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Wine as Wedding Gift - What will be good in 1, 5, and 10 years?

Hi! I'm not a wine drinker, but my brother and soon-to-be sister-in-law love it. I want to get them 3 bottles of wine as a wedding gift - one to be opened on their 1st anniversary, one on their 5th, and one on their 10th. They'll prefer white, and my brother enjoys a buttery flavor. Any suggestions for each of the 3 anniversaries will be greatly appreciated! (And please be specific as I'm embarassingly clueless!)


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  1. First, do they have appropriate storage ?

    If they don't, forget about it and just give them a bottle bought from a reputable vendor in a year, in 5 years and in 10 years. or give them a heck of a good bottle now. (Meursault, Chassagne-Montrachet, ... )

    If they do, then go Burgundy. or other world chardonnay equivalent. or go for a sweeter wine like sauterne or Coteaux du Layon, or late harvest riesling, ...

    or sometihng different like a Vin Jaune.

    1. As Max said, if they don't have a wine cellar or wine lockers there's no point in buying long-term agers. Also, you need to find out what they like. I, for instance, am in that minority of wine lovers who don't like cabernet sauvignon.
      Sparkling wines are usually good choices. Something like an older Huet can be purchased now relatively inexpensively and it will hold for 10 years easily.

        1. Faced with similar circumstances many years ago, I offered up a half-case of Taylor-Fladgate 1985 Vintage Port. This couple had a cellar, so there was no issue there. They did a bottle, when they returned from the wedding festivities and a trip up the CA Coast in a rented Alpha Spyder. Every 10 years, they have had a bottle, and it is getting better. Now, the wine-porn writers had projected it as the VP of the century, and it failed, but it has still been good.


          1. 1 yr-Domaine de la Folie - Rully - 1er Cru - Clos de Saint-Jacques
            5 yr-Kistler Chardonnay Les Noisetiers
            10yr-Domaine Edmond Cornu et Fils-Meursault

            Ask your local wine guy but prepare to drop some cash.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Carmelizedbunions

              Is the Meursault red or white? Most Meursault is white that I know of, maybe all, and given Burgundy's oxidation problems that's kind of a crapshoot, isn't it?

              1. re: SteveTimko

                Good point, definitely a crapshoot but much like aging any wine. Spieker said they prefer white so white Mersault. Also mentioned them liking a buttery quality and in that flavor realm aged Mersault is king. Certainly a premier cru like Les Charmes from a quality producer like Coche Dury or Lafon is capable of going at least ten years. But once again plan on dropping some serious cash.

            2. I am bumping this thread for selfish reason. H and I have a limited budget, and are going to a chi-chi wedding. For family, we'd typically put cash in a card, but the cash we'd have to put in a card for this couple would be an insult since they can buy and sell us ten times over.

              Can anyone on the board suggest a lovely white for under $100? Sorry to highjack.

              2 Replies
              1. re: pinehurst

                Okay, since you post in the Boston area I assume you have access to a wine store there, so I have three recommendations available at The Wine Bottega. I know nothing about the store.
                The best recommendation is probably the 1996 Erich Salomon riesling library reserve release. This is a tradition for some winemakers to hold their best bottles of wine until they have lots of age and release them close to their peak. So this wine has been stored at the winemaker's cellar until it went to the importer for release in the United States. This is a winemaker with a good reputation. 1996 was an excellent year in Germany, so I suspect it was a good year in Austria too. It's $50. A steal.
                Using Wine Searcher I found they have a 1989 Josef Longen Riesling Spatlese Thornicher Ritsch for $35. I've never had wine from this vineyard and this is a no-name winemaker. I've bought a half dozen 1980s spatlese from a San Francisco wine store and had mixed luck. Some were spectacular, some duds and some just okay. Also, since this isn't a library release, you have to wonder about how it's been stored. So there's risk here with this choice.
                A final option is what's called an orange wine. This the ancient winemaking technique of fermenting white wine while it still has contact with skins, giving the wine an orangeish color. They have a 2006 Paolo Bea Arboreus from Umbria for $80. If you serve orange wine to six people who've never had it before, three will think it's the worst thing they've ever tasted and three will thank you enthusiastically and go look for their own to buy.
                Sadly, you just missed out on some 1985 Huet that they sold recently. This would have been a wonderful, welcome gift.

                1. re: pinehurst

                  Recently had lovely white - a French Condrieu -- Yves Cuilleron Les Chaillets 2008, which I had shipped from Flickingers in Chicago. An unusual Condrieu should be chichi enough. $70. I ordered two from Flickingers --two Condrieus from two different producers -- and this one was clearly superior, perhaps because it was a year younger. Condrieu is not known as a long-lived wine, but the 2008 was perfect. Monetary considerations aside, I would buy a half-case in a heartbeat.

                2. These are great suggestions. I'm tempted to try the 1996 riesling first since the price knocks me out. I'll hunt this down tonight and let you know what I find/buy.