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Feb 21, 2010 03:05 PM

Purchasing a very special wine

I have $250 CAD to spend on a special meaningful gift. I am not one for jewelry and would get a lot of enjoyment out of an expensive wine that I would never normally buy. I am not necessarily looking for something to lay down, but if I was it would be for no more than about 4 yrs (40th bday sounds like a good occasion!). I am located in Alberta, our selection is pretty darn good and we have some great wine shops. I am not opposed to Champagne, but would prefer a red. I love old world reds and have thought of a great Bordeaux or something like that. I have also discovered that I like cab savs if they are more expensive. I would consider splitting the $ it into 2 bottles, but no more than that.

if there is any other information you need let me know. looking forward to hearing some suggestions.

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  1. If you're looking for a couple of bottles, one to throw into the mix might be Tempier rose. shows a business called has the 2005. Tempier rose, but the label in the photograph says it is 2007. If it's 2007, definitely get it. A lot of people rate it as the best rose they've tasted ever. And unlike typical rose it ages.
    What about a nice Canadian ice wine?

    2 Replies
    1. re: SteveTimko

      I would prefer a red to a rose, I do like roses but not enough to spend this kind of moula on one.

      not a fan of ice wine or port, i like dessert wines such as a sauterne (sp?) but again not enough for this.

      1. re: cleopatra999

        Domaine Tempier Bandol Rouge comes in several single vineyard bottles, and is amazing, across the board. If you've never had one, you should. ;)

        However, if you 've never had Krug Grand Cuvee I would strongly suggest you spend some $$ on a bottle. If you love good Champagne, you won't regret it.

    2. I would go with vintage '82, '86 or '89 bordeaux. I buy most of my bottles through auction at If its a bottle I'm not familiar with, I check out the reviews on and compare prices at I've bought over a dozen bottles this way of vintage bordeaux and have been very pleased each time. Just make sure the bottle you get doesn't have any signs of seepage or overly large amounts of ullage. Also check out Their prices are incredible.

      2 Replies
      1. re: heyitsjai

        The prices are incredible at but I cant seem to find anyone that has ever ordered from them. Do you have any experience with them? The other three websites you mentioned I use regularly. There is a bottle at that I'm interested in but am leery as there are ZERO reviews online. Anything you can offer would help. Thanks

        1. re: michal

          I purchased some wine in the recent sale (82s) and tasted a couple of bottles from the 60s that a friend bought at the same time. They showed great.

      2. Go to your favorite wine store and look at what they have (or what they can order).

        I'd get 2 good bottles, one white (meursault, batard-montrachet) and one red (Pommard, ... ) and plan a great meal and share them with someone.

        and the most important, buy something you like , not something just because it expensive or "famous".


        1. I guess this is a bit late in terms of reply, but you're lucky to be in Alberta since you've got the best selection of all provinces. I know that Kensington Wine Market in Calgary has a lot of top-flight bottles, so the question is what kind of red are you interested in?

          Greenock Creek Roennfeldt Road Shiraz is a typical Australian bomb, there is also "Pure" from Domaine la Barroche, but your $250 is pretty open for a lot of Bordeaux, Bourgogne, Priorato, and so forth.

          1. Split it up into two bottles. I'd recommend an Amarone for one. They're commonly released about 5 yrs after bottling, & generally require at least another 4 or 5 yrs before drinking. Sometimes you can find older bottles on the shelves & spend less time cellaring yourself. The last bottle I opened (in 2004) was a 1972 Masi I had bought around 1981. Absolutely amazing. I have three more bottles (1995, 1996, 1998, all from different makers) waiting for the right guests to share them with.

            The other bottle could be either a Bordeaux, or "The King of Wines" - Barolo. I love a great Cab, but to me the traditional Italians have better personalities. If you go with a renowned Barolo, you might have to wait until your 45th (or 50th) birthday to open it up. :-)

            5 Replies
            1. re: Eiron

              We are heading down to the states (San Diego). I am debating waiting until we get there. I think my money will go further.

              1. re: cleopatra999

                How are you travelling, & will you bring the wine back yourself or have it shipped?

                Flying means storing it in your check-in baggage. There's a potential for theft or breakage. Driving can mean a lot of shaking/bruising to the wine. Jostled wine isn't bad as long as you let it rest for at least a week before opening. Some folks think it permanently damages the wine, but I'm not one of them.

                Enjoy the trip!

                1. re: Eiron

                  we are flying, so it would be coming back checked. might get some 'wine skins' for the trip.

                  1. re: cleopatra999

                    Cleo, it is so difficult to answer this question, but I will say this... there is no region responsible for half as many expensive disappointments as Burgundy. But great Burgundy cannot be had for under $100. And great Burgundy is a wine category unto its own -- there is no peer. Alternatively, traditional Cote-Rotie such as the B. Levet Le Chavaroche bottling is a unique and sublime experience.

                2. re: cleopatra999

                  Your money will definitely go further, as wine taxes in Cali are nowhere near what they are in Alberta. If you are staying more than 48 hours, then you can bring back 2-750ml bottles per person. You will find that, because of the soft economy, prices on many top California cabs have been drastically reduced. I would say that your $250 budget should buy you 2 great wines, unless you want to splurge on a cult cab. I would recommend 2006 Caymus Special Selection cab (I've seen it as low as $100US online!) and 2005 Chateau Montelena Estate cab. These are serious and ageworthy wines. Another good idea is to buy 2 bottles of the same excellent cab and then you can see how they develop over time.