Thursday, 24 October 2013

The Decline of Trade Wine Auctions

Every festive season (and we are approaching this time of year), the trade runs a bunch of back-slapping dinners to congratulate themselves for selling more wine from Personal Failure Vineyards, or on the new Blue Meth flavoured Vodka they released in September.

These things ALWAYS end with an auction, and I have to say I've been one of those who've had a few too many shandies and have to sit on their hands because in 2009 I came away with a shooting holiday no-one wanted to come with me on. 

2013 will probably raise considerably less than it has in other years. Some will mistakenly blamed the economy - bidders are nervous about stock portfolios, tuition fees and the fact they still have to keep a mistress. Furthermore, charity is dead and what have poor people and sick people done for the trade recently?

Perhaps though, it's the auction lots themselves. Lets look at what we can stereotypically expect from the offering this year.

Cloudy Bay Vertical Tasting - 1995-2012 & One Night In Heaven.

Estimated Value £22,000

Love your Sauvignon Blanc? This one's for you! So, they're a bit old, but no matter, you don't care what it tastes like anyway. 'Having' Cloudy Bay (and we mean in the biblical sense) is every NZ SB fan's dream and we can make it a reality. 

Name a Grape.
Estimated Value £5,000

Sure, all the good ones are gone and you risk ending up something which might be related to Cinsault, but what sort of narcissist DOESN'T dream of ending up as a footnote in 'Wine Grapes'?  Your grape will enter a draw to be planted on a bit of New Zealand currently used for growing potatoes! What an honour, Mr President!

Own a Champagne House For a Week!
Estimated Value £30,000

What's it really like to own one of Champagne's middling houses? Come on a voyage of discovery with us at Maison Polongne. Spend your week tasting all the wines, including the 'exciting' vin clairs! Spend your week wading through requests for samples from tiny independent retailers you've never heard of! You make all the decisions! Is the London market drying up? Get the Eurostar there to try convince sommeliers that they need to list not just the NV, the vintage and the rose but the demi-sec, ultra-but and organic lines too! 

Be an MW for a day!
Estimated Value £12,000

What fun! Imagine a day where you can turn up anywhere and demand to be bowed down to! You will be able to sample the lifestyle of your favourite wine heroes, writing column after column with no editor daring to touch. You'd know everything about wine for the day! Like the scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz. Drop it into your emails! Ring your broker! Turn up at tastings and exclaim loudly 'I'm an MW, now where's the buffet?'

Maybe it's me, maybe I'm getting cynical, but I long for the good old days when the lots were being taken out drinking with ex-Scotland rugby players and seeing how many pint glasses we could balance on our foreheads.

Photo taken from StockMonkey's photostream under the CCL.

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