For richer or pourer: High-priced drinks for expensive tastes

In a search for the city's most lavish wine, beer, champagne and cocktail, these four drinks rise to the top. Their credit-limit-busting prices might make Santa blush, but when there's an urge to splurge, 'tis the season to let it flow, let it flow, let it flow.

Vino: 2010 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti

Price: $14,800 per bottle

If you want to see a wine lover's eyes light up like a Christmas tree, whisper "DRC" in their ear. Better yet, order a bottle of the 2010 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti off the astoundingly deep wine list at Pamplemousse Grille. Considered not just one of the best pinot noirs in the world, but one of the best wines, period, this seductively ethereal DRC "would be tremendous with anything with truffles," says Pamplemousse GM and sommelier Steve Ernst. At $3,500 a glass, it's not dirt cheap but, as Ernst notes, it's got hints of the classic Burgundian "fresh-turned earth and mushroom." - Michele Parente

Pamplemousse Grille, 514 Via de la Valle, Solana Beach, 858.792.9090, pgrille.com

 

Champagne: 1998 Krug Clos d'Ambonnay

Price: $8,500 per bottle

Nothing is more festive than bubbles, and no Champagne house is more luxe than Krug. Let amateurs pop the Cristal or Dom Perignon. For the big money, only Krug will do. At Addison, San Diego's swankiest restaurant, wine director Rafael Sanchez points to a particularly precious vintage. "Our most luxurious bottle of Champagne is the 1998 Krug 'Clos d'Ambonnay,' he says. The Clos d'Ambonnay is made from 100-percent pinot noir grapes grown in a miniscule walled vineyard, and, adding to its exclusivity, only 5,000 bottles of it were produced. "It has incredible delicacy and freshness," Sanchez says, "and is supported by some serious muscle." A hefty bubbly worthy of its hefty price tag. - Michele Parente

Addison, 5200 Grand Del Mar Way, Carmel Valley, 858.314.1900, addisondelmar.com 

Beer: St. Bernardus abt 12

Price: $225 for a six-liter bottle

Beer is a cheap thrill, something that can be bought by the case without breaking the bank. Right? Usually. One budget-busting exception to the rule: St. Bernardus abt 12 at O'Brien's Pub. This imported Belgian quad may be the priciest beer in town: $225 for a towering six-liter bottle. Not up on metric measurements? OK, six liters is 12 pints and a splash. For a proper splurge, pour this saint into a goblet and take a sniff then a sip - but don't waste a drop. This heavenly, full-bodied and potent (10-percent alcohol) blend of raisins, plums, cloves, pepper and caramelized sugar costs $17.75 a pint. - Peter Rowe

O'Brien's Pub, 4646 Convoy St., Kearny Mesa, 858.715.1745, obrienspub.net

Cocktail: The Lusca - Creature from Beneath the Sea

Price: $100

Dive into a deep-sea adventure at Miss B's Coconut Club with this leviathan-esque cocktail. Festooned with seaweed, The Lusca - Creature from Beneath the Sea is a concoction of house-blended rum, guava-mango kombucha, Nocello (walnut and hazelnut liqueur from Italy), citrus fruits, honey and papaya - crowned with a pineapple head. While dropping a Benjamin might seem spendy for a cocktail, this monster serves up to 10 people, so be sure to invite the gang. ? Laurie Delk

Miss B's Coconut Club, 3704 Mission Blvd., Mission Beach, 858.381.0855, missbcoconutclub.com

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