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Old 07-29-2016, 06:50 PM   #261
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+1

long time ago, my friends parents who I thought were rich were pretty snobby about the booze and food they ate.

One time I bought cheap grain neutral spirits, and performed a blind taste test with them and some friends vs their favorite vodka, nobody could tell the difference, and some insisted the "best" was really the cheap stuff.
There been some fun studies on that same subject - people not being able to tell the difference between red wine and died white wine or pate and dog food:

Wine tasting is bullshit. Here's why.
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Old 07-29-2016, 07:08 PM   #262
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I thought that's what the OP was looking for, your personal indicator of your own wealth, not trying to look at things others are doing and trying to determine if they are wealthy or not. It wasn't clearly stated, but that seemed to be the drift to me.
Yes, thanks RunningBum. That would be another way to say it.

And I don't know why everyone seems to think that spending is evil or something. I do think that it is (or can be) an indicator of wealth. Sure, not everyone who buys a $9000 handbag is wealthy - and they might be in debt. But, I'm going to bet that the majority of people buying that handbag are wealthy and therefore buying that handbag is probably an indicator of wealth in most cases. Just like I'm going to assume the majority of people that own a yacht with a staff, or drive a Ferrari, or own a jet are wealthy. Therefore, spending *can* be an indicator of wealth, though certainly there are counter points (millionaire next door or being in debt up to your Lambo).

For me I dont have the yacht, Ferrari, or jet. Yet, i feel at least somewhat financially wealthy when I just drive right past Denny's, or Motel 6, or sit in that business class seat.
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Old 07-29-2016, 07:17 PM   #263
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Good for you, so do I.

I dunno. Some folks just like love to wallow in frugality I guess. Even when you are so far up that you will never run out of dough and "can't take it with you", they will suggest continued frugality so that you can leave a big legacy.

That's fine, do what you want. And then the "people don't know dog food from pate" studies come in. Forget pate, spend less and enjoy some Alpo. I dunno.
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Old 07-29-2016, 07:24 PM   #264
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...

Recently, my son brought over a bottle of American brandy that I never had, saying "Dad you should try this". Man, he was right. It was not bad at all. And the price, well, I am not going to quote it because you will be biased by it.
...
I drink alone or with family members, and do not have to impress anyone. And if I am happy with the cheaper stuff, heh, that's cause for celebration.
Sooo - not quoting prices, but what was the brandy brand your son thought well of?
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Old 07-29-2016, 07:29 PM   #265
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OK. I am back already. Mission accomplished. We do not come to a dinner empty handed, even to our own children's home.

And while I pick up the bottle of brandy for my son, I also grab another box wine I discovered recently. I drink a lot more wine than anything else, and even though my wife does not drink, I finish a bottle in about 3 to 4 days. So, box wine should be more convenient for me.

I picked up 2 box wines a couple of months ago. One cost about 1.5x the other, but both are quite inexpensive. I like the cheaper one better. The color is better too. So, I grabbed another box of that today.

PS. It's great to be living in a metropolitan suburb, with all shopping amenities within a 5-mile radius. At my quiet high-country boondock home, a grocery run would be close to 100-mile round trip to the nearest town.

PPS. I am going to read the blind taste between pate and Alpo now. Sounds disgusting.
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Old 07-29-2016, 07:30 PM   #266
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Sooo - not quoting prices, but what was the brandy brand your son thought well of?
Sorry. You have to try to find your own taste.

PS. American brandy is so inexpensive compared to Cognac, such that for a bottle of Martell VSOP, you can have 2 or 3 different bottles. So, try them all. It's part of the fun.
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Old 07-29-2016, 07:48 PM   #267
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A few days ago the WSJ had a piece comparing asset wealth to income production. I saved the excellent article but the gist of it is that today you will pay top dollar for whatever income an asset might yield. Similar to 2007. This thread imo reflects the same imbalance. It seems that many members are feeling quite flush, and in the mood to burn some Benjamins. This too will pass!


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Old 07-29-2016, 07:48 PM   #268
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Courvoisier is my fav so far. VS or VSOP is $40-50/ bottle.

E&J is less. Wifey used it for coffee drinks and for that it wouldn't matter.

Girlfriend prefers Courvoisier to Martell. Easy decision -
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Old 07-29-2016, 07:58 PM   #269
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Ah, speaking of pâté, the Québécois still retain their taste for it, while they do not seem to drink too much Cognac anymore. Their government taxes all alcohol out of existence anyway. When there, I saw plenty of varieties of pâté, and being a lover of it myself, it was a feast. Here in the US, at Trader Joe's, may see one or two meager selections.
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Old 07-29-2016, 08:02 PM   #270
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Can't get it here anymore due to animal cruelty (lavage) laws. Now I have to buy a whole duck or goose to get the precious livers which I lightly flour and saute in butter.

Appetizers. No caviar needed. No Alpo needed either.
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Old 07-29-2016, 08:39 PM   #271
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Speaking of American brandy, here's an article describing a few. Note that it includes some clear eaux de vie, and not just the Cognac look-a-like.

Dunno about indicators of wealth, but it does not take a lot of money for enjoyment like this. It's all about how one chooses to spend his money.

9 Of The Best American Brandys | VinePair

See photo from article:



In an RV trip earlier this year, I made a detour to pass through the wine country of Idaho to restock the wonderful Huckleberry vodka by Koenig Distillery. I discovered this flavored vodka on an earlier RV trip, and had to get some more. It was a bit disappointing that they added sugar into the new blend, while I prefer it to be dry.
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Old 07-29-2016, 08:39 PM   #272
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And I don't know why everyone seems to think that spending is evil or something. I do think that it is (or can be) an indicator of wealth. Sure, not everyone who buys a $9000 handbag is wealthy - and they might be in debt. But, I'm going to bet that the majority of people buying that handbag are wealthy and therefore buying that handbag is probably an indicator of wealth in most cases.
My problem with the original question posed by this thread is the use of the word 'indicate'. I never, ever do anything with the intention of indicating to anyone my personal financial status. In fact, I find any kind of ostentatious display of wealth a sign of poor character.
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Old 07-29-2016, 09:15 PM   #273
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Neither do I. I'm just posting about having fun in my retirement -
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Old 07-29-2016, 09:58 PM   #274
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Neither do I. I'm just posting about having fun in my retirement -
I know. You did something wild for fun, like my threatening to buy a $1,500 bottle of Cognac, and I entertained the idea of doing that for my 50th birthday. The difference is I never did. And most likely never will either.

On the other hand, I just spent $10K to get top-grade Trex boards for my large deck, which I am rebuilding myself. No flinching there, no going down to the lower grade as my wife suggested. Nope, I told her my labor is getting more expensive each year, and this is the last time I tackle something like this. Gotta make it worthwhile.

I think I can splurge on durable goods a lot easier than consumable items. Considering that this deck is warranted against fading for 25 years, it's pretty cheap when amortized.

A business-class seat is harder to quantify. The flight is measured in hours, but my happy memory of laying down near-flat for the long flights to Sydney or Tel Aviv still lingers in my mind. And at the same time, the torturous seat in one particular domestic flight of many years ago still left an indelible mark on my soul.

Of course, a 3rd option to the question of flying coach or business class is just to stay home and sample different brandies, while listening to my choice of music. This 3rd option is a heck of a lot cheaper, and leaves mucho money for fancy food too.

What to do, what to do? It's easier when one is rich, which I am not.
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Old 07-29-2016, 10:10 PM   #275
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There is a nice shop near me that has a selection of very old cognacs and armagnacs, including many pre-WW2. I have purchased a few 50-year old or so bottles over the years including one for my birth year. Not cheap but not ridiculous either. Always better than the commercial stuff one usually finds which tends to include a lot of added caramel and always a treat!


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Old 07-29-2016, 10:19 PM   #276
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Really? Can I afford a bottle as old as myself? Is it going to cost the same as my fancy deck?

About adding caramel, yes, quite a few distillers do that to enhance the color. It feels fraudulent to me, but is apparently condone. How does one tell?
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Old 07-29-2016, 10:21 PM   #277
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On the other hand, I just spent $10K to get top-grade Trex boards for my large deck, which I am rebuilding myself. No flinching there, no going down to the lower grade as my wife suggested. Nope, I told her my labor is getting more expensive each year, and this is the last time I tackle something like this. Gotta make it worthwhile.

I think I can splurge on durable goods a lot easier than consumable items. Considering that this deck is warranted against fading for 25 years, it's pretty cheap when amortized.

A business-class seat is harder to quantify. The flight is measured in hours, but my happy memory of laying down near-flat for the long flights to Sydney or Tel Aviv still lingers in my mind. And at the same time, the torturous seat in one particular domestic flight of many years ago still left an indelible mark on my soul.
I agree. We just did the same with our deck. replaced the lousy 2x6 pine boards with Trex and now not have to worry.
My body still remembers some International flights in Coach before we started flying Business Class.
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Old 07-29-2016, 10:40 PM   #278
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Really? Can I afford a bottle as old as myself? Is it going to cost the same as my fancy deck?


About adding caramel, yes, quite a few distillers do that to enhance the color. It feels fraudulent to me, but is apparently condone. How does one tell?

It's been some years since I've been in the shop, early 1960s bottles were in the low to mid $200 range then. With inflation and the strong dollar guessing probably almost $400 now. Maybe I'll go check the store out this weekend and see what they still have.

Not sure on the caramel but the older ones I've had tended to be very dark in color (like dark honey) and not as sweet (?) as Remy and the others.


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Old 07-29-2016, 11:08 PM   #279
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The Cognac bottles I have had never show the year they are bottled, or perhaps I did not pay sufficient attention. Spirits do not age in the bottle, so if the year appears on the label, it would be of nostalgic value only.

Cognac aging 50 or 60 years in casks would be out of reach for me, I am afraid.

PS. Regarding the added caramel, on the Web people say that it is possible to detect it by taste. Some say it leaves a residue on your fingertips. Perhaps I will pay more attention the next time I pour myself a drink.

PPS. Total Wine has a very good selection of eaux de vie, and of course all sorts of booze. Home listings in Zillow should show the mileage to the nearest Total Wine, in addition to square footage, as it is one of the desirable attributes.
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Old 07-29-2016, 11:16 PM   #280
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How do you tell if a Kentuckian is rich? They have TWO junk cars in their yard...

"If you just helped your rich uncle take the wheels off his new house, you might be a redneck." - Jeff Foxworthy
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