It almost works as a riddle: A rare and expensive wine loses its value when opened, so collectors decant these items only in extraordinary circumstances. At a gala dinner in 1985, for example, The Mansion uncorked an 1870 Mouton Rothschild, then priced at $38,000. A year later, a Dallas-based distributor took it upon himself to pop open a San Antonio merchant's 1900 Lafite Rothschild--by knocking it off a shelf while clearing space for a $2.99 bottle. For the millennium celebration, the Rio in Las Vegas offered a Madiera yanked from Thomas Jefferson's personal collection. Yet a bottle ordered in a restaurant generally must be opened and consumed on premises. Purchasing a rare wine at a restaurant, therefore,... More >>>