You hear the slow shuffle of dead, crusty feet. You hear the soft moan. “Braaaaiiins.” Your first thought – escape? Saving friends and family? Sure, sure, those are all great. But what (by god, WHAT) bottle of wine do you grab before you run down into your Zombie Apocalypse shelter? And why…
Joe Campanale – Beverage Director/Co-Owner at dell’anima, L’Artusi, Anfora and L’Apicio (NYC)
Definitely would be Champagne. It’s easy to open without a corkscrew and the bottle is thicker so when I’m done drinking it I can hit a zombie over the head with it.
Jeff Harding – Beverage Director at The Waverly Inn (NYC)
Honestly, I’d grab some mezcal because it’s gonna be a disinfectant too, right? I keep Sombra as an easy and good go-to mezcal. I’m simple like that. As for wine, my oldest Cathiard Burgundy is Romanee-Saint Vivant, Grand Cru, Domaine Sylvain Cathiard, 1996. But the smart answer is an old Madeira, cause you’re gonna forget the corkscrew. The one I just grabbed is a boal from Broadbent 1978. It was closest, and when zombies are nearby, that’s key.
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Gary Vaynerchuk – CEO at Vayner Media
The one bottle I grab before escaping to the countryside would be a late-harvest Alsatian Riesling…because I hear it pairs well with squirrel, and I have a feeling I’ll be eating a lot of that.
Gregory Smith – Sommelier at Central Restaurante (Peru)
If you’d allow me to grab one bottle of Champagne and a saber, I’d run up from the cellar with a bottle of Salon 2002 (I’d need the energy of a young Champagne to fight off a horde of zombies and the Blanc de Blancs style would provide additional refreshment), saber it so that the cork and neck of broken glass pierced the lead zombie through the forehead, and then use the saber Michonne-style to slaughter the rest of the horde. Having stopped the onslaught of undead, I’d sit back and sip my Champagne while contemplating the fate of mankind.
Now if you’re not going to let me use the saber, then it’ll have to be a magnum of Mosel Riesling.
Lettie Teague – Wine Columnist at The Wall Street Journal
If zombies were attacking there wouldn’t be time for a corkscrew, so it would have to be Champagne. I’d hope for Krug but in my zombie induced panic I’d probably grab the Moet White Star. Ah well, I wouldn’t likely be long for the world anyway.
Keith Beavers – Owner at In Vino (NYC) & Chief Wine Geek at VinePair
As the zombies smash the window I hoof it to the cellar and grab the 1999 Bruno Giacosa Le Rocche Del Falletto Di Serralunga d’Alba 3 liter double magnum. I don’t know where I will run to when I make my escape but with a large format full of some of the best Nebbiolo on the planet from an outstanding year I know it will continue to age as science rushes to find a cure for the zombie virus. If I can loot a supermarket and stock up on Dinty Moore I will have many nights of perfect pairings.
Dustin Wilson – MS & former Beverage Director at Eleven Madison Park (NYC)
I’d snag a bottle of mezcal…Need something potent if I’m about to go out.
Gail Simmons – Food & Wine / Top Chef
If I had to grab just one bottle to drink while hiding from the Zombie Apocalypse it would have to be something bubbly, celebratory and delicious to get me through the darkest hours, so I would choose Champagne Aubry Dualis Brut NV. It’s a fabulous but lesser known Champagne that I love to drink whenever I can find it. With the destruction of civilization going on around me, I would want to drink something that reminds me of some good in the universe. Also its light and happy-making, fun and festive…basically the opposite of everything to do with zombies. Plus, the label is beautiful, so if it’s the last thing I see before impending death, at least it’s artful and chic.
Arnaud Tronche – Sommelier at Racines (NYC)
1971 La Tâche – Because it’s the wine I want to be sure to taste at some point before I die.
Brahm Callahan – Beverage Director at Himmel Hospitality Group (Boston)
With the impending Zombie Apocalypse the first thing I want is a weapon, the second thing is a glass of Champagne. Conveniently my drink of choice is not only delicious but serves double duty as a weapon. My go to is Sir Winston Churchill 2002 from Pol Roger, in magnum of course. What most people don’t know is that the glass used for a champagne bottle is extremely durable and my empty bottle can be used to repeatedly turn away a hoard of brain starved zombies. Then there is the cork, with enough pressure behind it to bean a zombie clear off his feet. Despite the lack of grocery stores I can steal my way to the coast and find my perfect pairing, Sir Winston and oysters, just fantastic.
Carson Demmond – Sommelier & Wine Writer
Marie-Noelle Ledru Grand Cru Brut. Whatever vintage happens to be in the store at the time of the apocalypse, but 2002 if I had my druthers.
Ryan Arnold – Divisional Wine Director at Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises (Chicago)
1971 Egon Müller Scharzhofberger Kabinett Riesling from Mosel, Germany. Knowing that I would have to evade and combat zombies for an unforeseeable amount of time, I will need to be alert and have my wits about me. Riesling, having two very important structural components — searing acidity and low alcohol content — would allow for both. (I typically like to drink Riesling before I go on long distance runs for this very reason!) Riesling is all about site specificity, and this bottle comes from one of the greatest regions (Mosel) and sites (Scharzhofberger). Since the 1971 vintage had amazing aging potential, too, it’s perfect to drink right now. And hey, if I don’t make it longer than a day, at least I got to drink this awesome bottle.
Rina Bussell – Assistant Wine Director at Spago Beverly Hills
Weapon-wise, a Darioush bottle would be ideal. It would make a mean club.
Eric Hastings – Corporate Beverage Director at the Jean-Georges Group
This is not difficult, though my answer may not be as sexy as others…1995 Margaux. This is the first splurge-wine I had, and it was in 2000, so way too young. I had just worked a ridiculous service in which I generated a tremendous amount of income and this wine was available at a wine bar close to the restaurant for only $250!!! It is one of the few wines that I can still taste to this day and was my very first First Growth. Though many would follow, it is still a very special wine to me.