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06.07.2006

What Would YOU Do With 42 Cases of Sketchy Wine?

Consider this the first Vinography Reader Challenge. I happen to have a very good friend who works for a non-profit. A few months ago, they were contacted by a winery (who shall remain nameless) who offered to give them about 50 cases of wine that was, from the winery's perspective, unsellable. The wine was a mix of older vintages, returns from distributors, and unsold excess. The winery had only a few stipulations -- that the wine could not just be resold and that the non-profit do what it could to minimize the brand exposure (understandably if the wine was not at its best, the winery didn't want their name being trumpeted about while people drank not-so-good stuff).

The first thing the non-profit did was to pour some at a few events that it held. They went through 8 cases that way. But it turns out that the wine wasn't so great. Or more specifically, there was an awful lot of variability to the wine. Some of the stuff was drinkable -- on sort of a Two Buck Chuck level -- while some of it was just downright bad.

So they're left with roughly 42 cases of this stuff and we were sitting around the other day musing about what might be done with it.

So here's where you come in: give me ideas about what you could do with 42 cases of mostly red wine (Merlot and Cabernet) that do not involve simply throwing away the wine and recycling the bottles for cash, and that do not violate the agreement that the non-profit has with the winery.

The idea here is to see if we can come up with something interesting, or constructive, or even profitable. I will offer up all suggested solutions to the non-profit and if they choose to follow one, I'll let you know what the results are.

Thanks for your help!

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The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud Adventures on the Wine Route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson The World's Greatest Wine Estates by Robert M. Parker, Jr.