The one where I bid in a wine auction

Wine auction. I mean, really. Who has any business doing this? Obviously, if you’re the sort of person who’s reading this with the wifi on your G5, then god bless. But the the rest of us? Who swear that someday, we really will stop buying wine that costs less than $10 a bottle because that’s the line of demarcation between wine that’s really pretty good and wine that gets you drunk without inducing nausea? Yeah, that’s me, which means I have no business registering to participate in a wine auction.

I did, anyway. And placed a (very) modest bid.

A pipedream, rendered in jpeg.

In 2009, the Spectrum Wine Auction is one of those events that seems like it belongs to another dimension, one in which unemployment isn’t in the double digits and choosing to pick up the newspaper on your front lawn isn’t a revolutionary act. However, the man behind this auction, Aubrey McClendon, is a sort of an otherworldly type. He’s the head of Chesapeake Energy; last year, his comp package was $112 million. This spring he auctioned off caseloads of wine — $2.23 million worth — and he’s planning to sell off about $3 million more on Saturday, Nov. 21, at the St. Regis in Dana Point, with a simulcast in Hong Kong. (Lest you think McClendon may have overextended himself or otherwise fallen on hard times, a spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal the reason for the sale was “100,000 bottles is a bit too much for him.” Yeah, me too.)

Which brings me back to: What business do I have bidding in this auction? Not only is it too rich for my blood, I don’t know anyone with this blood type.

And at the same time: Not only do I love wine, I love good wine. And while it’s not necessarily my goal to have the scratch to play games like this one, I want to know as much as possible about good wine, which means paying more. More than I’m used to. More than I should.

Besides, I fully expect to be outbid before I go to sleep tonight.


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