THE DRINK – Better with age

The Henschke “Hill of Grace” Shiraz 2004, Chateau Mouton Rothschild 1982 and Plumpjack Winery Auction 14 Lot 161 Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 are among the most extravagant wines at 801 Chophouse.

The Henschke “Hill of Grace” Shiraz 2004, Chateau Mouton Rothschild 1982 and Plumpjack Winery Auction 14 Lot 161 Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 are among the most extravagant wines at 801 Chophouse.

By Eleni Upah

For as long as humanity has been imbibing, wine has been at the table. Wine is a staple at many mealtime gatherings and a go-to gift for housewarming parties. From sparkling whites to dry reds and even notes of chocolate or grapefruit, the flavors are as varied as the prices.

At 801 Chophouse in Des Moines, many of the most expensive wines are stored in locked cabinets, just waiting to be purchased.

801 Chophouse has an extensive and award-winning wine list, made up of the finest wines from around the world. The most expensive regular-sized bottle has a price point of $2,000 and has been called “perfect” by professional wine critics.

The Chateau Mouton Rothschild 1982 is a Bordeaux from France that has been on 801’s menu for at least 10 years. Damon Murphy, 801’s general manager, says the 1982 is a great year, and the wine only gets better with age. Though it isn’t a big seller in the metro, it is a popular label. In 2006, 50 cases of the Chateau Mouton Rothschild 1982 were sold in auction for $1.05 million.

Two of 801’s other top labels are the Henschke “Hill of Grace” Shiraz 2004 from Australia and the Plumpjack Winery Auction 14 Lot 161 Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 from Napa Valley, each with a price tag of $1,200.

“Napa Valley has an auction that happens every year that they bring maybe 80 bottles of their best, and it’s only a one-time deal,” explains Murphy. The Plumpjack cabernet at 801 Chophouse is No. 59 of 60 bottles from the special collection.

Murphy says both the cabernet and the shiraz — even though they are somewhat young wines — pair perfectly with steak because of their dry, tannic qualities.

“These are some of the best wines in the world,” he says of 801’s offerings. “They’re shipping from all across the world; they’re cellared correctly.”

Of course, a $1,200 bottle of wine isn’t for every customer, but Murphy explained that not every bottle is meant to sell. In order to curate an award-winning list like 801 has done, more extravagant labels are necessary to add value, even if they aren’t sold regularly in the restaurant.

But, for those who enjoy the finer things in life, at least the option is available. RELISH

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Categories: The Drink

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