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Sep 17, 2012 09:38 AM

Help picking out anniversary wines?

Hi Everyone,
I'm looking to get my sister & future BIL a wedding gift of anniversary wines (to be opened on their 1st, 3rd and 5th anniversaries) and was hoping to get some guidance. I know that storage will play a major role, but beyond that, does anyone have any recommendations or general guidance that they could offer?

Given the couple's preference, I'm thinking something sparkling would be nice for the 1 year bottle, and reds for the 3 and 5 year bottles. Budget-wise I'm looking to stay around $30 a bottle if possible.


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  1. $30 is tough for Champagne but you're right in the ballpark for sparkling Vouvray. Huet is a good bet. There's others.
    A tradition among some Rioja (Spain) winemakers is to hold wine in their own cellars until they are ready to drink. I picked up a 1996 Bodegas Las Orcas Rioja Solar de Randez Reserva last year for $30 a bottle and it's great. It would go another three years and probably five, although that might be pushing it. But you can look for a good library release of a Rioja.
    Storage is critical.

    1 Reply
    1. re: SteveTimko

      2007 Huët Vouvray Pétillant Brut is phenomenal. I get it for $24 locally, should not be more than $30. For $10-15 more, the 2002 Huet Reserve Brut is even better.

    2. How tied are you to the 1st 3rd 5th idea? And how into wine are your sister & future BIL? Also what region of the US are you located?

      If it's more of a "it's the thought that counts" type present most red wines should still be good up to 7 years after the vintage (say the wine is from 2007 it should still be fine in 2014). Pinot Noir, Cabernet, Cab Franc etc. (Zinfandel and Merlot can be trickier so you may want to skip those).

      There's also certain wines that are built for very very long term aging these include Riojas from Spain and Barolos from Italy. For those, the vintage can be a good 15 years before the date of opening and still be on the young side.

      However - I will say if your sister & future BIL are into wine, and you want this present to be more than "it's the thought that counts," you are going to have to ferret out a lot more information. If you can't, you may want to abandon the idea. $30 for a bottle of wine is kind of like spending $30 to buy your sister a top or pair of earrings. If you really know their tastes, they'll be delighted, otherwise the fact that the wine is $30 isn't a splurge/whoa! statement on its own.