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Any wine connoisseurs here?

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I'd like to get someone who is a wine afficianado but not really an expert a good bottle of wine for Christmas.  Red seems to be the preferred kind but I am clueless as to what would be a fine bottle of wine for this person to try.  Any suggestions?

It depends on your price range - this year's George DuBoeuf Beaujolais Nouveau was very good but fairly inexpensive, at least in the US. You can never go wrong with a Cote Du Rhone from France - they are generally all good. If you want to get something fairly expensive, the best French choice is a Chateauneuf Du Pape.

"Mis en bouteille au..." chateau, domaine, or propriété indicate the wine was made at the same location as the grapes were grown. This a good indicator of a better quality product (IMHO) when you don't have too much more information.

I know less about Italian wine, but try either a Valpolicella or Sangiovese. I found this for you:

George DuBoeuf Beaujolais Nouveau is good, the Beaujolais Villages is also very good, and Brouilly is even better.  (Basically can't go wrong with George DuBoeuf, unless the intended recipients happen to be fans of the very bold reds, these are pretty light).  I second the Chateauneuf du Pape too.  There is one (name escapes me, it's in a aged/dirty looking bottle) that has no years on the bottle becuase it's blended, and so very reliable, and very good.

Italian wines I know a little better.  If you want expensive get an Amarone (I like Costasera Masi). The Amarones are what I would get afficiandos, if I had a real job.  Masi Campofiorin Ripasso is also good, as well as San Felice Chianti Classico, and less $$$.  Secco Bertani Valpollicella (Chianti Ripasso) is another good everyone likes it kind of wine, less fruity than a regular Chianti. Chiantis with a pink rooster label around the neck are the "approved" ones, and are all generally pretty decent.

If you want a stronger red, the Jacob's Creek from Australia are good, but I prefer a lighter wine, so don't take my word for it.  And I don't know from white, except George DuBoeuf still good.  I'm curious to see what other recommendations you get.

Bob Ducca:
I used to work at a winery in Missouri (I know!) and several of their reds are really good.  If you can have alcohol shipped to you, try ordering online.

Stone Hill Winery (Main branch in Hermann, MO)

The wine I would suggest is called "Norton"- it is a dry red that is oak aged and will mature in the bottle for a few years after purchase, if desired.  Very rare and hard to get- it might amuse and then impress said friend.  Shouldn't be terribly expensive.  Several of their wines are good- if you decide to order from them, I can recommend others!!

Good luck!

It really depends on what you mean by good, and how much you are willing to spend. For a special bottle, you can start at probably $30 and head skyward from there. You need to get to a good wine shop, and they will be able to recommend something in the price range. There are so many different styles of red wine, and a lot depends on personal taste.

If it was for me, it would be a bottle of 1999 d'Arenberg Dead Arm Shiraz, which you could find for about $60.00 probably. It's worth it.


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