SPEAKING OF AUCTIONS . . .
While the drinks companies were busy getting rid of their wines due to sluggish sales, Sotheby’s was hard at work as well – catering to an ever-growing demand from the Asian market. The company auctioned more than $88 million worth of fine wines in 2O1O, twice the amount it sold in 2OO9. While sales were up in both New York and London, the lion’s share of the increase came from the Asia market where sales rose 265 percent year on year. Hong Kong sales grew to more than $52 million in 2O1O from $14.3 million a year earlier. The October sale in Hong Kong of top growth wines directly from the cellars of Chateau Lafite Rothschild set a new record for a single, standard-size bottle when an 1869 Bordeaux was sold for $232,692, Sotheby’s said. Its report was the latest from the auction houses, all of which said sales approached or surpassed the pre-recession levels of 2OO7. Christie’s reported global wine sales topping $71 million for 2O1O, up from $5O.4 million in 2OO9. Chicago-based Hart Davis Hart reported its yearly wine auction sales totaled $39.2 million, a 63 percent increase over 2OO9 while New York-headquartered Zachy’s Wine Auctions, which also holds sales in Hong Kong, said it sold $56.5 million worth of wines.