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Jun 12, 2008 11:21 AM

"I love Screaming Eagle. It's the best wine in the world," said Li.

Thanks, Li.
Paraphrasing 畫意能達萬言, your title line is worth a thousand words.

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  1. >> your title line is worth a thousand words.

    Pardon my ignorance, am I missing some hidden meaning here ;)

    1. Dang, I could have bought it at US$135, IIRC, but thought it overpriced then. Little did I know. However, I do not buy wines for investments (had I only known that Li was in the wings!), but to consume with good friends.

      SE is a good wine, but I would place all vintages, that I have had, in the lower end of the top 20. Most of the other 19 were either equal in price, or below. However, I am not a billionaire, so maybe I just do not know my wines.


      1. I've been to China several times to visit friends there, including a former co-worker that moved there and eventually became a sales manager at the 2nd largest wine distributor in China. He regales me periodically with stories of the many novice wine drinkers there. People love and revere the high-end names from all over the world (more often than not, b/c of the status of being able to afford them), and are willing to pay extreme sums for such (b/c of the punitive duties that China slaps on wine imports).

        Funniest thing I ever saw was bottles of red wine at a supermarket in Shanghai that were packaged with a full-size can of Coca Cola shrink-wrapped around it. My former co-worker did confirm that mixing red wine and Coke was a moderately popular beverage there.....

        8 Replies
        1. re: Eugene Park

          Great post.

          Olivia Wu , a second-generation Chinese-American and San Francisco Bay Area-based food writer, spoke at the last Taste3 conference about the custom in China of buying expensive Bordeaux and adding 7-Up to it. Truly. I do not jest. Sometimes it was ginger ale.

          Wu's talk -- titled "Four Bowls and a Soup " -- was on authentic contemporary Chinese food and customs in contrast to most Americans' perception of Chinese food. Bordeaux or Cab with your choice of Sprite, Mountain Dew, or Coca-cola. I'm not sure I could actually watch the two being poured together into a glass in front of me without wincing in pain for the wine dying in sacrifice.

          Here's a Chow write-up of Taste3. Some very cool things.

          1. re: Eugene Park

            Mixing wine and soda is not unique to the Chinese - it's popular in Europe as well.

            1. re: Sam B

              When I lived in Spain, you could order red wine and coke at a bar. I cant remember the name but it wasn't bad.

              1. re: JonDough

                With cola, it's un Calimocho. With something like 7-Up it's un Verano. Suspect the names vary from region to region though.

              2. re: Sam B

                Mixing expensive alcohol with soda seems to cut across a lot of cultures. I'm always aghast when I hear of people mixing Louis XIII cognac with Coke, or even worse, of some of these $1000++ concoctions mixing expensive champagne, cognacs, fruit juices, gold flakes, etc.

                Although I must say that the Chinese were geniuses for mixing Chivas Regal whiskey with sweetened green tea over ice. Addictively refreshing, it's like drinking fortified Snapple.

                1. re: Eugene Park

                  There are enough folk, who love to show how much money they can spend. It is seldom about how well something works, just how much it costs.

                  Still, there are others, who do not appreciate various tastes, and must "adultrate" it with flavors, that are more to their liking. I have several relatives, who will mix various sodas with almost any wine. I make sure that what I serve for those functions will not cause me to faint, or gag, should they choose to do so. Let's just say that the DRGs and Latour '70 are NOT to be served for those occasions.


                  1. re: Bill Hunt

                    ROFL. I have this mental image of you wearing Groucho glasses in the checkout line at Trader Joe's with a couple of cases of Two Buck Chuck in your cart.

                    1. re: alanbarnes

                      Oh Sh%t, I've been "outed!" You must have been the guy in line behind me at the Lincoln & Scottsdale Rd store, with the trenchcoat and slouch hat and the bottle of Cold Duck?

                      Will say that I have shopped for wine at TJ's, but never TBC. I still owe this board an updated tasting of those wines, and have not built up my courage enough to actually do it. I know, guys and gals, I did promise, and will make good - I swear.


            2. (ok, i am going to whisper this - listen close.

              as wine drinkers, we need to continue to talk big about the already expensive bottles - like high end-bordeaux and collectible cali cabs - about how they are so desirable and otherworldly and incomparable yadda yadda. how they are the prada and hermes of the wine world. how we wish mere mortals like ourselves could afford to even look at the bottles, let alone drink them. we may also need to stop talking about the less well-known wines that are still affordable because they don't sell well at auctions and don't have the cachet of a screaming eagle. because the way things are going, we won't have any great inexpensive wine left... and humour me. can we start denigrating burgundy? thanks for your help - signed, a regular joe shmoe wine lover)

              (back to regular voice)

              I applaud this gentleman's great sense of taste. Truly he is blessed to be able to procure this magnificent product. Clearly this is a man of refined palate and distinction. May he spend the rest of his long and prosperous life drinking Screaming Eagle on a daily basis. May he never be cursed by the blight of DRC at his table (a greatly overrated wine, which pales in comparison to the heavenly mead that is Screaming Eagle, I gamefully volunteer for the dishonour of removing DRC and all Burgundy from his cellar lest they sully his beverage of choice...)

              6 Replies
              1. re: moh

                The thing is, if you have $3.5 billion to spend, then what this guy burned through at the auction is peanuts to him. On the same scale, his two buck chuck would be a typical bottle of premier or grand cru Burgundy or a first growth Bordeaux. For someone who makes $70,000 a year, two buck chuck is .0000286 of that amount. If this guy spends $500 on a bottle of wine that is .00000014289 of $3.5 billion. So relatively speaking, if he spends less than, say, $1,000 on a bottle of wine he's being a real tightwad.

                1. re: moh


                  Should you not be able to continue in your avowed duties, I will gladly stand in for you.

                  As a professional photographer, I have never considered using Leica, though the cameras are very good and the optics are great. It is just that Drs and lawyers collect the danged things, so real professionals cannot justify their price. This does not denegrate Leica, but only points out that they are not often in the kit of any working pro. Similar with wines.

                  I've been in the company of some, who are blessed with great wealth, and who are so proud of spending that on wines and foods, even if they do not actually consume them - it is about the "hunt," not the enjoyment thereof.


                  1. re: Bill Hunt

                    Bill Hunt, I am happy to share avowed duties! After all, how much sub-par DRC can one little old Moh drink? Much more fun to share.

                    Your point about the "hunt" is well-taken. When money is no longer a barrier, I guess some people need to find a new challenge.

                    I am trying to imagine what it would be like to have so much Screaming Eagle that it became mundane and unexciting. I think I would miss the anticipation of a special occasion if I had too much access to too much expensive, hard-to-get wine. Or maybe I am just saying this to make myself feel better?

                    1. re: moh


                      That's the wonderful thing about being the shlub that I am. I cannot afford such quantities, so I can relish the few excursions that I am afforded - gosh, they are certainly memorable. Yeah, I guess that I have become somewhat jaded in my approach to wines, but that comes with age and "practice."

                      Just remember me, when you have more La Tâche, than you can consume by yourself.


                    2. re: Bill Hunt

                      As a professional photographer
                      Do you ever post on Fred Miranda? I'll buy the wine for PS lessons! LOL

                      1. re: Docsknotinn

                        Sorry that it took so long to get back to you, but we've been traveling too much lately.

                        I have not posted to Fred's site, but do read it quite a bit.

                        Most of my PS posting is on the Adobe forum, and also the Adobe Premiere & Encore forums, for video. Still, CH gets most of my words.


                  2. I don't believe you Li, invite me over when you pull a cork or two! Airfare on you. Then we'll see.