December 1, 2006
Maloofs on a Budget

From left, Phil Maloof, Joe Maloof, Gavin Maloof, Carl's Jr. CEO Andrew Puzder, and Barry Bonds. (Photo/Carl's Jr., Susan Goldman)

Those Maloof brothers, they're just regular guys, despite that TV commercial that shows them devouring a Carl's Jr. burger with a nearly $6,000 bottle of Bordeaux, a combo available only at their Palms hotel casino in Las Vegas.

Last night, the brothers, with pals Barry Bonds and rapper Xzibit, gathered at Wally's Wine & Spirits in Los Angeles to see how less expensive wines match up with the burger, as well as other Carl's Jr. sandwiches.

Christian Navarro, who owns Wally's with Steve Wallace, came up with the recommended pairings, including the Sequoia Grove Cabernet Sauvignon ($35) with the "original six dollar burger," the D'Arenberg Footbolt Shiraz ($18) with the "guacamole bacon six dollar burger," the Vietti Barbera d'Asti Tre Vigne ($20) with the "western bacon six dollar burger," and the Newton Red Label Chardonnay ($24) with the "charbroiled chicken club sandwich." Vintages were unspecified, and the prices presumably are what the wines sell for at Wally's. Whether the pairings lead to a regular series of burger-and-wine commercials for the Maloofs remains to be seen.

Before the night was over, the Maloofs reverted to their old Vegas selves, overseeing the pouring of a $26,000 bottle of 1949 Chateau Lafite-Rothschild.

The wine paired with the burger at the Palms is the 1982 Chateau Petrus, which, coincidentally, is the same wine highlighted by Wine Enthusiast magazine in an article concerning the laissez faire attitude of French winemakers in the face of speculation that counterfeit French wines are on the rise. I pictured myself as someone about to spend the weekend in Las Vegas, naturally stopping by the Palms for the $6,000 combo, but now nervous that the '82 Petrus might be a fake. I called the Palms to find out what steps they are taking to assure that the Petrus with the burger is genuine. They have yet to respond. Should have said I was Barry Bonds.

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