HOME > Chowhound > Wine >


If You Could Have One Bottle... Any Bottle

Thought it would be fun to ask what wine you'd want if you could choose ANY wine in the world for free. Perhaps you had it once and were blown away by it... or a wine that you've never tried but always wanted to.

Price is not to be a factor... it must be a wine you'd drink... not pick a wine that's super expensive just so you can say you'd sell it.

I don't want to influence the replies so I'll wait a bit to add what I'm thinking of...

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. 1931 Quinta do Noval Nacional Vintage Porto.

    4 Replies
    1. re: zin1953

      Wow. A legendary wine that most consider the greatest port of the 20th Century. I've never had it but it's one that I'd too love to try. I've had the 1963 Nacional which was fantastic. Friends who's had the 31say it lives up to the reputation.

      1. re: WineAG

        It's one of a tiny handful of legendary Vintage Ports that has escaped me . . .

      2. re: zin1953

        I was in Porto a couple of months ago and was amazed by the vintage ports that were for sale in many little shops. 1900 port for $1600 dollars. I simply couldn't believe they kept it in the storefront windows!

        1. re: zin1953

          I have to second this reply. Next, would probably the '55 Taylor-Fladgate, as I have never really tasted it.


        2. 1947 Cheval-Blanc. A magnum please.

          4 Replies
          1. re: mengathon

            Another legendary wine. I've been lucky enough to try it on a few occasions. Appropriate that it comes right after the mention of the Quinta National... as this Bordeaux is almost port-like. Very a-typical... incredible concentration. I remember the finish lasting forever.

            Since you mentioned the 47, for those who may be interested... I recently received notice of a wine dinner centered around the 1947 Cheval Blanc to be held in Boston at Troquet Restaurant on Jan 14, 2009. Also pouring the 1985, 1983, 1982, 1990. Expectedly, not cheap. For anyone interested, contact Troquet or email me directly and I'll send you the details.

            1. re: WineAG

              Oh my. For budgetary reasons, I'd rather not know the details.

              I have a feeling this will be a great thread. I bet it stirs up lots of fond memories and prospects for the future.

              1. re: WineAG

                my absolute favorite resto in boston, for precisely that reason... wine dinners like that. i happened to be there on a night where there was a collector's dinner featuring Unico from 13 or so vintages... and was lucky enough to get to taste some phenomenal old wines. and the food is magnificent.

              2. Sommeracher Katzenkopf 1976 Rieslaner Beerensauslese. Definitively the best sweet wine I've ever had. (See photo)

                  1. re: whiner

                    90 LT is a phenomenal wine... one of the greats. My greatest La Tache experience was the 71 from magnum (incredible sweet fruit and a finish that never ended... followed by the 78 (mostly great bottles with a few that didn't live up to what it should be). The 78 is more powerful than the 71. Good bottles are insanely great. Another great vintage, the 1962 is one I've always wanted to try. The 1990 is a powerhouse. Last time I had it was about 7 years ago... still a baby. It does seem to fit the mold of legendary LTs and will be long lived.

                    Another point... the 1990 vintage may be the greatest "across the board" (all types of wines from all countries) vintage of our lifetime.

                    1. re: WineAG

                      The 1959 La Tâche was incredible, but my favorite DRC of all time is 1962 Romanée-Conti.

                      1. re: zin1953

                        I've longed for the 62 LT... the RC must be other-worldly.

                        Since were on 1962.... another great 62... Vega Sicilia... I love this wine... along with the 70... Favorite Vega, however, is the 1968.

                        1. re: zin1953

                          I know several people who have had the '59 La Tache and claim it as thier favorite wine of all time. So maybe I should have said '62 R-C :-)

                    2. 1961 Latour -- cuz I was born in that year. And this is pure fantasy. I don't expect I'll have a Bordeaux from my birth year when I turn fifty (or any other age, for that matter).

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: Brad Ballinger

                        This is my choice too. Around 30 years ago -- when I was just beginning to learn about wines -- I was privileged to attend a tasting of the 1961 first growths. Latour was my favorite then and I expect would still be today. I've never had any of the 61s again and don't know that I ever will. But the nostalgia factor plus the quality of this wine would make it my first choice.

                        1. re: chriscatva

                          61 Latour is another fantastic choice... a beauty, such power... Up there with Latour a Pomerol, Petrus, Haut Brion, La Mission Haut Brion, Trotanoy, and Palmer as my favorite 61's. All quite different but all amazing.

                          1. re: chriscatva

                            The 1970 Latour, to this day, is the best wine that I have tasted (in '92).

                          2. re: Brad Ballinger

                            You and I both. For the same reasons. Classic year and too much $$$.

                          3. Musigny 1990 Domaine Leroy. Not, scratch that, Henri Bonneau Cuvée des Célestins 1998. Hmm...
                            On second thought, I am changing to Krug Clos du mesnil 1996.
                            And Petrus 1982 behind that. Or Yquem 1976.

                            1. 1982 Chateau Prieure Lichine Margaux. We had one bottle, given to us, by a co-worker and friend of my husband, the year we were married (1995). My husband helped the guy remove the burner from his boiler in his basement because the river was rising and his home was threatened by flood. He was most appreciative he gave us a bottle of his most treasured wine. He had brought a case of it home from France years prior. My understanding is that 1982 was a legendary year.

                              We kept the bottle for several years and when we opened, decanted and drank it on our anniversary - well, it was exceptionally good. The deep, ruby color I have never seen before or since. I later googled it and found that same vintage was being sold for $800+ back then.

                                1. re: chrisinroch

                                  You don't want to know what I used to sell it for . . .

                                2. I was thinking of the 1990 Domaine Leroy Latricieres Chambertin... or perhaps a 1900 Chateau Margaux. No, make that the 1921 d'Yquem...

                                  1. Taurino, "Notarpanaro" Rosso di Salento 1988 - I was in college and just discovering wine. This wine was the first that fully revealed itself to me. I will never forget it, and oh, to be 20 years old again, at 34th & Hamilton in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at my friend Shola's apartment, listening to Deadcandance and This Mortal Coil and The Cocteau Twins and The Smiths, while finishing at Drexel University.

                                    Thank you to all that remember

                                    1. Ditto on the 90 La Tache, wouldn't kick 83 Beaucastel out of bed for eating crackers either.

                                      1. In the late 1960's Mason Williams (Classical Gas, Smother's Brother's writer, etc.) published the "Mason Williams' reader.) In the book, he outlines "how to enjoy crackers."
                                        It seems appropriate to use a variation on his theme for this subject:

                                        1. Rent a dive motel room.
                                        2. Place 10lbs of salad mix in a large trash bag in the room
                                        3. Have a 1 gallon jug of ranch dressing also at the bedside

                                        Pick up your girlfriend or wife for a "date." Take her to the motel room, have her completely undress on the bed. Cover her with the salad; she will be protesting as you slowly add the ranch dressing, but assure her everything is fine and as planned.

                                        Then shout: "I forgot the crackers!"

                                        Leave the dive motel, take a cab to the finest 4-star hotel in town. Rent a room, go upstairs and order crackers and--for this posting--the bottle of wine you've always wanted.

                                        When the wine and crackers are delivered, get undressed, climb into bed and savor the first taste. It will be the best wine you've ever tasted....

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: Leper

                                          oh my...you are a wild man, leper. i love the salad idea...other foods also?

                                          1. re: maria lorraine

                                            Maria, Same dive motel. Blue plastic tarp, 12 lb smoked turkey and a bottle of EverKleer...

                                            1. re: Leper

                                              you're a man who knows how to party...

                                          2. re: Leper

                                            in that scenario, do you get to go back to the dive motel and enjoy that special salad after the wine is gone?

                                          3. maybe a Vega Sicilia Unico

                                            1. Though several Le Montrachets have been memorable (a weakness of mine), two favorites would be the '53 Mouton and the '59 Steinberger TBA. WOW!

                                              1. I'd choose a Magnum of 1870 Chateau Lafite Rothschild from the Glamis Castle.

                                                I've included Michael Broadbent's notes from a NY Christies listing for a magnum that was up for auction in 2000... it sold for $32,000.... today it would bring more.

                                                Château Lafite-Rothschild--Vintage 1870

                                                This was unquestionably one of the most famous and dependable of all pre-phylloxera clarets. The wine was purchased by the 13th Earl from his wine merchant, Coningham, and binned in the cellars beneath the raised courtyard of the castle in 1878.
                                                Of the forty-eight magnums originally purchased, forty-two remained untouched until packed and removed prior to the sale. The reason for this extraordinary situation is that Lafite 1870 was an unusually tannic wine, virtually black in colour and so tough that it took a full fifty years to become drinkable, by which time subsequent members of the family had lost interest. Forty-one magnums were sold in lots of three and six, the first lot including the original bin label inscribed "1870 magnums Lafitte (sic) Coningham", with the meticulously maintained Glamis Castle cellarbook open for inspection.
                                                One magnum was opened at a pre-sale dinner in Christie's boardroom early in June 1971 attended by a dozen of England's most erudite Bordeaux connoisseurs. The wine, happily, was perfect. My note made at the time : " perfect cork and level; remarkably deep and richly coloured; faultless - indeed exquisite - bouquet and flavour; beautifully balanced, mouthfilling, still tannic but velvety. Perfection". MB

                                                9 Replies
                                                1. re: WineAG

                                                  NB: Mention of the power of the wine is lacking. Having tasted some high-end, 1925-1928 Burgundies recently, I can understand the careful wording of the note. Wines fade and lose their power with time. Wine is born, lives, and dies. It reminds me of the 1989 Lafitte. It is now perfectly balanced and very refined, but it is not a truly great wine because is not as powerful as the greats, nor will it ever be. But I certainly woud have liked to have tasted it 60 or 80 years ago!

                                                  1. re: Joebob

                                                    I've had the 1870 Lafite on 3 occasions. The first time was on the occasion of Napa pioneer Barney Rhodes' 70th birthday party at the Ritz Carlton in SF when Gary Danko was the chef (FYI, Barney passed away last year at the age of 88). It was, and still is, the greatest wine I've ever had. It was from a Glamis Castle magnum that was purchased at auction many years prior. It was still youthful, dark in color, had perfect balance, great fruit, amazing depth, as smooth as silk mouthfeel... a finish that was never ending. So perfect words really cannot describe it properly. I had never had anything that remotely came close to this masterpiece. For contrast, It was also served along side the 1959 and the 1876 Lafites. The 1876 was very light in color... it was opened to show how very special this 1870 was... the 1876 was very mature, drinkable, but had certainly past it's prime. The 1959, another legendary Lafite, was still a young wine... fantastic, youthful, intense. What was amazing to see was that the 1870's color was as dark and vibrant as the 59.

                                                    The second time I had it was from another Glamis Magnum, and equally as good.

                                                    The third time, about 7 years ago, was from a Magnum that a friend brought to a special dinner.... when he bought it it was billed as a bottle that was "believed to be" from the Glamis Castle. This wine, while very good, was in no way even remotely close to the other mags. Obviously not from the castle.

                                                    Yes, there's a reason the Glamis Castle bottles are so prized. It was a combination of perfect very cold storage along with a fantastic wine that was built for the very long term. There can't be many of these mags around still.

                                                    1. re: WineAG

                                                      When you write "very cold storage", do you know what the temperature was? Below the "optimal" 55-58F?

                                                        1. re: Joebob

                                                          I've seen comments that the temp was around 5 - 7 degrees C....... so, that's around 41-44 degrees F. .... and humidity around 75%.

                                                          1. re: WineAG

                                                            Does this imply that conventional temp. wisdom could be improved by lowering the temp. i.e., should I crank down my Vinotemp as low as it goes?

                                                            1. re: Joebob

                                                              Interesting. Actually some people prefer to keep their cellars at a lower temp than the traditional 55 degrees... say 50 - 52. Some keep them a little warmer. Personally, Im a fan of 55 (if anything a degree or 2 warmer). These minor differences really don't make that much difference. The most important factor is that the temp is CONSTANT.

                                                              Here's the main thing to consider. The COLDER the temp you keep the cellar, the SLOWER the wines will age. This was dramatically shown with the Glamis Castle bottles.

                                                              Another aspect that's important for collectors to consider is the humidity level. If it's too low the corks will dry out and the wine will oxidize. It is believed the humidity level at the castle was 75%, ideal.

                                                              1. re: Joebob

                                                                Think of all those old Science Fiction movies . .. the ones that "froze" people into suspended animation. The colder the wine is stored, the slower it matures.

                                                                And as Steven says, humidity is also crucial . . .


                                                                1. re: Joebob

                                                                  Not unless you plan on waiting 100+ years to drink it....

                                                      1. The "Rochioli" bottling from Wliiams-Selyem , one with about 5 years of age on it , from the good old days when Burt Williams and Ed Selyem were in their hayday . Course , I wouldn't argue against the La Tache or Romanee-Conti .

                                                        1. I actually had a dream about this. DH and I were in a fancy restaurant and the owner offered us one glass of wine each on the house. I picked the Chateau LaTour, at $38/glass (wishful thinking). So I guess that'sthe bottle I would like to try most.

                                                          1. SCARY THOUGHT:

                                                            There are, if I counted correctly, 41 specific wines mentioned as of 10 January 2009 @ 6:30 pm PST.

                                                            For example, I am counting "1931 Quinta do Noval Nacional", but NOT "[t]he "Rochioli" bottling from Wliiams-Selyem" as it lacks a specific vintage.

                                                            I think I've had 31 of them . . . that's just sick!

                                                            8 Replies
                                                            1. re: zin1953

                                                              Do you know what is sicker ? I have had none ! I need to upgrade my drinking friends.

                                                              My one bottle choice would be a Nebuchadnezzar of 2001 Screaming Eagle and a very large glass.................

                                                              1. re: zin1953

                                                                Yippee, I've had the 1988 Taurino Notapanaro. Sigh.

                                                                1. re: Brad Ballinger

                                                                  Brad - is the Notaparanano the one whose back label describes it as "the" or "a" mediation wine? I seem to recall a number of years ago when drinking Notaparanano that it bore such a description.

                                                                  1. re: ibstatguy

                                                                    Dunno. The last Notapanaro I had was the 1988. The last Taurino wine I had was the 1993 Patriglione.

                                                                2. re: zin1953

                                                                  You've jinxed yourself into having to post the entire list of vintages mentioned in this thread for our reading pleasure...... ;-)

                                                                  1. re: zin1953

                                                                    ok, so let's all start hanging with Jason since he is getting all the great juice.

                                                                    1. re: ibstatguy

                                                                      Well, keep in mind I got into the wine trade in 1969, when I was 16 . . .

                                                                      1. re: zin1953

                                                                        you're still ahead of us on the score sheet so TNs please in order that we may continue to drink vicariously through you!

                                                                        Regards, Tony

                                                                  2. to be brutally honest, and I don't want to sound like a nutcase... but I would love to have a glass of wine from the sermon on the mount.

                                                                    2 Replies