Wine Talk

Snooth User: cigarman168

Wine as Gifts for Italian People

Posted by cigarman168, Jun 14, 2010.

What wines do Italian people mostly like as a gift. Which brands?Which kinds?

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Replies

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Reply by galleyho, Jun 14, 2010.

give'em the cheapest wine you can find bex they are goin' to bitch about it anyway and tell you what they would have bought instead. Make sure it is an Italian wine just to take the edge off the bitching.

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Reply by dmcker, Jun 14, 2010.

What's your budget? And are the recipients in the wine industry?

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Reply by cigarman168, Jun 14, 2010.

DM : budget around USD200 to 250 and do Italian guys like its own country wines or others?

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Reply by dmcker, Jun 15, 2010.

Again, cigarman, are you talking about Italians in general, or members of the wine industry? Do you know anything about their personal likes and dislikes? If in the wine industry, are they at a winery, or distributors or...? And do you puposely want to make a statement to them about some particular style of wine? Finally, is that budget per bottle, or total per person?

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Reply by gregt, Jun 15, 2010.

I think it's Italians in general.  The loud, pasta-eating kind.  Like the people who live behind me.  On weekends they usually shift to liquor sometime in the later afternoon so don't rule that out!   I think this is my favorite question ever posted on Snooth.

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Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Jun 15, 2010.

In my experience Italian winemakers like Burgundy and Italians like famous Italian wines, generally from as close to where they live as possible - some provincial pride there.

 

Of course if they are wine lovers then they should be treated as any other wine lover, each has his or her own preferences and getting a gift is a very personal venture.

 

 

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Reply by cigarman168, Jun 15, 2010.

DM : Just a general Italians guys.

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Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Jun 15, 2010.

Gaja, Biondi Santi, Giacomo Conterno Barolo, Ferrari reserva della fondatore, Tignanello, Sassicaia, Ornellaia - all good bets

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Reply by Degrandcru, Jun 15, 2010.

Cigarman, are you talking about Italians living in Italy, meaning they are coming to visit you from Italy or you are going to visit them in Italy?

If so, Galleyho already gave you the best answer:

"give'em the cheapest wine you can find bex they are goin' to bitch about it anywa"

Honestly, for most Italians (I have some in my family that come to visit us once in a while), in food and wine there is nothing that comes close to Italy. Period. So anything but Italian wine wouldn´t be worth it and if they live in Italy, why would you buy them Italian wine, which they can get cheaper and in better selection in Italy anyway.

Forget about the wine and buy them Cigars.

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Reply by wanemardo, Jun 15, 2010.

In my experience, if you give an Italian anything, they will truly appreciated the gift, the giving from you to them, especially if it is somthing of importance to you. One Italian afficianado was very interested to taste an Oregon wine (an ice wine) because he'd never tasted an Oregon wine before.  The thought and gesture was the most important thing to this guy.  So try something they haven't had an opportunity to taste before, and if it makes thier "seem" wine better, then so be it.  Make it something unique for them... my 2 cents here...

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Reply by dmcker, Jun 15, 2010.

Without knowing more about the individuals, I'll just go with generalities. Both wanemardo and Greg DP (no surprise there) have good ideas.

If you want to take a non-Italian wine, you might take a good Burgundy red, good Right Bank Bordeaux, or even a cult California offering, in that price range. I'd take a red before an icewine, if you know they're serious about their wines. If you're interested in going that route I can make more specific suggestions.

If you want to take Italian wines, kind of a show of respect for what you know is good in their back yard, Greg DP's recommendations are good, though I'd go with a Barbaresco before a Barolo from Gaja, and even the Masseto from Ornellaia. I just got an email offer for some Italian wines that'd also be good, and I'll copy them below for you (these are US prices).

Finally, I'll also have to agree with both Degrandcru and Greg T. Good Cuban cigars from Partagas, Montecristo or Cohiba would be suitable (though if you don't know if they smoke that might be risky...). And judging by some of the responses, this was a very entertaining questions you asked! ;-)

 

From Benchmark Wine Group:

B. Giacosa Barbaresco Riserva Asili 2004 ~ 8 @ $274 WA98 (Pre-Arrival) "The 2004 Barbaresco Riserva Asili is even more compelling than the Rabaja. It floats on the palate with an ethereal core of sweet fruit that calls to mind a profound Musigny, but with the unmistakable structure of Nebbiolo. The perfumed purity of the fruit carries all the way through to the deeply satisfying, resonating finish. Made in a soft, seductive style, this remarkable wine is decidedly more approachable and easy to appreciate today than the Rabaja. Giacosa fans will have a great time discussing the merits of the Rabaja and the Asili in 2004, but to me they are virtually equally moving; Asili for its feminine gracefulness and Rabaja for its size and power. The Asili should prove more accessible at an earlier age. Bruno Giacosa says his 2004 Asili Riserva will turn out to be just like his 2000 Asili Riserva, the wine he still thinks is the best he's ever made. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2025." The Wine Advocate

Clerico Barolo Ciabot Mentin Ginestra 2004 ~ 6 @ $95 WA97 (In-Stock) "The 2004 Barolo Ciabot Mentin Ginestra sweeps across the palate with stunning depth and expansiveness in its dark cherries, menthol, spices, chocolate and sweet toasted oak. It offers exceptional length and delineation, with a note of freshness that provides lift on the close. It is a profound effort from Domenico Clerico. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2024." The Wine Advocate

Fontodi Flaccianello 2006 ~ 24 @ $110 WS99 Wine Spectator #8 Wine of the Year! (Pre-Arrival) "Shows excellent color and richness for a Sangiovese, with aromas of sultana, coffee, toasty oak and vanilla bean. Full-bodied, with masses of fruit and chewy tannins. The concentration and depth of fruit and layers of tannins are breathtaking. A blockbuster. Best after 2014." Wine Spectator

G. Mascarello Barolo Monprivato 2001 ~ 2 @ $124 WA95 (In-Stock) "The 2001 Barolo Monprivato, a light to medium red, represents the highest level of elegance, with a captivating nose of roses, tar, orange peel, cinnamon and licorice, followed by layers of sweet dark fruit and minerals that evolve in a never-ending counterpoint of aromas and sensations, with much depth, precision and freshness on the finish. Everything is perfectly in balance here - still my guess is that this great wine is showing only a hint of its potential. It is one of the finest Monprivatos in recent memory and a wine no one who is passionate about Barolo should be without. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2026." The Wine Advocate

P. Scavino Barolo Bric del Fiasc 2004 ~ 3 @ $129 WA96 (In-Stock) "The estate's 2004 Barolo Bric del Fiasc is another awesome wine. Initially linear on entry, it explodes on the palate with a compelling array of dark fruit, smoke, tar, licorice, new leather, plums and baking spices. Although Bric del Fiasc is typically a wine that relies on power, the 2004 is notably refined and elegant, with sweet silky tannins that support the fruit from start to finish. Simply put, this is a remarkable wine from Enrico Scavino. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2022." The Wine Advocate

Tignanello 1988 ~ 2 @ $199 WS95 (In-Stock) "The finest Tignanello available. A muscular, big wine, with beautiful aromas and flavors of fruit, berry and chestnut. Full-bodied, with solid tannins. It shows great structure and should improve into next century." Wine Spectator


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Reply by cigarman168, Jun 16, 2010.

Gerg DP, DM : your suggestion is all my favourites

wanemardo, Degrandcru and Greg T. : Thx for suggestions

And I have chosen a Gaja barolo Sperss 2000 as gift that I bid from last auction.

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Reply by dmcker, Jun 16, 2010.

Well I've caught up with everything else in my inbox and there were two other candidates among what's out there right now.

If you want to gift a California cult wine that will probably make most Italians speechless, at least for a moment, there's a Philip Togni Cabernet 1997 at $175. Buy two or more bottles of it, one for the mysterious Italian, one for yourself now, and the rest to lay down. The Italian may also enjoy the fact that the winemaker's name is from the same homeland. ;-)

Alternatively, if you want to make a friend for life of that particular Italian, gift a 2004 Biondi Santi Brunello Riserva. It's just out, and has only been rated by Gambero Rosso and Decanter, but both gave it a *perfect* score and the reviewers went a little ecstatic trying to describe its effects. At $345 it's a little beyond your budget, but if you've ever had a Biondi Santi Riserva in the past, and consider your Italian friend worth it, you'll understand why I'm recommending it. Buy more than two of these, gift one and lay the others down, and drink them over the next 30 years. You will also be able to sell them for several multiples of that price, I'm sure, before too many years have passed....

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Reply by dmcker, Jun 16, 2010.

Those two wines are available here at those prices, though they don't ship internationally:

http://www.rarewineco.com/

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Reply by dmcker, Jun 16, 2010.

Benchmark does ship internationally, though:

http://www.benchmarkwine.com/

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Reply by Roberto Cane, Jun 16, 2010.

I'm Italian and - honestly - I'm quite disappointed about some comments I've read here. It's a pity that in 2010 (!) someone still thinks that the "average" Italian is just pasta-eater and bitches about gifts. Luckily you didn't mention pizza, mafia and mamma mia, which is good.

Regarding gift ideas, every good wine is appreciated here...no matter where it comes from, just like everywhere in the world.

Reg's

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Reply by Degrandcru, Jun 16, 2010.

Hello Roberto, didn´t want to be rude. All I wanted to say is that most Italians I know prefer their Italian wines and there is nothing wrong with it as they are some of the best in the world. And why bring Italian wine to Italy or give it as a gift, if you get better values in Italy itself.

I am German (living in Mexico) and often when I am visiting the US people try to bring me to German restaurants because of this. The last place where I want to eat in the US is in a German restaurant.

Personally I think that it is much nicer to give a person from another country a gift from your own country, which is in my opinion something more special.

 

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Reply by dmcker, Jun 16, 2010.

Well, Degrandcru, I don't think Chinese wines are really an option, though a good bottle of Maotai might be an interesting oddity. So that leaves wine from elsewhere, and cigars (though a box of good Cubans can shoot past that budget ceiling, and relatively fewer people can appreciate them).

I'm with you about German food in the States. People always want to take me to Japanese restaurants, which is the last cuisine I want to consume there....

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Reply by newyorkwineguy, Jun 16, 2010.

Hello Cigarman168

Your question about what kind of wine to give an italian person, stirs up a very peculiar time i had given a gift of a bottle of wine to a not so close relative of mine in sicily. after giving the bottle of wine to my relative he looked at it dazzled and said, vino comprato?, ( bought wine?) and gently smiled and walked away. Mind you, i was in the napa valley area of sicily, and the person may have thought the bought wine was not of the homegrown nature, which many italians receieve between each other as gifts. so, i can see where you and the fellow snoothies here can be justified or may have to rethink if giving a bottle of wine to a person from italy may not cause any friction. other times i have given to my relatives in italy, california cabernets and california zinfandels, and they loved them. so in the end, in my opinion, buy this wine as a gift: california cabernet, california zinfandel, barolo, brunello di montelchino, nero d'avola.

newyorkwineguy

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Reply by zufrieden, Jun 16, 2010.

You know, I love the Italian people and their truly venerable, diverse and beautiful country.  And since your budget was a good one and you've purchased already, I will not add to the mix of suggestions.

But I do have to admit that, accidentally or no, this forum was indeed one of the most entertaining, amusing and informative of them all.

You might say the banter "made it"...

:-)

 

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