If you haven’t used it, you should. I’ve relied on wine-searcher for years to find out what retailers charge for wines I review. It also give you a good sense of the availability of any particular wine. It’s simply the best reality check out there. The basic version is free and is more limited than the “Pro Version,” which costs about $30 and is money well spent. As of yesterday, by the way, wine-searcher had 18,072 wine stores listed worldwide with 3,952,617 wines offered. In 2009 it had 56.5 million pageviews. You begin to get an idea of the site’s scope and influence.
SWIRL: “No other wine has captured the imagination of the Chinese wine connoisseur like Château Lafite-Rothschild,” begins an item in artdaily.org. With that in mind, Sotheby’s in Hong Kong will hold an auction of almost 2,000 bottles of Lafite on October 29. The famed winery will supply vintages from 1869 to 2008 from its cellar. Estimates of the sale range from $1.5-$2.5 million.
SWIRL: On the other side of the sales spectrum, sales at Pennsylvania’s two pilot wine vending machines in supermarkets have gone better than expected, says the head of the state’s Liquor Control Board. Plans are moving ahead to install almost 100 more of the machines, whose sales require a breathalizer test and are monitored by Control Board employees via a video hookup. Read more at Bloomberg Businessweek and my recent commentary on the machines.