Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Machete Kills (2013) Part II

In my last post Machete Kills (2013) Part I, I profiled The Gran PatrĂ³n Platinum Tequila that both the President (Carlos Estevez) and Machete (Danny Trejo) partake a shot of while sealing the deal of Machete's job in Mexico. Fast forward to near the end of the movie where Machete is having a lavish meal with the head of Voz Tech: Mr. Voz (Mel Gibson).

While they are dining, a waiter is bringing over a bottle of wine. All of a sudden Voz turns around and stabs the waiter with a wine key. When Machete sits at attention, Voz tells him:

Now those of you who know me, know that I am not a sommelier.  But even I know that a wine from 1787 must be rare. So I decided to delve in a little deeper on the 1787 Chateau Lafitte.

According to the November 19, 2013 article World's Most Expensive Wines from the Forbes.com website:
When an enterprising young man named James Christie opened his sales rooms in London in December 1766, his first auction consisted of the estate of a “deceased nobleman” containing “a large Quantity of Madeira and high Flavour’d Claret.” The records don’t relate how much these delightfully described “high Flavour’d clarets” fetched but as the whole sale realized a grand total £175, it is a sure bet that if Christie had known that two hundred years later, in 1985, his now famous auction house would sell one bottle of wine for £105,000, or $160,000, he might have held back a bottle or two to enrich his future heirs.

This bottle was a Bordeaux, a 1787 Chateau Lafite, and, according to The Guinness Book of World Records, 18 years later it still is the world’s most expensive bottle of wine. Its great age alone would have ensured a good price but what gave it its special cachet, especially to American collectors, and ensured the record price tag were the initials Th.J. etched in the glass.
So Thomas Jefferson owned a personally etched 1787 Chateau Lafitte bottle of Bordeaux wine that was deemed to be the most expensive bottle of wine auctioned by Christie's in 1985. For those of you who aren't up on your history, our nation's Third President (1801-1809) also served as Ambassador to France from 1785 to 1789 and apparently was an avid collector of wine. According to the article Atomic Wine: Story #5: Hidden Kitchens — Atomic Wine: The Hidden World of Counterfeit Wine from the kitchensisters.org website:
Jefferson was the “leading wine connoisseur of the Republic, the presiding expert in French wine in this country.” He ordered wine for George Washington and he wrote out descriptions of the first growths and best wines in France for a number of American merchants. He was also a meticulous record keeper who recorded every aspect of his life in detail. When he returned from France he had the wines he’d purchased for himself and President Washington carefully shipped to the United States. According to his detailed books they all arrived intact.
Never let it be said that I can't meld my SiscoVanilla and HistorySisco (historysisco.tumblr.com) personas to bring you gals and guys a post. But I digress. My question is this: If you have yourself a bottle of 1787 Chateau Lafitte...can you drink it? I refer back to the aforementioned Forbes.com article:
Of course none of these wines are actually drinkable now; it is unusual for even the best Bordeaux to last more than 50 years, and 200 years is beyond any wine’s limit. The allure of these high-priced bottles of vinegar, and other wines of its ilk, is purely in the joy of collecting, not consuming. The 1787 Lafite was explicitly bought as a piece of Jefferson memorabilia, not as a bottle of wine, and it now resides in the Forbes Collection in New York. These wines are rather like old stamps, something to be collected, horded but never used, and they command such high prices not because of their utility but because of their scarcity and consequent appeal to collectors.

Looking closely at the picture above, it looks like Mr. Voz got himself one of President Jefferson's bottles of 1787 Chateau Lafitte. I guess that's just what Captains of Industry do. But unless Mr. Voz had some high tech way to make that wine drinkable, they were just drinking some over priced vinegar. And we all know: Machete don't drink vinegar.

I'm starting to feel somewhat reinvigorated. So I'm not sure whether my next post will be a cocktail or a movie post. Either way, I'm trying to on some consistent writing with the free time I currently have. Keep your eyes open for some new material from yours truly.

Until Then Happy Drinking,

For Further Reading
- Click Here to access Patrick Radden Keefe's September 3, 2007 article The Jefferson Bottles from the New Yorker magazine website