Brad Dunn is a Certified Sommelier and Certified Specialist of Wine and is the Sommelier/Beverage Director at the Uptown Cafe, and host of the popular radio show What’s the Juice? Recently, I asked Brad if he could come up with his Top 10 Bucket List of Wine. His reply is much more extensive than I expected, but is so clever and well done, that I didn’t want to make any changes!
A Sweet Elixir Before Death
I like the subject of a ‘Bucket List’ because it affords me the opportunity to expound upon some of the many absurdities of the wine world.
A ‘Bucket List Of Top 10 Wines’ stirs my impulse to venture into the ultra-rare, unimaginably expensive and practically forbidden stratosphere of cult wine collertordom. Now, if this were a wish-list of the world’s greatest golf courses or adventure activities or historic places, I think I’d have a pretty good shot of dying a happy man. As a self-professed non-billionaire, truth be told, even if it were possible to acquire and consume the ten coveted beverages on the following list, I don’t know if I could stomach (literally) flushing that much money down the toilet.
Wine is too expensive . . . for a beverage. Admittedly, the wine in this conversation isn’t the average cup-a-joe or pint-o-brew – the heavenly juice in question is transcendent liquid art. Like a Beethoven Symphony in a bottle.
Speaking of music, lemme pose a couple questions at this point: If you could hear 10 of the greatest musical works in the world only once, what would they be? Something by Tchaikovsky, maybe the Beatles, or John Coltrane? Now what if I told you the ticket was 20-grand a pop?
Therein lies the inherent dilemma of fine wine. Unlike music or art, wine is precious and finite, which limits those who can enjoy it. These days, anyone on a whim can infinitely mouse-click La Boehme or Starry Night into their brain, while only a handful of people on the planet will ever experience the toe-curling ecstasy of a mouthful of 1985 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti ‘La Tâche.’
The wines on my list are the stuff of legend . . . the inspiration of tomes of poetic awe – but beware the oenophiles’ artspeak. It’s just a silly drink! If you don’t taste the subtle overtones of tobacco, vanilla and pencil shavings, it’s ok.
Unfortunately, the scope of this article does not allow me to delve into the history and importance of each selection, though I invite the reader to investigate further – the study of wine is one of my life’s most rewarding passions. These are just some of the world’s benchmark wines, and like a list of ‘Greatest Movies Of All Time,’ it is not meant to be comprehensive . . . though luckily, I can watch The Godfather whenever I want. For free.
Brad’s Top 10 Wine Bucket List – In no particular order:
1985 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti ‘La Tâche’ $22,500
The ultimate pinot noir on the planet. Perfection.
1945 Château Mouton Rothschild $21,000
Bordeaux – the ‘Grand Imperial Mecca’ of the wine world. 1945 was purportedly the greatest vintage in recorded history. This Mouton is breathtakingly scarce.
1975 Château d’Yquem $2,000
A sweet treasure sure to send the most rabid sugar fiend into a blissful diabetic coma.
1990 Château Pétrus $6,000
The world’s most famous merlot (yes, merlot) – rich and sublime.
1995 Château Rayas Châteauneuf-du-Pape $1,000
Papal ecstasy not involving little boys – strange but true.
1998 Krug ‘Clos d’Ambonnay’ $3,800
A classic vintage predating their unfortunate acquisition by luxury conglomerate LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy). Krug has since suffered in quality, though interestingly, not price.
2007 Domaine Roulot Meursault ‘Les Tessons’ $250
Jean-Marc Roulot, known for his supreme artistry and purity of expression, is perhaps the greatest winemaker in the world. He is the Mozart of Burgundy. His medium? Chardonnay.
1985 Sassicaia Tenuta San Guido $3,000
It is a closely guarded secret that the Ferrari Formula 1 Team bathes their supermodels in this heavenly nectar after great victories at Monte Carlo.
1996 Vega Sicilia ‘Unico’ Grand Riserva $1,200
A legendary Spanish wine . . . if you can find it.
2005 Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon $8,000
I’ve heard this unobtainable American ‘cult’ wine – a staple of any Blue Chip CEO’s toy chest – is hardly worth the money, but sometimes curiosity kills, doesn’t it. . .
Total= $68,750 . . . now that’s alotta moula ‘down the drain’ . . . if you catch my flow.
Brad Dunn is the creator, writer and producer of ‘What’s the Juice? – Liquid Radio.’ For more information, please visit: wtjradio.com
OK, Dear readers–what would be on your Bucket List??? Let us know!