Tuesday, April 19, 2005

19 April 2005 - Know Any Interesting Wine Collectors?

I just received an email from a "contributing writer" for Wine Spectator asking me if I knew any interesting wine collectors, and if so, if I could please forward their contact information.

It immediately brought to mind the first wine cellar I saw. Back in the day when I was young and would do anything wine-related, I agreed to visit a customer who wanted me to do an appraisal of his wine collection. How depressing. Most of the couple of thousand bottles of wine in this basement were hopelessly over the hill. I mean, fifteen-year old Beaujolais Nouveau; a couple of the worst vintages of Bordeaux -- yes, there used to be such a thing as bad vintages -- I'm talking cases of 1963 and 1965 and it was 1982 at the time. Dry white wine that had gone brown, like 20 year old "Liebfraumilch."

This guy might as well have been hoarding a giant load of shit. I was pretty blunt even back then. I suggested he back up a dumpster and throw out most of his "collection." Amazingly, he wasn't angry. In fact, he continued to do business with the store I was working in at the time, and I would occasionally deliver wine to his house. As far as I can tell, he never did back up a dumpster -- he just kept throwing more wine down there, nice fresh stuff on top of all that mud under glass. As far as I could tell, he rarely drank wine. The guy still calls every once in a while, and it never fails to depress me. Give me the wine drinkers anytime.

I'm guessing this wasn't the sort of story the contributing writer was hoping for.