What's in the Bottle?
June 14, 2010 4:08 PM Subscribe
An investigation into the startling fraud accusations that have upended the fine wine world.
posted by VikingSword (98 comments total)
15 users marked this as a favorite
"Daniel Oliveros and Jeff Sokolin were known as the "sexy boys" because they often described the wines they sold as "sexy juice." Oliveros and Sokolin ran Royal Wine Merchants, a Manhattan retailer that was, until a few years ago, one of the biggest players in the fine wine market. They lived as lavishly as their wealthy customers—staying in swank hotels, often hiring limousines, and routinely opening thousands of dollars' worth of rare wines."
"Oliveros' marriage to porn star Savanna Samson added to the aura and the intrigue. But what really set the sexy boys apart was their seemingly limitless stock of legendary old wines, many of them in supersize bottles—quantities and formats that no one else could get their hands on. They bombarded clients with faxes touting their latest finds: multiple bottles of 1961 Latour à Pomerol ("Kinky Juice!"), magnums of 1945 Mouton Rothschild ("our latest sexy purchase"), a double magnum of 1949 Cheval Blanc ("Perfect condition. Better than 1947!!! Trust me!!!"). It seemed too good to be true. Apparently, it was."
"Oliveros, a native of Venezuela, and Sokolin, who is of Russian descent, opened Royal in 1990. The liquor license was in Sokolin's name alone. Four years earlier, according to court records, Oliveros had been arrested and charged with stealing approximately $20,000 worth of wine from Long Island's Garden City Hotel, where he had been employed. Reached by phone, Oliveros confirmed the arrest and said he had pleaded guilty."
"Koch, a 70-year-old energy tycoon" filed a lawsuit against Christie, the auction house that sold thousands of bottles of rare wines. The "lawsuit against Christie's also puts another name into play: Robert Parker, the world's most influential wine critic. The 1921 Pétrus—a wine that links Rodenstock to Royal, and Royal to the sale of counterfeit wines—became a highly sought-after collectible when Parker awarded it a perfect score, 100 points, at a tasting that Rodenstock hosted in Munich in 1995."