Posted: May 29, 2014 By Peter Hellman
Posted: May 13, 2014 By Peter Hellman
Posted: May 8, 2014 By Mitch Frank
At the end of the month, a federal judge will decide how serious the crime of wine counterfeiting is. Rudy Kurniawan, convicted of selling an estimated $2 million to $7 million worth of fakes (no one is quite sure how many prized bottles he counterfeited), will be sentenced. He faces up to 40 years in prison.
His lawyers have made their plea for leniency, asking the judge to sentence Kurniawan to time served since his arrest—roughly 27 months. But what of their argument that counterfeit wine is just a game?
Posted: May 5, 2014 By Peter Hellman
Posted: May 2, 2014 By Peter Hellman
Posted: April 22, 2014 By Peter Hellman
Posted: April 1, 2014 By Peter Hellman
Posted: December 18, 2013 By Mitch Frank
I love hearing people's "aha!" moments with wine—that instant when they realized that wine is more than just a beverage, that great wine has personality.
Here's a good one: A young man takes his visiting father out for dinner to celebrate dad's birthday. Neither knows much about wine, but the son decides this is a special occasion so he orders the most expensive bottle on the list. The wine—a 1996 Opus One—opens the young man's eyes. Within a few months, he's buying several bottles of Opus One, then other top wines. (Luckily, he has a decent amount of money.) Soon, he's hooked. Wine becomes his passion, and he's attending tastings and collecting rare bottles. Burgundy in particular beguiles him.
Like much of what we know about Rudy Kurniawan, it's hard to tell how much of this story is true and how much he concocted. Kurniawan told this tale to a journalist in 2006, just after an auction of his wines raised $24.7 million, a record for a single-consignor auction. Since he began attending auctions and tastings a decade ago, Kurniawan had always been vague about his origins and his seemingly deep pockets.
Posted: December 16, 2013 By Peter Hellman
Posted: December 13, 2013 By Peter Hellman
Posted: December 11, 2013 By Peter Hellman
Posted: December 8, 2013 By Peter Hellman
Posted: November 21, 2013 By Robert Taylor
This past August, the New York State Liquor Authority (SLA) quietly issued a cease-and-desist letter to New Jersey's Wine Library, one of the largest retailers in the Garden State and a popular wine source for many New Yorkers.
The SLA ordered Wine Library to stop shipping wine to New Yorkers, a practice that is technically illegal but that has been happening for years without complaint or repercussion. Cease-and-desist letter or not, the ban is practically unenforceable-the SLA simply doesn't have the manpower to adequately monitor interstate sales.
Because of the letter, Wine Library and a few other out-of-state retailers indicated they would stop selling wine to New Yorkers. New York retailers worried that they would start receiving similar letters from alcohol authorities in other states, as a form of retaliation. Since then, however, there's been nothing but silence from the authorities, and Wine Library has continued shipping wine to New York.
Posted: November 8, 2013 By Peter Hellman
Posted: October 30, 2013 By Suzanne Mustacich
Posted: October 8, 2013 By Ben O'Donnell
Brunello di Montalcino, the pure Sangiovese in the heart of Tuscany's wine country, is an expensive wine to make. Land is pricey and there's not much to go around. Producers are required to sit on inventory for two years in oak and four months in bottle—but the expected protocol is that the wines not reach the market until five years after the harvest. It's a cost passed on to the consumer: You're hard-pressed to find a bottle under $40 on the shelf.
Two Tuscan value categories can offer an impressive alternative to Brunello: Rosso di Montalcino and Morellino di Scansano.
Posted: June 14, 2013 By Mitch Frank
Posted: May 29, 2013 By Peter Hellman
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