Here are the recipients:
Bret Thurwalker and Mark Prill. I've known Bret since 1985 - he was the first man I kissed. [Yikes! That's a long time ago!] He would up moving to Germany, where he met and married Mark. They live in Kiel. Mark runs a very successful restaurant, so I know he appreciates good wine - but he also is strongly prejudiced against American wines [he thinks they all have waaaay too much sulfur dioxide in them]. So, I'm thinking... it's gotta be something European, but also something they couldn't get at home.
Bonny Doon 2001 Uva di Troia, Bonny Doon 2001 Ruché. Both are Italian, but not available in Italy, generally speaking. Lovely label design by Bascove.
Also considered: 1998 Domaine Carneros, but that's an American wine. Not sure they'd like it even if it is made by the French.
Paul and Dagmar Dostal: These wonderful folks put me up as an exchange student in 1985-86. Needless to say, they had to put up with a lot - as a 16 year old, I could have been better behaved. The idea here is to give them something very nice as a way to thank them again for their kindness over the years.
If I can swing it, I'll take four bottles. If not, just two.
2002 Eroica riesling, a Washington-German joint venture. 2002 Petaluma riesling, because it's fantastic and exotic for Germans. 2000 Old Telegram, because it's a very pretty bottle and also expensive. Finally, perhaps a bottle of Ridge anything, because they're such handsome bottles.
Jan Sobesky and Michaela Dostal. Micha was my 'host sister'; Jan is her husband. We had an awful lot of good times together.
2001 Bonny Doon sangiovese and/or nebbiolo-barbera; I forget which ones. These have matching labels and are very, very cool to look at.
Paul Dostal, my host brother. Paul's finishing a degree in meteorology at the University of Freiburg and definitely knows his wine. So, find something American and cool.
2002 Bonny Doon Cigare Alternative B, because I think he got a bottle of the A this last May. Not sure what else though... must check again at home tonight!