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Please help me buy a bottle of wine

I basically know nothing about wine. I have a very good friend who is retiring soon, she and her partner are absolutely wine obsessed. Her dog is named merlot. I want to bring a gift and am thinking that a nice bottle of wine would be good (though half the guests could be thinking this also) other than the fact i know she loves red wine and i assume merlot, im lost. My budget is in the 40 or less range. Maybe i should just get them nice glasses, or a cheese board, etc

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  1. What a sweet thing to do!

    In general, any place near you that has a reputation for being a good wine store or having a good wine department should be able to help you out with some great recs that they have in stock. There are always going to be some really nice ones at that price range. If you know that they love reds, then I would get them a bottle of red!

    They sound like fun loving people who will really be touched by your thoughtful gift.

    1. If you are that lost, I would go with wine "accessories" as opposed to a bottle itself. Some nice Riedel glassware is always appreciated.

      Wine buying as a gift is tricky business and without knowing their tastes etc. I'd go with something safer and more long lasting.

      1. Well I think both of the suggestions posted so far are fine ideas. Taking a flyer with the tip that their dog is named Merlot, I would suggest buying a bottle of Duckhorn Merlot, which is probably going to be in that price range and is a very nice wine, from the Napa Valley. One of the wines Duckhorn is well-known for is their merlots.

        1 Reply
        1. re: mikester

          The suggestion to find out their favorite wine shop will make your selection of a wine much easier.

          If you want to buy a great Merlot in the $40 range, though, your best bet (imho) will be one from Washington State. I haven't had a bad one from up there.

        2. First: where do you live?

          1. Another thought is maybe you could find out if they have a favorite local wine shop. If so, the proprietor probably knows their taste and could suggest something for you.