Hello, all! As my user name indicates, I am a true wine idiot. I know virtually nothing about wine. However, I have a friend who seems to be somewhat of a wine connoisseur. She recently did a huge favor for me and I would like to present her with a gift for helping me out. I figured that a good bottle of wine would be a perfect gift. That leaves me in the lurch, though since I wouldn't know a good bottle from a bad bottle.

Could someone offer me a good suggestion on what I should purchase. I am looking to purchase a red wine, I think. Around $50-$60 a bottle would be nice and it has to be somewhat readily available for purchase as I don't want to spend a lot of time hunting something down.

I know that I am leaving myself wide open here since I have very few specifications. However, at this point, I will consider any recommendations.

Thank you,

Jennifer
Original Post
Hi Jennifer, welcome to the forums!

For the $50-60 range you have a lot of options. Try using www.wine-searcher.com to find some merchants who carry the wines you are looking for. Depending on which country/region your friend enjoys, here are some option available at retail these days.

California
Pride 2001 Merlot
Melville 2001/2002 Carrie's Block Pinot Noir
Ojai 2001 Roll Ranch Syrah
Karl Lawrence 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon

Italy
La Spinetta 2000 Barbera Gallina
Ca'Marcanda 2000/2001 Magari (supertuscan blend of Cabernet/Merlot/Cab Franc)

Spain
Clos Mogador 2000/2001 Priorat
Alvaro Palacios 2001 Finca Dofi

Hope it's a start. I'm sure others will chime in as well... good luck!
Jennifer,

Rather than just buying "price" I suggest that since your friend is a connoisseur that you casually ask what wines are her favorites, or what kind of wine she brings out for a special occasion, or any inquiry that gets her talking.

The choices are so boundless that, while she may appreciate what you present her, if may miles away from her palate preference.

tgb
Jennifer- Welcome. I must agree with TGB on this. Find out what she likes, then decide. My wife recently pulled a ruse on me, telling me that her boss wanted to buy a nice bottle for a client and wanting to know what I would buy with $100. I told her, and voila, a 97 Brunello Riserva and a 98 Barolo were given to me as a gift from a third party! What a nice surprise.

What part of the country are you in? If you're in Chicago I can tell you what I would want for $50 on the retail shelves now.

********
Yes, but I came here for an argument.

Oh! Oh! I'm sorry, this is abuse.
Jennifer, the advice on finding your friend's preference is right on. If white wines come up, consider not just price but a wine that is highly sought after. For example, a couple bottles of Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc would be recognized as a nice gift if your friend is indeed well informed. Don't buy anything before 2001. I prefer them in the year of release. 2003 is out but I've not had any of the 2003 so can't vouch for the vintage from personal experience. Definitely use www.wine-searcher.com. You can get 2 bottles of Cloudy Bay for $50, plus or minus 5 bucks, is my thinking.
Thanks to each of you for your advice. I was really hoping to just be able to choose something without asking her preferance, etc. I kind of figured that it would be too difficult though since wine is such a complex subject. I know that whenever we are out, she always drinks red wine...just not sure which type of red. I guess I should have paid more attention. Oh well...I'll see what I can find out from her without giving too much of my plan away.

Thanks once again for all of your suggestions.

Take care,

Jennifer

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