KC and I received a very special treat this afternoon as part of our tour of Hotel Lisboa. Knowing that I am a big wine geek, the PR manager arranged for us to tour the underground wine cellars of the hotel. I was very, very excited... as this would be another highlight of this trip.
It's no secret that Hotel Lisboa has one of the best wine collections - if not the best - in Asia. The hard copy version of the wine list is as thick as 2-3 volumes of an encyclopedia, but fortunately there is now an iPad version that's much easier to use. There are some 7,800 labels within the list, and I could easily spend half an hour or more browsing through it without putting it down. In fact, in the past I have searched through the list as it is available online, chosen that I wanted to drink for my meal, and have the sommelier prepare the wines prior to my arrival. Joël Robuchon described it as "one of the best collections in the world", one that has depth in addition to breadth when it comes to rare gems.
In the January 31, 1999 issue of Wine Spectator, James Suckling and his fellow editors put together a 12-bottle case of what they coined as "Wines of the Century". These were not necessarily the most expensive wines in the world, but what the editors felt were the greatest wines in the 20th century. I knew that this cellar housed quite a few of the 12 wines, and went around the room looking for these gems...
The other "Wines of the Century" which appear on the wine list are:
1900 Margaux - MOP 168,000.
1945 Mouton-Rothschild - MOP 180,000. Bottles from the Bordeaux merchant Mähler Besse lists for MOP 220,000.
1961 Pétrus - MOP 180,000.
1947 Cheval Blanc, bottled by Fourcaud-Laussac - MOP 115,000.
1955 Biondi-Santi Riserva - MOP 35,000.
Needless to say, I think this was quite an eye-opener for the both KC and I. We were accompanied by no less than 4 of Hotel Lisboa's staff the whole time we were inside the cellars. Since I know enough of about wines to identify the best bottles, I am sure they watched over my every move... We did joke about our wish to spend the night in the cellar, but I don't think our hosts were very amused...
While I had the chance to visit the famed cellars of La Tour d'Argent in Paris almost 10 years ago, that visit was very brief and I wasn't able to get up close and personal with the real treasures of that particular cellar. I think I will remember this visit for a very long time to come...