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May 31, 2007 11:08 AM

Great wine for gift (around $100)?

Looking to give a great (or at least, good) bottle of wine as a thank you gift to someone in New York. I'm in LA, so i'd either need to ship it or contact a shop in New York directly.

Any suggestions for a special bottle around $100? The recipient has three loves in life (wine, food and golf), so I admit I feel like the pressure is on as I get lost when it comes to wine.


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  1. Do you have any idea at all what kind of wine this person likes? Without any direction, it's difficult to give a suggestion. Red or white? Any preference for a region or style?

    Three of the best shops in NYC are:
    Moore Brothers - French, Italian & German only, lots of great small producers.
    Le Du - New & Old World, lots of undiscovered gems
    Chambers Street Wines - New & old with a focus on organic and biodynamic

    All three have a great selection and can guide you in your choices.

    5 Replies
    1. re: oolah

      i was leaning towards a red, possibly italian. i'd also consider a great california wine since i'm in california, or a 2005 bordeaux since they're getting so much hype

      1. re: esculent

        Best idea would be to contact one of the three merchants oolah mentioned, and talk with them . . . all three are solid stores with excellent reputations. (I'm most familiar with Chambers St.) Any of them will be able to provide several great possibilities.

        1. re: zin1953

          Yep, I think this is your best bet.

          One suggestion based on your criteria: a 1997 Mascarello Barolo is $99.99 at Chambers Street Wines. This is a nice bottle -- great vintage, great producer.

          I'm sure they could offer you even more ideas.

        2. re: esculent

          If you're going for a California red, perhaps a bottle of Dominus?

          I'd check out Pops

          While their selection is limited more or less to the more well known producers, they have a good amount of California cabernet and meritage to choose from in your price range. Pro: they deliver free within the metropolitan NYC area on orders over $100. Con: Their prices arent great for single bottles, quite good for mixed/full cases.

      2. italian wine merchants has a fabulous selection, and their staff is exceedingly helpful. thier selection of italian wine is amazing.

        1. this might be tougher than you think. having been the recipient of well intentioned gifts of wine that, while the sentiment was much appreciated, left me cold, you might want to try to get a sense of what kind of wine the "giftee" really enjoys. I might lean toward a very good champagne, maybe a burgundy.

          4 Replies
          1. re: ibstatguy

            Co-sign what ibstatguy said. Try and find out where the recipient's tastes lie. If that's too difficult to ascertain, then a bottle of good champagne will always be appreciated (either to be consumed ASAP, saved for a special occasion, or regifted). For $100 or thereabouts, you're in the neighborhood of a bottle that even a casual/novice drinker would know is reasonably expensive (e.g. Dom Perignon or Veuve Clicquot La Grand Dame or Perrier Jouet La Fleur).

            Otherwise, go the safe route and get a bottle of cab, merlot or meritage that the recipient could enjoy entirely to himself or could be opened for a special occasion with people who would appreciate it as well. Beringer Private Reserve cab or Pahlmeyer merlot or Cain 5 would all be in or near your price range, and any wine connoisseur would welcome such a gift.

            The '04 Bordeaux have only recently hit the market. Unless you're planning to give this gift sometime in 2008, you'd be giving a future if you're gifting the '05 Bordeaux.

            1. re: Eugene Park

              i realized that the '05 were futures shortly after posting. i guess if i knew that the person was a real Bordeaux fanatic I might spring for that, but I'm just not certain.

              1. re: Eugene Park

                "Beringer Private Reserve cab or Pahlmeyer merlot or Cain 5 would all be in or near your price range, and any wine connoisseur would welcome such a gift."

                These may be excellent suggestions for the intended recipient but I have to take issue with your use of "any." While it's not for me to judge whether I'm a connoisseur, none of those wines would thrill me. And I know any number of certifiable connoisseurs (sommeliers and the like) who share my opinion. All of which is to say, as ibstatguy and you point out, the best solution is for the giver to learn more about the recipient's tastes. And, ideally, to purchase the wine at a store where the recipient can exchange it if it's not something that appeals.

            2. A nice bottle of porto is a good gift. You can still get an '85 for around $100. I remember getting a '63 for $100, but then I remember being young, also.

              1. If I were going to spend $100 on a bottle of wine as a gift I would consider a Vintage Port like the 1983 Fonseca.

                I would not buy 2005 Bordeaux (futures) for him.

                Italian I would go with a Tomasso Bussola Amarone TB (if you think he likes Amarone or want to get him something that is a bit out of the mainstream) or a 2001 Siro Pacenti Brunello di Montalcino (Tuscany) or a 2001 Clerico Ciabot Mentin Ginestra Barolo (Piedmont) depending upon where you think his preferences lie. I mention those wines specifically because they will last a long time but both are drinking uncommonly well young, so he will have options as to when to drink them.

                CA: America's Wine Shop in NY has the 2002 Etude Cabernet Rutherford for $94. (This is not to be confused with the basic Napa bottling which is also terrific, but not as terrific). That would be my go-to CA wine to send him. If he likes Pinots you might try to find a 2003 (or in Lieu of that, a 2004) Merry Edwards Klopp to send him. That wine is still flying under the RADAR but it competes favorably with the 'big boys'.