Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Buyer Beware

I found this story through Wine Fetch about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the lost wines of the restaurants in New Orleans.

Damaged Goods

``We buy the wines from the insurer,'' Jones said. ``If they paid the restaurant $100,000, we sell on consignment and pay them about $20,000.'' Then, he said, he finds ``a licensed wine purchaser.''

Jones couldn't say whether the purchasers then listed the wines as ``damaged goods.'' ``I know they must be in Illinois, but not in Louisiana, and what the rules are outside the U.S. I just don't know.''

There are thousands of bottles of post-Katrina wine being offered for sale in the international market, probably without any notice of their being damaged. If someone offers to sell you a ``Katrina wine,'' better keep it as a memento on your mantelpiece rather than store it in your cellar or bring it to your table.

I am amazed that the insurance companies and salvagers can get away with this. I guess cars aren't the only items to be on the lookout for coming out of the Katrina disaster.

Hey, buddy want to buy some '27 Petrus for $50? Yeh sure, all those old labels look a little crinkled around the edges. You'd be crinkled too if you were born in 1927!


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