Posts Tagged ‘Bottle’

An Sotheby's employee holds a rare Jeroboam of Château Mouton Rothschild from 1953 on Jan. 17, 2012 in LondonPhoto by Oli Scarff/Getty Images

An Sotheby’s employee holds a rare Jeroboam of Château Mouton Rothschild from 1953 on Jan. 17, 2012 in London
Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images

 

Some are excellent, others undrinkable.

Testimony began this week in billionaire William Koch’s lawsuit against Eric Greenberg, who Koch claims sold him some very expensive counterfeit wine. (Mike Steinberger wrote a detailed investigation of the case for Slate in 2010.) Some of the bottles went for nearly $30,000, which has Koch so miffed that he refuses to settle the case. If you spend $30,000 on a bottle of wine, can you expect it to be better than a $20,000 bottle or a $10,000 bottle?
Not really. Full disclosure: The Explainer has never tasted, and has no discernible prospects of ever tasting, a $10,000 bottle of wine. The wine experts he consulted, however, emphasized that the difference between wines in this price range is not quality, but rather prestige, rarity, and age. Upon opening, some four- or five-figure bottles of wine “justify” their price—at least to experienced wine critics and people who can conceive of paying $30,000 for 1.5 liters of fermented grape juice. (A 1947 Cheval Blanc, for example, blew away Slate’s wine critic.) Other bottles have slid far beyond their peak, losing their volatile fruit flavors to age and, frequently, improper storage. Occasionally, giddy wine lovers uncork an ultra-expensive wine only to find that it has turned to vinegar. As wine enthusiasts say, there are no great wines, only great bottles. However, just like a high-roller going all in at the poker table, some wealthy wine lovers perceive value in unpredictability.

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Per bottle or per glass?

Per bottle or per glass?

 

Politicians may keep telling us the economic downturn is over and western economies are on the road to recovery, some market data actually tell us otherwise. A case in point is the latest market research by GuestMetrics in the United States. Based on its proprietary database of POS transactions of over $8 billion dollars in transactions and over 250 million bills from restaurants and bars across the United States over the past two years, it shows that on-trade consumers in the US traded down from bottles to glasses in 2012.

In fact, the shift was significant with the number of bottles ordered in restaurants and bars declining by 13 percent, while the number of wine glasses increased by 4 percent. “Given the large difference between the price, with the average bottle costing over $43 and the average glass costing $9.60, we believe this shift was driven by a consumer base that is still feeling pressure from a sluggish economic recovery, not to mention the unusually high level of uncertainty towards the end of the year with the spectre of the fiscal cliff,” commented Bill Pecoriello, CEO of GuestMetrics LLC.

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What is in a bottle?

 

The Journey
Bernie Rooney, owner of Oak Barrel Winecraft in Berkeley, Calif., says you can make a bottle of wine for about $5 or less once you have the equipment. That’s not why people go to the trouble, though. Instead, he says, home winemakers do it to enjoy the journey — from picking the grapes to drinking the wine a year or more later. “If you collect trains, people think you’re strange,” says Paul Taybi, a home winemaker in El Cerrito, Calif. “If you make wine, you get invited to a lot of parties.” In the end, your creation may remind you of Two-Buck Chuck (the bargain producer officially known as Charles Shaw), or a 1998 Chateau Mouton Rothschild –for those who have already drunk a good quantity of wine.
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A single bottle of 1788 Cognac from the cellars of the historic La Tour d’Argent restaurant in Paris has sold for £17,825 at a Christie’s auction.

Vieux Cognac Grande Champagne Fine Clos de Griffier Café Anglais 1788
Fetching over four times its estimate, the Vieux Cognac Grande Champagne Fine Clos de Griffier Café Anglais 1788 is identical to the Cognac that was accidentally smashed by a customer at The Plaboy Club in London this July.

The bottle was destined to form part of the world’s most expensive cocktail, mixed by world-renowned bartender Salvatore Calabrese at The Playboy Club.

Dutch spirits collector Bay van der Bunt snapped up all six lots of Clos de Griffier at £17,825 each, to add to his Cognac collection, one of the largest in the world.

Van der Bunt was also the highest bidder for two Jeroboams of Grande Fine Champagne Cognac ‘La Tour d’Argent’ 1805, bought for for £23,000 each.
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Penfolds has announced its most expensive collector’s item to date – a complete vertical for £1.2m.
The centrepiece of the one-off ‘Penfolds Collection’ is a complete vertical of Grange from its first experimental vintage in 1951 (pictured) through to the current 2007.

It comes hot on the heels of its controversial £100,000 Ampoule launch earlier this year,

Each bottle of Grange has been authenticated and signed by one of Penfolds’ Chief winemakers including the late founder Max Schubert, John Duval and current incumbent Peter Gago.

The deep-pocketed purchaser of the collection will also receive a set of 13 magnum cases which include both the ultra-rare 2004 Bin 60A and the 2008 Bin 620 Coonawarra Cabernet-Shiraz. They will also be sent a case of Penfolds icon and luxury wines for the next ten years.

That’s not all. An additional part of the package is £50,000 to spend on acquiring other older Penfolds wines to add to the collection. Also included are two business class tickets to Adelaide, followed by a VIP tour and tasting at Penfolds Magill Estate. This comes with two nights’ accommodation and dinner at the Magill Estate Restaurant.

Gago believes this is probably the finest set of Penfolds wines ever to be… read on

Bristol’s Accolade Park bottling plant hit is hitting record highs, recently dispatching 1.2 million cases in a single week – and it has the potential to grow significantly bigger.

 

Accolade Park, Bristol

Accolade Park, Bristol

 

As evidence that there is increasing interest in shipping wine in bulk and bottling as close to the source of demand as possible, Bristol’s Accolade Park bottling plant hit a new high in November with the dispatch of 1.2 million cases in a single week.

The state-of-the-art facility, owned by Accolade Wines (formerly Constellation), was operating Monday to Sunday to meet orders ahead of Christmas and had beaten 2010’s busiest week by 30,000 cases.

It had also broken a record in terms of production at the plant by transferring as much as 20.7m litres of wine into bottles and bag-in-box in one month, during October.

Operators at the site were set for similarly large levels of demand until mid-December as shoppers choose to make their Christmas purchases later than ever before.

Richard Lloyd, general manager at the facility, explained, when db toured the site in late November 2011: “We always run five days a week but we slowly build up towards Christmas from August, moving firstly to six days a week and then a full seven by September, before dropping down to four days in the second week of December.

“However, what we’ve noticed is that Halloween has become bigger for us and Christmas orders are coming a bit later, probably because Halloween is bigger.”

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