Mr. Mondavi was a master of the grand gesture. He championed California but led his employees on grand tours of Europe to see how other fine wines were made. Guests at Mondavi lunches found themselves sampling up to two dozen of the rarest French wines, opened to show that they were no better than California’s best.
It would have been nice to have attended one of those lunches. I could hear myself saying, "Mr. Mondavi, I'm not quite sure about that comparison -- let me have another glass of the Lafite-Rothschild just to be sure."