The 2009 Napa Valley Auction raised considerably less money than it has in previous vintages. Many have automatically and mistakenly blamed the economy. Bidders are nervous about their stock portfolios and how in the world they're going to be able to afford a mistress, true. And, also true, it's a bad time to appear ostentatious. Furthermore, the money goes to help poor people and sick people, and, well, frankly, maybe it's time they reciprocated and did something for us. But I think it's clear that the Napa Valley Auction didn't do so well this year because the items up for bid just weren't that great. Take a look at these entries, taken directly from the Auction Catalog.
Vertical of Rombauer Chardonnay 1985-2007 in Magnum and Free Diabetes Test and Insulin for Life
Estimated Value: $10,000
What collector of fine wine wouldn't want to have these fabulous magnums in their cellar? OK, they're a tad sweet, but we've taken care of that. An annual diabetes test and a personal visit from Wilfrid Brimley, who will match the lunch crumbs in his walrus mustache with the Rombauer bottling of your choice.
Make Love in the Sterling Tram!
Estimated Value: $5,000
Here's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make love in the Sterling tram and have it digitally filmed for future enjoyment! You and your partners (up to six) will be allowed to use the Sterling tram for sex all the way from the parking lot to our historic winery. Ride time is three minutes, plenty of time for most Auction attendees to finish. A videographer will capture the event for posterity, and when you reach the tasting room a lavish feast awaits! Feel free to engage in intercourse on the way down too--it will help get the taste of Sterling's wines out of your mouth. Going down while you're going up!!
Luxurious Trip to North Korea with Thomas Keller
Estimated Value $15,000
Here's a foodie's dream! Two weeks in the magic kingdom of Kim Jong Il with legendary chef Thomas Keller. You'll see all of the most famous and beautiful sites in North Korea, including the Tomb of the Unknown Jong, Six Flags Over Tyrant, and North Korea's magnificent dam, the Dam It All to Il. Best of all, you'll dine each night at North Korea's world famous temple of cuisine, Il Bully, with Mr. Keller manning the stoves. Keller will turn out signature North Korean dishes like Kimcheehuahua, as well as classics adapted to the native cuisine like Pug a l'Orange and Shih Tzu on a Shingle.
Own a Cult Winery For a Day!
Estimated Value $12,000
What's it really like to own one of Napa Valley's cult wineries? Here's your chance to find out. Spend a day being the owner of Harlan Estate! You get to taste all the wines, you get to wade through all the requests for charity donations, you get to make all the decisions. Las Vegas market drying up? Fly there and try to convince what sommeliers are left that they need to have a vertical of Harlan Estate on their wine lists. It's fun to fawn over those cretins! Or spend the day crafting an email to what's left of your waiting list making it sound like you're doing them a favor and granting them the privilege of purchasing your wine for $500 a bottle. And do it all while drunk on said bottle! You're going to need it.