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40th Birthday Premium Wine Recommendations


Firstly, apologies if this theme has been asked before. I’m looking for your kind wine recommendations on what to serve at a 40th Birthday celebration. Roughly £15-30 a bottle, white and red wine only. Matching salmon starter and beef main course. All suggestions very much appreciated.


My 40th was 5 years ago and I had all the family round for dinner. As I recall we had a Barolo which everyone liked.

What are you planning to do with the beef? On a flight recently I was offered a non-descript Tempranillo that was pretty boring on its own but when matched with the beef in a tomato-based sauce - lift off!


Is the starter going to be hot or cold and with fresh or smoked salmon?


Sounds like quite a fun challenge!

For a birthday like that one it isn’t just about the price of the wine, but it should be something that has a special personal resonance, no? Is there a region, grape or producer that means something to you? IT could inspire more specific suggestions …

So for example I used to travel to Rioja for work and it has always been special to me, so while I could choose wine from anywhere, I probably would look there first.

Looking to later in the evening, one great thing about 40 is that there is a wealth of Port options (either going down the “40 year old tawny” route or the fact that 1977 was an EPIC vintage), or you could look at vintage Madeiras.


I’d bought some Pouilly Fuisse La Souffrandise en primeur which is currently on the WS list - it would go down a storm with the salmon I think.
There are a few Cote-Rotie reds on the list too that would match many different types of beef dish.
Enjoy your evening!


Thank you - will have a look - both recommendations sound fantastic! Thanks again, Gregor


Thanks Robert - should have been clearer. The birthday isn’t mine but I’ve been given the brief. For me, there will be some quite clear choices which would of course involve some special wine memories/bottles/geographies…Very much appreciate your response, thank you.


Thank you Catherine, the starter is cold smoked salmon & capers. Thank you for your reply.


Thank you for your response, I’ve asked about sauce for beef and awaiting the restaurant coming back to me. Will be an interesting one to match - but the party isn’t mine :slight_smile: Thanks, Gregor


Ooh in that case a gewürztraminer would go really well!

You could also look at a white burgundy which seems the most natural pairing with smoked salmon.


Probably at the top end of the budget but would balance nicely with the salmon and beef if you have white wine drinkers only.


I’m going to argue that this is the best white on offer from TWS < GBP30:


And spotted this in the new Spain offering and immediately covet it:


Thank you! So good I’m looking to add the white to my order :slight_smile:


I always find that the problem with this type of quest is that you have to go for something with the broadest appeal. Something like an Alsace Riesling or a gewürztraminer would be a risk as many people would just turn their nose up at it. So a white burgundy to start would be a great and safe option, an unoaked Chablis would be my choice.

For the main a Rioja would work well. Just over budget is this Rioja, but it is lovely.


Yes agree, that’s my challenge really is trying to please a lot of people whilst not risking offending others. Thanks for the advice - that’s definitely on the short list!


Don’t think you can go far wrong with a Chablis followed by a rioja or something from Bordeaux.

They may be obvious choices but that’s because they please a lot of people and offend few!


Gregor if you’re budget is stretched with that Gran reserva, which is a super wine, then their reserva Ardanza is IMHO as good.

Overall I would think about a syrah with the beef perhaps The South African solace lovely stuff.


Very true :slight_smile:


Thanks Russ - I’m actually attending an Ardanza 75th anniversary tasting on Friday so will be doing some investigating then. Thanks for the tip, very much appreciated.