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'If I Were a Whale' by Justin Vann

1811 Chateau d'Yquem, yours for $30,000
1811 Chateau d'Yquem, yours for $30,000

For the final post of Whale Week, we asked sommelier Justin Vann what he would buy if he were a whale. Vann has earned the Advanced certification from the Court of Master Sommeliers and praise for his work at Oxheart, so he seemed like a good person to turn to. He also writes a highly entertaining blog. For those disinclined to spend a Volkswagen on wine, Vann has started curating the wine list at The Original OKRA Charity Saloon with a half dozen or so glasses for under $10. Take it away, Justin.

Pappas Bros. Steakhouse is unquestionably the best place in town to buy a crazy expensive bottle of wine. The best part is that all of their markups are really reasonable. For example, consider that in 2011, a bottle of Chateau D'Yquem set a record for most expensive single bottle of white wine sold at auction for 75,000 English pounds. Pappas has it for a mere $30,000. It'll never be "past it's prime" in our lifetime. The drinking time frame for pretty much all D'Yquem (from any vintage) is "Now till centuries after you're dead."

I would highly recommend buying this wine if you're so hideously rich that 30 grand means nothing to you. Talk to the gaggle of killing-machine somms working the floor there. Both the veterans and the younger somms are some of the best in the city. Of course, they can bleed you out with pricey bottles, but they can also blow your brains out with inexpensive bottles too. Thank goodness their list also caters to non-whales (like me).

What does an 1811 D'Yquem taste like? You know how happy finding $5 in your pocket makes you? It's like finding ten trillion dollars in your pocket. It's a zen Koan that will silence the white noise of your mind for the rest of your life. It is a flavor doomsday device that you will wish you could detonate twice. You will shove true love, the meaning of life, and happiness out of the way to catch a glimpse of this wine.

Wanna really demonstrate how sickeningly rich you are? Mix it with Sprite. Because nothing says "I have money" like destroying something nearly priceless. Also, I hear Rothko paintings are super absorbent and make good doormats. Celebrate the fact that your wasteful madness is misconstrued as eccentricity- with a $30,000 spritzer.

Whale on.

Thanks again to Justin Vann for his contribution to Whale Week --ed

· Battlesong [Home Page]
· Bottle of White Wine Sets World Record Price [Reuters]
· The Trouble With Restaurant Wine Lists [29-95]
· Pappas Bros. Steakhouse [Official Site]
· All Whale Week Coverage on Eater Houston [-EHOU-]