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Go for Broke

You don’t need a bonus to splurge at year’s end, but it helps. How to blow your diet and your budget—and recover.


The Best Bet
There’s nothing wrong with rewarding yourself for making it through another year. One way to burn out the bank account is on a phenomenally expensive, but very memorable, rare wine. This 1945 Château Haut-Brion, from the first great Bordeaux wine harvest after World War II, is considered by many connoisseurs to be one of the best bottles of wine ever made. Eighty percent of the grapes were destroyed by frost, but what survived of this blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc is transcendently delicious, with hints of tobacco and ripe fruits and a touch of spice. Jean-Luc Le Dû, owner of Le Dû’s Wines and former sommelier at Daniel, suggests letting the bottle stand for three to four days to allow the sediment to settle. Decant just before drinking, preferably paired with roast duck and one or two very good friends ($3,500 at Le Dû’s Wines, 600 Washington St., nr. Morton St.; 212-924-6999).


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