• From cellar to jail cell, Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff was not only a big-time financial crook, but he spent a share of those ill-gotten dividends on wine. Next Wednesday, May 18, a portion of that wine collection is going up for auction at Morrell & Co. Though many of the lots are valuable collector's items—1975 Pétrus, 1977 super Tuscan Guado Al Tasso—how the wines were stored is not entirely clear. A representative from Morrell & Co. told Unfiltered, "All we know about the provenance is that it was seized by the FBI and U.S. Marshals' Service from two locations. More than that, we do not know." Not the best provenance, but Morrell seems to be peddling the collection more as conversation pieces than as quality consumables, and has even included some wines that normally “wouldn’t pass muster and make it into our auction." The 58 lots are valued at a low estimate of $15,000, with the proceeds going to the United States Department of Justice Asset Forfeiture Fund to help pay damages to the victims of Madoff’s multibillion dollar Ponzi scheme. Unfiltered is unsure how much 15 grand is really going to help in that reimbursement goal, but every little drop of wine helps!
• Craigslist, sprawling Internet bazaar of broken air conditioners, broken mopeds, broken futons and broken people, seems like a perfectly sensible place to purchase bottles of Château Lafite Rothschild for $3,200 a pop from a man known only as "Bart," until you think about it for literally one second. Alas, Quy Duc Nguyen learned the hard way that instead of purchasing an unspecified quantity and vintage of Lafite, he had mistakenly purchased a casual encounter for $40,100, the specific encounter being a violent beating. After flying all the way from California to Queens, N.Y., Nguyen was greeted in the Craigslist "salesroom" with a knock on the head, trussed up and relieved of his shoes, socks and 40 large. Unfiltered has a strong hunch that it was not an actual bottle of Lafite that Quy was bludgeoned with.
• Long Island wine lovers and restaurant-goers gathered this past Tuesday for the 5th annual Brooklyn Uncorked “Sipping Soiree.” Held at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, wineries from all over Long Island—including the new urban wineries within the borough of Brooklyn (yes, Brooklyn is technically “on” the island)—displayed their offerings to a sold-out crowd. In-between sips of Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc—from wineries such as Macari, Mattebella, Wölffer and Roanoke—visitors could nosh on bites from Gramercy Tavern, Buttermilk Channel, The Good Fork and other top New York restaurants. Sponsored by the Long Island Wine Council, the event was originally conceived to bring Long Island wine to the Big Apple, lest those New Yorkers forget that all those cool-climate reds and varietal rosés are but two hours from the New York Metro area.
Troy Peterson — Burbank, CA — May 12, 2011 6:37pm ET
Richard Gangel — San Francisco — May 12, 2011 7:19pm ET
Stewart Hopper — phoenix, az — May 12, 2011 8:40pm ET
Paul Lopez — Paso Robles, CA — May 13, 2011 3:39pm ET
Serge Laporte — Canada — May 16, 2011 8:56am ET
Winekey Nyc Inc — NYC — July 14, 2011 10:33pm ET
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