Do you ever watch a couture show and wonder who buys them? Of course we know they’re the rich, but did you know that the pieces are already spoken for before they hit the runway? At trunk shows happening all over the world, designers present their newest lines before they hit the public eye, and so you technically cannot buy most of what you see.
It’s the same way with certain wines, as I learned when I attended the Winestains Wine Academy’s presentation of the Chateau Latour’s most select wines, months before they hit the Vancouver market in March 2016, for a select group of buyers. Wine is like vintage couture that way: they do get better as they age (but watch that waistline).
Winestains is a collective of wine connoisseurs, started in 2015 and housed in an unassuming location not too far from the River Rock Casino & Resort. According to Winestains Wine Academy Director of Education Keith Nicholson, the group’s mission is to gather appreciators to partake in the most sumptuous wines of the world. Membership is still burgeoning, but they hope to attract more new wine lovers at events such as the Chateau Latour presentation this week.
A collaboration with the Broadway Wine Shop and Lifford Wine & Spirits, Portfolio Ambassador Nicole Campbell led us through a brief history of the Chateau Latour before presenting the collection. Working backwards, a selection of Latour wines from as recent as 2011 and as far back as 2000 were presented. Admittedly, as someone who has an intermediate appreciation of wine, sampling five of the most coveted vintages in the world in reverse order was a palette-opening experience. Starting with a simple 2011 Pauillac De Latour at $119, we ended up with the celebrated 2000 Grand Vin De Chateau Latour, a vintage so luxurious and revered in reputation that a single bottle goes for $2,700! It was so exciting, to savour it with cuisine was almost too déclassé a notion.
To say this was a select audience is not an understatement. I was one among just fifteen people who received the coveted invitations, including Boulevard Magazine’s Harry van Hemmen. I could hear whispers among the crowd talking about their summer homes and other secret locations to find amazing wines. The small but moneyed crowd lapped up the opportunity to snap up a few bottles, and my drinking companion eagerly snapped up two each of two vintages in the $500 a bottle ballpark. With access to luxury wines like these, Winestains will surely be attracting more connoisseurs in the future.
We’d like to thank Winestains Keith Nicholson, Barry McNabb, and Social Butterfly Club’s Alice Zhou for inviting us to partake in this event. We hear there will be more events over the holidays, and look forward to them!
Sipping and sampling my way through life,
(Thanks to access of the photographs by Ritchie Po & Alice Zhou)