Dispossessed of Common Sense

You observe the world of luxury products long enough and you have the opportunity to come across any number of loutish, uncouth and generally obscene products that have no basis for their existence other than the reality that among the millions of people who have money to burn, you are bound to come across just enough who are so remarkable stupid and dispossessed of common sense that you can count on selling a few items meant just for them.

Lbc Le Billionaire Champagne is just such a product.

I honestly don't know where to start. But some of the facts are this:

Someone named Leon Verres has "created" five bottles of what they are calling "The most expensive and most exclusive Champagne of all time."  Cost? $2.75 Million for a 9 liter bottle. Five bottles were produced. Each is dressed in a diamond studded fur dress. By the company's account, four have been sold to billionaires from Russian, China and Dubai. One remains and it will be auctioned for charity.

I'm not making this up. In fact, I encourage my readers to go to the Leon Verres website and read the remarkable copy that has been produced in association with this product. You see, it's possible, based on the copy, that I've actually stumbled upon the most important man in the world, in addition to the most important bottle of wine ever produced.

Oh, what's in that bottle? Glad you asked, because this would seem to be an important questions. Or would it? Anyway, to quote from the official website:

"Leon Verres champagne 'Brut Prestige' is an extraordinary champagne for which exclusively the top-cuvees of the Chardonnay are composed. Immediately after the opening of the ancient bottle the elegant flavor of the "Le Billionaire Champagne" flowers out and pleases epicures with the full flavor of enjoyable fruity honey. Whitehorn and vanilla  replenish the flavor with a flowery note. Its clear golden rob is crow nd by a diadem of finest pears which 'explode' airy int he mouth. In the roof of the mouth the taste-notes of butter-brioche and lightly roasted almonds dominate and therefore provide for a real taste experience when you enjoy 'Le Billionaire Champagne'. The slow and gentle finish additionally stimulates the taste-papillae and turns this creation of Len  Verres into a perfect champagne in order to celebrate victories."

I swear on my Oxford Companion To Wine that this is what is written at the website. It goes on to explain:Leon

"Testers of well-known gourmet-magazines, luminaries of the world of wines, as well as a multitude of famous celebrities confirm the uniqueness of this 'handiwork out of master touch.' For them 'Le Billionaire Champagne' represents the coronation of all that what luxury can denote."

And so there it is. Now, I can't afford the $2.75 million price tag for the diamond-studded 9 liter bottle. But as Leon says in a press release, "all others who are fallen for the “Le Billionaire Champagne“ do not
have to go away empty-handed because Leon Verres has additionally
created an alternative which is just as luxury and glamorous, the 0,75
l version of the “Le Billionaire Champagne“. For 2.750 dollars
partisans of Leon Verres will receive a miniature-edition of the most
expensive Champagne of all times."

Thank God.

I'm not the first to write about this magnificent foray into absurdity. Alice Feiring has also looked into the "product" and came away with this interesting set of thoughts on "Le Billionaire Champagne" and even has a letter from Leon's lawyers for her troubles.

Despite the grammatical problems on the Leon Verres website (and who am I to point fingers), the comical pomposity of the project, and the depressing idea that anyone would spend $2.75 million on this thing rather than give their money to the Gerbil Rehabilitation Project, I have to admit to having a little bit of admiration for Leon Verres and this entire venture.

The effort and gumption it takes not just to go over the top but to slide down the other side in one motion really requires one to maintain a face that is fantastically straight. I know I don't have anything close to that kind of talent. Well done, Leon.

15 Responses

  1. Natalie F. Cucci-Waldron - July 20, 2009

    That’s F**kin ridiculous. and that’s all i can say about it. just plain ridiculous

  2. Samantha - July 20, 2009

    I for one will never feel as if I have “made it” until I own one of these! Nothing says you are, “the man or woman” like a bottle of crap sounding Champagne, wearing dead animal skin and studded with gems that likely cost an African child a limb….revolting

  3. Arthur - July 20, 2009

    Didn’t I see this on DouchebagsAndWine.com?

  4. Samantha - July 20, 2009

    I KNEW I had seen this before!

  5. Benito - July 20, 2009

    Of course, the worst thing is that this is going to bounce around newspapers, TV news, and late night talk shows for a couple of weeks. Sure, everyone needs some goofy filler, but the non-wine drinking population sees this and thinks, “Ah, proof that wine drinkers are insane. Just like all those studies that show experts can’t tell the difference between a $4 bottle of wine and a $4,000 bottle. What a bunch of maroons.”
    And the wine lover gets to deal with this attitude at family gatherings and other social occasions.

  6. Jack - Helpful as Always - July 20, 2009

    Sounds like you’ve ordered a case of the 750mls. Good for you!

  7. ian - July 20, 2009

    Was this product released on April 1st?

  8. Thomas Pellechia - July 20, 2009

    Just reinforces the level of doom that I feel for the human race. But I do get really pissed that this nonsense manages to get coverage, and as Benito points out, it serves only to shine a spotlight that wine lovers don’t need.
    So Tom, you fell into the trap and covered this asshole’s nonsense. The best thing to do with a cretin is either to ignore or kill it.

  9. Bob - July 20, 2009

    It’s clearly a scam or a joke. People with bags of money can be foolish (witness Madoff), but not THIS foolish. The person who mentioned April 1 has the right idea.

  10. Christian Pillsbury - July 20, 2009

    I imagine you’ll make it into his next press release.
    “Tom Wark, the verdant globe’s preeminent wine blogger gushes, ‘I know I don’t have anything close to that kind of talent. Well done, Leon.'”

  11. Charlie Olken - July 20, 2009

    PT Barnum had it right. I just don’t know who the suckers are–the folks who bought the four bottles or those who fell for the scam. Either way, Leon is laughing his ass off about now.

  12. Dylan - July 21, 2009

    That is not luxury, it is depravity. It is gaudy fur rolled in flashy diamonds and doesn’t command a touch of elegance, let alone respect. Unless, of course, this represents some cultural difference regarding luxury to which I’m unaware.

  13. Michael Rubin - July 21, 2009

    To quote Bret Maverick:
    “My ole pappy used to say,’You can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time — and those are pretty good odds.'”

  14. Gordon Peterson - July 22, 2009

    Dear Tom!
    Thank you very much for your great support. We were very happy about your story. 15 of your readers have already ordered a 0.75 l bottle of “Le Billionaire Champagne” at our company. Thank you people! You are great! Fact is: Haters make the “LE BILLIONAIRE CHAMPAGNE” famous and Leon Verres rich!
    Here are a few statements about the comments of your readers:
    1. Natalie F. Cucci-Waldron: A lady should not take the word “f..kin” into her mouth. There are other things which I can recommend to you 😉
    2. Benito: I agree with you completely. There exist bottles of wine for $4, which are of very good quality. I would never spend $4.000 for a bottle of wine. It is not the case that people pay 2.75 million dollar for the content of the bottles of our product. Flawless diamonds with more than 200 karats are attached to the bottle and these diamonds will later be integrated into pieces of jewelry by the owners. Diamonds are a profitable and save investment, especially in these times. But no one writes about something like this….
    3. Thomas Pellechia: Do you not think that your request for murder is a little bit exaggerated? It is really sad that Tom allows such comments!
    4. Christian Pillsbury: The next press report is a good idea 😉
    5. Charlie Olken: Are you a clairvoyant? Fact is that you are right. Leon is laughing his ass off about it now!
    I hope that Tom has the courage to publish this “thank you”. Otherwise we will publish it on our website or on http://www.twitter.com/leonverres!
    Gordon Peterson
    Leon Verres Luxury Group

  15. Victim of Verres - October 12, 2009

    Hi everybody! Leon Verres is a fu…ing layer and fake! He has cheated on a lot of people and I have proof of it! Please contact me everyone who is a victim of LVLG! My Email : [email protected]

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