Taste of Wine Blog - Blogging About Wine Wine News - News Blog on Wine Osama bin Laden and the $10,000 Bottle of Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1870
 

Osama bin Laden and the $10,000 Bottle of Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1870 Hot

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Leon PanettaOsama bin Laden was the world's most wanted terrorist, with a $25-million bounty on his head. Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1870 is one of the world's most celebrated wines, costing $10,000 a bottle and more. What did the two have in common? CIA director Leon Panetta was promised that if he killed the first, he'd get a bit of the second.



The offer came from Ted Balestreri, a restaurateur in Monterey, California, who announced to New Year's Eve gathering that he happened to have a bottle of the very rare Chateau Lafite Rothschild but that he'd only open "when Leon catches bin Laden." Apparently Balestreri didn't have a lot of confidence in Leon Panetta's abilities because he subsequently treated the offer as a joke and chided his friend regularly about it.


But Panetta had the last laugh, according to the LA Times:


One evening five months later, Panetta called his wife, Sylvia, from Washington.

Sylvia Panetta, director of the Panetta Institute for Public Policy at Cal State Monterey Bay, recalled the moment vividly: "He said, 'Turn on CNN in 15 minutes. The president will have an announcement — and, by the way, tell Ted to get ready to open that bottle.'"

So Leon Panetta and Ted Balestreri will enjoy a bit of the Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1870, all thanks to Osama bin Laden.


Chateau Lafite Rothschild is the most expensive red wine in the world, no matter what the vintage. Some people treat it as an investment, buying the wine or even futures on the wine and reselling them at a huge profit.


Currently Chateau Lafite Rothschild red wines are a blend of 80% to 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% to 20% Merlot, and up to 3% Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.

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