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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Forget the Pricing Kerfuffle, RN74's Wines are Worth Singing--Or Even Tweeting--About

Posted By on Wed, May 20, 2009 at 4:28 PM

click to enlarge The Last Bottle Board: Any high rollers in the house? - FOODNUT.COM VIA FLICKER
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  • The Last Bottle Board: Any high rollers in the house?
RN74 is a restaurant that makes you feel like starting from the wine list and working backwards to the menu. The food -- though not remotely Burgundian as the name (a highway that runs through the region) would imply -- is lovely, but the reason for the season is wine director Rajat Parr's 80-plus pages of bottles, many rare and collectible. As Chron wine editor Jon Bonné pointed out after an early peek, RN74 is really a wine bar with great food.

So serious is this list that its creator, whose own label is featured as an affordable option, twitters about his Last Bottle Board, a vehicle for promoting the restaurant's wine program, unparalleled in the city. (The wines are from the collection of Wilf Jaeger, an RN74 partner.) The board looks like a train schedule in a French railway station, the kind that flips rapidly through the alphabet until it lands on its destination city. Only in this case, the destination is the very last bottle of something fabulous, like a 1983 Prüm Wehlener Sonnenuhr Spatlese for $110. Of course, you have to be able to translate the tweet, which reads "Prum Weh Son Spat 83 $110." And you have to get to the restaurant before it's gone.

The brouhaha over the restaurant's pricing is finally dying down; it was predicated on the promise that RN74 was to be "bargain" Michael Mina. But diners who are there for the 1978 Domaine Dujac Gevrey Chambertin ($1,189) aren't likely to be pinching pennies over food. Mere mortals may find liquid solace on the Market Board list, a large selection of affordable finds our server described as eclectic. While they aren't rare, many are wines you'd be hard-pressed to find around town, including a 2006 Tissot Classique Crémant de Jura and a 2005 Movia from Slovenia.

Me, I was happy to sip a $14 glass of Veuve Fourny blanc de blancs and watch the board. Just to see if there were any power players in the house.

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Kim Westerman

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