What They Drank for Christmas

Above: Dan Crane (aka Jean-Luc Retard) found this 1976 Heitz Cellars at his mom and step-dad’s place in Napa. The label reads “Alcohol 13% by Volume.” Today, most Napa Cabernets weigh in at a minimum 14.5% (current vintages of Heitz report 14.4% and 14.5% — I checked around at a few grocery stores and pharmacies).

I know I said I’d be taking a break from the blog and I promise that I will. But I couldn’t resist posting today: so many of friends wrote me to tell me the wines they drank for Christmas eve.

Top entry had to be Uli Wiesendanger (Verena aka Céline Dijon’s father) who opened a 1970 and 1979 Château La Lagune (3rd growth) at their home in the 6th.

“The cork of the 1970 Château de la Lagune broke,” writes Uli this morning, “and I had to decant the bottle. The 1979 came out beautifully. Both wines had a certain sharpness (slight acidity?) and were very light (elegant?). Not tired at all.”

Above: Trader Joe’s 2006 “Reserva” Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile in Winnetka, CA.

Greg Wawro (aka Professeur Harry Covert) writes in from Winnetka, California where he drank a Trader Joe’s 2006 Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon “Reserva.” He didn’t send any tasting notes: a picture, they say, tells a thousand words. I don’t know how you can call a wine from the 06 vintage a reserva but I’m sure he and his family had a nice holiday (I imagine Greg was pining for a 1967 Barolo that we opened recently together).

Greg adds: “Fortunately, I was able to find a 2003 Produttori del Barbaresco at the local BevMo (the last one they had!)” (click to read his subsequent comment).

Above: Me? I drank a 1997 Billecart-Salmon with friends in the Cognac Room at Astor Court (in the St. Regis Hotel). Billecart-Salmon is more famous for its rosé Champagne and it’s hard to find their blanc de blancs. It drank beautifully and even the natural-wine fanatics among us were impressed with this seemingly dosage-free Champagne (i.e., a Champagne to which no or very little sugar was added for the second fermentation). Astor Court has an amazing Champagne list, including a vertical of R[ecently] D[isgorged] Bollinger and the ultra-hard-to-find Selosse (at $500 a bottle, the latter was a little too steep for my tastes).

Above: Then came 2005 Domaine de la Pépière Granite de Clisson Muscadet in magnum with oysters at my favorite steakhouse, Keen’s.

5 thoughts on “What They Drank for Christmas

  1. For the record, Covert didn’t drink the Trader Joe’s Cab. When I found out that’s what was being served, I raced to BevMo (which was scheduled to close in 15 minutes) and found the Produtorri. Score. I also picked up a 2005 Simonnet Febvre Chablis Premier Cru Vaillons Millesime, which was quite nice. Will I ever be able to drink cheap wine again?

    BTW, is that dude behind the Muscadet magnum doing a vibe?

  2. And…for the record, we didn’t end up opening the Heitz. Tragic, really. I’m sure it’s amazing. We decided to put that back in the cave (which, Jar, if we can get you up here you really need to peruse). We ended up opening a few strange old bottles that were all corked, including a bottle of “Lunigiana” wine, made from grapes on my step-dad’s property in the early 90’s (he makes olive oil). That wine, sadly, was also corked…

  3. Your site is amazing! Enjoy your holidays, and when you get back, check out my new blog. My wife and I are on an adventure leading up to crushing Nebbiolo’s.

    Karl Goldfield

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