Buying birth-year wines for your children is not something I recommend. Sure, it’s a thoughtful, loving gesture that your son or daughter may well appreciate when that special occasion comes along years from now, when he or she graduates from college or marries.
But there are many other wine-related gift options I think readers should consider, some of which I’ve outlined previously. One recent reader asked my thoughts on storing a case of 2005 Lewis Reserve and 2005 Far Niente for a wedding rehearsal dinner in 20 to 30 years.
There are plenty of wines that are built to age 20 to 30 years, chief among them Vintage Port, or dessert wines, such as Sauternes or German Rieslings of the Beerenauslese or Trockenbeereneauslese style. I’d also consider great vintages of Bordeaux and, to be fair, many wines can make the long haul provided they’re impeccably stored. I wouldn’t bet on the Lewis, but Far Niente might make it. From California, I’d look to wines with track records for aging, such as Beringer Private Reserve, Phelps Insignia or Araujo Eisele.
I bought and cellared wines for my children and so did many of my friends. These now young adults have been treated to some nice, mature wines, but also some marginal offerings. But the key, it seems to me, is what do you want to accomplish, aside from having a wine with a birth-year vintage date on it? Do you want to teach your children the right way to appreciate wine? When do you expect they might actually begin to enjoy wine? And how do you guess which kind of wine they’ll like, if they even like it at all?
I think you’re better off cellaring a few wines once your child reaches a wine-drinking age. That way he or she might remember the day you took them to the wine store and bought it with him. Another good idea: Set aside a case from a high school or college graduation date, which commemorates one of their accomplishments, not yours. You could even splurge and offer to send Junior on a wine trip as a way of showing them the good life—once the diploma is in hand …
Cellaring birth-year wines for Junior is fine. But consider other options as well.
Sandy Fitzgerald — Centennial, CO — March 14, 2008 4:22pm ET
Bill Robinson — Calgary — March 14, 2008 4:36pm ET
Lisa Dornbach — Walnut Creek, CA — March 14, 2008 5:13pm ET
Troy Peterson — Burbank, CA — March 14, 2008 7:17pm ET
Brian Peters — Broomfield, CO — March 14, 2008 8:27pm ET
James Peterson — San Antonio, Texas — March 14, 2008 10:07pm ET
Juan Vazquez-abarca — Tijuana, Mexico — March 14, 2008 11:34pm ET
Scott Cheney — March 15, 2008 12:18am ET
Pat Heffernan — Fort Lauderdale, FL — March 15, 2008 12:13pm ET
James Laube — Napa, CA — March 15, 2008 1:35pm ET
Trey Rolofson — Overland Park, KS — March 15, 2008 2:08pm ET
Mr Tom A Hughes — Keller, Tx — March 15, 2008 5:35pm ET
Steve Lenzo — PHX, AZ — March 15, 2008 6:17pm ET
Robert Johnston — Washington DC — March 16, 2008 8:04am ET
William Ramirez — Texas, USA — March 16, 2008 2:05pm ET
Jeff Yates — Napa, CA — March 16, 2008 2:36pm ET
Steven Aaron — New Jersey — March 16, 2008 10:10pm ET
Guus Hateboer — March 17, 2008 5:34am ET
Neil Koffler — New York, NY — March 17, 2008 12:23pm ET
Hoyt Hill Jr — Nashville, TN — March 17, 2008 4:47pm ET
James Peterson — San Antonio, Texas — March 17, 2008 7:56pm ET
James Laube — Napa, CA — March 17, 2008 8:01pm ET
Michael Nunley — Phillips Ranch, CA — April 22, 2008 1:31am ET
James Laube — Napa, CA — April 22, 2008 6:41pm ET
Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions