In The Real Dark Night of The Soul My Wine is Still at Vinfolio

I had intended this first post to give a bit of background about myself and why I consider myself a “wine watcher”.   Then I heard that Vinfolio is going into an “Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors”, a state-law, state-level alternative to filing under Chapter 7 or Chapter 11 for federal bankruptcy protection.  Eighty percent of my wine is stored in Vinfolio, the finer eighty percent: French Sauternes, German Rieslings, Vintage Port, etc.  F. Scott Fitzgerald, the Jazz Age author and Depression-era failed, alcoholic screenwriter famously wrote, “In a real dark night of the soul it is always three o’clock in the morning”.  I began this blog at three o’clock in my own dark night of the soul after reading the heated discussion on Vinfolio’s reorganization over at eRobertParker.com.  Mark Squires Bulletin Board on that site has been ablaze with theories about what will happen to buyers and sellers of wine through Vinfolio’s Marketplace…and what will happen to wine stored there by people like me.  I’m taking no chances and retrieving my wine ASAP.  Where I will store it is another issue.  For now the weather is cool in the San Francisco Bay Area. Wherever I keep my wine until it finds a new home, it will be fine.

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© Alexandra Alznauer, CS and Wine Watcher, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Alexandra Alznauer, CA and Wine Watcher with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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5 responses to “In The Real Dark Night of The Soul My Wine is Still at Vinfolio

  1. It’s a tough all. I completely understand the feeling to want to pull all of your wine. If Bank of America had revealed similar issues, my $$$ would be outta there faster than you could even believe! However, Mr. Bachmann isn’t a crook. He’s been building a brand for all these years, not a business. The data alone Vinfolio has provided for collectors through pure labor and investment (auction data, etc…) is magnificent. I don’t think he or Vinfolio is the type to take things and run. I really don’t.

    Then again, i too value the “goodnight’s sleep” keeping all your inventory within close grasp can bring.

    • Thank you for your thoughtful coment. I certainly never meant to imply that Mr. Bachmann or anyone associated with Vinfolio is “a crook”. However, he and others are no longer in control of the company they created. ABC is a complicated and usually drawn-out process. Several lawyers and one accountant who are on eRobert.com and who are not related to the case suggested that those of us who store wine at Vinfolio get it out now. Various possible scenarios were suggested: such as the landlord not allowing any inventory to leave the building no matter who owns it until he the lease is paid, the refrigeration bill going unpaid, etc. Many years ago I was a Federal Bankruptcy paralegal on Wall Street so I have a vague idea of the complexities involved vis-a-vis secured creditors, unsecured creditors, and people like me who are merely customers storing inventory onsite. By the way there were suggestions on the Parker board that this may be a move toward disssolution not reorganizationdue to the method (ABC) used. Time will tell. I certainly hope that Vinfolio survives this difficult time in one form or another.

  2. Good luck – knowing those folks, I’d wager that the wine will be okay through all of this, though of course it’s not my wine so easy for me to wager, right? 🙂

  3. Thanks for stopping by, Joe. Theoretically, the wine of storage customers should be OK. However, in similar situations in the recent past bottles have gone missing according to the “word on the street”. Those who’ve followed the last few days of discussion on the Parker board understand that these reorganizations (“Assignments”) often do not go as smoothly as anticipated and sometimes do not result in a viable company. Those individuals who have sent bottles to Vinfolio for auction and are due checks but have not received them (or have but the checks bounced)or who have sent in checks for wine but have not received shipment are indeed most at risk of losing out.

  4. Did you get your wine out? I too have wine stored there. And they owe me money from wine I’ve sold through them. Not happy. Latest message from the company is about a discount on their inventory in lieu of full payment owed. Not happy about this either.

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