The Food and Wine Hedonist

leave your inhibitions at the door

Sorry for your Loss, but Thanks for the Wine

One of the Pieholes mentioned that her boyfriend’s dad went to an estate sale that had a bunch of wine.   She said that it was really good, high-end wine, too.   Which had me thinking – exactly how does my 14 year-old daughter know whether a wine’s good or not?   Anyway, I had some errands to do the next day that took me right by the estate sale.

For those of you unfamiliar with estate sales, it’s when someone dies and their heirs have no idea what to do with their stuff.   So they or a company they hire come in and sell off everything to the public.  It’s like a garage sale, but extended to the whole house.

I’m thinking that I’d want to give away all my possessions before I go, because the thought of strangers rummaging through my life creeps me out.  What’s worse is the thought of those strangers passing judgement on my stuff – like “OMG, did you see how many Lindsay Lohan DVDs that old creep kept around?”    But, then again, I’d be dead and probably wouldn’t care.

I showed up about 45 minutes before the sale started which was perfect.   Soon after, masses of people pulled up and there was a line around the block.   One of the ladies mentioned that she was there the day before and “some wine expert” was there who confirmed there were really good wines there.

That wine expert showed up again and I was glad to see it was an old friend of mine. I used to work at a wine store here in Ann Arbor and he started right after I left.   And yes, he does know what he’s talking about.   When he was there the previous day,  all bottles were $10 each and had labels that said Dominus, Chateauneuf de Pape, Cote Rotie and other names that don’t belong on $10 bottles of wine.   Between the thirty that he bought and one other guy’s purchases, they cleaned out most of those heavy hitters.

Since this was the second (and last) day of the sale the price was reduced to “make a donation.”  I was going through them and grabbing interesting ones, making mental notes on what to offer.   But after a while my head was spinning so I just offered them $150 for all of them.


estate sale wines


That’s all of the wines sitting on the floor of my cellar.   163 of them, which averages out to 92 cents a bottle.

For the most part, these were wines that originally sold in the $15-20 price range.   There was only a small handful that were more expensive, like this Amarone…

estate amarone


Apparently the elderly couple loved their Sauvignon Blanc, as there were dozens of them. Mostly from New Zealand and Graves –

estate sauv blancs


Many of the wines are past their ideal drinking window.   More than a few were cheap-o bottles that I normally would buy only for cooking with.   Then there were those that were both old and crappy –

estate shit


I definitely wouldn’t have bought the Jacob’s Creek fresh in 1998.   Or in 1999, when it was probably past its “prime”.

So far about three-quarters of the wines have been fine.  The others were probably better for cooking or for the 4th or 5th bottle of the evening when your taste buds aren’t exactly firing on all cylinders.

And only one was pure vinegar –

estate pepper


I’ve seen Pepper Wood Grove wines for $6 or $7 and it had a synthetic cork.  So I knew it was a less than stellar wines with slim chances of surviving 15 years.

macklemore 99


Well, Macklemore, it’s actually 92 cents.

I can find more than that under the couch cushions or in my car’s cup holder.   So even with more than a few dead ones, I have a feeling I’m going to get my money’s worth.


Who’s going to help me drink some?




About thefoodandwinehedonist

I don't know everything about the world of food and wine, but I'm not going to let a small detail like that stop me from blogging about it.

16 comments on “Sorry for your Loss, but Thanks for the Wine

  1. the winegetter
    July 28, 2015

    I’ll drink your one bottle of Riesling with you…but that’s probably about it. 🙂

  2. the drunken cyclist
    July 28, 2015

    Just call and I’ll be there, you’ve got a friend….

  3. talkavino
    July 28, 2015

    Hmmm, all of a sudden I feel an urgent need to visit Ann Arbor…

    • thefoodandwinehedonist
      July 29, 2015

      Ok. So winegetter and i werent reason enough yet 1998 Jacobs Creek is?!?

      • talkavino
        July 30, 2015

        Hmmm, if that is all what is left, than probably not… 🙂

  4. wanderingglutton
    July 28, 2015

    Sounds like it is time to get the gang back together. I am getting settled in at the new house, maybe I can host a small gathering before Labor Day?

  5. Go Jules Go
    July 28, 2015

    This is AMAZING. I’m pretty sure any estate sale I’ve ever been to was already raided by the lush nieces and nephews. I need to start getting there earlier.

  6. domingosaurus
    July 28, 2015

    I love estate sales, but I always leave feeling a little depressed, as one probably should after rummaging through a bunch of dead people’s stuff. Of course my targets are usually cool toys, music, or comics. In spite of that, I’d be more than happy to help a brother out by assisting in the drinking of some of that wine. You can even pawn the crappier stuff off on me. (You know me…I just wanna get wasted.)

    • thefoodandwinehedonist
      July 29, 2015

      Careful what u wish for… Crappie wine might be coming ur way

      • domingosaurus
        July 29, 2015

        I’ve drank Mad Dog 20/20. (I think that pretty much states my position quite clearly.)

  7. Pingback: Open That Bottle Night 2016 | The Food and Wine Hedonist

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This entry was posted on July 28, 2015 by in Drinking and tagged , , , .
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