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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

For when the wine is in, the wit is out

Lafite1865 So I was just puttering around, minding my own business, when an email arrived from Premier Cru, a local wine importer and seller. I've been a subscriber to the Premier Cru mailer for a while, and though I don't buy as much wine as I used to –I'm underemployed, remember?- I still look at these mailers every so often, and scored some nice bottles here and there –like four bottles of Laurent Ponsot's Clos St.Denis that will be coming soon to a cellar near me.

But I digress. Back to the mailer. I took a quick glance through the email, noticing the usual suspects: DRC, Leroy, Méo-Camuzet, Coche Dury, Leflaive (the Domaine, not the other one) –my, these guys have good taste.

Moving on over to the Bordeaux list, my eye quickly tripped over an old bottle of Lafite, that's Château Lafite-Rothschild to you me. And by old I actually meant OLD, from 1865, en Jéroboam, that is to say a giant 3 l. bottle. A 140-yr. old bottle of wine 'in perfect condition' or so the mailer said.

(Oops, as Jeremy pointed out down in his comment, a 3L bottle is only a Jéroboam in Champagne and Burgundy. In Bordeaux it's only called a double magnum. What no name of an ancient king of the Jews for this? How unimaginative!)

The price tag –make sure you're sitting down for this- is US$ 79,995.00. Let's call it $80K, shall we?


Oy! So, let's do some math. A Jéroboam bottling equals four standard bottles of wine. Let's say there are six glasses of wine in each bottle, that would make 24 glasses, total, in this bottle. So, give or take $3,000, yes? Still daunting? What you don't have 23 friends who could split this with ya? I am disappointed at you! Ok, let's say there are 8 sips of wine in each glass, trust me I just tested it myself, so that would make merely $400ish per mouthful. You just have to find 191 friends to partake in the feast.

You might even be able to make some profit by charging your other friends –say- $75 just to sniff it. Sell a sniff per glass –wouldn't hurt it a bit I assure you- at $75 a pop that'll make you a whopping $1,400 in profit. See? It's entirely affordable, and profit making on top of everything!!

What, you don't think 80K would be well spent on a bottle of wine that is –to quote the vénérable Robert Perker himself- a wow'?

Geez...what you got better things to do with eighty thousand dollars?

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