Friday, 29 August 2014

Wine-ding down

When I tell people our plans, the one question I’m asked more than any other is: ‘What are you going to do with your wine?’ The simple answer is drink it, sell it and ship it, but of course life’s never that simple. 

Yep, there's still far too much wine in here

I had planned to hold a series of dinners and lunches to work on the first part of the equation, but apart from one lovely lunch where we got through the equivalent of about eight bottles, a combination of people being away for the summer holidays and poor organisation has meant that those get-togethers didn't eventuate and consumption has been limited to Kate and I knocking back some seriously good wine with our mid-week dinners.

I do have a few more events planned, however. The most notable involves my best wine buddy, Chris Gregory, who is coming over soon for an epic dinner at which we (and that we includes four other wine-interested friends) will be doing our best to get through: 1998 Pol Roger Champagne, two white Burgundies, four bottles of Bordeaux (two 2000s from Pessac-Leognan, and a 1989 and 1988 from Margaux) and a 1970 Sauternes. Chris is also very, very kindly bringing along a half bottle of 2001 Chateau d’Yquem – a wine that has already taken on legendary status, despite its comparative youth.

The epic line-up

I’ve also set out a schedule for the next few weeks to ensure that we drink all of the really good stuff before we go. I’ve done a pretty good job of polishing off the better bottles over the past few months, so there isn’t all that much left, but I’m particularly looking forward to the 1988 Jaboulet La Chapelle, a bottle of Krug Grand Cuvee given to me by the lovely people at Krug, and the 1999 Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill that Kate gave me for my birthday a few years ago.

The weeks ahead...

The next part of the equation is ‘sell’. I’ve squirreled away a small cache of wine that I bought at a good price but didn’t really like, so that’s all going off to auction soon. I’ll also make up a list for friends who want to buy some good wine at a good price. And then there are a few really good bottles that have gone up significantly in value (or were bought at a very good price) and will give more pleasure as cash in the hand than they will to drink. And then there’s a whole swathe of stuff that was either bought for investment or has also quietly accrued enough value to make it worth selling on.

But it’s the shipping part that’s proving the most vexatious. The first quote I got was extortionate, so I need to shop around a bit more. I also need to figure out which wines I want to move over. The taxes associated with importing wine into Australia are beyond extortionate so, sadly, I won’t be able to bring it all. Regardless, all of this is going to prove very expensive indeed – but if I want to continue to drink wine in the manner to which I’ve become accustomed, this is still probably my best option.

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