Bottoms Up

Beer and wine in the Bay Area and beyond

Teague’s $1,000 wine challenge

By Jessica Yadegaran
Thursday, December 20th, 2007 at 10:23 am in Uncategorized.

I felt validated and quite overjoyed, actually, to read Lettie Teague’s “Wine Matters” column this month in Food & Wine. The raven-haired columnist was given $1,000 to spend on whatever wines she wanted, and she was obsessing, much like I would.

Blow it all on one bottle of Bryant? Or 500 of Chuck? Invest in a few mixed cases of  red and white Burgundies, or support some Champagne garagistes?

What would YOU do?

After all, most of us don’t spend that kind of money on wine. My insurance doesn’t cover glasses AND contacts. And how am I supposed to stay on the gray trend this fall without the right boots? Like Teague (did I mention validated?), I usually spend between $15 and $30 for a bottle of wine. I go into the $40s for small production Pinot and Syrah. Maybe more for bubbly. But that’s it.

Minus the Chuck and Petrus, I’d probably stick to what I listed above and throw in a bottle of a heavenly Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Had Teague not spent the majority of her money on a special dinner with two wine friends, this is what her list would’ve looked like:

2004 Joseph Drouhin Chassagne-Montrachet Marquis de Laguiche ($85, white Burgundy); 2003 Clos Saint Jean Deus Ex Machina ($90, Chateauneuf-du-Pape); 2001 Trimbach Clos Ste. Hune ($150, grand cru Riesling); 2001 Sandrone Cannubi Boschis ($135, Barolo)’ Billecart-Salmon Nonvintage Brut Rosé ($150, Champagne).

But she got to try some exquisite wines at that dinner, including the 1989 La Mission Haut-Brion and the 1989 Haut-Brion — probably $1,000 each.

In the spirit of Teague’s column, I’d love to hear what wines you’d buy with $1,000. Post them here or email me!

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  • Laura

    I’d buy 1 bottle of Chuck and spend the rest on the root canal I need.

  • Kathleen Lisson

    I’d use the $1000 to further my wine education… buying and sharing a bottle each of a Chateauneuf du Pape Beaucastel, Hermitage, Sauternes, Puligny Montrachet, Champagne and Cote Rotie.

    A half case each of a few local favorites – Dr. Frank’s Rkatsiteli, Lakewood Vineyards Gewurztraminer, a mixed case of Channing Daughters wines and a bottle of McGregor Vineyards Black Russian, a blend of Saperavi and Sereksiya Charni, for the Wine Century Club meeting next spring.

    Thanks for blogging about this interesting proposition, it was great to think about where I want my cellar to go next!
    Kathleen Lisson
    Albany, NY (formerly Concord, CA)

  • http://ibabuzz/corkheads Jessica

    Excellent allocation. I’m drooling. Thanks for writing.

  • Ward Kadel

    Hello Jessica,

    Wow, what a fantastic idea about which to ruminate! A great couple of posts, as well. I think that I’d like to try and expand my palate a bit, while also doing a sort of price-point comparison. I’d like to get 1 white and 1 red from 10 different wine regions around the world for $50 a bottle (excluding tax, I suppose). The regions of interest might be:

    Barossa Valley
    Brunello di Montalcino
    Cote du Rhone

    These are obviously sort of “macro” starting points. At that price range I should be able to get smaller appellation wines here and there, as well, particularly some whites. Anyhow…what a neat thought. Take care.

  • Jessica Yadegaran

    Excellent. Throw in some Amarone while you’re at it and Sonoma Coast Pinot. I tasted some unbelievable boutique stuff last weekend: Siduri, Zepaltas, Loring, Baker Lane. Get your hands on it!

  • Aaron

    Amarone??? Sounds quite yummy…

  • Jessica Yadegaran

    Almost as yummy as butterscotch in a bottle. :)