Two business associates broke the bank and the rules when they ordered two bottles of 1982 Petrus for $16,640 at the ‘21’ Club in May.
According to an article in the New York Post, the first-time diners to the famous New York City restaurant downed the first bottle while eating their appetizers of Peekytoe crab and Caesar salad. Shortly after, they ordered a second bottle from Phil Pratt, wine director, as they moved into their main course of Dover sole and steelhead salmon.
The 1982 Petrus is a legendary, full-flavored red wine from the Bordeaux village of Pomerol (and not Saint-Emilion as was reported in the Post) that is generally paired with red meats or heartier dishes. The red and black fruit flavors, oak, earth and spice would clearly overwhelm the seafood dishes ordered by the businessmen.
Additionally, the $400 gratuity left on the bill was a mere 2 percent of the total, far less than a normal restaurant tip of 18-20 percent.
Perhaps a better pairing for the crab, sole and salmon would have been the 1989 Montrachet “Marquis de Laguiche” from Joseph Drouhin, offered at the restaurant for $1200 a bottle. This rich, elegant Chardonnay from Burgundy, with flavors of pear, apple and hazelnut would have been a brilliant match for the dinner. Furthermore, with the two bottles totalling only $2400, there would have been plenty of money left for some dessert wine; a 1986 Chateau d’Yquem from Sauternes at $1500 per bottle would sing with the plate of fresh berries ordered by the gentlemen. Since it’s hard to drink a whole bottle of Sauternes (even if it’s d’Yquem), the tip-shy gentlemen could then have, at least, left the remaining wine for the service staff and made everyone happy.