Celebration dates such as anniversaries and births deserve a gift that will never be forgotten. The gift of a wine from the same vintage that commemorates either of these celebrations is enduring and thoughtful. As spring approaches, we all have commitments well into the summer that fit this description.
As most of us will agree the bubbly elixir of life, a.k.a. Champagne, usually comes to mind but as the occasion dictates this event is a celebration of commemoration. That would require a gift with a vintage that matches the date and only age worthy wine would be appropriate. Vintage Champagne of good quality and in good shape (older than 1988) might only be a fantasy. This would be ok for twenty year anniversaries, but you would have to exclude occasions older than 1988. If we were celebrating a recent birth or wedding, a gift the receivers could save and cherish would be more appropriate. Wines with a 21-year maturity capability for births will be best and for weddings we hope 50 years but 25 will do.
For these applications, a current vintage age-worthy wine will do and there are many to choose from. Recent Rhone, Burgundy and Bordeaux vintages are the best on record. On this side of the pond, there are many New World wines capable of aging twenty to twenty five years. If we are trying to impress a grandparent, only Bordeaux, Burgundy, a few Brunello’s and a scattering of Barolos will fill the bill. If the gift is for a parent, our options increase a bit to wines that hold steady for twenty to thirty years. In the off-dry whites, several varietals do well including Kabinett level Rieslings and Trockenbeerenauslese from Germany, and Sauternes from France.
Vintage Ports will also compete in this arena at prices that will not break the bank. This link will take you to a site that specializes in specific needs – say a 50th anniversary or an all-important 30th birthday. Many of your local wine retailers can also provide this service so if at all possible stay local with your wine appellation choice and retailer to cut down the carbon footprint of this industry and you yourself personally.
With some recent vintages from many appellations being declared the best in decades, wine gifts are not only appropriate but they may be appreciated in both the concept of hospitality and appreciation in a fiscal manner, meaning they eventually will be worth a lot more than the purchase price. Either way making you the giver the guest to be remembered. Can you say, “Pay it Forward”?