The King’s Table

This picture was shot out of pure fun. Phillip Dunn, the Wine Director for Wolfgang Puck’s restaurants had become a dear friend of mine. Perhaps because of my love and appreciation for wine, or maybe just because we have always had a mutual respect for each other. We were at Spago doing a big photo shoot for a magazine and had just framed the shot when he stepped in and poured the wine. It was a beautiful accident and I played up my part showing off as the hungry entrepreneur businessman. We all laughed so hard as I was trying to catch the right facial expression.

The point of this shot was to capture a visual of the way a founder of a luxury wine lives, eats and breathes. We chose Spago for the shoot because I love dining there and find it to be one of the most relaxing atmospheres with incredible cuisine and fine wines.

My own wine label, King of Clubs ($799/bottle featured in Forbes) is showcased on the table in the picture. This venture was a passion project that I set out to create with a few partners and am so proud of today. The wine starts out with a hint of cherry and chocolate, which gradually changes to a sensuous and luscious full- bodied approach. As the wine develops after opening, you find an intriguing black currant note hidden in the background that adds to the continually expanding levels of complexity. Crafted for the ultimate wine connoisseur, this wine was created with the utmost attention to detail and delivers exceptional smoothness from start to finish.

Of course, I really enjoy exceptional wines from around the world. I tend to drink wine from the 60’s, 70’ and 80’s these days. The 1988 Sassicaia shown in the picture (which happens to be one of my favorite wines in the world) is my choice to drink on all occasions. I know the 1985 Sassicaia is arguably the best Italian vintage in history, however for me, I prefer the 1988 vintage. This was also the Italian Oenologist, Giacomo Tachi’s favorite vintage, as he also considered it to be better than the 1985. I couldn’t agree more. I truly enjoy the concentration and aromas of this wine. It has intense, yet succulent scents of red fruit and is bold with tannins that just linger with sweetness in your mouth. The Sassicaia wine is from Bolgheri on the Tuscan coast, which is considered one of Italy’s most prestigious areas for wine. There are so many stories to tell you just about Sassicaia, but I will save those details for another time.

The other wine at this table is the 1975 Petrus, also a favorite of mine. Petrus is a great investment and the value of it only continues to climb. I seldom drink this wine unless it is a special occasion or celebration. Some of my favorite vintages of Petrus are 1950, 1961 and 1989 all of which I collect and have had the pleasure of enjoying. The 1975 vintage really offers an array of truffles, sweet and earthy spices and has a very smooth finish. Petrus is a French Bordeaux wine that is classified as a Merlot. It is from Pomerol and is one of the most respected and luxurious brands in France. I have personally visited this location while in France and I tell more of this story in my book releasing this year.

We had to have the glass bottle of Acqua Panna water on the table. This is a really important element because the type of water you are drinking can affect and alter your palette. That is why you see this brand and brands like San Pellegrino being served to guests at fine hotels and restaurants around the world. Acqua Panna is actually my water of choice and everyone who knows me knows how much I am obsessed with this brand. I have cases delivered on pallets to my house. And no, I wasn’t paid to say that!

What you drink often tells a lot about your preference on food and your palette. The water, the wine, down to the linen, napkins, and flatware you eat all have an effect on how you feel, tastes and functionality, Spago by far is one of the best in Beverly Hills!