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Just about every wine collector feels a magnetic pull when passing a wine shop: let’s admit it, wine collecting is addictive on some level. Once you know a wise buyer is running a good shop, it’s hard to resist popping in to peruse a few sections.

Sometimes, though, it’s an entirely different game. Every New York City wine collector I’ve known has gone slumming at least a few times.

Slumming is braving busted-ass wine shops, most often with highly suspect cold storage, searching for mispriced wines. Your higher-tier cuvées selling at entry-level prices; say, Goldkapsel Riesling selling as standard Riesling; or Sesti Brunello selling at Sesti Monteleccio prices. It can happen in any number of shops, but it happens most often in dirty, disorganized ones, with rudderless and woefully underpaid staff.

I’m talking about shops with weird, stained, dusty, damaged wines all over the place; Lord  knows when or where they got the wines. Shops where a high turnover means there’s no knowledgeable, passionate staff, where there really isn’t any consistent logic driving the selections; it’s strictly profit margins and opportunity.

Slumming doesn’t necessarily mean you are in a slum. Far from it! It’s actually the middle of Manhattan (Click to Read more)

This New French Wine Monopoly Game Is A Little Crazy

I’m a bit upset I hadn’t heard about this last November when it went on sale.

Look at the playing board for this new French wine edition of Monopoly:

wine monopoly


How fun is this? One simply must know immediately which vineyards occupy Boardwalk and Park Place squares, and which are the lowly beginner squares.

That’s where the fun begins. Woefully undervalued, struggling Muscadet in the starting blocks? Absolutely, makes sense.

But, Corton Charlemagne as the highest echelon of wine, aka Boardwalk? We need to talk. And things just get worse once you scrutinize regions in between.

Take heed, folks: Côtes de Provence, the Jura and Jurançon are each worth more than Bordeaux. Oh, and Margaux is distinct from Bordeaux.

Exactly who cooked up this valuation hierarchy? Hasbro leveraged a ‘famous’ professional wine magazine La Vigne, part of the France Agricole family of magazines. France Agricole has a wildly esoteric range of farming magazines, specializing in dairy farming, vegetable farming, tractor talk, and food factories, which remind me of Matt Groening’s impossibly specialized satirical magazine covers from the 80s.

Struggling Artist magazine by Matt Groening
He made amazing comics prior to The Simpsons, you know.

Obviously Hasbro wasn’t bringing the big guns to the table in terms of wine valuation data, so you’d think (Click to Read more)

A Thanksgiving Wine List: Two Days’ Worth of Wine

Nothing says Thanksgiving like the Count.

Two days, twenty people total at a dear friend’s family home in the woods of Connecticut.

Obviously, if I have anything to say, there will be an accent on French wine. And there will be Burgundy.  And bubbles are in order!

Some value options to offset the cost of Burgundy, aimed at those thirsting masses that cannot tell their Beringer White Zinfandel from their Bogle Merlot. But they still feel the love, as every wine below should show just lovely.

After a week of consideration, these are the winners: (Click to Read more)