For when the wine is in, the wit is out

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, in double magnum, that is to say a giant 3 l. bottle. A 140-yr. old bottle of wine ‘in perfect condition’ or so the mailer said.

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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12 Responses to “For when the wine is in, the wit is out

  • Jeremy said:
    November 14th, 2006 at 7:52pm

    That is decadent, is it worth it? I just bought 6 different bottles for 116.00 Turkey dinner!

  • Jack said:
    November 14th, 2006 at 10:39pm

    I emailed Alder about this bottle earlier today. I think he’s going to buy it. He just has to sell his home first. His wife, though, is frowning.

  • Jeremy Seysses said:
    November 15th, 2006 at 5:37am

    A confusing thing: Bordeaux jeroboams are 4.5 liter (6 bts), whereas the burgundian/champagne jeroboams are 3 liters. In Bordeaux, they call the 3 liters double magnums. So you are really talking USD 2,222 per glass and you are talking very big glasses here, I’d usually count 8 glasses per bottle which means a mere USD 1,666 per glass. Of course it’s expensive for wine, but:
    a. There is far more expensive wine out there. Wine is becoming a luxury product, like truffles or even fashion which last perhaps even less long. A lot of people with lots of disposable income fighting over limited productions will drive prices crazy.
    b. This is 141 years old. Just storing it for that long would cost that much! You are talking a piece of history that’s drinkable! And it’s got good provenance, which is is everything for a wine this old.
    c. If you have 36/48 people having a glass each, it will be a pretty special moment shared. AND it’s still cheaper than a weekend in Vegas.

  • alb said:
    November 15th, 2006 at 9:05am

    Sometimes there’s too much worship of these trophy wine labels than the enjoyment of wine itself. Yesterday, I had more fun drinking Paul Janin’s ’02 Beaujolais-Villages and ’04 Clos de Tremblay than an ’82 Mouton and ’82 Lascases a week ago.

  • One Food Guy said:
    November 15th, 2006 at 9:17am

    That’s a lot of peanuts. I went to a wine tasting Sunday, and by comparison to an $80k bottle this pales, but I tasted a $110 bottle of Beringer Reserves Cabernet next to a $15 bottle of some nameless California Cab. Sure, the $110 sip was nice, but $95 more tasty than the $15 sip, I don’t know. They were both good with Beringer slightly better, in my opinion.
    What does an $80,000 sip taste like?!

  • conor said:
    November 15th, 2006 at 10:36am

    call me small potatoes but i just don’t buy it. yes its old and therefore important. It does sound rather special to be the coffin for such an ancient wine. I personally think that there are faster cheaper ways to enlightenment.

  • alb said:
    November 15th, 2006 at 1:04pm

    Pim. In BX terms a Jéroboam is actually a 4.5 liter or 6 bottles. So that would make the price just a bit over $2k a glass-a bargain then!

  • Mikeachim said:
    November 18th, 2006 at 6:28pm

    Surely the question, in all of this, is….
    *How good is the wine?*
    I can’t imagine a glass of wine being worth $3k….but maybe that’s because I don’t know wine. Maybe to people in the know, it’s a bargain. Maybe it’s better than carnal relations.
    Also, is it heretically wrong to wonder how much better it would be for cooking? Say, in a nice Cypriot Afelia?

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    July 23rd, 2008 at 5:35am

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  • Anna said:
    November 16th, 2010 at 1:21am

    lolol I’m a new fan in your fanclub of Chez Pim.. love your blog!! and your wine section is so down to earth and funny… love it a lot..=)

  • research paper said:
    October 19th, 2011 at 12:35pm

    Well that kind of money to spend on wine! except that the judges and the very rich could afford it …. and we mortals are not destined to (((

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    November 2nd, 2012 at 9:59am

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