Flying High for Christmas...
Posted: Dec 22, 2006 5:19am ET
It’s the first time I have had first-growth Bordeaux at 45,000 feet. And it’s very good … too good.
This is crazy. I am pinching myself.
I was going to fly on Cathay Pacific this morning to Tokyo to hang out with some friends for a few days in what must be the best food city in the world. And a friend told me to forget the wait at Chep Lap Kok Airport and fly with his family on his Gulfstream 450.
He poured some 1989 Haut-Brion
on the trip with noodles, spicy pork and braised chicken … best airline food I have ever had! The wine was delicious. HB 1989 is a modern legend and this year prices have gone through the roof. It’s trading in auction or from merchants for about $18,000 to $20,000. Apparently, there are some big wine funds investing in it. And I can see why.
The wine started off very slowly. It almost seemed light. It would have been better to decant it but the G-450 doesn’t come equipped with decanters! So we had to wait to let it open. Anyway, about two hours into the flight, the wine showed fabulous fruit with spicy tobacco and plum character. It was long and velvety. May be it was not the 100-point wine it normally is but it was clearly outstanding. 96 points in this non-blind tasting. (By the way, look for the 1990 HB
, which is about two-thirds the price of 1989 and very close to the same quality.)
I was sipping the wine as we flew over an active volcano close to Japan and I had to think that I was the luckiest man on earth. And any one who has a bottle of 1989 Haut-Brion in their cellar should feel the same way. Drink it now or drink it later, you won’t be disappointed.
After arriving in Tokyo, we had a quick noodle soup for a late lunch and then went shopping in the Ginza area.We went to—I don’t remember the name, but it's a shop that is supposed to be the Harrods of Japan—and the food section was mind-boggling. The Japanese do everything to perfection, from the ultra-sweet strawberries in tiny jewel box-like wooden cases to the opulent pure chocolate in lacquer boxes. It was like being in a foodie’s Cartier boutique.
We left and decided to decant some wines for dinner, all 1982s: Cheval Blanc
and La Conseillante
. I saw a bottle of 1970 Pétrus as well but that’s not for tonight. If you didn’t see the tasting I did a few days ago at an amazing Pétrus event, check out my last blog
Gotta go. It’s Right Bank 1982 with Korean barbeque tonight. A couple of days in Tokyo and then on to Los Angeles to see my parents for Christmas…Merry Christmas to you all.