I would have been more interested in J. Freedom du Lac's tale of the widow of R.W. Apple auctioning off the Timesman's wine collection had he elaborated a bit more on what vintages were actually up for sale. The only ones he specifically mentions are two bottles of 1945 Chateau Lafite. Still, it's the kind of feature that in steadier times would have been greeted, I suspect, with drools and a chorus of oohs and ahhs, in the spirit of Liebling, Fisher, and Claiborne. (Apple had a gargantuan appetite and had he not died of cancer at age 71, death by gout might have claimed him instead.) But view the handful of comments at the end of the piece and it seems in these hard-hit times, a more—how to put this delicately—screw-the-rich attitude is evident:

Says melindaleekolb: "Mr. Apple didn't pay for this wine and neither did his wife. The profit from the auction should not go to Mrs. Apple to fix up her house but back to the newspapers that bought this wine." More outraged was mftill: "Gag me! Apple is lionized because he was an oenophile? How about because he was a fine reporter? Oh ... he wasn't. Could this be part of the reason the 'news' industry is ailing?" Ouch. "Mr. J.F.d. Lac's story is very thorough except for one important element," writes Rob. "It would be nice if he'd explain why on earth we're supposed to care." Adamnescot1 was more direct: "Eat (and drink) the rich!"

This is not to say the Apple story didn't garner any fond comments. But those days of Blue Trout and Black Truffles are definitely a thing of the past. On the other hand, I hear Morton's Steakhouse is offering a three-course meal for only $25.

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