Would you pay $500 dollars for a bottle of wine?

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Is a $250 bottle of wine 10 times better than a $25 bottle?

Yes, most assuredly.
8
17%
No, not at all.
21
44%
Perhaps, but I can't afford to find out.
19
40%
 
Total votes : 48

Re: Would you pay $500 dollars for a bottle of wine?

Postby Manuel Camblor » Wed Aug 16, 2006 7:25 pm

Of course, the large-ass print is absolutely priceless in this context...
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Re: Would you pay $500 dollars for a bottle of wine?

Postby Manuel Camblor » Wed Aug 16, 2006 7:30 pm

Hoke wrote:
Seemed like a lot of strange stuff those crazy Romans and Greeks were drinking.....but on the other hand, I remember reading about this really disgusting sauce that the Romans were actually apesh$t over...put it on pretty much everything. Had to be available at any Roman table. Couldn't do without it. And it sounded really, honestly, awful: rotted, fermented fish guts and fish heads and bones, stuck in a jar until all the solids dissolved into this glucky mass, then filtered and served up to the smacking of Roman lips.

Then I realized this yucky stuff I was reading about, garum, was essentially Nuoc Mam (or Nuoc Cham, or whatever the many names it goes by), the standard fish oil sauce that's standard in Viet and Thai food (and virtually every other cuisine that touched on a seaboard in history, I guess).

Made me stop and think.


Did you, by any chance, get your Roman recipes at http://www.mit.edu:8001/people/wchuang/cooking/recipes/Roman/Ancient_Roman.html#9?
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Re: Would you pay $500 dollars for a bottle of wine?

Postby Ian Sutton » Wed Aug 16, 2006 7:36 pm

Hoke wrote:
Seemed like a lot of strange stuff those crazy Romans and Greeks were drinking.....but on the other hand, I remember reading about this really disgusting sauce that the Romans were actually apesh$t over...put it on pretty much everything. Had to be available at any Roman table. Couldn't do without it. And it sounded really, honestly, awful: rotted, fermented fish guts and fish heads and bones, stuck in a jar until all the solids dissolved into this glucky mass, then filtered and served up to the smacking of Roman lips.

Then I realized this yucky stuff I was reading about, garum, was essentially Nuoc Mam (or Nuoc Cham, or whatever the many names it goes by), the standard fish oil sauce that's standard in Viet and Thai food (and virtually every other cuisine that touched on a seaboard in history, I guess).

Made me stop and think.

:oops: Picked up the modern day equivalent of this from Amalfi Coast a couple of years ago - was intended to be a present for some foodie friends.
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Re: Would you pay $500 dollars for a bottle of wine?

Postby James Roscoe » Wed Aug 16, 2006 7:43 pm

Now if this isn't the ultimate in thread drift, I don't know what is. Here we were talking about $500 bottles and copywright laws and now we're into garum? Actually, I always thought garum must've been pretty tasty. My suspicion is that it was much better than the sum of its ingredients. Then again, I'll eat scrapple.
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Re: Would you pay $500 dollars for a bottle of wine?

Postby Ian Sutton » Wed Aug 16, 2006 7:55 pm

James Roscoe wrote:Now if this isn't the ultimate in thread drift, I don't know what is. Here we were talking about $500 bottles and copywright laws and now we're into garum? Actually, I always thought garum must've been pretty tasty. My suspicion is that it was much better than the sum of its ingredients. Then again, I'll eat scrapple.

Seemed more healthy than getting involved in the other debate :lol:
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Re: Would you pay $500 dollars for a bottle of wine?

Postby Bill Spohn » Wed Aug 16, 2006 7:59 pm

James Roscoe wrote:Now if this isn't the ultimate in thread drift, I don't know what is. Here we were talking about $500 bottles and copywright laws and now we're into garum? Actually, I always thought garum must've been pretty tasty. My suspicion is that it was much better than the sum of its ingredients. Then again, I'll eat scrapple.


Do you mean garum or the fish sauce the other guys were talking about.

I just cannot get into so called Gentleman's Relish, Patum Peperium, whatever. Garf! Similar, I expect, to the Roman fish sauce and modern Asian versions, though perhaps a bit thicker.

But then I cannot relate to vegemite either!
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Re: Would you pay $500 dollars for a bottle of wine?

Postby TimMc » Sat Aug 19, 2006 8:38 pm

Bernard Roth wrote:I'm a little late to the party, but I would restate the question this way:

Is a well-selected $250 bottle of wine 10x better than a well-selected $25 bottle?

(Obviously, one could select wines in those price ranges to get absurd comparisons, but to make this an interesting question, you have to choose wines that are interesting to this audience.)


The next matter is that not all wine lovers are endowed equally. So it is unfair to ask people whether they would pay XXX dollars for a bottle. For every person who says yes, you can find some amount that they would not pay. So let's say that I would pay $500 because my income permits it. But I could not pay $5000 for a bottle. Honestly, what is to be learned from that exercise except who has the bucks and who doesn't?

Frankly, the question would be better posed as hypothetical. If somebody gave you $500 to spend only on wine, would you be willing to splurge on one bottle or would you buy more bottles at a lesser price?


Well stated, Bernard.


My sentiments exactly :)
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Re: Would you pay $500 dollars for a bottle of wine?

Postby Manuel Camblor » Sat Aug 19, 2006 11:19 pm

TimMc wrote:
Well stated, Bernard.


My sentiments exactly :)


I thought this one had died the death it has long deserved, but no... Well, since we're at this point already, a little idea that's been haunting me over the past few months seems worth bringing to light.

A junior-wine-geek friend in Mexico City recently asked me about the film Mondovino: Had I seen it? What did I think about it? Were things really as awful as all that?

The answers to the first and third questions were resounding yesses.

And I got to remembering Robert M. Parker. Jr. in this much debated film. I recall him talking about a "democratization of wine" as one of his main contributions. Am I remembering this correctly? Did he use some other words? Was the message of his spiel not that he had made wien more accesible to the people, thus "democratizing" it?

This, given the original usbject of this thread and the varous avenues along which it has capriciously wandered, seems to be an important consideration. When we're talking about icons of "fine wine" fetching $500 or more per bottle and, more importantly, when we have all sorts of shop clerks unashamedly telling their customers that "$20 is the new $10 as far as everyday wine is concerned", haven't we come to a very weird, extremely contradictory point in terms of the "democratization" of wine?

We could get into the endless argument of who's at fault for bringing up the price of wine for everyday drinkers who seek out something interesting. The Hype-mongers and point-givers will most probably blame price hikes on a strong Euro and not on their own bullshit. And suddenly producers, importers, distributors and shopkeepers will be talkign about how much more expensive it is to move wines these days. And we will all wonder...

Anyway, asone of my old mentors at a certain ivory-towered joint used to say: "Commentez et discutez..."
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Re: Would you pay $500 dollars for a bottle of wine?

Postby TimMc » Sat Aug 19, 2006 11:27 pm

OK.

But what is your point, Manuel?

Are you suggesting the discussion of overly inflated wine prices is not a valid one...or are you just pontificating?

'Splain please....
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Re: Would you pay $500 dollars for a bottle of wine?

Postby Howie Hart » Sun Aug 20, 2006 12:14 am

Manuel Camblor wrote:I recall him talking about a "democratization of wine" as one of his main contributions.


The true "democratization of wine" is when we all make our own. I think what we have is more of a republic. 8)
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Re: Would you pay $500 dollars for a bottle of wine?

Postby Manuel Camblor » Sun Aug 20, 2006 12:57 am

TimMc wrote:OK.

But what is your point, Manuel?

Are you suggesting the discussion of overly inflated wine prices is not a valid one...or are you just pontificating?

'Splain please....


You disappoint me, Tim, not being able to see my point...

If you are going to accuse me of pontificating, perhaps I'm done talking to you. Think of the causes of those overinflated prices. Think how many layers there are to this whole thing beyond what the article in the Chronicle suggests. Think hard, now. You're a smart guy. But don't assume things about me. You don't know me.
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Re: Would you pay $500 dollars for a bottle of wine?

Postby François Audouze » Sun Aug 20, 2006 12:19 pm

When money is concerned, a discussion can easily go into dangerous directions.
We are in a free world.
Everyone does what he decides to do, and he should never blame the one who decides something that he would not decide.

In Paris, on Champs Elysees, at the door of the shop Vuitton, I see many Japanese women in a huge queue to buy some Vuitton bags. For the same utility, you could find bags ten times cheaper (which makes a relation to our discussion). But if you would make a poll, the Japanese ladies would answer : "I know that there is ten times cheaper, but it is a Vuitton that I want".
I respect their freedom to do what they want.

If we want to spend more than 500 $ for a bottle of wine, it is our free decision and this decision should never be criticised.
Some people want to optimise their budget for wine. Some people don't. And it is how the World is made.

And then, as no one is obliged to justify his behaviour, we can comment : why do we buy very expensive bottles ? I gave earlier on page 6 my answer : because I want to live some "unique" emotions.
And to live unique emotions is a good motivation.
Then, the one who says : I would never spend so much money for a wine is fully entitled to put a limit to his wish to have a wine.
And none of the two has a best justification than the other.
Diversity is what makes our world.
Old wines are younger than what is generally considered
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Re: Would you pay $500 dollars for a bottle of wine?

Postby Manuel Camblor » Sun Aug 20, 2006 12:52 pm

No one is arguing against the entitlement of some to spend whatever money they choose on a bottle of wine, a Louis Vuitton handbag, a pimped-out Hummer or anything their heart desires, François. If those people have the money, they also have the power of decision when it ocmes to disposing of it.

But this whole argument of the $500 bottle opens, at least for me, some interesting paths of debate which perhaps we should explore. In the post that Tim Mc seems to have interpreted as me, pontificating, I set forth the socio-politico-economic angle all this talk of very pricey wine, status symbols and an overheated market suggests to me.

Useful synopses of the intertext I'm applying are:


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commodity_fetishism,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexual_fetishism

Add to these quick and simple glossings-over liberal dashes of Lacan, Derrida, plus a pinch of Slavoj Zizek and a few drops of the aesthetic philosophy of Hugh Hefner and you can see where I'm going with this.

But apart from this ludic episteme, I do have a direct question for you regarding those $500 bottles: You mention the search for "unique experiences", which is something I would endorse 1000%, since I am also willing to pay that kind of money for wines that will rock my world, make me rethink history, dominate my memory for years, become the measure against which I judge all else, etc. You are a man who shares my taste for older vintages, who appreciates wine properly polished by age, who knows that much as we can given the proper disposition and circumstances, noble wine becomes better with age... For the privilege of knowing where such betterment leads, we pay. Gladly.

But here's an angle you don't seem to be considering: Would you pay the same $500 for the latest release by a relative newcomer to wine production, whose methods of winemaking have yet to be proven in terms of yielding important, truly cellarworthy wines? Because this is one of the mroe alarming trends of the past dozen years, new-kid-on-the-block producers coming to market for the first time claiming that they will make "the Pétrus of the Ribera del Duero, or Napa, or whatever", and aspiring to charge Pétrus prices.

Hilarious aspects of such producers: They always enter the market with their "superwine" and bring a "Second Wine" along... A second wine... Rather presumptuous in the case of concerns that have yet to prove that they can make a worthy first.

And, while I'm at this: What do you say when the current release of Pétrus goes for rughly the same per bottle as, say, the glorious 1921? Mind you, Pétrus hs a right to be expensive, even though current prices, well, they have passed the ridiculousness line so long ago I can't even laugh anymore.
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Re: Would you pay $500 dollars for a bottle of wine?

Postby TimMc » Sun Aug 20, 2006 9:26 pm

Manuel Camblor wrote:
TimMc wrote:OK.

But what is your point, Manuel?

Are you suggesting the discussion of overly inflated wine prices is not a valid one...or are you just pontificating?

'Splain please....


You disappoint me, Tim, not being able to see my point...

If you are going to accuse me of pontificating, perhaps I'm done talking to you. Think of the causes of those overinflated prices. Think how many layers there are to this whole thing beyond what the article in the Chronicle suggests. Think hard, now. You're a smart guy. But don't assume things about me. You don't know me.


Manuel,

I was just posing the question, not making any claim to know it's answer or to what you may or may not believe.

Of course there are many layers, as you put it, to the reasons for wine price inflation. But they are reasons which are open to debate, are they not? The SF Chron article merely opens up that debate. It is not the be all to end all...not by any stretch of the imagination.

C'mon, Manuel, give me some credit here. It is not possible for me to know what is inside your head, so I must ask. Asking is not assumption, my friend....it is intelligence gathering, a check for understanding in order that we may avoid assuming.

Then we discuss.

Anything less is, in fact, an assumption. That isn't what happened here...not on my part, at least.







sheesh.
Last edited by TimMc on Mon Aug 21, 2006 11:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Would you pay $500 dollars for a bottle of wine?

Postby Manuel Camblor » Sun Aug 20, 2006 11:47 pm

TimMc wrote:
C'mon, Manuel, give me some credit here. It is not possible for me to know what is inside your head, so I must ask. Asking is not assumption, my friend....it is intelligence gathering, a check for understanding in order that we may avoid assuming.

Then we discuss.


Credit? Forgive me if I reserve the right to give that. I think I was very clear in what I was saying. Hell, I even provided some nice little links toward a bibliography that would be easy for anyone to grasp. I sent folks toward various theories of the fetish in order to come back to the Marxian one of the "commodity fetish" and how those notions may apply to this situation. Of course, one can't take Marx straight up these days. There are factors at play that complicate matters and do not allow such a simple, totalistic reading of our cultural phenomena--or do they?

I'm too busy to be spelling things out for people. You claim you're some sort of an educator. Well, I quit that profession a long time ago. Figured out it wasn't for me. I got tired of having to explain and explain what was already there to be read and, with a little bit of thought, understood.

Same feeling I'm having now.

Read what I wrote before. If you don't get me, then so be it. I'm just done here. Besides, I don't like that ocndescending little tone of yours.
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Re: Would you pay $500 dollars for a bottle of wine?

Postby James Roscoe » Sun Aug 20, 2006 11:51 pm

Manuel,
Chill dude, you're too smart to let other people get to you.
Cheers!
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Re: Would you pay $500 dollars for a bottle of wine?

Postby TimMc » Sun Aug 20, 2006 11:51 pm

Manuel Camblor wrote:
TimMc wrote:
C'mon, Manuel, give me some credit here. It is not possible for me to know what is inside your head, so I must ask. Asking is not assumption, my friend....it is intelligence gathering, a check for understanding in order that we may avoid assuming.

Then we discuss.


Credit? Forgive me if I reserve the right to give that. I think I was very clear in what I was saying. Hell, I even provided some nice little links toward a bibliography that would be easy for anyone to grasp. I sent folks toward various theories of the fetish in order to come back to the Marxian one of the "commodity fetish" and how those notions may apply to this situation. Of course, one can't take Marx straight up these days. There are factors at play that complicate matters and do not allow such a simple, totalistic reading of our cultural phenomena--or do they?

I'm too busy to be spelling things out for people. You claim you're some sort of an educator. Well, I quit that profession a long time ago. Figured out it wasn't for me. I got tired of having to explain and explain what was already there to be read and, with a little bit of thought, understood.

Same feeling I'm having now.

Read what I wrote before. If you don't get me, then so be it. I'm just done here. Besides, I don't like that ocndescending little tone of yours.


You assumed you were very clear in what you were saying, Manuel.

That is the point I'm making....however much you want to assume it is something other than that.

Hm.


IMHO...you need to seriously get over yourself and walk amongst us common wine drinking folk for a while.


I am amazed.
Last edited by TimMc on Mon Aug 21, 2006 12:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Would you pay $500 dollars for a bottle of wine?

Postby TimMc » Sun Aug 20, 2006 11:55 pm

James Roscoe wrote:Manuel,
Chill dude, you're too smart to let other people get to you.
Cheers!
James


What a terrible assumption, James.
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Re: Would you pay $500 dollars for a bottle of wine?

Postby TimMc » Mon Aug 21, 2006 12:01 am

Evidently, talking about the inflated price of wine brings out the absolute worst in people on this BBS.

I am amazed, quite frankly, and deeply saddened by the wine know-it-all attitude shown here on this thread.

It is fairly obvious to me, at least, that no harsh words must be spoken about wine relative to high cost.


I sincerely beg your pardon.


Heaven forbid we should talk openly about wine and the greed, er...sorry, the high cost associated with it.



My bad.
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Re: Would you pay $500 dollars for a bottle of wine?

Postby Manuel Camblor » Mon Aug 21, 2006 12:19 am

TimMc wrote:

IMHO...you need to seriously get over yourself and walk amongst us common wine drinking folk for a while.


I am amazed.


Here I know I will come dangerously close to breaking one of the cardinal rules of this forum, if I don't just go ahead and shatter it... But Tim, dude, bite me.

Besides, I don't do "common".

Oh, and it seems you haven't noticed that some of us--myself among them--have had much harsher words than your fairly tame ones about the greed, hype and utterly insufferable nouveau-riche bullshit driving a large part of the wine world today. If you haven't read Marx, you should. This doesn't mean you should become a "Marxist". Just that there are certain ideas in his thought that apply to what we're dealing with here. Ditto for Freud. The San Francisco Chronicle doesn't even touch on the many, very important--no, hell, make that crucial cultural analysis that should be happening here. I have invited you and all the other participants in this thread to think further, perhaps to consider that "outside the box" may be of no help and that the answers are more obvious than all that.

But hey, ehre I went again. I'm locking myself the hell out of this little thread of yours.
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Re: Would you pay $500 dollars for a bottle of wine?

Postby TimMc » Mon Aug 21, 2006 12:27 am

Manuel Camblor wrote:
TimMc wrote:

IMHO...you need to seriously get over yourself and walk amongst us common wine drinking folk for a while.


I am amazed.


Here I know I will come dangerously close to breaking one of the cardinal rules of this forum, if I don't just go ahead and shatter it... But Tim, dude, bite me.

Besides, I don't do "common".


OK...whatever, Manuel.

I tried to be civil with you and understand where you are coming from.

All I get back is attitude.

Live well in the path you have chosen, my friend.


Peace.
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Re: Would you pay $500 dollars for a bottle of wine?

Postby JoePerry » Mon Aug 21, 2006 1:59 am

TimMc wrote:
Manuel Camblor wrote:
TimMc wrote:

IMHO...you need to seriously get over yourself and walk amongst us common wine drinking folk for a while.


I am amazed.


Here I know I will come dangerously close to breaking one of the cardinal rules of this forum, if I don't just go ahead and shatter it... But Tim, dude, bite me.

Besides, I don't do "common".


OK...whatever, Manuel.

I tried to be civil with you and understand where you are coming from.

All I get back is attitude.

Live well in the path you have chosen, my friend.


Peace.


Tim, you are a Troll, plain and simple.

At first I was giving you the benefit of the doubt, but it is obvious that you are only interested in taunting reactions from folks, and when they bite, you hold up your hands as if to say, "Who, me???"

Also, trying to railroad people and lead their answers is almost as insulting as the Sophomoric idea that assuming a tone of correctness and being correct are the same thing. You claim to be an educator, but I can't imagine you holding any real title with the kind of sweeping generalizations and poorly supported arguments as I've seen here.

Not that it has anything to do with your post, but I wonder if you have any first-hand experience with the cost of making wine, or tasting experience in $500 wines (not articles or other people's opinions). Please share with us if you do in either case.

Thanks,
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Re: Would you pay $500 dollars for a bottle of wine?

Postby François Audouze » Mon Aug 21, 2006 6:16 am

Manuel,
You asked me what is my attitude towards new celebrated idols.
I must tell you something : I did not read anything concerning 2005.
I did not buy any 2003 and not any 2005.
Time will tell !
My fault has been to have missed the wines of Henri Jayer whose name was completely unknown to me as I do not read any magazine or book on wine. This is my mistake.
But to follow the advises of friends, sommeliers in whom I trust, yes.
So, I missed Henri Jayer. Since I discovered these wines, I have acquired a lot.
I discovered Clos Sainte Hune very late as I ignored even the name.

I do not follow the crowd, I follow my taste, and then, I want to approach the best that I can afford.
I am fascinated by Chateau Chalon (Jura wine) of the 19th century. This is not something that people are raging for.

To talk about price of wine related to the income would have no interest, as the same question, considering cars, has no interest either.
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Re: Would you pay $500 dollars for a bottle of wine?

Postby Manuel Camblor » Mon Aug 21, 2006 8:09 am

Beautifully put, Joey (Wow, I'd never thought I'd say this!).

And the thing is this one's not even an especially talented troll. In the years since started participating in the WLDG, I have encountered some truly masterful ones. But in this case, it's amateur hour (and not in the good, Barthesian sense of "Amateur" as "lover of", but in the worst poossible one of "insufferable dilettante").
Last edited by Manuel Camblor on Mon Aug 21, 2006 8:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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