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Dec 31, 2011 11:03 PM

Cooking Wine - 1990 Chateau Lafite Rothschild!!

I was fortunate enough to have eaten sun dried Japanese abalone, Italian white Alba truffles, Russian Beluga caviars...etc. However, tonight, during a New Year's eve pot luck dinner, I think I have just eaten one of the most expensive western dish in my life!!

A friend of my wife brought along a ' Braised Ox-tail with red wine and root vegetables'. During the dinner, the husband disclosed to us that her wife went down to the basement cellar and at random, picked out a couple of bottles for the dish. Her choice!! the1990 Chateau Lafite Rothschild at around US$1000 per bottle!! No wonder the dish tasted soooo good!! Ha!!

Any fellow chowhounders have similar 'expensive' experiences??!!

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  1. My first boeuf bourgignon in the 60's was made by an elderly friend celebrating a milestone birthday. He used 2 bottles of 1935 Bonnes-Mares. That was a great memory, the curse of getting older with too much wine to drink.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Delucacheesemonger

      Wow! 'First' Boeuf Bourgignon you tried and its made with vintage Grand Cru Burgundy! What a way of getting spoiled!! For you, no beef stew tasted the same since??!!
      Back to the Oxtail. Well, the husband should be grateful that there wasn't any easily accessible Romanee Conti near by for his wife to get her hands on!!!! Ha!! He also commented that 'thank God, he drank all his 1982 Lafite during his daughter's birthday a few years ago!'!

    2. Probably would have tased just as good with a regional Bordeaux wine.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Brad Ballinger

        It actually makes a big difference. While I could not and would not use a first growth, I do dump the last 1/3 of a bottle of 2004 Pontet Canet to braise beef short ribs whenever I can. The smells and aromas that come from it are so much more amazing than your standard $10-$15 bottle of random bordeaux blend or Bourgogne rouge.

      2. I really resonate with this! I often pull wine from my cellar at the last moment to have with dinner. I am not great at standing it up the day before. I leave about 2 or 3 inches in the bottom when I decant (sediment). That bit of wine gets to sit, then I strain it into a glass jar to freeze for cooking with. So, if you look in my big freezer, you will see a door full of jars with dates on them like:82 Mouton, Palmer, Hermitage, Lafite, mixed burg,etc. I call these "my dregs". I also freeze any leftover wine or wine that might be a bit overaged. It might look like an impressive stash- but I'm just being resourceful :)

        Of course, I would never open a bottle just to cook with. Not only is that just "over the top" to begin with, there is really not enough significant difference in taste once cooked. In fact, I have better results in a braise by adding a younger wine to the mix for acidity and more "winey-ness".

        I just made a squash and pear soup where I used a 1985 Leflaive Batard-Montrachet (from my freezer). It was wonderful but I am not sure it would have been less wonderful if I used a nice 1/4 cup of CA Chard.

        5 Replies
        1. re: sedimental

          Makes sense for the dregs of the reds but man--can't imagine not finishing '85 Leflaive Batard!

          I had lunch at Mugneret-Gibourg a couple of years ago and the main dish was Madame Mugneret's boeuf bourguignon, which was terrific. We asked what wines she used and the answer was Nuits St George Chaignots 1996, Vosne Romanee 1985, a Ruchottes (forget vintage) and possibly others I don't recall. Overkill of course, but man was it a good boeuf bourguignon!

          1. re: craig_g

            LOL. I know ...but it was only 1/4 cup :) I often get "cork float" in the oldies and leave around two fingers worth in the bottom of the bottle of whites too.

            I wonder if Mugneret-Gibourg also saves the dregs? I bet they do!

          2. re: sedimental

            A new place in Sonoma CA (Epicurrean Gourmet, iirc) recently featured a butternut squash pear soup, but had sadly rotated out by the time we were able to get there, Would you have the recipe that you could share either on Home Cooking or by email (address on profile). TIA



            1. re: PolarBear

              Sure! This is the one I use:

              I use Butternut squash (instead of yam) and really RIPE pears. I find that this combo gives me a really subtle but intense pear-y flavor.

          3. The Squires Board used to have one or two stories a year like this. One time a wine geek's wife grabbed a Sine Qua Non bottle because it had the prettiest label.

            1 Reply
            1. re: SteveTimko

              Lesson learned for them. My wife knows which area to drink from and which one not to touch.

            2. Friend offered to make another bucket of margaritas. Tasted awesome. But did he have to use the entire $200 bottle of Grand Marnier instead of the triple sec that was already on the counter?