What do you suggest I bring to dinner?

A friend is trying to drink his way through a great Bordeaux collection stretching back to 70’s vintages (he jas more wine left than days on this earth, as he approaches 80). He has my wife and I over once every few months and we drink wonderful juice. We are going tomorrow and while I like to bring a bottle when I am a guest, nothing in my budget range will be in the league of what he’ll be opening.

What could I bring that would be a nice gesture, but under $100?

My two thoughts so far were to bring a white to go with the starters and cheese, perhaps a nice Condrieu. My second thought was that he may be interested in trying a 2012 Cheval des Andes since it’s Chateau Cheval Blanc applying their techniques to Argentinian terroir. He likes Cheval Blanc so perhaps this is a good thing to bring.

Any other suggestions?

I don’t know about your friend but a much younger friend of mine is likewise a big fan of 30yo+ Bordeaux and a young new world red is probably the last thing I would ever offer him. However what I have brought that he has really enjoyed have been old Barolo, old Brunello, vintage Champagne and mature(-ish) Mosel Riesling. Perhaps you could try to find an Auslese with some age or a nicely developed vintage Champagne? Maybe you could get something from 1995, 1998 or 2000 that would not break the bank?

That’s a tough question…there’s many ways to go about it. What else does this person enjoy that’s not wine related? Maybe bring them something that’s not in the same realm? Maybe source a nice black truffle?

I’m in complete agreement with Ilkka…I would NOT bring him a New World wine.

Anything you bring that says you know them as a person. If you want to keep it in the food & wine realm…I’d say it would be easier to answer your question when we know what major city you live closest too. If you’re in NYC I’d scour Chambers, Near Chicago I’d pour through HDH & so on.

Bring something other than wine; he appears to have more wine than he can ever drink so why more wine

Champagne. You can find a heck of a nice Champagne for that price, and it’s a fantastic starter for a dinner party. Or for dessert, a nice 375 of Sauternes.

As a mature Bordeaux lover, I would not want the Cheval de Andes. I’ve had it. Pass.

I would agree on the champagne. The other thought would be to bring a Musar - most Bordeaux lovers appreciate the funky unusual take it represents on a traditional Bordeaux blend.

Agree on the Champagne/Sauternes suggestion, or a nice white Bordeaux. You may be able to find a really nice half bottle of Sauternes for under $100. Enjoy the dinner!


If there are a few others attending that dinner, I’d hold off on bringing a half-bottle of Sauternes. It might not be enough for the table.

You said you brought bottle(s) when he invited you before, what were they? Did they like?

If someone is trying to drink down their collection, the last thing I would bring would be wine. Why not supply a nice cheese course to end the meal, or make a desert to have at the end of the meal. Something homemade would be a lot nicer gesture than anything you could buy.

I too agree with Champagne/Sauternes. FYI, Cheval des Andes has no resemblance to Cheval Blanc as the high end Argentinian wines made by the Bordeaux property owners are all very concentrated, modern and high in alcohol. What is interesting is that at 80, the style of Cheval des Andes may be quite appealing.


My instinct was a white, younger, and potentially interesting but not ‘classical’. If someone has a deep traditional cellar they are working through, it’s these sort of wines they probably don’t experience too often. I’d steer clear of traditional German Riesling if that is also in their cellar.

A good Etna white maybe, or a modern dry german Riesling, or a LdH white, white Musar, Timorasso, LEAS chardonnay, etc. Good but new/different would be the steer.

Champagne and a selection of nice cheeses.

off the wall suggestion - if the host likes Bordeaux, perhaps Neil Martin’s tome on Pomerol might be a thoughtful gift. Clearly won’t be enjoyed by all, but it sounds like there will be no shortage of wine at the party.

Great suggestions. (I adore the Lopez de Heredia white.)

Barry – If your friend loves wine, I wouldn’t worry about bringing more wine. Expand his horizons. If he’s 80, he probably doesn’t know the wines that Ian has suggested. To that list you might add an aged Austrian riesling or gruner veltliner from a producer like Moric, Salomon or Alzinger. They are real eye-openers.

Chocolate babka.

But get to the bakery early.

I’m in the good champagne group. Maybe a good growerChampagne? Or a vintage Roederer?

Does he like whisky? Or a fun and unusual amaro?

… and don’t wear a Gore-Tex coat when buying Champagne.

Something like this. It seems a lot that he’s providing the meal and a great wine. You and your wife could offer to do the cooking, or bring some of the dishes, or have you and him alternate.