Friday, November 11, 2011

Drink 100-year-old Champagne with Mario Batali

I don't often write about auctions, but Christie's has a lot next week that's worth a mention not only for the quality of the wine, but for the star power and weirdness.

Lot No. 128 offers the winner not only 6 bottles of Moet & Chandon Grand Vintage 1911 -- you also get dinner prepared and hosted by Mario Batali in the private wine cellar of his NY restaurant Del Posto. Gwyneth Paltrow is "currently scheduled" to attend the dinner as well. Maybe you get to decide whether you'd rather share the bubbly with her, or kick her to the curb. The estimated value of this drinks and dinner package is $30,000.

And here's the weird part: the dinner coincides with a spring gala being hosted by Salman Rushdie and Michael Stipe. I wish I had the right pun for that pairing, but I'll have to go with "and Michael Stipe thought people wanted to kill him for ending R.E.M."

The proceeds are for a charity called The Lunch Box Fund, which aims to give a daily meal to poor students in South African township high schools. That's also kinda weird, right? Drinking 100-year-old Champagne in a cellar, elbowing celebrities out of your way to get more bubbly, so that some kid can have a bowl of maize porridge.

But given the rampant skepticism about the provenance of old wines in auctions, this lot seems safer than most. It's pretty hard to counterfeit either old Champagne or Mario Batali.

You can access Christie's e-catalog for the auction here, but the software is really maddening. If you can afford to win this lot, you can afford to hire someone to get the catalog to work.

If you just want to bid in advance on this lot, here's a link. The auction commences Nov. 19. Good luck. And if you do win the bubbly, keep me in mind for, say, licking the cork.

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Anonymous said...

Kick 'em all to the curb. Get your grubby mitts off my 1911 bubbly, Gwen!

Santo said...

Gonna have to say, skip the celebs, take the wine. Food...Not a fancy food person. I'd take it with some pizza bianca.