The Inside Story from Italian Wine Merchants

The Gift that Keeps on Giving

Posted on | December 16, 2009 | Written by Jane Nelson | No Comments

I was privileged to grow up with parents who loved wine, and I effortlessly weaseled my way into tasting a multitude of selections early in life. When I was young, I would sample whatever was on hand, but with age has come a propensity for special orders. I’m not alone either; all five of us kids developed an appreciation for wine early on, a treat from our parents who generously shared their interest with all their children. Now that we’re all adults, my siblings are as ready as I am to instruct our parents when they’re heading to the wine store. Shouts of “Berger Gruner!” and “Mark West Pinot!” trail our parents as they drive down the street.

Since I headed off to Cornell four and a half years ago, my parents’ house has started to resemble Grand Central Station more and more with every passing year. The five kids are constantly coming and going, occasionally bringing along the odd guest or four. Christmas is perhaps the most hands-on time of the year for us. Each family member has to come up with six original gifts and help out in the kitchen in some way or another.

Last year, we decided to combine our forces and resources to get a collaborative gift for our parents. We came up with a present that was just the right size for both of my parents: the beginnings of a wine collection. We selected a mixture of bottles they could drink soon and some that they could let age—along with the promise that they were the only ones who could drink these age-worthy beauties. We each contributed; one of us purchased a storage system and the rest of us selected wines.

The gift was, of course, a huge success and something our parents never saw coming. We’re not sure how we’re going to top the Wine Spectacular of 2008, but we’re going to do our best.


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