Sunday, February 15, 2009

Q: What is the price of a drink?

A: $36,000

The other day I had a Dim Sum breakfast with some friends in LA’s Chinatown. Afterward we decided to take a walk around the area to get a sense of the local color.

So off we went.

We came upon this big store. It was like a cross between an Asian grocery store and an Asian department store. We went inside.

We strolled past a large varieties of ginseng root and royal jelly elixir, took a turn upstairs into cookware, bowls, plates, cups and finally went back downstairs to exit. We were about to leave when I noticed a large counter displaying an assortment of liquor. I went over.

Usually I don’t go near areas where liquor is being sold. I don’t go into liquor stores. In fact, I don’t even go down the beer and wine aisle in grocery stores. Alcohol and I parted ways a long time ago in early adulthood. It was a perilous relationship that was best to terminate and one that I have little desire to rekindle. But, in this instance there was something about that counter that drew me near.

I strolled over, past the Stoli and Jack Daniels. I looked into the glass case in front of me. There it was, the $36,000 bottle of cognac:

(click to zoom in)
We’re not taking thirty six hundred dollars; we’re talking thirty six thousand dollars—a year’s salary for somebody making $18 an hour.

I had to know more.

Turns out the liquor is Remy Martin Louis XIII Black Pearl cognac:

The new release will be limited to 786 bottles, the number of decanters that can be taken from one tiercon, the type of oak barrel used by Rémy Martin to age Louis XIII. The spirit is created from 1,200 eaux-de-vie aged 40 – 100 years. The Louis XIII Black Pearl decanter is made of crystal that has a silvery gleam like polished hematite and the decanter is finished with platinum fleur-de-lis designs. Each decanter is numbered and purchasing is done by invitation only.

I was hooked. I went to the web site. There was a cute, high end, animation. In order to get anywhere beyond the introductory Flash I had to register. So I did.

And then I got this message:

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There was no more Louis XIII to be had. All 100 bottles allocated to the US market had been bought. And, it seems that one of them made it to Chinatown, Los Angeles, CA where it will be bought by somebody to whom money is no object when it comes to taking a swig of fine spirits.

So think about this the next time that you hear about GM on the verge of bankruptcy and millions of Americans being out of work—the rich really are different than you and me, always were, always will be. Just ask Louis XIII.


Blogger Pierini Fitness said...

Hello Bob,

I stumbled across your blog as a result of a comment you posted on mind. You've been at this a lot longer than me and are a little more polished; definitely as voracious.

I see some common topics in your blogflections. I'm a bit busy with my work right now with limited time to explore, but I'm going to read some of your archives in search for some common ground.

Have a great day!

5:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love how you follow links, in life, too.

I would like to know if this existed in the first place, though.

If it did, I am going for P. Diddy as the buyer.

8:29 PM  

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