The pessimist’s bottle

bailout_labelIf you understand what investing in “futures” means and you’re reading this, you’re probably an unemployed banker. It’s all gibberish to me, but it’s never too late to learn, and there’s no better way to learn anything than with booze. Enter Crushpad‘s 2007 Bailout Napa Valley Cabernet.

bailoutThe wine is made with a blend of grapes from Napa’s best vineyards in Oakville, Mt. Veeder, and Pritchard Hill and aged in French oak barrels, creating a bottle that Crushpad says is akin to something in the $75-$250 range. But that wouldn’t be much of a bailout, would it?

Instead, you preorder a bottle for $39 (cheap, but still out of the typical pennywatcher’s price range). For every 100 points the Dow drops after your purchase date, you’ll get a $2 refund. The final price will be determined on August 14, 2009, when the wine is bottled and shipped. For legal reasons, the price can only go as low as $9 (right in our zone). The way our economy’s looking, this could be the best tasting investment you’ve made in a long time.

The tip, from Tasting Table

A sandwich to settle for

Midtown Manhattan is littered with pseudo-gourmet sandwich joints happy to dish out pre-made panini and wraps for $6.95. Finding a really good sandwich for less than that is…well, so far I haven’t done it. But today I found a sandwich that was at least as good for $4.

dscn3522Mike’s Coffee and Deli (44 East 32nd St., Manhattan–map) doesn’t look like much. It’s just a window, opening into one room where all the sandwiches are prepared. What is impressive is that the average price of a cold sandwich is $3, a cheeseburger deluxe platter costs $4.50, and the average hot sandwich goes for $4. That includes roast beef, pastrami, chicken cutlets, sausage, and my choice today: pepper steak.

The steak was a bit over-cooked and tough, but at least it was cooked up fresh and topped with tasty peppers and onions. Wrapped up in a perfectly mediocre baguette, the sandwich was nothing to sing about. But for my money, it sure beat the cold-in-the-middle panini I got for $6.95  at Susie’s Kitchen around the corner. For the cheapest decent-sized sandwich I’ve found in mid-town, Mike’s is the spot.