From France, With Love
October 12, 2010 10:14 AM   Subscribe

Veuve Clicquot- oldest drinkable fizzy grape juice? A missing shipment of some fine French vino, that Luis XVI sent over to the Tsar of the Russias, may have been located, and are currently being confirmed by the home vintners.
posted by LD Feral (23 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Oh no, not this again.
posted by Ahab at 10:20 AM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


"But if it's really Louis XVI's wine, it could fetch several million," she added.

For those - as Seymour Britchky put it - suffering from an extremely refined thirst.
posted by Joe Beese at 10:21 AM on October 12, 2010


No, it's not. I promise. Doesn't mean they won't get millions for it.
posted by miyabo at 10:27 AM on October 12, 2010


BBC News video of the salvage dive.
posted by not_on_display at 10:29 AM on October 12, 2010


This is great cause Veuve is objectively the best champagne and I'll gore anyone who says different.
posted by The Whelk at 10:31 AM on October 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


I really like Veuve Clicquot. A lot. It goes for $35-$55 a bottle -- I use it as a barometer for how pricey a wine shop I'm not familiar with is.
posted by gurple at 10:32 AM on October 12, 2010


The thing is, today's vintners enjoy technical advances that allow them to measure and control temperature, acidity, oxygen and sugar levels, grape quality, etc. to a much finer degree. I'd wager that the best wines currently being made—and even those a notch or two below—are as good, or better, than the stuff kings drank in Louis' day. And I doubt that a 230-year stay at the bottom of the ocean has improved the stuff.

Anyone who pays millions for this stuff isn't getting a superior wine; they're just paying to feel fancy because OMG they're drinking a beverage that famous rulers almost drank. Or, you know, because they want to impress the kind of people who are impressed by ostentatious douchebaggery. Seems like a pretty sad waste of a million bucks to me.
posted by ixohoxi at 10:37 AM on October 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Anyone who pays millions for this stuff isn't getting a superior wine; they're just paying to feel fancy because OMG they're drinking a beverage that famous rulers almost drank.

Myself, I can't imagine I would ever buy this, no matter how much money I had, unless the proceeds went to some great charity.

But if I did buy some wine for millions of dollars, owning a beverage that famous rulers almost drank would be a damn sight better reason for shelling out that kind of money than drinking a superior beverage once.
posted by gurple at 10:46 AM on October 12, 2010


Seems like a pretty sad waste of a million bucks to me.

Let's not get ahead of ourselves.

"Cromwell-Morgan estimated the opening price at auction of each bottle at around half a million Swedish kronor (53,000 euros, 69,000 dollars)."

The millions figure was PR hyperbole. It ain't gonna happen.
posted by IndigoJones at 10:58 AM on October 12, 2010


I like the way Christopher Walken says "champagne" in his The Continental skit.
posted by Mister_A at 11:09 AM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


The millions figure was PR hyperbole. It ain't gonna happen.

I figured when they said "millions" they meant kronor, not dollars.
posted by jackflaps at 11:13 AM on October 12, 2010


This is great cause Veuve is objectively the best champagne and I'll gore anyone who says different

It really is.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:20 AM on October 12, 2010


The thing is, today's vintners enjoy technical advances...

That, and even if this stash was drinkable, it would likely make contemporary champagne lovers gag. Champagne made at that time was much sweeter than the brut style which later became the norm.
posted by everichon at 11:55 AM on October 12, 2010


I figured when they said "millions" they meant kronor, not dollars.

ixohoxi clearly did not, and Gurple may have not, and it was to those quotes that I was responding.
posted by IndigoJones at 11:56 AM on October 12, 2010


I really like Veuve Clicquot ... I use it as a barometer for how pricey a wine shop I'm not familiar with is.

I do the same thing, but with Mad Dog 20/20.
posted by zippy at 12:28 PM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


I've never tasted it, but if the flavor is as good as the name... it would be like a converse Smucker's.

I just love saying, "Voove Klee-koh"
posted by mmrtnt at 12:39 PM on October 12, 2010


ostentatious douchebaggery

In the '80's it was called "Conspicuous consumption".

This might be more accurate.


posted by mmrtnt at 12:42 PM on October 12, 2010


"Cromwell-Morgan estimated the opening price at auction of each bottle at around half a million Swedish kronor (53,000 euros, 69,000 dollars)."

So you spend your $69,000+, get your little baby home and..........then what? Drink it?? Christ no. You gloat over it. It's an investment, isn't it? Ohh, yessssssss. Oblivious of the deep absurdity of spending more than many people's annual salary on a bottle of now piss-quality fermented grape juice that you have absolutely no intention of consuming. Ever. You'll just sell it eventually to some other geezer at a profit. Who also will never drink it. Mad. The irony is that if the guys filling those particular bottles all those years ago had substitued cowshit for champagne it wouldn't have made any difference at all. And they could have got hammered on the champers themselves. Shame.
posted by MajorDundee at 1:27 PM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


You open it and serve it to friends to impress them and everyone drinks the unobtanium and likes it and agrees you are king of the world.
posted by longsleeves at 2:16 PM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Veuve is OK. I prefer Laurent Perrier. But they're all delicious.
posted by Lleyam at 2:42 PM on October 12, 2010


So you spend your $69,000+, get your little baby home and..........then what? Drink it?? Christ no.

I have a vague recollection of some 100+ or perhaps it was 200+ year old wine bought for silly money and indeed drunk at some special occasion. Forbes family? Google fails me on the anecdote. I do remember the verdict, however.

Not tasty.

Of course the money is absurd, but bear in mind that there are people in this world, and not a few of them, and not all of them utter swine, for whom 69,000+ dollars really isn't that big a deal. Not even a few hours work. And really, if you have more money than you can possibly spend in a lifetime, and you have a feel for history, what difference does it make if you buy this kind of amusing little artifact? Hell, I'd probably do it myself.
posted by IndigoJones at 5:31 PM on October 12, 2010


Not to snob out but (modern) veuve cliqout isn't all that great. Grower champagne is where it's at. Try some pierre peters or chartogne-taillet for some quality bubbles. Not much more money either...
posted by elwoodwiles at 11:30 PM on October 12, 2010


I learned about Veuve Clicquot from that exquisite gem of a movie, Babette's Feast, one of my favorites of all time, when the worldly General is amazed that the food is so delicious in that remote and austere part of Denmark. Veuve Clicquot at 6:50.
posted by nickyskye at 12:08 AM on October 13, 2010


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