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Laden in Red – Chris de Burgh sells fine wines


Chris de Burgh“The Lady in Red” singer Chris de Burgh has decided to cash in on surging prices for fine wines, offering 320 bottles and 84 magnums of mainly red varieties at Christie’s in March which are expected to fetch in the region of 200,000 pounds ($320,000).

“Looking at the economics of the wine trade and how the business of selling wine fluctuates, I decided now was the right time,” he said in a statement. Not surprising — Asian buyers, particularly from China, have piled into the wine market in the last two years sending prices soaring. Christie’s sold wine worth $71.2 million in 2010, a whopping 70 percent increase over 2009, and fellow musician Andrew Lloyd Webber made a cool 3.5 million pounds from a much larger wine sale in Hong Kong last month.

De Burgh, his wife and daughter now prefer drinking white, so parting with some of the world’s finest clarets may be easier to bear.

Among the highlights from de Burgh’s temperature-controlled wine room at his home in Ireland is a 12 bottle case of Château Lafite-Rothschild, vintage 1945, estimated to fetch 12-16,000 pounds. (How much that works out per sip I’m not sure, but per glass it’s around 220 pounds). The bottles are still in the original straw which protected them since the end of World War Two. “Considering the dramatic events that were unfolding across Europe and particularly in France at that time, it’s extraordinary that one of the finest wines of the century was made then,” de Burgh said.

Record Hirst art sale — should we laugh or cry?


hirst1.jpgThink what you like about the art – and several leading critics question whether it is art at all – there are enough people desperate to get their hands on an original Damien Hirst to ensure that his recent, audacious sale of 223 new works at Sotheby’s was a resounding success.

Commentators have huffed and puffed about the insanity of it all — Damien Hirst, reproducing the kind of works he has been creating for years, yet still able to earn a staggering 111 million pounds (minus commission to the auctioneer) to add to his already sizeable fortune.