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The price tag is no mirage. This bottle of wine from Chateau Junding in Shandong Province does indeed list for RMB27998. I am told the price is due to rarity: this is one of only five thousand bottles created for the opening of the winery a few years ago. From its architecture to its well-sculpted grounds to its nursery, Chateau Junding is an impressive operation and I will soon write several posts about it, but I am not prepared — or able — to pay that much money for a bottle of six-year-old Chinese wine. Here is what else I might spend it on instead here in Beijing:
- 25 bottles of Dom Perignon (RMB1100) at Flamme Steakhouse during the restaurant’s half-price happy hour, daily from 3 PM to 7:30 PM, until the end of April. Alternatively, I might go for 62 bottles of Ridge (RMB450 each).
- 117 bottles of Silver Heights “Family Reserve” wine from Ningxia, which ranks among the best Chinese wines I have tried, is made from local grapes, and has a production of less than 5000 bottles.
- 321 bottles of Black Wing Shiraz 2006, which won as best red wine in the 2010 Grape Wall Challenge.
- Two round-trip economy class tickets from Beijing to Paris for RMB14,000, with the flight arriving early afternoon and leaving early the next afternoon, thus leaving me and a friend a full day and night and RMB14000 to spend on food and drink. Or one round-trip business class ticket — requires stop in Moscow, but who cares — and RMB10,000 of spending money.
- 1120 cocktails at neighborhood pub Mao Mao Chong during its RMB25 Wednesday night special. For the loner, that’s 10 drinks per week for more than two years. For the social, you could hold a whole bunch of parties.
- 27998 drinks during the former monthly Fubar RMB1 drinks party. Luckily for them, that party is no longer held or it would take more than 1000 bottles of spirits to fill the order.
- One appetizer at newly opened Nobu. (Just kidding.)
The typical person who buys that bottle from Chateau Junding no doubt has a lot of money, wants to impress a guest, and/or is paying homage to the winery and its owners. But I don’t qualify on any of those other fronts so I would likely find a more creative way to spend that cash. Any other ideas?