Thar’s gold in them thar bottles …

(Bottle of Yquem …) Here in France respectability has finally come to the pawnshop. No longer would anyone have to hide that they’ve pawned Old Auntie Germaine’s cameo hat-pin. ‘Mais non’, from now one may even let the pawnbroker’s slip lie about for everyone to see – and admire. The reason is that the ‘Crédit […]


(Bottle of Yquem …)

Here in France respectability has finally come to the pawnshop. No longer would anyone have to hide that they’ve pawned Old Auntie Germaine’s cameo hat-pin. ‘Mais non’, from now one may even let the pawnbroker’s slip lie about for everyone to see – and admire. The reason is that the ‘Crédit Municipal de Paris’ – the capital’s official pawnbroker – has begun to accept bottles of wine. I mean not the cheap plonk bought a couple of days ago in the local supermarket, but the real stuff: the bottle of vintage Yquem, Mouton-Rothschild, Petrus and so on. (Using a term like ‘and so on’ when speaking of such illustrious stuff seems blasphemous, doesn’t it?)

Anyway, since the first day (Monday, March 17) of CMP accepting bottles of wine so many bottles have been brought in that the pawnbroker could throw a reasonably-sized party. On Monday alone 200 bottles had been pawned, and then on Tuesday another 200. A man had even turned up with nine cases of wine: value €15,000 (₤12,000/$23,000).

The pawned bottles of wine will be stored in a 200 sq m (2,513 sq f) former wine warehouse with space for 90,000 bottles. There, the wine will be stored under the correct conditions (temperature, lying down instead of standing up to be turned regularly) and they will be under lock and key, of course. Having been pawned at half their commercial value, they will be kept for a year and then only will they be sold. First though, the owners will be notified that the time has come to reclaim their liquid treasures and only in the case of no response will the wine be sold, and sold at auction –- ‘what else’, as George Clooney says in that coffee advertisement.

What could a bottle of Yquem, the fictional Hannibel Lecter’s favourite wine, or a bottle of Petrus, fetch? Don’t even think of paying anything less than $990(₤500/€640) for a vintage Yquem, or $2300 (₤1200/€1280) for a vintage Petrus.

Makes me think … I’ll try to get ‘ma tante’, as the French call a pawnbroker, to accept the bottle of Beaujolais Nouveau I bought last November for eight Euro …


Marilyn Z. Tomlins

3 Responses

3-22-2008 at 12:02:00

You’ll be lucky Marilyn. Although €8 is not a cheap bottle exactly.

I have to confess I have never heard of Petrus, probably because its so expensive, not that I could afford the Yquem either. I wonder how much of the wine will get sold off in a year’s time? You will have to keep us posted.

3-22-2008 at 17:23:00

I have a bottle of Beaujolais Nouveau too …
Catherine Modin

3-24-2008 at 17:13:00

As someone who doesn’t drink, I find this fascinating. Who’d think that a bottle of wine could be worth so much. But it is France.

Thanks for your comments on my blog. I slowly get better day by day. It’s been an exhausting process.

Lynn

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