Table of Contents:
- Days of wine auctions and gay marriage
- Plundering party
- Sell wine to buy more wine: An odd two nights of vintage wine, foreign billionaires, and gay marriage protestors demanding Pinot noir.
France’s best wines have been stored in the Elysee cellar since 1879, and the Nazis had quite a plundering party on their European tour in 1940. The present Elysee cellar was built in 1947. Critics hit the sale hard. Famed French collector Michel-Jack Chasseuil was disgusted by the auction, writing an open letter to Hollande: “Even if they go for fantastic sums, it will be a derisory amount in terms of the national budget and when you think about what these wines represent in the eyes of the world.”
Despite Chasseuil, bidders (floor, telephone and online) were ready when the auction kicked off on the evening of May 31. Over two nights, 552 lots sold — accounting for all 1,200 bottles from the Elysee cellar. By all accounts, the auction was a tremendous success, with sales tripling pre-auction estimates. At closing on the evening of June 1, the two-day auction fetched just under $1 million, well over the $330,000 appraisal.
An odd two nights of vintage wine, foreign billionaires, and gay marriage protests. Time to start restocking the cellar — with all leftover profit going into the public coffers — of course.