Forty bottles

So the general concept of this site is that I tend to think of wines on a scale of one to forty. Measured, of course, in bottles of Ring Bo Ree. Of course.

All wines are thus measured against the unrealistically high standard of that mythical wine, consumed these many years ago. Yes, it was the 1992 Far Niente Cab.

The year was 1997. It was the peak of the dot com days. We had a bunch of investor capital, and, obviously, the way to make money was to go to the left coast and spend that money as fast as possible. So we went to Internet World 1997 in San Jose, CA.

To give you an idea of how absurd these folks were about purging money as fast as possible, I’ll just mention that the evening entertainment on the second day of the conference was Chicago. So perhaps 200 of us had a sort of private Chicago concert. I sat in the front row and sang along loudly to “25 or 6 to 4” and “Does anybody know what time it is?”

Anyways, one evening during the conference we went to a fancy overpriced restaurant, and I was asked to pick the wine.

You know how it is, when you go out to dinner and someone else is paying. There are two categories on the wine list. The affordable ones, and the rest. I picked the wine all the way at the top of the affordable list. The most expensive one I thought I could get away with. The 1992 Far Niente.


Even the name (Far Niente means “doing nothing”) is great. This wine was big, bold, complex, and far more wine than I had any idea what to do with way back then.

Since that time, I have had perhaps 3 wines that measured up to the mark. The Cakebread cabs that I’ve had are two of them.

So, that sets the stage. That’s the 40 mark. Everything else strives to come close.

Yes, my scale is arbitrary and silly. By that measure, it is indistinguishable from the scales of certain well known magazines which I will refrain from mentioning. 😉 At least I don’t expect anyone to agree with me.

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