A great Italian wine gift?
August 12, 2012 11:42 AM   Subscribe

Asking the advice of the MetaFilter Special Gift Squad, Italian Wine Division.

I have a mentor who has been an enormous help to me over several years and would like to get he and his wife a special gift. They have really striking, particular taste, which makes it hard to get an object for them (they're not coffee table book people), but I remembered once that he expressed happy surprise when I brought them a bottle of Barolo when they invited me to dinner. I'm thinking about getting them a couple bottles (or more?) of something good -- the most I can afford is about $150-200 total. (He is northern Italian, if that helps, with a cultivated palate.) I know very little about wine. What would you recommend I get that would delight them in that price range? Links or specific instructions for purchase -- good retailers, good prices -- also welcome. (I'll be shipping the wine to them within the US; I won't be seeing them face to face for a while.) Thanks very much!
posted by finnb to Food & Drink (5 answers total)
A really good bottle of Barolo can be had for that price.

I like the selection at The Rare Wine Company. They have some interesting old bottles in that price range - 1 1958 Borgogno for $145, for example. There are several similarly priced wines from the '60s. All of them would be an experience & should still be good. Unfortunately a mature wine from one of the superstars (Conterno, the Mascarellos, or Giacosa) will be out of your price range. Frankly, any wine that old is a bit of a crap shoot, you may want to go with something a little younger - say a 1990 or 1996. These should be in their prime. I see a 96 Barbaresco from the Produttori co-op and a 96 Brunate from Giuseppe Rinaldi, both excellent producers.
posted by mr vino at 12:05 PM on August 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

Ask MeFi is so great. This is really helpful, mr vino. I'll look through their selection with your advice in mind. Thanks!
posted by finnb at 12:26 PM on August 12, 2012

Delight? Maybe a wine that they're not used to that's still Italian. Maybe a really nice Sicilian wine, like a super-quality Nero d'Avola? Maybe also a digestivo...an amaro perhaps?
posted by mdonley at 1:05 PM on August 12, 2012

Super-Tuscans. A primer.
posted by vrakatar at 3:04 PM on August 12, 2012

I agree with mr vino about anything that aged is a crap shoot. I'd stick to something a bit younger but ideally still approachable and drinking well now. If you find something you think will work you can also check out what others are saying about it on CellarTracker.com.
posted by FlamingBore at 7:30 AM on August 13, 2012

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