Father's Collection (Newbie)

Newbie here.

My Father recently retired and his 50th anniversary is coming up. I’m hoping to get him something he can appreciate for a long while.
Am I better off getting him something with a lot of history? Or should I go with a bulkier buy?
There’s a 1940 Bottle of Recioto Della Valpolicella Casal Dei Ronchi in this auction in my city (I’ll be honest. I don’t know much about it but it looks old and that’s fancy to me.) It has all sorts of notes with it: https://bidlive.kauctions.ca/1940-BOTTLE-OF-RECIOTO-DELLA-VALPOLICELLA-CASAL_i38667039
Is that a good buy? They also have an eight bottle case of Ernst & Gallo.
I can’t really wait on shipping times with the anniversary around the corner, so this is really my best option for schedule.

Does anyone have a recommendation? Thanks!

50th anniversary would be 1970 (?) , maybe you could find a wine/port/madeira from that year ?

wine searcher ?

Lucas, I looked at the various auction lots in your link and can only advise extreme caution. Most if not all of these wines are probably over the hill, even with perfect storage. They are from run of the mill producers that were never intended to be aged this long, and my guess storage is less than ideal. Especially avoid the Valpolicella, which looks as if it has had a cork failure.

I can’t believe I didn’t think of that. That’s an incredible idea!

Thanks for the heads up! I was hoping that given the low bids in the auction that I might be getting a steal, but I may have to do some digging before I come home with a bunch of magic beans and no cow :slight_smile:

I have a 1970 Chevalier decanting now, I think I paid $125 for it from Blacksmith Wines in NYC. Just go on wine searcher and I think you can find a fair amount of options, and match up with Cellar Tracker for what is still drinking well now (e.g., what are the most recent dozen reviews on the wine?). A few reputable retailers there. This Chevalier is definitely a sound wine (but I am hoping it becomes more expressive with more air!). So I would check out Blacksmith Wines, Benchmark, Chicago Wine Company, Raeders Wines… I’m sure they all have some 1970s.

For a similar event - two fathers - I opened a 1947 Barolo and 1947 port, of which were both hits. The wine went first, then we moved to port, and had some port to last the next day. The port was the better value as there was more of it to go around and less ‘risky’ than a wine, but it was good to have two wines in case one was a bad wine, and one could be after dinner.

I did not do a good job preserving the labels during my double decant (washing out the bottle) and so the labels did not hold, which was unfortunate as they both wanted a bottle to keepsake. One bottle is sitting on one’s study right now, which makes me happy.
I would not wait last minute to buy something, as you probably want to stand/sit the wine for a month (at least two weeks I would think) so that sediment has settled and it is ready to go on the event. For the 47s they got a few months standing up.