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6 Liter bottle of d'Yquem '97 at Costco


Jason Perlow
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6L 1997 Chateau d'Yquem Sauternes

Ok, I could understand a Magnum. But SIX liters? Thats like a Methuselah or a Jeroboam or something crazy like that.

EDIT: Yep, its a Methuselah. What the heck is next, a Nebuchadnezzar of Dow 1977?

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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There are very few occasions that I could see that size format of d'Yquem being appropriate and not utterly wasteful or an exercise in conspicuous consumption. Perhaps at a large formal party to celebrate a wedding or milestone birthday that had enough guests to make certain the bottle would disappear. Otherwise it's just silliness.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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I dunno, if I ever feel like throwing away F-U money, I could totally see doing the Roman Emperor thing, having an orgy, and drinking entire beer steins filled with d'Yquem. Reclined on a couch and wearing a toga.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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I dunno, if I ever feel like throwing away F-U money, I could totally see doing the Roman Emperor thing, having an orgy, and drinking entire beer steins filled with d'Yquem. Reclined on a couch and wearing a toga.

And how is that not qualifying for my previous definitions of silliness and/or conspicuous consumption?? :raz:

That much sweet stuff to drink would give you a hangover that would have you begging for a Centurion to behead you to make it stop hurting. Even the vomitorium and the feather couldn't save you at that point. dead.gif

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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I've actually seen a row of Yquem Methuselahs in the cellar at Bistro à Champlain (wine list available as a 157 page PDF); quite impressive until you spot the 100 or so Methuselahs of DRC in the same cellar. :blink:

According to owner Champlain Charest there are actually people who do buy them when they want to have a little party. I didn't ask whether they were garbed in togas and laurel leaves though.

FWIW Costco's price seems reasonable: the SAQ (Quebec's monopoly) sells a Methuselah of the 1998 for $CDN 2930 (magnums of 1997 for $CDN 705).

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6 ltr is about 75 glasses, more if small glasses for a desert wine.

Thats $25/glass - about right for a Yquem, even from a poor year

I could easily see it as the centrepiece of a special dinner. It would be ideal for an eGullet gathering.

Heck, I'd buy it if I lived in a place they would ship to.

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But SIX liters? Thats like a Methuselah or a Jeroboam or something crazy like that.

EDIT: Yep, its a Methuselah. What the heck is next, a Nebuchadnezzar of Dow 1977?

Actually, to be overly technical (and overly geeky), it's an Imperial. Bordeaux large format bottles and Burgundy/Champagne large format bottles have different names. Six liters is a Methuselah for Burgundy or Champagne, but an Imperial for Bordeaux.

We cannot employ the mind to advantage when we are filled with excessive food and drink - Cicero

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Ooh, Brad, that's an impressive technical detail! Bravo! Now for the challenge: *Why* do they have different names?

Edited by Susan G (log)

I'm a canning clean freak because there's no sorry large enough to cover the, "Oops! I gave you botulism" regrets.

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I was at a pre New Year's concert party at a hotel across from the venue. The door to the room was open and a nice young man wandered in with a full (750 ml) bottle of wine. He wanted to trade it for a couple beers, saying he didin't like the wine. I put down the paper cup I was drinking a gin and tonic out of, and came closer, not believing my eyes. Sure enough, it was a bottle of d'Yquem, 1995 I think. It had a Costco sticker on it. I asked him where it came from and he said Palo Alto and was a gift. This guy was about 17 years old. As I was explaining to the folks within earshot what this was and the value of it, he paled considerably, clutched his 2 beers and backed out of the room. My guess is he stole it from his dad's wine cellar, not having a clue.

So we drank the bottle with our chips and M&M's out of paper cups. It was not a fake. (Also not a Methuselah, but an amusing evening anyway)

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Ooh, Brad, that's an impressive technical detail!  Bravo!  Now for the challenge: *Why* do they have different names?

I truly do not know, and the origin of large format bottle names (Burgundy/Champagne or Bordeaux) began so long ago that the exact reasons behind the names are fuzzy. Call it marketing attention-grabbing more than anything else I suppose.

But I did come across this write up that provides some background information, including:

Methusalem or Imperial This contains six litres (eight bottles) of wine. Methusalach (Biblical spelling) is described in the Old Testament (Gen 5:27) as a person who lived 969 years. When French champagne is bottled in a Methusalem, the wine is expected to age for a very long time. This size bottle is sometimes called an Imperial, in Britain especially. According to the Oxford Dictionary the word means of or relating to an empire or an emperor and also characteristic of an emperor; majestic or magnificent. Just like the large wine bottle. The Imperial is used in Bordeaux for Cabernet Sauvignon.

We cannot employ the mind to advantage when we are filled with excessive food and drink - Cicero

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I dunno, if I ever feel like throwing away F-U money, I could totally see doing the Roman Emperor thing, having an orgy, and drinking entire beer steins filled with d'Yquem. Reclined on a couch and wearing a toga.

please invite me to this party

for me the 6l yquem is for two events: big birthday (30, 40, 50, 60, 80, etc.) or to celebraste when you close a big big deal

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Super-large format bottles are neither for every person nor for everyday use but they do have their place at very special celebrtions. I cannot say what anyone else thought of this wine but my own review follows:

Chateau d’Yquem, Sauternes, 1997: Bright golden in color at this stage, full-bodied and with extraordinary balance between deep botrytis influence along with citrus peel, vanilla, butternuts and honey. Moderately sweet but intense on the palate, with ideal balancing acidity and a finish that seems to go on forever. Approachable now but that would be a sin as this wine will be at its best only starting in 2008-2010 and will then cellar comfortably until 2030-2035, perhaps longer. Score 97. (Tasted 29 Jan 2004)

Considering that my reviews are almost always based on standard bottles (750 ml), and also considering that with truly fine wines the larger the bottle the longer the wine will mature with grace and elegance, this bottle will easily maintain its charm for 50 or more years. Such a bottle like this might make a magnificent gesture on a 50th birthday or wedding anniversary and, with just a bit of luck even on a 75th!

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There are very few occasions that I could see that size format of d'Yquem being appropriate and not utterly wasteful or an exercise in conspicuous consumption.  Perhaps at a large formal party to celebrate a wedding or milestone birthday that had enough guests to make certain the bottle would disappear.  Otherwise it's just silliness.

Yes, just your average, everyday foie gras party for 100 or so. :laugh:

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I wonder if we are not showing a kind of "inverse snobbism" in some of our reactions. There are indeed people who can afford such bottles, and indeed not all of them are nouveaux riches trying to show off but planning on opening such bottles to share with friends for a special gathering or occasion. There are indeed occasions when, could most of us afford such special treats, we too would partake.

Like most here, I scorn the nouveaux riches. I do not, however, scorn those who have the wherewithall and the good taste to go with it (assuming of course that such good taste extends not only to wine but to their relations and obligations to other people)

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Yes, just your average, everyday foie gras party for 100 or so.  :laugh:

I have my calendar in front of me...when's this soiree? Count me IN! :laugh:

"I'm not eating it...my tongue is just looking at it!" --My then-3.5 year-old niece, who was NOT eating a piece of gum

"Wow--this is a fancy restaurant! They keep bringing us more water and we didn't even ask for it!" --My 5.75 year-old niece, about Bread Bar

"He's jumped the flounder, as you might say."

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I think I see the angle I can take with my wife on this one... 750ml bottles seem to be going for about $275, which would mean that 8 of them would cost $2,200, so buy buying the Imperial I would make $300!

Who doesn't want a free $300? I mean, come on! Just like it's lying there on the street, waiting to be picked up...

Good thing they don't ship to my state.

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