Superstorm's 'Strangest Story' a Tale of Wine, Ruin
WineCare's high-profile clients still don't know if their tony bottles are OK
By Kate Seamons, Newser Staff
Posted Jul 22, 2013 7:52 AM CDT
This image provided by NASA shows the eastern seaboard at night from a composite assembled from data acquired by the Suomi NPP satellite as Hurricane Sandy came ashore on Oct. 30, 2012.   (AP Photo/NASA)

(Newser) – The New York Times today shares what it's calling "one of the strangest stories to emerge from" Superstorm Sandy: that of WineCare, a tony Manhattan wine storage facility that has been all but mum in the eight months since it was flooded in the storm. The players in the saga: furious clients, an unsympathetic judge, and a silent owner. As the Times explains, in the aftermath of the storm Derek Limbocker told his clients via email that "we believe at least 95% of the wine [27,000 cases] we are storing is fine." That was likely somewhat reassuring news, considering the value of the wines it held—the Times cites one client, a NYC hedge fund manager, whose collection is worth an estimated $5.2 million.

But clients' relief ended there: Since Sandy, they haven't been able to retrieve a single bottle. They're still paying monthly fees, as Limbocker filed for bankruptcy protection; he revealed at a March creditors' meeting that thousands of bottles shattered as they were being moved in his warehouse. Some of his clients filed a motion asking the bankruptcy court to force a trustee upon the company. The judge's not-exactly-sympathetic response to their lawyers: "There were thousands of victims of Hurricane Sandy, most of which suffered a great deal more than your clients have." So for now, they wait, as the wine world watches. Says a lawyer with $100,000 worth of wine at the facility: "It's the craziest thing I've ever seen."

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Showing 3 of 22 comments
HMD-SMD-ITY
Jul 27, 2013 10:33 PM CDT
Merge with a cheese company so they can have some cheese with that whine.
right2dave
Jul 23, 2013 5:39 AM CDT
At least the beer is OK?
OrneryPup
Jul 23, 2013 12:16 AM CDT
My dad grew concord grapes in the back yard, and every year, he made wine in the basement with his home made apparatus. Tasted pretty good, and would kick yer ass around the block a time or two. Then came the 2 day killer hangover. Made that mistake twice and swore I'd never drink wine again. THAT was the proper way to whine about wine. "Oh my head"