I think they wanted to believe that the most expensive bottle of wine in the world must be the best bottle of wine in the world, must be the rarest bottle of wine in the world. I became increasingly, kind of voyeuristically interested in the question of you know, why do people spend these crazy amounts of money, not only on wine but on lots of things, and are they living a better life than me?
- Benjamin Wallace, TED Taste3, July 2008
The still life and Brillat-Savarin’s banquet are traps for the viewer or guest—and even more so for the patron. The more elaborate the banquet, the more the guests will worry about whether they are appreciating it enough, and the more the host himself will ignore the food to better spend his time showing off his money. The fancier the meal, the harder the test.
- Mark Gimein in The Paris Review, April 2011