnes in the $80-100 range, and my first choice would be to get a bottle of Champagne that you can then hold for a year and drink together on your first anniversary. I don't know where you live, but I would first look to the excellent selection of grower champagnes selected by Terry Theise. Check out:

    and you'll see what I mean. They are not necessarily the best known names, but they are stunning wines!

    The problem with recommending a red is that -- even though you like tannins and he likes smooth -- I don't know if that means Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Zinfandel . . . France, Italy, Australia . . . and so forth. If there is a *type* of red wine you both like (e.g.: Chateauneuf-du-Pape), I'd suggest you get either an older bottle to enjoy on your honeymoon, or a bottle of younger wine you can age until your 5th anniversary!

    Congratulations, and good luck!

    1. I'd go for a great champagne, or a great "toasting" wine such as a Port or Sauternes.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Chicago Mike

        Great idea. Hope for 2007 to be a declared vintge, and then grab some Porto for later anniversaries.

        1. re: zin1953

          Unfortunately it will be two or three years before the 2007 vintage (if one is declared) is available. I still have a 1985 Taylor's that my wife and I are going to open on our 25th anniversary.

          The problem with trying to buy the vintage for the year you were married, or the year a child is born, etc. is that ageable wines are not released for a couple of years after they are made. After all, the 2005s are just now coming on the market.

          I'd look for a good quality NV champage. But know that some vintages are just being released that you should look to. There are a lot of 1995 and 1996 champagnes that are just being released as they were disgorged in 2005 or 6. For example, the 1995 Charles Heidsieck Blanc des Millénaires is now on the market. If you can find any it would be a perfect choice to drink in a year or 5 years, or even 10. You might also look for something like a Veuve Cliquot Rose.

      2. Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Fabulous!

        1 Reply
        1. re: baseballfan

          But only if you like American Oak.

        2. Hmm... well like I said we're relative novices when it comes to wine, but I can tell you about a few that we recently drank to give you an idea of our tastes. One was an Australian Shiraz that I thought was utterly bland, but he liked it; my favorites were the Santonegro Monastrell and Wrongo Dongo Jumilla from Spain; and somewhere in between was the Rodney Strong Pinot Noir.

          We live in LA if that helps too. Thanks for your suggestions thus far!

          4 Replies
          1. re: bcrall

            The good news is: wine incompatibilities don't matter in a couple.
            Trust me.

            1. re: bcrall

              After reading this, I'd be even more inclined to go for atop Champagne to enjoy on your first anniversary . . .

              This is for two reasons. The first is that there are -- as LVI says -- a lot of bland, overpriced red wines out there, and I would hate to see you spend that much money on a bottle that either one or both of you did not love. Secondly, there are many more exceptional Champagnes in that price range than there are "duds" (for those, you either have to spend less, or more), and so being disappointed with a "bland" wine is something you won't have to worry about.

              but that's just my $0.02

              1. re: zin1953

                Agree but be forwarned about salesmen pushing that gotta have Vintage champagne. As with wines, do your homework and do not get tempted by big names and Vintage. Even though it is a big name I would take a NV Krug Grand Cuvee at slightly more than your $100 top price ANY DAY over 99.9% of alot of the crap Vintage Champagnes. Is it me or does anyone else notice how there are more and more "Vintage" releases than the past? It seems like Champagne houses have decide to throw quality to the wind and produce mediocre Vintage Champagne rather than exceptional NV. Amazing what marketing can do!

                1. re: LVI

                  Which is EXACTLY why I specifically suggested Terry Theise's portfolio and the link to the catalog above . . .

            2. casanovi di neri brunello di montalcino tenuta nuova 2001 is in your price range and has the structure to age nicely. wine spectator #1 of 2006 so it's hard to find.

              clos des papes chateauneuf-du-pape 2004, easier to find and great to drink now.