So Why Are You Really Selling Those Wines?
It is the height of the wine auction season—the fall season, anyway—and a number of catalogs have landed in my mailbox in recent weeks (not my email inbox, my real mailbox, the one at the end of my driveway). I usually give the catalogs a quick look, if only to fantasize for a moment. One thing I always find amusing about wine auction catalogs are the cryptic descriptions of the sellers. “The collection of a passionate American connoisseur.” “A Connecticut collector’s deep offering of wines from France and California.” “Top Bordeaux from a New York gentleman.” The consignors are rarely named, and one naturally wonders who they are and what prompted them to dump their wines. No doubt, many of these sales have “interesting” stories behind them; wouldn’t it be awesome if the auction houses shared those stories (while protecting the identities of the sellers, of course)? Last night, while sort-of watching the baseball game, I decided to entertain myself for a few minutes by imagining how some unvarnished catalog entries might read. Below are the, er, fruits of my labor. If you find yourself bored at work today and feel like coming up with some spoof entries of your own, by all means post them in the comments section!
A disgraced East Coast gentleman has been forced to sell his wine collection as part of the settlement of an insider-trading case that was brought against him. To pay the SEC, he must unload the DRC—and, man, is there a lot of it! We are pleased to offer you these ill-gotten treasures.
This collection comes to us from a European aristocrat who, sadly for him, has been luckier in wine than in love. Having just gone through his third divorce (and they say the third time is the charm—not so!), he needs to liquidate a sizable portion of his cellar in order to cover his legal bills and multiple alimony payments.
This West Coast gentleman with a 10,000-bottle collection recently came to the rather belated realization that he doesn’t actually have a taste for wine (confusing Yellow Tail chardonnay for a Bâtard-Montrachet would jar anyone’s confidence). He has decided to pursue other interests and is thus selling all of his wines.
What’s worse than having a fortune and losing it? Having a fortune, losing it, and also having to part with your entire, painstakingly curated wine collection. But one man’s bankruptcy is another man’s bounty—this consignment, rich in Bordeaux, Burgundies and Rhones, comes to us from a Midwestern gentleman formerly of means.
This 3000-bottle collection is from the estate of a recently deceased New England gentleman. His last wishes were that the wines be sold at auction and the proceeds given to the ASPCA. He was adamant that the cellar not go to his children. His credo: “No, you can’t take it with you, but you sure as hell don’t have to leave it to them.”