Monday, June 8, 2009

The Drink of the Gods

Today, the name Rothschild is synonymous with the best wine in the world.

In an early scene of the musical Young Nathan sells a 6 bottles of Rothschild's own red wine to a customer with the sales pitch, "This is wine! Take a little sip, give your mouth a holiday."

A little literary license used here since Rothschilds didn't get into the wine business for another 35 years.

"In 1853 Nathaniel de Rothschild purchased Château Brane Mouton and renamed it Château Mouton Rothschild.

Not to be outdone by his son-in-law, in 1868, Baron James secured the neighbouring Château Lafite, one of the four great premier grand cru estates of France. It was the ultimate statement of Frenchness for James, born 76 years before in the Frankfurt ghetto. Having achieved it, he died within weeks.

Château Lafite Carving of Bacchus Château Mouton Rothschild

A friendly rivalry has always existed between these two estates. In the 1920s Philippe de Rothschild, great-grandson of Nathaniel, took on the management of Mouton. He brought with him a new vigour and imaginative innovations. In 1973, Mouton joined Lafite as a premier grand cru, two of the world's finest wines side by side on the slopes of Pauillac. "

The wine bottles are distinguished by the many world renowned artists whose work has graced the Rothschild wines since 1924.

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