Even though I am most definitely NOT a "shopper" I have spent my share of hours over the years flipping through the Neiman Marcus Christmas Book. Hey, it's something to do when you're hanging out with relatives that don't make good conversation, right?
For those of you who have somehow managed to escape knowledge of this pinnacle of consumer excess, The Christmas Book is an extremely high-production, glossy catalog put out each holiday season by fancy-pants retailer Neiman Marcus, which contains some of the most expensive items to ever grace a department store catalog's pages. Of course, the photography and styling are phenomenally good, so the issue reads a bit like the Robb Report without any of those annoying articles to get in the way of your shopping.
The point to all this? I've just discovered that there's an equivalent in the wine world. Now I'm normally not keen to point people in the direction of a particular retailer over another, so don't read this as an endorsement of this particular shop, but "The Big Gift Catalog" put out by wine retailer Aabalat really must be seen to be believed.
For starters, get this: the least expensive item in the catalog is $400. The most expensive? $4.5 Million Dollars. Got anyone on your Christmas list that deserves a really nice present?
Actually this catalog is not really a retail catalog, but an auction catalog for a special online auction that is going on right now on WineCommune.Com. The items on offer are some of the most outrageously awesome , over-the-top wine items I have ever seen on sale.
One of the stunners for me is an 11 year vertical of Cheval Blanc from 1995-2005. So what's the big deal, you ask? It's a top Bordeaux, but ten year's worth of bottles isn't all that exotic. Ah, yes, but these bottles are a little special. They are Melchiors. For those of you whose mental command of wine trivia doesn't extend beyond the "Magnum" bottle size, let me remind you: the melchior is an eighteen liter bottle. This 180 liters of Bordeaux will likely set you back between $700,000 and $900,000. Sounds like a deal? You can bid for it right here. Right now it's up to $490,000, but the seller's reserve hasn't been met.
Feel free to pick that one up for me, as a token of your gratitude for turning you on to such a buying opportunity as you've never seen in your entire life as one of the world's richest people.
Thankfully at least some of the proceeds (20% of some lots) will go to benefit both a non-profit health organization in LA, and a scholarship fund for USC Film students suffering from Crohn's Disease or Asperger Syndrome.
Thanks to Jack at Fork & Bottle for the tip.
A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. 2015 Roederer Award Winner.Learn more.
I'll Drink to That: Bob Cabral of Three Sticks Wines Warm Up: Rotgipfler and Beyond I'll Drink to That: Bernhard Stadlmann of Weingut Stadlmann Vinography Images: Last Light I'll Drink to That: Suzanne Mustacich Warm Up: The Douro I'll Drink to That: João Nicolau de Almeida of Ramos-Pinto Book Signing in St. Helena, December 5, 2015 I'll Drink to That: Carole Meredith of Lagier-Meredith Vineyards Napa's New Reference Point
Wine Will Never Smell the Same Again: Luca Turin and the Science of Scent Forlorn Hope: The Remarkable Wines of Matthew Rorick Debating Robert Parker At His Invitation Passopisciaro Winery, Etna, Sicily: Current Releases Should We Care What Winemakers Say? The Sweet Taste of Freedom: Austria's Ruster Ausbruch Wines 2009 Burgundy Vintage According to Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Charles Banks: The New Man Behind Mayacamas Wine from the Caldera: The Incredible Viticulture of Santorini Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Chateau Rayas and the 2012 Vintage of Chateauneuf-du-Pape A Life Indomitable: The Wines of Casal Santa Maria, Portugal Bay Area Bordeaux: Tasting Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernets Forgotten Jewels: Reviving Chile's Old Vine Carignane The First-Timer's Guide to Les Trois Glorieuses of Hospices de Beaune