Saturday, March 19, 2011

Counterfeit measures.

Ah...the Man Cave, 1982 - 2008. It should have been immortalized in the Smithsonian, faithfully reconstructed and poignantly positioned between Archie Bunker's chair and the Gene Autry lunchbox.

Scattered in and amongst the treasured decor were treasured wine bottles. They lined the entryway along the baseboard, were poised atop the art deco molding, and sat on ledges - lots of empty wine bottles from over the years, contributed, I assume, by collectors who cellared here all these years. They are of the few things that remain (the clipper ships and black velvet paintings remain represented as well), at the end of the second hall.

That 1975 Pichon Lalande Bordeaux is still sealed and has wine in it, but the neck is cracked - thus the stained label.

There's a 1989 Chateau Lafleur. There's a bottle of that for sale right now at Wally's for $1900. An '88 Lafite Rothschild is going for $1250. Across the top of the label is faded blue ink that reads 'Bastille Day 2004.' Someone certainly had a nice one. A '75 Mouton '89 Chateau many amazing bottles. These were all before my tenure here, but HERE wouldn't be here without them. They are the photographs, the memories, and it would be a loss had they all been smashed to protect against what has become a bit of a problem in counterfeiting.

Counterfeiting wine is news right now, covered by the likes of CNN, but of course no one speaks to it more thoroughly than Nick over there at Bordeaux Undiscovered. You can read his post on Defeating Counterfeit Wine in China here. Smashing the bottles is one way to curtail it, before all the technology can catch up to it.

I could sell a lot of these bottles on the black market and probably make out pretty well. Or I could cut out the middleman, throw some Charles Shaw into those babies, and do even better. 2-buck-Chuck, some kind of Lafite something, no one knows the difference. It's all smoke and mirrors...and labels.

Better yet, I'll just leave them where they are. The world needs its stories. How suddenly they can disappear, we've so recently learned, without our throwing them away.