thumbing through old magazines in an attempt to shrink the mini-paper towers around my apartment last night and came across a Moet ad in Gourmet's October issue and jumping off the page were four elegant chef portraits promoting Moet et Chandon---Eric Ripert, Morimoto, Marcus Samuelsson and Mr. Sustainability, Dan Barber. It is the Barber portrait that prompted my sigh....oh Dan, you know not what you do! Perhaps Dan fell for the ego lure of modeling, free promotion and just didn't think about the byproduct of this unfortunate food & wine pairing. I imagine Dan just didn't think and didn't have enough wine knowledge to suspect Moet's champagne vineyards as chemically ravaged and the champagne as just not that good. After all, while most people assume chefs know wine, the truth is they (generality here) know about food and many times next to nothing about wine. Cutting him some slack, perhaps he rationalized the photo shoot because of the irony. After all, he IS spilling the glass! Maybe there's a subversive Beatles # 9 subplot between the grooves? Like, what he really was thinking was sure, I'll take the publicity but I'll show you what I think of the champers? Possibly, but, given the dismal state of the Blue Hill wine list (ever since the charmingly wine geeky John Slover left) I have to draw the conclusion that earnestness was part of the gestalt.