France: Palace Sells 1200 Bottles of Wine to Buy Cheaper Wine – Will Obama Sell White House Stash of Honey Ale?

The good news is, after the Presidential residence sells it’s expensive collection of wine to buy cheaper wines, if any monies are left over, they will go back into the  treasury. The sale is expected to bring in about $330,000 USD. The collection of 1200 bottles represents 10 percents of the Palace cellar. This is a first. Never before has the country sold it’s wine stash, and you can only imagine what that stash might be, but why cheaper wines? A quote below says the auction will be seen as symbolic in light of France’s “biting austerity.” The leavings from $330,000! Is it possible the masses in France are as naive as Obama’s followers. He could make a symbolic action and sell his stash of White House Honey Ale and be adored for it.


“The estimated value of the wines, said to be a small example of France’s rich wine-making history, ranges from a modest 15 euros to 2,200 euros for a bottle of Petrus 1990 [extraordinary vintage].

But the auction house said the majority of the wines should be available for under 100 euros.

The offer ranges from champagnes to rich reds, with a heavy emphasis on wines from Burgundy and Bordeaux, as well as selections from the Loire Valley and Alsace.

The sale is expected to raise around 250,000 euros which will be used to buy less pricey wines, the auction house said, adding that “the money left over will be returned to the state budget.” Source: rfi english

Why? They had too many single bottles or too few bottles to serve at official functions. Makes sense to me. What doesn’t make sense is that the French President at any time in the history of the country will serve “cheaper” wines to guests. This is France, the Grande Matriarch of wine. Our world is upside-down. Shameful.

The goal of the sale, which will take place on May 30 and 31, is to allow the Elysée Palace to refresh its wine collection without drawing on public funds. The sale could be viewed as a symbolic move by the French presidency in a time of biting austerity and with a ballooning public deficit. Source: france24

“Biting austerity.” Right. The auction house is Drouot, dates May 30 and 31, 2013. Somewhat cross-posted from my wine blog. 



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  • It’s such a big shame. But what would we expected? They’re french…

    • bonooobong, yes they’re French, but wine…really? Can’t to hear what they plan to serve at “official” functions in the category of “cheaper wines.”

  • Yos

    It’s what the French call a “tour de farce.” You can safely bet that the Latour, the Mouton and Lafite 2000 will remain snug on the shelf for about another decade.

    BTW, the most fabulous and perfect wine I’ve ever had was a 1985 Lafite. The flowers and tobacco on the nose, the jam, the pain grillé and berries – the long, long subtly dry finish…

    Reminds me that I haven’t done any exploring into the Medoc in quite a long time.

    • Yos, I love “tour de farce.” Wish you had more time to write. You are a pithy humorist. The article didn’t mention anything but the Petrus. Since they are selling only 10% of the cellar, they likely have all of the big boys and girls tucked away. Maybe they are buying cheaper, meaning great but not drinkable for years.

      I can’t remember if I’ve tasted the ’85 Lafite. I’ve done so much wine tasting over the years. I didn’t always take notes, but tragically (to me at least) on my last wine trip I was traveling from Dijon back to Paris to fly home and left my notebook with most of my valuable notes (both current and past years) on the train. I didn’t even realize it until I had been home for a few days. It shook me to my toes. I’m still in mourning.

      • Yos

        OUCH! (Though, I have a more favorable view of your lapse than the gal’s in “OMG! I left the baby on the bus!”) Tasting notes are like old friends who tell you some great stories.

        I hope you’re right about the late vintage culling.

        BTW, I tried a C. Petrus once, a long time ago, in an city far, far away… “Huh. Merlot.” On the other hand, my wife loved it. There was a much, much less expensive C. Leoville Poy. that I thought was delicious.

        Which reminds me… Probably the worst I’ve ever “enjoyed” was a C. Angelus – a 1990, if memory serves. Vegetal and corked to the point of being totally undrinkable. Even bag-in-a-box red wine would have been superior. I may even have apologized to the dumpster on that one. Yuck!

        • Yos, your memory is unbelievable. I think because I was in the business and constantly tasting and doing tastings, you zone-out after awhile. The Petrus is not the ‘normal’ Merlot, but I do prefer dominate Cab. I’m a huge fan of Southern Rhone. Corked wines are a huge problem. On the same trip I mentioned when I lost my notes, it was all busy and it was all business. Before leaving Paris and heading south I was with a Master Sommelier from Washington, D.C. and a wine store owner from Baltimore – both women. We were in a restaurant, and we ordered Bordeaux…because we were in Paris, and it was corked. You would think the Master Sommelier would have ordered and handled it, but no, we all three discussed what we wanted and I ordered, never dreaming that the wine would be bad. Maybe I was sitting closest to the waiter – anyway, I had to tell him, and I tell you he did not like it, and part of that was that he was serving three women. You could see his disdain. I wish I had handled him differently, as in rising and getting in his face, I would do that today but I didn’t apologize in anyway. I knew I was right.

          They replaced the wine for us with another choice, as other bottles in the same location are likely to be corked as well. Anyway, if not one of my fondest memories of that trip, it is one of the most vivid.

  • Cheaper wine? In other words the French equivalent of Boone Farm Wine.

    • findalis, I think there is no equivalent of Boones Farm from France. Their soil doesn’t grow grapes to qualify 🙂 Some bad vintage years might qualify.

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