Whining about Wine

Other celebrations have been prepared not because it's the season, but because it's the century. At Baleen, Beaulieu Vineyard poured an unprecedented selection of reserve and collection vintages, each one richer and more complex than the last; the millennium marks the 100th anniversary of the vineyard. During the Moët & Chandon champagne-tasting luncheon at The Strand, we sampled the rare Esprit du Siècle champagne, a blend of eleven vintages fermented in the Twentieth Century. Only thirty will be available for retail, and the asking price is $20,000 each. As we polished off the magnum -- one of only four allotted for tasting in the United States (the others were uncorked in Los Angeles, New York, and Dallas) -- we moved to the bar with undisguised glee to taste the millennial vintage. By this time, after 90 minutes of bubbles and no bread, cookbook author Linda Gassenheimer requested brioche to staunch her buzz. To no avail. We had three more vintages ahead. She could have eaten a bakery and still wouldn't have been able to drive home.

Jeremy Eaton

Location Info


Ortanique on the Mile

278 Miracle Mile
Coral Gables, FL 33134

Category: Restaurant > Caribbean

Region: South Dade

Pacific Time Restaurant

35 NE 40th St.
Miami, FL 33137

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Midtown/Wynwood/Design District


4 Grove Isle Drive
Coconut Grove, FL 33133

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Coconut Grove

Events such as the ones at Baleen and the Strand are geared toward the press and local merchants like Crown Liquors. The sponsors intend that we pass on what we learned to the rest of South Florida, which is the third-largest consumer of wine and the biggest consumer of champagne in the nation. It's a major responsibility, but until my carpal tunnel syndrome kicks in from all that swirling and tasting, I figure I'm up for it.

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