On this episode of the “VinePair Podcast,” hosts Adam Teeter, Joanna Sciarrino, and Zach Geballe discuss the frenetic wine auction market, particularly the hyper-popular (and increasingly expensive) wines from Burgundy. They speculate as to why fervor has focused on that region, who’s driving it, and whether its popularity has an expiration date. Tune in for more.

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Adam Teeter: From VinePair’s New York City headquarters. I’m Adam Teeter.

Joanna Sciarrino: And I’m Joanna Sciarrino.

Zach Geballe: And in Seattle, Washington, I’m Zach Geballe.

A: And this is the “VinePair Podcast.” First of all, question. There are doughnuts in the office. We’re having a little doughnut day here, Zach.

Z: Oh, nice.

A: What’s your opinion of doughnuts? How do you guys feel about doughnuts? I love doughnuts.

J: I love a doughnut.

Z: Oh, I’m very pro-doughnut.

J: Pro-doughnuts.

Z: Staunchly pro-doughnut.

A: But Zach, you asked the question earlier, before we started recording: cake or yeast?

Z: I’m a cake doughnut kind of guy, more, although I do like both. I think the only kind of doughnut that I’m sort of out on is the very simple, yeasted doughnut that’s just glazed. Frankly, a Krispy Kreme doesn’t really do it for me, but I like a filled doughnut.

J: That’s my favorite kind.

A: I like that one, too. I was sitting here, like we love a simple yeast.

J: Simple yeast glazed, but nothing is as good as a fresh doughnut.

A: Yes.

J: And nothing’s as bad as a day-old doughnut.

A: I agree.

J: So bad.

Z: There is a steep drop off, old doughnuts.

A: I agree with that, but I also believe that a fresh doughnut, for me, they’re all pretty much level. Like a fresh one from Krispy Kreme and a fresh doughnut from the trendy boutiques are basically the same doughnut.

J: I agree.

Z: I can’t really argue with that, I suppose.

J: Why would you?

Z: I feel like the one topic of some disagreement is how do you feel about filled doughnuts?

A: I don’t love ‘em.

J: Me neither. That’s just messy. That’s just a messy thing for me.

A: You like them, Zach?

Z: I do. I think that if the filling is good, then I’m about it. I think fundamentally, my issue with the sort of simple yeasted doughnut is it’s not interesting enough for how unhealthy it is. I need chocolate in there. I need some salted caramel, or I need a filling. Because when I’m eating the doughnut, I’m f*cking going for it. And I want something more than just sugar bread.

A: Because I think, for me, I like a cake doughnut as well. I think I like them pretty equally if they’re of quality.

Z: Sure.

A: But I will say, where I can get on board with the filling is the filled cake doughnuts from Doughnut Plant. Their tres leches and that kind of stuff, that I think is an incredible doughnut.

J: But that’s through-

A: It’s inside the cake, almost.

J: Yeah, but it’s not filled like-

A: No.

J: It’s solid.

A: No, it’s-

J: It’s still a ring doughnut.

A: Still a ring donut.

J: But it’s filled through-

A: That one I love.

J: I think a classic filled doughnut is like something you have to eat by yourself in the corner.

A: Yeah. No one can watch you.

Z: I mean, is there a dignified way to eat doughnuts, Joanna? Do you eat them with a knife and fork? Come on.

J: No.

Z: You are a knife and fork doughnut eater, I bet.

J: No, no, no. Don’t say that to me.

A: No. That’s so rude.

J: That’s so rude.

Z: I don’t know. You’re concerned about the cleanliness of your hands, which I get, it’s an important thing in life. But a doughnut, it’s like eating chicken wings, they’re just messy foods and you have to be accepting of a level of public humiliation that comes along with the enjoyment of something delicious.

J: I guess.

Z: And/or be eating them with other people who can’t judge you, because they’re just as messy.

J: Yeah, exactly. Everyone’s eating a doughnut together.

Z: Yeah.

A: I will say, though, too, there was someone who had the hot opinion that the best doughnut is the strawberry glazed or whatever, the strawberry icing.

J: The Simpsons doughnut.

A: Not into it.

Z: They’re my son’s favorite.

A: No, not into it.

Z: But he’s 4.

A: Well, I think that they are when you’re a little kid.

Z: Yeah. It’s pink, and there are sprinkles.

J: Sprinkles.

Z: Sprinkles, you could miss me with sprinkles. I do not understand the appeal of sprinkles as an adult, but that’s a whole other conversation.

J: True.

A: But just take it a little bit, one step further, he’s going to kill this further. I do think there’s a hierarchy in the quality of cookies.

Z: Oh my God.

J: Agree.

Z: Now we’re getting really deep.

A: Do you know what I mean? I think that warm cookies are not equal.

Z: You mean among different kinds of cookies

A: Well, even chocolate chip. One warm chocolate chip is not as good as a different warm chocolate chip. Whereas, one warm doughnut is the same to me as another warm doughnut. You know what I’m saying?

Z: I feel like chocolate chip is actually the type of cookie where the level of quality is much more discernible when they’re not hot.

A: That’s true. If they’re chewy, if they’re crunchy. Yeah, I could see that, right?

Z: I think a warm chocolate chip cookie is kind of a warm chocolate chip cookie. It’s when they cool that you-

A: I just love chocolate chip cookies.

J: It’s like a cold, cold beer, right?

Z: Yes.

A: Yeah.

Z: They’re not my favorite kind, but they are very good.

A: Especially when it’s light. So, anyways, Zach, what did you drink this week?

Z: Not cookies or doughnuts, although I did eat some cookies. So we had a big family reunion on the Oregon coast that unsurprisingly, knowing me and my family, involved a lot of drinking. We actually brought truly a heroic amount of wine and beer, mostly, which we drank a fair bit of, but also had to take a lot home. I think the standout for me was one of my cousins brought a really nice bottle of Valtellina Superiore from Arpepe, a 2011 Grumello, which is one of their single vineyards. So this is made from Nebbiolo, but in Valtellina, not in Piedmont, and just a beautiful wine. Definitely, one of those things where you open a bottle like that in a large group and you’re like, “OK, let me just get a couple of ounces, because that’s the best I can hope to do.” Which we did, it was great. Drank lots of other stuff, some Nomadica wine on the beach, which was fun.

A: Cool.

Z: Drank, frankly, some Modello that you and Joanna provided for me a couple of weeks ago, brought that down.

A: Nice.

J: You’re welcome.

Z: Crushed the Modellos. No, it was very nice. The beach is like, we could talk about this some other time, I think. I like drinking on the beach, it’s kind of fun, but it’s less relaxing for me, now that I have kids, because I have to constantly make sure my son is not running in the ocean or my dog is not running in the ocean, or both of them are not running in the ocean. So the dream of sitting back in the beach chair and just sort of half-falling asleep while drinking a beer is a little gone for the moment. So that was a little sad, but everything else was fun. How about you guys?

J: Well, in truth, I haven’t had much to drink since I’ve been back from my trip, but I did mention the wines that I had in our last episode. But other things that I drank while away, I had a lot of Super Bock beer, which is their local Portuguese beer. Pretty basic, but very, very good after a day of hiking. And then I had, in terms of cocktails, a really delicious take on a Gin Fizz with their local… There’s like a local Azorean gin that they make with their local botanicals and local blackberry liqueur as well. And I had a really good take on a New York Sour, which is actually one of my favorite cocktails.

Z: Oh, cool.

A: That’s a great cocktail.

J: I love that drink. You don’t see it a lot.

A: No.

J: But I love the red wine float on top. I don’t know, when I’m traveling like that, I’m not really seeking out… Obviously, it depends on where you are. If it’s more of a city, I’m seeking out some cocktail bars and great places to drink, but not for this particular trip. It was really, really good and relaxing.

A: Awesome.

J: What about you, Adam?

A: So I also haven’t been drinking that much recently, but I had a bottle of Division Malbec that was delicious last weekend. And then last night I went to an impromptu dinner with Josh, and he and I went to Marta near the office, and we bought a bottle of Villadoria Barolo that was really awesome to go with the pizzas.

J: Nice. I was going to say you had pizza, right?

A: Yeah. Pretty good pizza. And Josh has like this move, which I will admit is pretty baller, where he takes the mushroom pie from Marta, and then he adds sausage. It’s really delicious.

J: Nice.

A: It makes it even more decadent. And I was like, “I can never do that when Naomi’s here, so let’s do it.” It was fun. But, yeah, that’s about it. So something that I thought would be an interesting conversation to have this week that came out of some conversations I’ve had with other people in the industry is how on fire the auction market is when it comes to wine. And especially how on fire the market is in very specific areas. I think we tend to talk a lot about just the current trends in wine, premiumization, people looking for natural, etc. But there is this whole segment of the wine industry that has existed for decades that is something that I think kind of gets forgotten in the general conversation about wine. But in recent times, that market seems to be even more explosive because of Covid’s impact. A lot of restaurants liquidated their sellers, they flooded the market with more wines, and people came into lots more capital. There’s a lot of people that, who we’ve discussed, did very well in Covid. And so that sort of ability to make more cash than they normally would have, allowed them more playing money. And so some of the trends that we’ve seen are the typical wines doing really well. Screaming Eagle selling for $7,000, on average, a bottle. Their Sauvignon Blanc selling for $10,000 a bottle, on average.

J: That’s crazy.

A: Which is nuts. I mean, I don’t know of a Sauvignon Blanc that I would ever think is worth that kind of money. But the biggest trend is Burgundy being on fire. It seems like there is nothing that will mute people’s desire to pay massive amounts of money for these wines.

J: But is that a trend, or hasn’t that always been the case?

Z: Oh no, it’s a trend.

A: I mean, if you go back to the… It’s a trend, because if you go back to the ’70s and ’80s, people would say, they were still very modest. You could go to Burgundy and buy these wines.

Z: You don’t even have to go back that far. I think if you back to-

A: Even the ‘90s, right?

Z: The early 2000s, I mean, DRC was expensive, but it was nothing like it is now. And all the other producers that now command four-digit price tags per bottle, those wines sold for a tenth of the price or something like that. I mean, it’s not that Burgundy was ever cheap or at least not in any recent memory, but Burgundy did not compete, besides maybe one or two wines, at Bordeaux prices, and now Burgundy sells for more than Bordeaux, on average.

A: It’s crazy. I mean, what’s interesting, though, is one of the things that, I mean, I will not mention who they were, but I talked to someone who runs one of the top auction houses in New York, and what they were telling me was, what we kind of forget is that Bordeaux will always be the backbone of the market. Because there’s just so much of it, that it’ll always be the largest lots in auctions. They’ll always be Lafite and things like that, and the prices will always be around what they’re going to be. But even this person can’t really explain why Burgundy is so explosive, because it just doesn’t make sense to people who’ve been in wine forever. As Zach just said, these wines are good, but to just blindly drop $6,000 or $7,000 for a bottle is insane, it feels like. I don’t know. I mean, Zach, what do you think it is about Burgundy that has made people so obsessed?

Z: I have three connected theories on this. The first one is that this is a response to the sort of homogeneity — homogeneity is maybe not the perfect word, but it kind of gets at what I’m getting at, of the collectible wine market before Burgundy’s ascension. And it’s that the wines that were really dominant were Bordeaux, so typically Cabernet-based blends, maybe some from the Right Bank that are really highly prestige that are Merlot- based or Cabernet Franc-based, and then Cabernet-based wines from Napa. And that was sort of the backbone of the industry. And for one, Burgundy has a different profile, obviously, different varieties. We’re probably mostly talking about red Burgundy here, but there’s definitely some white Burgundy that also commands really steep prices. And I think more than anything else, there was the belief in some cases that the relatively small production and scarcity of some of these wines would allow their price to rise, as it has. So if you’re a speculator, if you’re someone who’s purchasing this wine solely as an investment, no intention to ever drink it, you’re just buying it, hoping to recognize a meaningful appreciation in value, then, in some sense, Bordeaux is maybe secure, but it’s like a blue chip stock. It’s not that interesting if you’re looking to make a big score. And where you could potentially make out like a bandit is if you are buying a lot of this small-production wine from producers in Burgundy that are maybe not as critically acclaimed yet as they could be. And I think that’s driving a lot of it. People are seeing this. I honestly think one of the other biggest things is that so much of the high-profile fraud in the wine industry is around Burgundy, which you would think would keep people away from it. But I actually think it’s drawn more attention to the category. I think the Rudy Kurniawan story and all that stuff, what he was forging was almost entirely Burgundy, not all, but almost entirely Burgundy. And it caused people to be like, “Oh, wait, this is the stuff that people are really, like, spending big money on? This is the stuff that true connoisseurs are into? I want that.” I either want it, again, for purely speculative reasons-

J: More appeal then, as a result of the fraud.

Z: Or, and I think the last piece of it is, and it comes back to maybe my first point, because of supply and various other things, and just the sort of way that the category has been structured, there are five first-growth Bordeaux wines, right? And there are a few other wines that command similar prices, but everyone knows what they are. You can go buy them at f*cking Total Wine, nothing against Total Wine, but you can go buy them there in a lot of cases. And this kind of grand cru, very small production, small-producer Burgundy, you have to have a connect. You have to buy it at auction. You have to have a really good hookup at one of a few wine shops in the country that gets these wines. They are just not things that you can go out and buy easily. And that, I think, drives a lot of this behavior, too. The difficulty of acquiring these wines is what both drives the price up from the speculators and drives a certain kind of person who wants to show off through their collection to gravitate towards these wines, because they’re just hard to get.

A: I mean, I think one of the things that we’re seeing, especially in Burgundy, is that the producers have also wised up to this.

Z: That too.

A: So, I mean, first of all, from talking to some people-

J: Like they’re making less?

A: No, they’re making a lot more, so they’re recognizing that they can raise their prices. They now are also doing the same thing that you’ve seen American wineries do; they’re going pure DTC. So they’re creating these private client lists. They’re selling directly to people, to make it as legal as possible without having people take massive cuts from them, maybe through whatever agent they need to go through, but for the most part they’re selling direct. So they have collectors who are very loyal, who’ve been very loyal to them for forever. And then you’re seeing this sort of, like, not underground gray market, but then the way people are flipping these wines is they actually aren’t putting them up at auction. Because to put them up at auction would mean that the producer might figure out who they had sold to. Because it’ll say, could be from the collection of Joanna Sciarrino is a bunch of wines from Burgundy. If you’re on one of these producer’s lists, that producer might say, “You know what, Joanna, I don’t like that you’re putting my wines up at auction. So I’m actually going to take you off my list.” So instead, what you do, is you go to someone at an auction house but who has their own private client list, and you say, “Hey-

J: Sell directly to them.

A: “I’m looking to sell directly to another collector. Here are the prices.” And then that person does like a side sale, almost. In their email list, they’ll say, “Hey, I have a collector that has a few bottles. They’re looking to get $7,000 to $10,000 per bottle. Best price I get, I’ll sell the bottles to. Here’s the provenance. I know who the collector is, blah, blah, blah.” You’re seeing that a lot more too. And one of the things I think that is also the reason there is a massive interest in Burgundy, that is kind of obvious, but we don’t talk about that much, is that a majority of the people who collect wine come from the world of finance, and that’s because the world of finance makes a lot of people lots of money.

Z: Sure.

A: And you’re used to investing in secure asset classes that appreciate, and Burgundy, as Zach has said, is an asset class that’s appreciating, and appreciating very fast. And so it feels like a very worthwhile investment.

J: In a way that Bordeaux is kind of stagnant.

A: Yeah, exactly. Bordeaux-

Z: Bordeaux is blue chip, right? It increases, but you’re not going to suddenly make a crazy killing. You’re just going to make a solid return on your investment, presumably.

A: It’s like buying mutual funds or buying, like, GE, my grandfather used to buy GE versus buying Tesla. We don’t know if Tesla’s stock is going to ultimately crater, there’s a lot of people who think it might, but right now it’s on fire and it’s the same with Burgundy. People think it will come back to Earth, but it hasn’t yet. And so maybe it never will. And that’s, I think, what’s just insane for people. But I think what that also is doing, which is the really sad thing, is it means so much of this wine isn’t getting opened. So one of these anecdotes that an auctioneer told me is that one of their clients told them — he’s a big Burgundy collector, but he started collecting other categories of wine, Barolos and the Southern Rhône, things like that. And when they asked him why, his response was, “Well, because I will actually drink and open those. But every day I think about opening a bottle of Burgundy, I just think about its value, and that it could be worth more tomorrow. And I will kick myself if I open something and lost money.”

J: That’s so crazy.

A: Because he’s a hedge fund manager, and that is just like, man, what are we doing?

J: This is just such a fascinating world to me. I have no sense. I’ve never been to a wine auction. I would love to go to a wine auction.

A: I went to one, I can’t remember if Keith came with me, but I went to one. I went to Christie’s a while ago. And I would say it was actually pretty boring. I’ve heard that some of the others are fun, or they used to be. Because Christie’s is an auction house that auctions lots of stuff. So it was very vanilla.

J: Buttoned up.

A: But I’ve heard that Zachys apparently has a crazy auction, or they used to prior to Covid. They would throw parties. Acker Merrall was known for throwing parties. I don’t know if that exists anymore, because we’re in a post- Covid world. And I think a lot of these people realize that they’re making a sh*t ton of money anyways. Now, with all their high-end, high-network people, not only either bidding online, live auctions, or doing what I discussed earlier, which is sort of just getting wine passed to their networks. So I don’t know, but I don’t think it’s as crazy as it could be. And it doesn’t need to be anymore.

J: I have a question. So you mentioned people in finance; this being a pretty big thing for them. Do you think that that’s kind of the way that wine auctions will continue? If younger people in the finance industry will learn from the older people, and continue it that way? Because I feel like, how else is this going to keep going?

A: So that’s a fascinating question that I specifically asked to one person in the industry, and they were like, “Well, you would think, but right now we’re not seeing that.” The youngest age of people who are really active in the collecting markets, they are like in their 50s, because the prices are so high. I also think, because there’s so much else now to invest in for other people. Because, to be fair, most people do get into collecting wine because they like wine. Or they like going out to dinner or whatever. There is a passion for it. It’s just like, I know, the same thing gets said for the art market. There are definitely terrible people in the art market who are just collecting because it’s an asset. But a lot of people who collect really do love art and they really want to support artists. And I do think that a lot of people who collect wine, it does come from a place of passion where they do truly love wine and all that stuff.

J: Sure.

A: But then that part of their brain that makes them really good at the rest of their life and their job kicks in. It’s like, “Oh, well let me computerize this and build formulas.” And so I think it’s a natural thing. I don’t know. I think it will happen, though. I don’t think that there’s any way that it won’t.

Z: Well, I think one of the most fascinating things here, too, to come back to this question of, in some sense, where is this Burgundy bubble going, is, to differentiate from art, this wine has a shelf life, right?

A: Yeah.

Z: If, theoretically, the thing that is supporting the price of these bottles is that someone somewhere down the road will eventually want to drink the wine, well, there is a lifespan for all wines, and there’s a lifespan for Burgundy. And one of my Burgundy hot takes is that the lifespan for Burgundy is actually a lot shorter than a lot of people like to think. Having had the opportunity to taste a few older bottles. I tend to think that it’s not a 40-, 50-year-old wine. It’s at 20- to maybe 30-year-old wine, in most cases, even the best wines. And so there’s a case here where, one, I do think there’s a real risk for some of these collectors of being the person left holding the bag, when suddenly it’s like, “Well, OK, I paid $6,000 for this bottle of wine. Here it is eight years later and no one wants to pay even $6,000 for it, let alone more.” Because in the end, everyone’s like, how many people are there who can not only afford that, but then aren’t even the example of the person you gave before, the anecdote you gave before, Adam, someone who will then open the bottle and drink it? Which is again, theoretically, what is supposed to happen. And especially, it’s like, I don’t know if either of you collected baseball cards when you were a kid. I did, for a while.

A: I was always not a baseball card guy.

J: I collected Pogs.

A: Well, you know how I feel about baseball. I’ve heard of Pogs.

Z: Sure. But, OK, Pogs, fine, whatever, there are lots of things that were the case.

J: And also rocks.

Z: And I think for all of us being kids at a time when there was suddenly a huge market for, especially, baseball cards from our parents’ generation. And the thing that supported the value of those cards was, A) they didn’t deteriorate in the way that wine did. And, B) so little of it was collected, part of what made those baseball cards from the ’50s and ’60s valuable is most kids who got baseball cards in the ’50s and ’60s, did sh*t with them. They stuck them in the spokes of their bike, or they looked at them, they drew on them. They used them as kids do. And they didn’t lock them away in temperature-controlled vaults and say, “I will save this for 30 years. And then eventually I’ll make some money on it.” And what happened to the collectible card market, when I was a kid, was me and a million other kids were like, “Oh, I’m going to hoard all these cards.” So all of a sudden, when you’re like five years later, “Oh, I want to sell my card collection.” Well, you and 30 other kids in your hometown are trying to sell ‘em.

A: Yeah, like me and my Beanie Babies.

Z: Same thing. Everyone saw those things as being valuable and they had a moment of value, but the bubble burst pretty quickly, because there was a lot of supply. And I think that the Burgundy crowd in particular is going to hit this problem of, A) the wines don’t age as well as you think; they have a shelf life. And, B) if everyone is collecting it and no one is opening it, then you’re not really having a decreasing supply. You’re just having people kind of pass around the supply, until, again, theoretically, there has to be someone at the end who is going to take the cork out and drink the wine. And that’s what supports the value of it, in a way that artwork, as long as it’s taken care of, is not going to deteriorate in the same way. And, theoretically, someone may come down the line and say, “I’m going to buy this and I’m going to put it up in my home,” or, “I’m going to donate it to a museum as a show of my largesse or whatever.” And do all these things. And I do think that is one real risk for Burgundy, in particular, but, but all collectible wine, to some extent. The other thing I’m going to say is there’s also this other risk — and to come back to the fraud question again — I think this is a topic that no one in the auction market wants to talk about. I’m sure the people, the people you’ve talked to, Adam, are not interested in really talking about this.

A: No, probably not.

Z: But Burgundy is so, in particular, right for fraud, because the scarcity of the wine, the relatively small production. There just are so few people who have tasted these wines that have any kind of benchmark to compare it to. If you are selling an older bottle of first-growth Bordeaux, well, that wine is out there. There’s not tons of it, but often people have tasted it before. And if you taste a bottle that seems markedly different, you might be suspicious. They’re also like, well, understood. The labels have been well preserved. You can compare them. And those wineries don’t make a bunch of different wines, they make one wine. So you can look very closely at other examples, to know if there’s fraud going on. I mean, it doesn’t mean that it never goes undetected. I’m sure that there’s fraudulent Bordeaux passed and things like that, high-end Napa wine, etc. But the real right vein for fraud is Burgundy, because it’s so small-production, the wines have historically not been collected for as long. And even the experts don’t have, maybe, the same background as they do in first-growth Bordeaux, cult Napa, etc. And to me, it’s like playing with fire. And again, maybe that’s what these hedge fund types want to do. They probably were/are in crypto and NFTs and sh*t like that. And maybe the thrill, the volatility of the industry is part of the attraction.

J: The risk.

Z: And so f*ck it, go by Burgundy, have fun. Maybe you’ll open one of the bottles when it is no longer worth anything. But if people out here are listening and are like, “Oh, well, maybe I should…” Don’t. Just don’t.

A: I mean, I do wonder, too, if part of what could pop the Burgundy bubble, specifically, is that the beauty of art and the way you get into art is that you’re able to go to museums, you’re able to go to galleries, and you’re able to see it, and you’re able to appreciate it. And if the Burgundy prices are so expensive… There’s very few really high- end Burgundies I’ve ever had. I’ve never had high-end Burgundy, I actually really haven’t. I’ve had maybe a premier cru here or there. I’ve had a lot of the village stuff. Of course, some who are listening to this podcast probably are like, “Oh, I’ve had a lot of DRC,” but-

Z: You know what? A lot of them probably haven’t either, honestly. Maybe they’re not getting glasses of DRC offered to them very often, I bet.

A: And I’ve gotten to, again, this is not a brag, but I’ve gotten to have first-growth Bordeaux. I’ve had Lafite a few times, because there’s so much more of it.

Z: Sure.

A: And people open it. And so I wonder if you will also see this generation being like, “Well, I get that it has value, but, like, I never had it before. So I’m not willing to pay for it.” Like people who collect watches; you see what the watch looks like. You understand that there’s a whole community of people online that write and read about watch collecting. And there’s an appreciation there. And there’s a story behind the watch. The other thing is the watch can pass down from generation to generation. The second you open the bottle, it’s over. And so I wonder if that’s going to be a real issue. And then on the idea of authentication, I think, Zach, you have a good point. What I thought was really interesting is someone else in an auction house told me that actually they find liquor harder to authenticate than wine.

J: Really?

A: Which I thought was really interesting. I guess there’s less people out there that do it, which is one of the initial problems. But, again, this is another area where I think you’re going to start seeing the auction houses get really heavily involved, especially for bourbon. Because there’s all this collecting now. And so a lot of the auction houses are discussing having… There used to be, like when I went to the Christie’s auction, at the very end of the auction, there was a few lots of single malt and a few lots of Pappy. And this was like six or seven years ago. Now, they’re devoting full auctions to bourbon, these same houses. It’ll be the entire auction is people’s bourbon collections, which I think is really interesting. But who knows? Could be harder to authenticate. But I think that there’s something crazy about the fact that there are some of these wines out there that we just don’t know if anyone’s ever drank. Going back to Screaming Eagle, I could make a bet that no one’s ever actually drank it. No one’s actually ever had Screaming Eagle. All the people that talk about it, no one’s ever had it. Because at that price, I can’t see that you’re opening it.

J: A $10,000 bottle of Sauvignon Blanc.

A: I mean, come on. If you opened that, you’d be like-

J: Help.

A: Literally, “I just got completely screwed.” It’s Sauvignon Blanc.

Z: And you’re just doing it… It’s almost like you are assuring that the only people who will ever open it are the kind of person who wants you to be really, really, really, really, really aware that they can afford to open a $10,000 bottle of white wine.

J: Right.

A: I mean, this is like someone who is opening it for you… Jeff Bezos might open it. You know what I mean? That’d be a real Bezos move.

Z: I don’t know if Bezos collects wine. I’m not sure on that one.

A: I don’t think he does, either, but you know what I mean? It’s like a super villain. That’s an Elon Musk move.

Z: Yeah. That I would agree with.

A: That’s an Elon Musk move. That’s like, “Let me open this case of Screaming Eagle Sauvignon Blanc, $120,000. Nothing to me; I tried to buy Twitter.”

Z: I assume he has a car that just runs on Sauvignon Blanc from Screaming Eagle.

J: Sauvignon Blanc.

A: Made by Screaming Eagle. I mean, it’s insane. Well, if you listen to the podcast and you at all collect or you’re involved in the auction market, hit us up at [email protected]. We want to hear these stories.

Z: If you want to go to the VinePair office and open a bottle of Screaming Eagle for Adam and Joanna…

J: Yes.

A: Look, if you have Screaming Eagle and you want to open it, look, I’ll buy the dinner. You bring the wines. Anyone want to share some of these wines with me, hit me up [email protected]. I’ll buy dinner. You just got to take us. You bring the wines. We’ll pay the corkage. It’ll be great. Cool. Might be Shake Shack, but I’ll buy the dinner. And I’ll talk to both of you on Friday.

J: Talk to you Friday.

Z: Sounds great.

Thanks so much for listening to the VinePair Podcast, the flagship podcast of the VinePair Podcast Network. If you love listening to this show, or even if you don’t, but I really hope that you do, as much as we really do love making it, then please drop us a review or a rating wherever it is that you get your podcast, whether that be iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, anywhere. If you are listening to this on a device right now, through an app, however you got this audio, please drop a review. It really helps everyone else discover the show.

And now for some totally awesome credits. So the VinePair Podcast is recorded in our New York City headquarters, and in Seattle, Washington, in Zach Geballe’s basement. It is recorded by Zach, mastered and produced by Zach. He loves all the credit. Keep giving it to him. Drop his name in the reviews. He’s going to love hearing how much you love him. It is also recorded in New York City by our tastings director, Keith Beavers, who is the managing director of the entire VinePair Podcast Network.

Ed. note: This episode has been edited for length and clarity.