I had an exhausting weekend as the High Bidder at the Napa Valley Wine Auction. There were just so many Auction Lots that I needed to have. One of a kind Auction Lots that we in the 1% graciously bid up in order to give back—that is, spend the money we didn’t pay in taxes so that we can write it off as a charitable donation, all while lining our wine cellars with awesome, gigantic bottles of wine. You’re welcome. I even bought a Methuselah! Yes, that’s right, I purchased Peter Mondavi.
Oh, it’s going to seem like bragging, but I thought I might as well recap some of the Auction Lots that are now Mine, Mine, MINE! Humbly, I won’t disclose the dollar figures for each acquisition. Let’s just say I spent every last dime of the fortune I made buying FakeBook stock.
Lot14: Screaming Eagle Vertical in Large Format
Every vintage of Screaming Eagle in 3L bottles directly from the cellar of Rudy Kurniawan! These large formats, dating back to the inaugural vintage of 1992, were just recently bottled, guaranteeing that they are in premium condition. Included are the incredibly rare 100 point wine from 1997 packaged in a specially etched and signed Sparklett’s bottle, as well as the never-released 1978 Screaming Eagle “Isley Vineyard,” a field blend of Cabernet, Merlot and Ronnie. Yes, this is a wine with soul.
Lot18: Robert Mondavi’s Mummy
OK, I bought the Methuselah Peter Mondavi, how could I resist completing the set? Outside of his immediate family, his wife Margrit, sons Michael and Tim, and cousin It, few people knew that after his death Robert Mondavi was mummified. This involved draining his body of blood and replacing it with Woodbridge Fumé Blanc, which not many people know is often used by embalmers in place of formaldehyde. In warm climates, it’s mixed with lemonade to make a Cadaver Cooler. Robert was then wrapped in Robert Mondavi Winery logo tissue paper and carefully placed into a beautifully carved sarcophagus with his legs and neck carefully held in place by wooden stocks. Originally made to be displayed at COPIA next to Julia Child (who was stuffed and mounted—as she often was in real life), this is certainly a one-of-a-kind item. It will look great next to my taxidermied head of Robert Lawrence Balzer (complete with horns).
Lot 37: Bondage Seminar with Jancis Robinson at Castello di Amorosa
I damn near got outbid on this Auction Lot. Fucking McInerney. But that wasn’t going to happen. This lot consists of a weekend under the tutelage of Mistress Jancis in the Torture Chamber at Castello di Amorosa (otherwise known as the Tasting Room). I can’t wait. First I will be stripped naked with my hands tied behind my back, and Mistress Jancis will expect me to keep her M.W. medallion off the floor using only my Inflatable Bladder Decanter. After four hours, I will be able to call my physician. Or the Guinness Book of World Records. If I fail, I will have to get down on my knees and lick her boots like a Bordeaux Chateau owner. Several spankings are included, one in front of M.W. candidates who will have to guess where I’m from based on my aromatics. Shouldn’t be that hard, I smell like every other butthole from Southern California. A complete library of wines produced by Castello di Amorosa is included, which I’m reporting to the Geneva Convention.
Lot 41: The Marvin Shanken Hot Air Balloon
Made specially for the Napa Valley Wine Auction, it’s a hot air balloon in the familiar shape of Wine Spectator Publisher Marvin Shanken. It’s like he has a twin! And with its revolutionary new burner, Marvin inflates faster than Tim Fish scores!
Lot 50: Former Cult Wine Collection
Here’s your trip down Memory Lane. A beautiful set of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons that were once cult wines, but now turn up on Parker chat rooms about as often as insight. Wow! Bryant Family, Blankiet, Vineyard 29, Gemstone, Dalle Valle…what a joy it will be to visit with these formerly unattainable wines. Like going to your 20th high school reunion and seeing how the cheerleaders and star athletes have aged so poorly. This is the best of Wine Connoisseur Schadenfreude. And at the 2022 Napa Valley Auction, you can bet I’ll bid on the Futo and Ovid and Bond.
Lot 58: Complete Set of 89 Point Cabernets
I mean, really, who wouldn’t want this glorious collection of every 89 point Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley? Talk about consistent! Every bottle guaranteed to elicit reactions like, “That’s pretty average,” and “Boy, this clown can’t make wine,” or my classic, “You know what this wine smells like? It smells like failure.” Now I’ll have gifts for everyone I don’t actually have feelings for. And it takes all the guess work out of knowing what to say and feel about the wines I open from the collection. They’re ALL THE SAME. In addition, the Auction Lot comes with two dozen Riedel glasses DESIGNED for 89 point wines. These specially commissioned glasses look a lot like coffee mugs so no one will know your shame. Georg Riedel decided absolutely nothing can make these wines smell better.