Really? A $40,000 bottle of wine?? And no, I wasn’t the one drinking it!
A short time ago a few friends and I got together for a special dinner of home-made mushroom and wild rice soup that was to die for. We brought our favorite Zinfandels from 2007, 2008 and 2009. They were delicious. Some more fruity and some more spicy. Some drier and some smoother, but all rich and well-balanced, at the perfect age to be enjoyed. With each sip, someone was saying, “this is so GOOD!”
A few days after that I saw a society bit in the paper talking about celebrity friends who had indulged in a $300,000 (yeah, that’s five zeroes) dinner. Alcohol had to be in there somewhere, ya think? Sure enough: “six bottles of Romanee-Conti France’s Burgundy region were purchased at $40,000 per bottle.” I’m told this retails for $13,000 a bottle, but of course you’ve got your 200% mark-up and your gratuity. But even at $13,000 a bottle, I’ve got to wonder:
PEOPLE! Are you crazy?? Do you mean to tell me that you have palates sophisticated enough to appreciate a wine that costs as much as a new car? REALLY?
Okay, there are people on this earth who can truly appreciate an out-of-this-world wine, and maybe some of them were even at this dinner, but I doubt it because …
The article mentioned that this was a 2006 vintage. I know very little about French wines, But I do know that they need to age. 2006 is pretty young, so I looked it up and sure enough, the great DRCs (that’s shorthand for Domaine Romanee-Conti, you peasant), need to age for several decades, the ones from the 1940s being spectacular — or so I’m told.
I’ve read that the 2006s are “tight and astringent.” They need years to develop (or sleep, as some put it) for the tannins to mellow and the sharpness to fall away. I’m guessing the ones who were fortunate enough to be able to guzzle $40,000 bottles of wine had little clue that they were drinking a baby wine that would have been better had it been allowed to grow up.
In the meantime, those of us who are content — not content, but thrilled! — to be drinking $40 wines from Paso Robles probably would have recoiled at the sharpness and acidity of the much-vaunted DRC.
Most wine drinkers know that part of enjoying good wine is the friends you’re drinking it with. Perhaps the people at the $300,000 dinner were just happy to be with each and enjoy the pleasure of a well prepared meal and good friends. And hey, maybe the next time someone is opening a $40,000 bottle of wine, they’ll invite me. Ya think?