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creativeingredients

Christmas Present of Wine

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I am looking for a bottle of nice wine to get for my husband as a gift (shared gift:))

I am looking for recommendations in the $100+ range. He tends to like merlots in reds and chardonnays in whites, but it could be anything "big tasting."

Thanks in advance for any ideas!


Edited by creativeingredients (log)

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I find both Merlot and Chardonnay vary greatly in taste depending on where they are from. May I suggest you go to one of larger LCBO's and speak with one of the Vintages consultants there? If you can provide them with specific wines your husband particularly enjoys it should be easy to direct you to an appropriate gift.


Barbara Laidlaw aka "Jake"

Good friends help you move, real friends help you move bodies.

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Thanks for the reply.

I wonder if I could phone one of the consultants. I am not able to venture out right now due to foot surgery.

I think my question is just too general. I was hoping for some ideas of wines that are out right now at my price point and delivering even bigger on taste. Just can't get away from maximizing the old price/value relationship.

:smile:

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Where are you located? Some of us could probably suggest a good Vintages consultant in your area. If you have a Vintages catalogue, the store phone numbers are listed.

Looking at your price range, I would personally find merlot somewhat difficult, in new world selections. Pomerol and St. Emilion would be easier to choose from, although some are blended with other varietals.

Chardonnay should be easier to choose, as there is a great variety of really good wines from Australia, U.S., and Burgundy at 100+. My own wish list would include Penfold's Yattarna, but I don't know if any stores have it now.

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Jayt90:

Thanks so much for your reply. I am located at Bathurst & Eglinton.

It sounds like it would make more sense to move to a good French wine, if red. Would $100 buy an awesome Australian Chardonnay?

I'm curious - What's Yattarna?

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It sounds like it would make more sense to move to a good French wine, if red.  Would $100 buy an awesome Australian Chardonnay?

I'm curious - What's Yattarna?

Yattarna is Penfolds' attempt to do with Chardonnay what their Grange did for Australian Shiraz (click here for tasting notes). Leeuwin Estates would be another interesting Australian Chardonnay.

There's a lot of wine out there that would give great bang for your Robert Borden. If you do call the Vintages consultant, it would be best to describe the wines your Significant Other currently drinks so that he/she can ramp up from there.

Good luck with the hunt; I'd be very curious to hear what you wind up picking for the luck guy.

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CI, there is a Vintages Corner at Laird and Eglinton, and they apparently have a 2002 Yattarna at $90.

I found this by visiting Vintages.com and plugging into 'advanced search'.

You can do the same search, concentrating on merlot, Toronto, and $50+;

or in addition search Chardonnay, Toronto, $40+, in U.S. or Aus.

You should also search Pomerol for French merlot,

and White Burgundy, France, in Toronto stores.

When you are ready to go out, the above mentioned store may be OK, but Yonge and Summerhill will have a much better selection of your choices. They will be very busy, but getting a consultant's attention won't be too hard.

Good Luck! We are all interested in seeing how your search goes!

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Thanks for doing that search for me. Today I spoke with the consultant at the Davisville store. She told me that there was no Yattarna in Ontario (and I believed her). Based on your post, I phoned Laird and they have it. Since Sommerville is closer, I phoned them as well and they put one aside for me. So now I have one bottle of Yattarna and one bottle of a red Bordeux - 2001 Chapelle D'ausone from Saint-Emilion. It is mostly merlot with some cabernet grapes. I'm not sure I could choose between them, so I may have to get them both :).

Has anyone heard of Tyrus Evan Sirah? My husband brought home a bottle he was given as a gift today (2003). Is this something to put away?

Thanks.

EGullet rocks!

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I dont know how you can spend over $50 let alone $100 on a bottle of white wine....but then again, thats just my opinion.

Get a bottle of Cloudy Bay, around $30 and very good.

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I dont know how you can spend over $50 let alone $100 on a bottle of white wine....but then again, thats just my opinion.

Get a bottle of Cloudy Bay, around $30 and very good.

It's pretty easy to do if say, you had a thing for Corton-Charlemagne like I did for a while.

The argument can also be made for reds: I worked with a fellow who earned close to double my salary, loved drinking wines but always criticized me and my purchases because he felt that no bottle should retail for more than $15 Cdn.

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Interesting.

People blow money on all sorts of things. Boy-oh-boy - don't get me started. But a lot of work and craft can go into the finest wines, which is part of what can make them worth it. Me, I'd rather 'invest' $100 on a wine that I'll remember for years (it is possible) than, for eg, have a mundane restaurant meal for the same price (far more easily done).

Of course, price probably doesn't guarantee quality, and so it's a good idea that our topic-starter here is doing some research.

Hey, here's another idea: sign your husband up for a tasting somewhere in Toronto, if he hasn't done one before. Check other posts here and the internet. Tastings are generally less than $100 from what I've seen. Then, based on the tasting experience, he might buy you a special bottle next xmas! :wink:

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Thanks for doing that search for me.  Today I spoke with the consultant at the Davisville store.  She told me that there was no Yattarna in Ontario (and I believed her).  Based on your post, I phoned Laird and they have it.  Since Sommerville is closer, I phoned them as well and they put one aside for me.  So now I have one bottle of Yattarna and one bottle of a red Bordeux - 2001 Chapelle D'ausone from Saint-Emilion.  It is mostly merlot with some cabernet grapes.  I'm not sure I could choose between them, so I may have to get them both :).

Has anyone heard of Tyrus Evan Sirah?  My husband brought home a bottle he was given as a gift today (2003).  Is this something to put away?

Thanks.

EGullet rocks!

Two excellent choices! If you get both, the red should be put away for 5 years or more. It was a very concentrated year, and the second wine of Ausone should be very rewarding.

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I decided to get both - after all t'is the season for giving :).

So, the 2001 St. Emillion shouldn't be opened until after 2011? It's going to be hard to wait. I have a little wine fridge, so I guess that will be its home for a while.

What about the 2002 Yatterna? Would it be good to drink now?

This is fun - I'm going to order the 2006 Hugh Johnson pocket guide.

Does anyone else have any favourite wine books?

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Nope, however...I would suggest taking a trip out to Niagra...

My GF and I went to visit a few wineries a few weeks ago, went to NCT (Niagra college teaching winery) they have an AMAZING Pinot there for $22 and a few other nice wines...

Also went to Lailey, regardless of the pretencious woman at the counter, their cab/merlot blend was great, as was their pinot.

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Nope, however...I would suggest taking a trip out to Niagra...My GF and I went to visit a few wineries a few weeks ago, went to NCT (Niagra college teaching winery) they have an AMAZING Pinot there for $22 and a few other nice wines...Also went to Lailey, regardless of the pretencious woman at the counter, their cab/merlot blend was great, as was their pinot.

Are the Niagara wineries you mentioned available through stores in Toronto? Perhaps next summer I'll get a chance to visit.I did visit Stratus this past summer (just before their official opening, so they weren't totally set up for tours, especially in the production area). The wines were great - I loved their Chardonnay. I was very impressed with their environmental responsibility. All their heating and a/c is geothermal. I believe they said they do not use pesticides, but I could be wrong. The tour started at the top of the building where the grapes are brought in. I asked where the washing station was and they said there wasn't one. It seems that grapes for wine are not washed. What if there's fungicide or pesticide residue? Sorry - that's the food QC police in me showing. Anyway, after the first couple of glasses I totally forgot about it.

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This is fun - I'm going to order the 2006 Hugh Johnson pocket guide.

Does anyone else have any favourite wine books?

I like his 'Wine Atlas' - partly because I love maps, and that book is full of them. Great detail too. You could probably take that book and use it to plot treks through various growing areas if you wanted.

Of course, as one of my teachers said, geography and wine are closely connected.

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Nope, however...I would suggest taking a trip out to Niagra...

My GF and I went to visit a few wineries a few weeks ago, went to NCT (Niagra college teaching winery) they have an AMAZING Pinot there for $22 and a few other nice wines...

Also went to Lailey, regardless of the pretencious woman at the counter, their cab/merlot blend was great, as was their pinot.

Are the Niagara wineries you mentioned available through stores in Toronto? Perhaps next summer I'll get a chance to visit.

I did visit Stratus this past summer (just before their official opening, so they weren't totally set up for tours, especially in the production area). The wines were great - I loved their Chardonnay. I was very impressed with their environmental responsibility. All their heating and a/c is geothermal. I believe they said they do not use pesticides, but I could be wrong. The tour started at the top of the building where the grapes are brought in. I asked where the washing station was and they said there wasn't one. It seems that grapes for wine are not washed. What if there's fungicide or pesticide residue? Sorry - that's the food QC police in me showing. Anyway, after the first couple of glasses I totally forgot about it.

Neither of the vineyards I went to are available through stores, thats one of the ways they keep their prices down. I had some of the stratus wines, but in my opinion, they are not worth the money they charge for them. At least, not compared to the two wineries I visited.

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Nope, however...I would suggest taking a trip out to Niagra...

My GF and I went to visit a few wineries a few weeks ago, went to NCT (Niagra college teaching winery) they have an AMAZING Pinot there for $22 and a few other nice wines...

Also went to Lailey, regardless of the pretencious woman at the counter, their cab/merlot blend was great, as was their pinot.

Are the Niagara wineries you mentioned available through stores in Toronto? Perhaps next summer I'll get a chance to visit.

I did visit Stratus this past summer (just before their official opening, so they weren't totally set up for tours, especially in the production area). The wines were great - I loved their Chardonnay. I was very impressed with their environmental responsibility. All their heating and a/c is geothermal. I believe they said they do not use pesticides, but I could be wrong. The tour started at the top of the building where the grapes are brought in. I asked where the washing station was and they said there wasn't one. It seems that grapes for wine are not washed. What if there's fungicide or pesticide residue? Sorry - that's the food QC police in me showing. Anyway, after the first couple of glasses I totally forgot about it.

Neither of the vineyards I went to are available through stores, thats one of the ways they keep their prices down. I had some of the stratus wines, but in my opinion, they are not worth the money they charge for them. At least, not compared to the two wineries I visited.

I would think that NCT would deliver though. I've ordered cases in the past from Frog's Pond and it was delivered the next day. Would you consider NCT to be the better of the 2 wineries, and was it just the pinot that you liked?

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They do deliver...

I dont know if I can say NCT is a better winery, but I would put it on par with Lailey, and as good as stratus, from the wines I tried.

I would suggest ordering a few Pinot's and the 2004 Barrel aged chardonnay, which I for one am not a fan of whites, but this wine was fantastic.

Let me know what you end up doing.

Cheers

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