Sunday, May 06, 2001

Gifts that show love for wine-loving parents

By John Vankat
Enquirer contributor

        With Mother's Day and Father's Day on the horizon, here are gift ideas for wine-loving parents:


        If you're planning to dine out, consider a restaurant with an award-winning wine list. Eight Greater Cincinnati restaurants have earned an Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator magazine. Only the Restaurant at the Phoenix, downtown, is listed as having inexpensive wine pricing. For moderate wine pricing, there's Celestial Restaurant in Mount Adams; Jeff Ruby's; ; the Maisonette; and Morton's of Chicago, all downtown; Sonoma in Covington and Teller's of Hyde Park. Listed as having expensive wine pricing is the Palace at the Cincinnatian Hotel, downtown.


        These can be ordered by any wine store, but call soon for delivery by Mother's Day:

        • EOS 1999 Late Harvest Moscato “Tears of Dew, Paso Robles” ($21): A succulent, flavorful yet nicely balanced wine for parents with a sweet tooth.

        • Beringer 1998 Chardonnay “Private Reserve, Napa Valley” ($37): Always one of California's top chards, this beautiful wine exemplifies how winemakers should use oak: smoothly integrated, not overly dominant.

        • Sena 1997 “Aconcagua Valley.” ($61): A powerful yet polished blend of cabernet sauvignon and carmenere, this Chilean wine was produced jointly by Robert Mondavi and Eduardo Chadwick.

        • Baron Philippe de Rothschild - Concha y Toro 1998 “Almaviva, Puente Alto.” ($88): Another Chilean with a pedigree, this robust yet refined blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot and cabernet franc is one of the best wines I've tasted this or any other year.

        • Quintessa. 1997 Cabernet Sauvignon “Rutherford, Napa Valley” ($100): Powerful but refined, this Californian is sure to please any parent, especially those partial to Rutherford cabs.


        • For parents who have difficulty using a regular corkscrew, consider Cork Pops ($24.95). Simply insert the needle through the cork and press the top of the opener to release inert gas that gently slides the cork out.

        This and other wine accessories are available at wine stores and from Wine Enthusiast (; 800-377-3330) and International Wine Accessories (; 800-527-4072).


        • If I didn't already own a copy, high on my wish list would be The Oxford Companion to the Wines of North America (Oxford University Press; $45). Bruce Cass has teamed with Jancis Robinson to produce this 300-page volume modeled after Ms. Robinson's landmark The Oxford Companion to Wine (Second Edition; Oxford University Press; $65). Two-thirds of the new book is a wine encyclopedia, with entries for states, Canadian provinces, appellations, wineries, vineyards, grape varieties, individuals and more. Recommended for the wine enthusiast.

        • If encyclopedias aren't for your parents, consider Jay McInerney's Bacchus & Me: Adventures in the Wine Cellar (Lyons; $24.95). Mr. McInerney, contributing editor for House & Garden magazine, has compiled 49 of his wine columns as short essays. Recommended for wine lovers with at least modest experience with wine.
       John Vankat of Oxford edits and publishes Quarterly Pocket List of Top-Rated Wines ($21.95 a year). To subscribe, call (800) 524-1005. Send questions to Mr. Vankat c/o The Enquirer, 312 Elm St., Cincinnati 45202; fax: 768-8330.



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