Looking for advice on buying red wine to give as presents

netlaNovember 16, 2006

I am planning to give some friends a bottle of wine for Christmas and I don't want to sound a complete idiot when I go to the wine shop to buy it, so tought I would do some research first.

I'm looking for a mid-priced red wine that's good with smoked and salted meats, and another one in the same price range that is good with roast lamb. Any suggestions?

(X posted on Beverages)

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Go to a Total Wine store (there is one in Manassas, VA) or any other beverage store, wine shops, whatever. They can tell you the best wine that goes with whatever you can think of.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2006 at 5:40PM
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The above advice works if the staff knows anything about wine. Some do, some don't.

Check out a couple of the other threads on this forum - Breathing, "Is it just me" and a couple of others - I and others have made some recs.

If you are giving a present, it should be more than a supermarket wine, but not necessarily a super-expensive wine. You can get a great wine for somewhere in the $20s, $30s, and $100s, depending on what you are looking for.

If it is a wine-drinker, select something that the person would appreciate. Many great Spanish wines are out these days and something from there may be interesting - avoid Rioja and Ribera del Duero in the 2002 vintage and you will be OK.

Southern France makes great wines - again avoid the 2002 vintage. In the area of Chateauneuf du Pape - Pierre Ussegglio and Fils makes a basic blend that goes for $26 - $36. From nearby Gigondas, Domaine Brusset makes a Hauts de Montmirail that is wonderful - lots of cherry and spice and very smooth drinking. Both are areas that you may want to look at for decent values that you can drink today or keep for a few years.

Nearby is Minervois, Roussillon, and Corbieres - all places to look for something good.

In Italy, you can pick up decent Chianti Classico for somewhere in the $20s - Viticcio, Felsina, Gabbiano, and others all make Reservas that are in the low $20s and wonderful. The reservas are worth the extra money too, and again, other than the 2002 vintage, any that you are likely to find will be good. 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003 are all tasty.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2006 at 11:38AM
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Thanks for the advice, Rosesinny.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2006 at 5:24AM
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