Wealthy wine lovers liking Whistler 

Restaurant sells $11,000 bottle of wine

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Few among us are ever going to spend $1,000 to enjoy a glass of wine or drop $9,000 on a bottle of vino.

But for those looking to enjoy four-figure bottles Whistler restaurants have some excellent choices on offer.

In the past few months Andre St. Jacques of the Bearfoot Bistro set up some preferred bistro guests with a few exotic products.

"This summer seems to have been spectacularly better than any other summer," says St. Jacques, his animated voice excited as he tells the story. "In the winter we expect it to happen (selling expensive bottles of wine) but less in the summer."

St. Jacques says it was a good summer for many restaurant owners in the resort. A sign of the times came early in July when He sold a bottle five-figure bottle of wine.

"In this past year the most expensive was $11,000," says St. Jacques. "It was a Mouton Rothschild 2000 in the larger format, in an imperial so it's a bigger bottle."

Says Whistler sommelier Eric Blouin, who is in Oregon — where he's making his next One Barrel vintage, people purchasing in that tax bracket know exactly what they want so the wine sells itself.

"Eight times out of 10 you don't sell those big bottles," says Blouin. "They sell themselves. The guy that's spending $8,000 on Pétrus 1970, he knew that he was going to spend $8,000 before walking into that restaurant. It's not a sales pitch when it comes to that. They know what they want and they're coming to get it."

Blouin says the other two could be regular customers who appreciate wine and the wine director suggests an expensive bottle on instinct.

"You know they've been there and you know the profile," says Blouin.

A good wine director knows when it is appropriate to recommend a high-end wine option. Blouin says it is all about keeping the guest happy.

He points out there's also the lottery winner who comes into a fine dining restaurant and orders the most expensive bottle on the wine list simply because they're suddenly able to do that.

"People who are in the 'I want to impress other people category' will spend $300, $500, $600 on a bottle of wine," says Blouin. "People who are spending $3,000, $5,000, $10,000 on a bottle of wine, they're not looking to impress anybody but themselves. They're wine aficionados."

St. Jacques says the client who bought the $11,000 bottle of Mouton Rothschild was in the Bearfoot wine cellar and while he was down there the client decided on what he wanted to drink with his 12 friends. St. Jacques says it didn't stop there. The client bought a few other expensive bottles of wine as well.

The wine cellar is always a fun place though sometimes the fun comes at a very high price.

Speaking of Bearfoot Bistro


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