Seems like an appropriate question since everyone wants to talk about bottles that they have received. After all, since “what would Jesus say/do/drive/think” is almost as ubiquitous as “what would Chuck Norris say/do/drive/think,” the answer is supposedly “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
I donated X to charity doesn’t count. Why? Because this is my thread. You want to start a thread on “What’s the best wine you ever donated to charity?” Go right ahead. I can play that game too.
It’s actually a tough question for me since I give a wine refrigerator and bottles of wines to relatives as wedding presents and I do not always remember what I gave. However, a bottle of 2006 Comtes de Champagne sticks out. My son asked me if I had an “extra” bottle of wine because he needed to give a bottle as a gift to a friend who had done a big favor for my daughter-in-law. I asked him what the price point was and he said it was my wine so I should decide. I told him that I had more wine than I expected to drink for the rest of my life, so I explained that he was not giving away my wine. He was giving away his inheritance. I then settled on the Comtes.
I think I also gave away one of my bottles of 2007 Saxum James Berry Vineyard, which was the Wine Spectator Wine of the Year, to a friend.
Since I only give wines that I own and like, I can answer with the ones I have received the most effusive thanks for when they were opened. Dirty and Rowdy’s Mourvèdres get raves from all I have gifted. Those and Ultramarine sparklers.
Putting aside bottles that were presents to someone on behalf of a few people (e.g. '96 Salon and a multi-pack of various Jacques Selosse bottlings), the best bottle that was 100% a gift from me was actually a Pappy Van Winkle 15 year bottled in 2015.
A gave a bottle of a Wine Spectator “Wine of the Year” to a friend at his birthday dinner at a Boston bar. With a copy of the magazine. I thought it would be a cool gift to a non wine geek. I am pretty sure it was Cinq Cepages (Sp?).
The bottle and his wife both face planted on the sidewalk outside the bar. She survived. The bottle did not.
I’ve opened many special bottles with people I love as thank yous for various things they’ve done. For pure gifts, I’ve given a bunch of good bottles of champagne to people on the birth of a child or to celebrate a job change. That’s mostly $50-60 bottles of bubbly. I’ve given $250 bottles of scotch to some close friends on the day of their wedding. But I think the one I like most is having a close law school friend tell me he was going to propose to his girlfriend and wanted help choosing a bottle off a list. They had a solid Vieux Telegraph Le Crau in his price point that would be drinking well and a wine they’d both like. He thanked me and wrote it down.
I called the restaurant, bought the bottle ahead of time and a half bottle of Krug. When they sat down the wine service was prepared and covered. That is the most fun wine gift I’ve ever given. I’ve given my dad better bottles, older bordeaux, some nice burgundy, etc. I found some old Belle Epoque from the 70s for my mom one time and she still has the bottle. But getting to be a part of a good friends engagement dinner was very special to me and, I hope, him.
got you beat, gave a pappy 20 2011 as a bday gift to a friend who liked whiskey. He kept it under his sink, didn’t care for “american whiskey” and kept drinking his Lagvulin 16. A few years later a friend of his came over, saw the pappy and almost drank the whole bottle.