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Wine Auctions–let your fingers do the walking!

wine-auction-bought-sold

If you’re old school, wine auctions might conjure up ball rooms in 5-star New York and London hotels, with uber-rich wine collectors sipping champagne as they raise their paddles for old bottles selling at eye-popping prices.

DRC at wne auctionBut the Internet has ushered in a whole new era for wine auctions–and wine collectors.  You can now sit in front of your computer and bid on every type of wine at all price points.  And most importantly, you can get some great deals! Recently we saw one of our favorite 1998 Pomerols, which normally would sell north of $100/bottle, sold at auction for $38.  

In addition to online auctions, several houses also host retail sites where you can buy with a few clicks and a credit card.  Auctioneers will often place wines that didn’t sell at auction on their retail sites at reduced prices, giving wine lovers yet another way to feed their habit!

Here’s a recent article from Bloomberg News that argues for wine auctions as an accessible marketplace for all wine people.  Enjoy!

 

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Wine storage–A Cautionary Tale

In an earlier post we wrote of an individual who was gifted several cases of vintage port from the ’60s and german wines from the ’70s, but who didn’t appreciate the need for proper storage.  He left them in a mini-storage locker with his furniture and picture albums for 12 years.  Needless to say, 12 summers took their toll and the wine was ruined.

Here’s another cautionary tale about a collector with a cellar worth six figures who neglected to store his wine under temperature controlled conditions and, unfortunately, his heirs paid the price.

Rack--Ch. LatourCollectors who sell wine know the first priority for prospective buyers is demonstrating proper provenance; i.e. where did the wine come from and how was it stored.  Proper wine storage doesn’t have to be expensive; but bad storage almost always is.

 

 

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Burgundy tasting with Mark Haisma

A Burgundy winemaker with an Australian accent?? Yep, and as San Diego Wine Storage members quickly discovered, this particular Australian makes some very good white and red Burgundy.

Haisma wines and Haisma headshot

SDWS was lucky to host Mark Haisma during his recent whirlwind tour of the West Coast.  The “micro-négociant” makes a robust line of Burgundy from AOC Bourgogne to Grand Crus, and he generously shared eight selections with SDWS members and guests.

Haisma wine lineup

We’re no wine critics, but we agree with London-based Jancis Robinson who wrote about Mark: “He seems to have struck gold.  His wines have an excellent balance between fruit, expression and refreshment without being in any way wimpish.  The wines are also, appetisingly, bone dry.”

Haisma pouring for guests

Mark pours for the fans…

 

 

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DON’T LET YOUR WINE WILT!

It’s that time of year again! Temperatures are climbing and we’re all looking forward to that first dip in the swimming pool. But as much as we like the warm weather, your wine is another story.

If you’ve been collecting over the winter months and have cases stacked up in your garage or office, you need to take precautions so you don’t risk spoiling your investment. Here are some simple, proven rules you can use to make sure your wine doesn’t wilt:

1. Heat kills wine. Make sure your wine is stored in an area that doesn’t get much above 70 degrees. And during the dog days of summer, it’s especially important to protect your wine from overheating. Fifty-five degrees is the optimum temperature for wine.

DOG DAYS OF SUMMER

2. Keep the temperature steady. Temperature fluctuations of more than 10 degrees can be more harmful than keeping the wine at a higher than recommended, but steady, temperature.

3. Older wines (more than 10 years) are more fragile than younger wines and are susceptible to spoilage if storage conditions aren’t right. Fine wines that are built to age are usually expensive, so you’re putting your assets at risk if you don’t store them properly.

4. Avoid strong light and vibration. The kitchen is out unless you have a wine fridge and even then you may subject your wine to more vibration than is healthy.

One last thing about home wine coolers: The rule of thumb is never put them in an area where the temperature climbs 30 degrees above the temp you have the cooler set to. For example, if you have the thermostat set to 55F, the temp in the room shouldn’t get above 85F or you will strain the cooling unit and risk a blowout. So forget the garage during the summer as it will get hotter than any other room in the house. Garages are great places to store lawnmowers, but not wine.

Heat Kills!!

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WHAT A TASTING!!!

 

Champagne Deep Dive lineupWe pulled out all the stops recently when a small group of Champagne lovers gathered at our Solana Beach facility for a night of really good Champagne and catered hors d’oeuvres. Each guest brought one bottle of exceptional Champagne to share with the group. Aura Catering then matched each bottle with a specific small plate.

food and ChampagneAnd the lineup:

2000 Pol Roger Rosé
2002 Pol Roger Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill
2000 Taittinger Blanc de Blancs Comtes
NV Armand de Brignac Ace of Spades
1999 Billecart Salmon Cuvée Nicolas François Billecart
1993 Dom Perignon Oenothèque
1990 Bollinger R.D. Extra Brut
1983 Dom Perignon

For dessert we finished with a 1976 Chateau de Fargues Sauternes. Except for the 2000 Pol Roger, which was corked, the wines shown like diamonds; each one different but all sublime!

Champagne Deep Dive Menu

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Collectible wine market update

First Growth BordeauxWe recently came upon an article from WealthManagement.com on how the wine investment market is doing. Now that the recession is in the rear view mirror and the buying frenzy in China has calmed down, we can look to the tried and true fundamentals of investing in wine.

This is a nice synopsis for anyone contemplating buying wine as an investment, and contains some good advice on what to look for.

Shameless plug: Proper storage is key to making sure you get the most bang for the buck from your wine investment, so take note of the bullet point on professional storage.

Click here to read more…

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Wine Articles you’ll want to read

Robert ParkerWe get a lot of wine news in our inbox every morning, but one we look forward to is from The Drinks Business. Articles are well written and interesting, including two we are posting today.

The first is an in-depth interview with Robert Parker titled “Larger Than Life; Profiling Robert Parker”. It’s balanced but they don’t hold back with pointed questions on his career, triumphs and regrets. Good read.

The second piece, “Most Overused Wine Quotes and Memes Revealed” skewers wine sayings that have been beaten to death but then includes some great ones you’ll want to remember. Good fun.

“Hide our ignorance as we will, an evening of wine soon reveals it”–Heraclitus

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DON’T LET YOUR WINE WILT–TIPS ON HOW TO KEEP IT COOL

Heat Kills!!This summer looks like it’s going to be another scorcher in Southern California. Already we’re breaking records for high temps and we’re only in March!

If you’ve been collecting wine over the winter months and have cases stacked up in your garage or office, you need to take precautions so you don’t risk spoiling your investment. Here are some simple, proven rules that you can use to make sure your wine doesn’t wilt:

1. Heat kills wine. Make sure you keep your wine in an area that doesn’t get above 70 degrees. And during the dog days of summer, it’s especially important to protect your wine from overheating. So don’t leave wine in the trunk of your car during warm days as temperatures can reach over 100° Fahrenheit in the time it takes to go to the movies.

2. Keep the temperature steady. Temperature fluctuations of more than 10 degrees can be more harmful than keeping the wine at a higher than recommended, but steady, temperature.

3. Older wines (more than 10 years) are more fragile than young ones and are susceptible to spoilage if storage conditions aren’t right. Fine wines that are built to age are usually expensive, so you’re putting your assets at risk if you don’t store them properly.

4. If you buy wine online, avoid having it shipped during summer months. Most wineries now ship only during the Spring and Fall to make sure your wine isn’t cooked en route to your house. Give instructions not to ship on a Thursday or Friday or your wine may sit in a toasty warehouse over the weekend.

One thing about home wine coolers: The rule of thumb is never put them in an area where the temperature climbs 30 degrees above the temp you have the cooler set to. For example, if you have the thermostat set to 55F, the temp in the space shouldn’t get above 85F or you will strain the cooling unit and risk a blowout. So forget the garage during the summer as it will get hotter than any other room in the house. Garages are great places to store lawnmowers, but not wine.

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Sleight of Hand tasting at SDWS Solana Beach

Sleight of Hand LabelsIn mid-February SDWS members enjoyed an evening with Jerry and Sandy Solomon, owners of Sleight of Hand Cellars, the much talked about winery from Walla Walla, Washington. SoH opened their doors in Walla Walla in 2007 and since have received accolades for their seriously good wines and fanciful labels playing on magical themes.

SofH onwers & winemaker

Jerry & Sandy Solomon with winemaker Trey Busch

We tasted a full range of SofH wines, from a crisp 2014 Magician Riesling to their balanced, full bodied 2012 Illusionist Cabernet Sauvignon. Wine advocate and Wine Spectator have raved about the SofH wines, with WS giving 94 points to the 2011 Walla Walla Syrah The Funkadelic.

SofH bottlesA little quiz:  See if you can pick out the well-known actor who hosted this year’s Academy Awards in one of the labels shown above.

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SDWS SAN DIEGO GETS A FACELIFT

San Diego customer loungeWe did it! It took a while but we finally finished our renovation of the San Diego reception area, transforming it from individual offices to a spacious, comfortable area to entertain our members and guests. We celebrated with an opening on Saturday, February 14th where customers checked out the new digs with a selection of fine wine and cheeses.

“We want all our facilities to be customer friendly, first and foremost” said Dermot Gilligan, one of the San Diego Wine Storage principals. “In both San Diego and Solana Beach, members can feel free to attend scheduled tastings as well as to simply stop by to share a bottle with friends and other members. The one thing that ties us all together is we love to share good wine.”

SD opening2SDWS has launched a series of Winemaker tastings in its two facilities, as well as events sponsored by major wine auction houses such as Hart Davis Hart and Spectrum Wine Auctions.

Customer lounge in San Diego

 

 

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