As life’s clock ticks by and family and friends become older I find it increasingly difficult to source interesting presents. It was quite the thing a few years ago to gift a bottle of wine from the year of birth but I must say I haven’t done this recently.
As we approach madam a vin’s birthday I remember a couple of generous gifts that her cousin bestowed on the family. He used to own the well renowned Whytes restaurant in Brighton so knew a thing or two about the grape.
For my father in-laws special birthday he managed to source a bottle of Banyuls from his birth year 1929.
He chose not to drink it immediately but waited to the following Christmas to share with all us. Obviously its colour had mellowed over time but it was quite an experience. As I researched this wine I discovered that it has been noted as one of the best 1000 wines of all time. Amazing.
A slightly less successful present was one for my wife’s birthday where he gave her a bottle of Brane Cantanec Grand Cru Classe from 1965. Robert Parker described it as being “despicably bad”, we have never opened it.
So, if the birth year is a disastrous vintage maybe the thing to do is to find the best vintage after that. I am sure no one would mind shaving a few years off !!