Updated: May 19, 2020
This year is a big milestone birthday year for all of my friends. I’m not going to say which milestone year, but let’s just say we are all excited and big parties, trips, and celebrations are underway. That leads me to the question, what milestone wine gifts are great for milestone birthdays, anniversaries, or other celebrations?
You could consider a rare old wine, Old Vine wine, or blending and labeling your own wine.
Rare Old Wine
The Rare Wine Company is a wine importer that carries a variety of old wine and sells it online. You can search by vintage (year), price, grape, region, etc. Of course, they have pricey rare wines, but they also have reasonably priced wines too.
If you opt to purchase an old bottle of wine, definitely take a look at this article: Old Wine How to Care and Serve. It explains how to handle the wine, whether to decant, how best to decant, and how long to let it rest before opening.
Shipping jostles the wine and kicks up sediment. Depending on how old the wine is, it may need anywhere from 1 to 6 weeks to rest before popping the cork. They give you some great tips and tricks for handling these old bottles.
When purchasing a wine that is 30+ years old, consider a fortified wine or dessert wine. These are high in alcohol and will last unopened for decades.
Madeira is a fortified wine that holds its own even once it’s been uncorked. You can treat it like a spirit, that can be capped and sipped on over months or years.
Port is another fortified wine that can easily last decades uncorked. However, Port that’s less than 15 years old should be consumed within 2-3 weeks after opening. For port 30+ years of age consume within 3-4 days.
Sauternes is a sweet, dessert wine from Bordeaux, France. This is another wine that ages well for decades. Be sure to chill this white dessert wine and consume within 3-4 days of opening.
Red and White Wine
Or consider these red and white wines that are known for their aging abilities.
Barolo is a red wine made from the Nebbiolo grape. It is produced in the appellation (region) called Barolo which is in northern Italy. This wine is built for aging. While Barolo can be drunk within a couple of years of bottling, they say it reaches full maturity at 20+ years. And vintages from the 60s and 70s are perfect for uncorking today.
Riesling (Kabinett, Spatlese, Auslese) are known to age for decades due to the higher levels of sugar and acidity present in the wine. These wines are decadent at 25+ years and those from the 50s, 60s, and 70s are perfect for milestone celebrations.
Find out more about which wines age well through this article from Vivino.
Old Vine Wine
Another approach for your milestone wine gift is to find a wine that comes from old vines. Zinfandel is one particular grape that does very well on old vines.
The term Old Vine generally means the vines are 50+ years old. These vines produce less fruit which means the grapes get to soak up more sun and goodness producing more concentrated flavors resulting in a higher-quality wine.
Old Vine Garnacha is another great option from Spain. It comes from vines that are well over 50 years old.
Old Vine Zinfandel and Old Vine Garnacha can both be found at very reasonable prices. This makes it a great gift that thoughtfully commemorates the milestone without breaking the bank.
Create Your Own Custom Blend
This is a fun, let’s get involved type of gift. Perfect for those who want to roll up their sleeves and become part of the process. What better way to celebrate that special milestone than with a custom blended wine with a commemorative wine label.
Blendtique specializes in custom-crafted wine. They send a blending kit that includes 4 bottles of California wine (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, and Grenache). Next, gather your friends for a blending party. Try different amounts of each type of wine blended together until you decide on the perfect formula. Then place an order for your special blend, create your fancy wine labels, and order 3, 6, 12 or up to 60 bottles of the blend. Voila! Perfect for the wannabe winemaker!
Summary Milestone Wine Gifts
Best wishes for all of your life celebrations! Remember for those big milestones, a rare old wine from that significant year can make the celebration even more special. Congratulations! Cheers to you!